Rockbridge Guitar Company
The Rockbridge Guitar Company is a small shop with a big reputation. Bold-faced names such as Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz and Mary Chapin Carpenter, as well as numerous producers, are customers. “We’re proud that we have a lot of professional musicians using our guitars,” says co-owner Brian Calhoun. “We’ve gotten here from word of mouth.” Calhoun formed the company in 2002 with friend Randall Ray after working as an apprentice producing mandolins and banjos. The pair, then 22 and 39, respectively, named the business after their home county. All Rockbridge guitars are custom-made with a variety of tonewoods, gleaming inlays and warm tinted or varnished finishes. (A double-necked guitar for Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi was a particularly tricky creation, says Calhoun.) The company now employs four full-time employees in its downtown Charlottesville workshop, and produces about 60 instruments a year. Prices vary by design, starting at $4,600. RockbridgeGuitar.com
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