Robin Bullock – Awarded Composer and Multi-Instrumentalist
In September 2014, Robin acquired his first MacCubbin guitar, affectionately known as ‘Blue Boy’. The guitar made its debut both on Robin’s latest CD, titled ‘Alone and Together’, released in December 2014 and on his Christmas 2014 tour.
“And one of the unexpected thrills of making the Alone and Together CD was debuting a new guitar – my road-veteran Taylor and Martin both rose to the occasion mightily, as always, as did my ’87 Sobell cittern and my Taylor 12-string (a magnificent creature that really doesn’t get nearly enough playtime!), but for all three of my solo tracks I had the pleasure of playing this beastie right here – a Concert Series guitar by a great Maryland luthier and good friend of mine, David MacCubbin. The warmth and resonance of this guitar are just unbelievable, and the solo tracks on the CD do it fine justice (thanks to recording engineer Al Petteway and mastering engineer Bill Wolf, both audio geniuses). Dave’s presently working on a custom build for me, which I can’t wait to get my paws on – we’re tentatively (and somewhat facetiously) calling it the Wolf Boy model: it’s based on the body dimensions of my ’91 Martin J40, Dave’s interior bracing design that he learned from the great Ervin Somogyi, the neck profile of my Taylor 710LTD…and inlaid wolf paw prints as position markers on the fingerboard. Always wanted to do that! Looking forward to playing that on the road and in the studio as soon as it’s finished – watch for it at my gigs later this year…“
Steve Baughman – Composer, Multi-Instrumentalist, Singer
Steve Baughman is known for his melodic fingerstyle guitar playing, which draws on Celtic, Appalachian, and various ethnic and folk traditions, as well as his clawhammer guitar playing of old-time fiddle tunes with an infectious groove and rhythm.
Steve is a pioneer of the unique clawhammer guitar technique, one of the few guitarists who have taken the traditional clawhammer style of old-time banjo and made it work powerfully on the guitar as a folk, rock, funk, and blues technique.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played a guitar with such clear bass. The separation of the base from the treble makes for an amazing clarity where every note gets its moment. And there is such volume on this fine instrument that at times I feel like I’m playing a grand piano.”
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Ken Totushek – Composer, Instrumentalist, Singer, Worship Leader
Ken Totushek is an internationally known singer/songwriter, acoustic instrumentalist and worship leader. As a recording artist and engineer, Ken has produced 8 CDs of inspirational work since 1994. Ken has performed in Japan, Europe, the Middle East and throughout the U.S. Ken defines himself as a musician living and sharing “Freedom Songs”. His music is down to earth, inviting, and tends to capture the heart of the listener as he leads one through a calming and hope filled musical journey. Ken plays venues worldwide, which have ranged from concerts, house concerts, hospitals, restaurants and pubs to leading worship at international church services and conferences.
El McMeen – Acoustic Guitarist
Internationally acclaimed acoustic guitarist El McMeen has been listed among the “100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists.”
While he plays in many styles, El’s music focusses on beautiful melodies, and his up-tempo pieces reflect a joyful, toe-tapping pulse. He emphasizes touch, tone, and phrasing. He specializes in rhythmic flexibility and often employs harp-like arpeggios in many different genres of music, Celtic, spiritual, and pop.
“This guitar is really gorgeous, and you have managed to take birds-eye maple of all woods and give it gravitas – quite an achievement, Dave!”
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Tim Alexander – Guitarist
“The photos of this guitar speak for themselves. David has combined a lovely design (OS 14 fret – no cutaway – mini-jumbo) while featuring a beautiful top wood (Engelmann) with slight bear claw and tight clean grain lines. The East Indian Rosewood back and sides speak for themselves in these photos – as do the understated ebony bindings. But as those who know can attest, the looks of a guitar aren’t what I think of first. Yes, I enjoy the looks of a plain and simple instrument; no fretboard inlay, deep dark ebony and a simple tight rosette work best for me. So visually, I couldn’t be happier with this guitar – the fit and finish is first rate. I think David nailed my vision for this simple, yet stunningly beautiful guitar. The pictures are not nearly showing the guitar off as well as in person.”
“As to it tone, I am not going to try to say this is the best sounding guitar you’ve ever played – but it is the best sounding guitar I have ever owned. And I have owned a few. Sonically, it very balanced with big deep, controlled low-ends, a lively and powerful mid-range and wonderful sparkle in the high ends. This guitar projects well while still giving the player a nice front row to the tone of the instrument. Tone is tone and there is no way to capture this for you in words. But I can say that I typically tune my guitars down from E-standard intervals to E-flat or D-standard intervals (and even CGDGAD) to achieve the openness that this guitar already provides. This guitar is full of energy, volume, sensitivity and liveliness in full E-standard tuning and that’s where it’s going to stay tuned for now. I am regularly playing with a drop-D capo and this configurations works perfectly on the MacCubbin. Better than any other guitar I’ve owned.”
“I believe that a really good guitar is one that is enjoyed by the owner and appreciated by listener. Many guitars do one of these but not both. A truly great guitar does all that while being a musical inspiration to the owner/player. Again this guitar fits the bill. I find myself picking it up as often as I can and I find each session to be an exercise in finding new melody lines, new interval inversions and new chord progressions. The intonation on this guitar is just spot on – better than any I have ever owned and when in tune, this guitar has a piano-quality to it. This was what I was looking for. Kudos David.”
“David has made me a great guitar. It was almost too fairly priced (please don’t tell Claire). And I personally think it’s the most beautiful guitar he has made thus far. I have owned (and still own) luthier built guitars from names you all would most certainly recognize. And I have played quite a few other luthier built guitars. I can only tell you this MacCubbin OS-014 is getting my full attention these days as being superior in all ways visually and sonically. I am inspired to write new tunes, learn new arrangements and record or perform someday with it. And that is all want from a new guitars. I’m stoked – what else can you ask for from an investment like this?”
“Great job David… I’m saving my pennies for the next one. :)”
Kinloch Nelson – Guitarist, Composer, Singer
“It’s great to finally have a 14 fret classical 2″ neck on a jumbo steel string body. With the cutaway and the 14 frets to the body this guitar gives all the reach one could want, has the wide neck and a big sound to go with it. It’s a lot like my old Martin D35s guitar from the early 1970’s which had great tone but its 12 frets to the body limited the top note range. This guitar has a similar mojo but much greater accessibility. The workmanship is crisp, and detailed but not over the top, and the sound is smooth and even with good separation. It seems to do well with almost any set of strings. I have used extra lights to mediums and even a set of baritone strings and it sounded great. I have done classical gigs with it and plugged it into a Fender amp and used it in a jazz/rock trio. So far so good. Thanks Dave!”
Dan Schutte – Composer, Liturgist, Artist, Author
Best know for his inspiring hymn “Here I Am, Lord”, Dan Schutte has been composing music for Christian worship for over forty years. Many of his compositions have been translated into other languages and are published in hymnals throughout the world.
“The woods we chose are exquisitely beautiful, and the abalone inlays are so lovely and refined. The rosette surrounding the soundhole is simple and elegant. The workmanship is nothing less then astounding.”
“Then I picked up the instrument to play for the first time. The first thing I noticed was that it sounded different than my thirty-five year old Martin D-28. I was startled at first but continued to let the sound play into my ears. As I played and listened I began to notice a very lovely combination of warmth and clarity. It didn’t take me long to come to love the richness of the sound. Now I find that when I go back to my Martin after playing the new guitar, the old instrument sounds muffled. The string action on the new guitar is like butter and playing is nearly effortless. Needless to say, I am thrilled and deeply grateful to Dave for his gracious offer and the many hours he spent in the workshop creating this instrument that carries inside it both his and my spirit.”
“For anyone who might be interested in a custom-made guitar, I assure you that you’ll not be disappointed.”
Mary Weis, D.V.M. – guitarist, church musician
“My five year search for a new 12-string acoustic guitar led me to Dave MacCubbin’s website (via Dan Schutte) and the initial email inquiry about his guitars began a six month journey that resulted in a very beautiful instrument which I love to play.”
“Early on in the process, there were a lot of decisions to be made about the type of guitar I wanted: style, body type, as well as woods to choose for the top, neck, back and sides along with other design related items such as neck width, sound hole designs, scale length, bracing patterns, tuners, and so much more. Dave was very helpful through it all and in constant contact via email and phone calls. He created a web page for me and had photos of my guitar so I could see the construction process. During this time, I came to appreciate the skill, precision, attention to detail, and great love and dedication that went into making my instrument.”
“My new 12 string is a wonderful combination of form and function due to the care and expertise of Dave’s craftsmanship. The woods are beautiful and the tone and responsiveness of the instrument inspire musicality. I am so pleased, elated, and honored to own and play an original MacCubbin 12-string guitar. I had never thought about having a custom made guitar and I’m so glad I did. I’ve even tried to talk Dave into making a 5 string bluegrass banjo for me, but I think he prefers working with the woods to craft such fine guitars. Thank you, Dave, for making such a wonderful instrument for me to play and also for following your passion.”
Chris Goertzen, Ph.D. – Professor of Music History and World Music, University of Southern Mississippi
Dr. Goertzen has purchased a number of MacCubbin guitars over the years. Several testimonials are included.
“I was a medium-level coffee house player in TX as a student in the early 70s; some guitar skill but no special quality to the voice and no charisma at that time. I taught guitar for a few years after getting my B. A., then went to grad school for music history and eventually ethnomusicology. I played guitar some years more than others–for instance, when my wife had a grad. student Fulbright in Vienna, I tagged along and researched country music there partly through performing at joints such as the “Old Tucson Western and Country Club.” I now live in Slidell, LA, and teach music history at the University of Southern Mississippi. A few years ago, I was asked to be the academic going around MS with a visiting small exhibit from the Smithsonian, and got back into public performing–I figured that concerts with some talk would be lots better received than plain lectures. I also accompany old-time fiddlers now and then, and play guitar when interviewing fiddlers (I write quite a bit on fiddling).”
“My cedar/mahogany CS has joined a few other guitars on which I pursue my current performing interest, to play Renaissance lute music. It’s got a stunning volume and remarkably versatile sweet, sweet sound. I have some fine guitars, but this one is causing dust to gather on the others. It’s not just an instrument, it’s a passionate companion.”
“I’ve now got a new MacCubbin that I commissioned, a Redwood/SE Asian rosewood OS with Koa and Olivewood appointments. Oh my! It’s beautiful looking (far more than any photographs can capture), and wonderful feeling and sounding, with an open and aggressive voice that I love. Bach and Dowland and Mississippi John Hurt and Jerry Jeff Walker have all met their match in this rascal. I’d like to also mention how fun and satisfying it was to work with David. He understood what I tried to say, and worked creatively to make my dreams into a guitar . . . and gently got me to reexamine my goofiest ideas. Every luthier offers to collaborate effectively with a customer, but I cannot imagine an experience better – more psychologically and aesthetically detailed or more successful in outcome – than the one I had with this commission.“
Frank Winterling – Guitarist
“I first met Dave MacCubbin of MacCubbin Guitars during a guitar show in Pennsylvania. Once I played several of his hand-made acoustic guitars, I was hooked.”
“Soon after, I contracted Dave to make a custom jumbo dreadnought. I selected Lacewood with a Spruce top which provides incredibly loud, crisp tone with a warm blend of natural sound throughout the audible spectrum. Every facet of the guitar was custom tailored to my taste. The workmanship is the best I have ever seen. Dave is an amazing luthier and artist in his craft.”
George Arconti, Jr. – Guitarist
“Finally got some time to sit down and play my new MacCubbin. I am not great, but it plays like a dream. It is named “Sweet Girl” because the grain in the book match on the back looks like a pair of girl’s eyes. I love it. It is an incredible instrument.“
George Arconti, Jr.
Michael Antinucci – Multi-Instrumentalist, Composer, Singer
“I did not fully realize this until I got the guitar into my home studio.”