Dana Bourgeois, like many others, fell victim to the hypnotizing sounds of rock and roll music in the early 1960’s. It was the Beatles performing on the Ed Sullivan Show that pushed Dana to rush to the nearest music store and start down his own road to stardom. A few years into his new found hobby, Mr. Bourgeois took to the inside of the guitar, repairing and building them as a way to help himself through Bowdoin College. He stayed focused to his studies with a goal of one day helping to procure and preserve art, perhaps in a museum, but his growing passion had other plans. “One day I had an epiphany that I liked people in the music world better than I liked people in the art world,” explains Bourgeois. “I thought I would be a better fit, so that’s when I made the commitment.”
It was 1977 that Dana Bourgeois received his first commission for a hand-made guitar. His experience repairing and restoring instruments along with Irving Sloan’s publication “Classic Guitar Construction” got Dana into the 80’s and behind a new and unique modification to the OM model guitar. Working with fingerstyle guitarist Eric Schoenberg, Dana worked to adapt a cutaway into the popular OM body shape and created several prototypes before finding one he and his commissioner were happy with. The cutaway shape installed onto the “Schoenberg Soloist” can be seen across the market today having become somewhat of an industry standard. Still dwarfed by the bigger guitar companies, it was the collaboration with C. F. Martin and Co. that pushed the Schoenberg guitar to one of Martin’s top selling models, being outsold only by the dreadnought, giving Bourgeois the jump start it needed. Dana Bourgeois and his guitars quickly became well-known.
In 1992, Dana founded Bourgeois Guitars in Lewiston, Maine. He and his small team of luthiers have kept their craft passion-driven and to this day all the guitars are shaped by hand and machines are used only when absolutely necessary.
This beautiful instrument is the Bourgeois OMSC 12 Fret Slotted Peghead in Master Grade Hawaiian Koa. Like all guitars that pass through the hands of Dana Bourgeois, this guitar is made with top notch craftsmanship and is the absolute definition of custom. What sets this guitar apart from so many others is the incredibly stunning Hawaiian Koa on the back and sides. I’ll be sure to include a high resolution picture with this blog as it’s simply a piece of art. Every year, Koa becomes harder and harder to find, and to have a piece of wood as beautiful and unique as this stunning tonewood in the hands of a guitar company that settles for nothing less than perfection is an act of God. Before you dismiss my opinion as exaggeration, take a look and listen to yourself. Put in a decent set of headphones and listen to Mike play this guitar in the video below. The natural tone, harmonics, and combination of Koa and Spruce are, simply put, perfection.
This 12 fret model is a standard 25.5” scale length. As you might guess, the S in the name designates the slotted peghead, which is a satin-finished Koa. The C is for the cutaway for which Dana himself has become known for. In combination with the Koa on the back and sides, you’ll find a beautiful Alpine Spruce on top, giving this guitar the clarity and volume one would expect from a fingerstyle guitar. Along the edges you’ll see full Walnut binding with DB signature Herringbone purfling. Finishing up the guitar above the mahogany neck and ebony fretboard are a set of gorgeous snakewood button gold tuners.
This guitar is a one-and-only and is ready to be played at Heartbreaker Guitars in the famous Las Vegas, Nevada. Heartbreaker Guitars is a proud Bourgeois dealer and has a wide selection of guitars from Dana’s custom shop in Lewiston, Maine. Making only an estimated 350 guitars a year, any dealers able to keep a selection of Bourgeois in stock should definitely consider themselves lucky. Click HERE to see Heartbreaker’s entire inventory and send them any questions you may have about this featured OMSC or any of the Bourgeois guitars in stock. Brendan Smyth and his team of experts are ready to help.
Heartbreaker Guitars Contributor