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Gypsy Kings lead guitarist Tonino Baliardo came by GSI on Sunday before his show at the Greek Theatre to pick out a new guitar. Though he loves the sound of the koa Conde AF25/R that he used to record the last Gypsy Kings album, he felt the guitar was a little small (It’s actually an interesting guitar – a smaller bodied Conde AF25/R that to my ear sounds no different from the regular sized ones), so he wanted essentially the same guitar but bigger, and ended up falling in love with another, regular sized, rosewood Conde AF25/R. Bottom line is that he took the new one with him and left us the smaller bodied koa one to sell. So if you’ve ever wished you could get a smaller-bodied Conde, this is actually the only one I think I’ve seen. Here he is playing his koa gutar and then his new rosewood one.
Looking back at all of the videos we shot in 2011 it’s impossible not to feel thankful for all the great guitarists, most of whom have become friends (if they weren’t already), who came through GSI this year and lent us their talent to help show off and archive some of the countless amazing guitars that come through the shop. They all have hectic schedules and tons to do, so I want to thank everyone for making the time. I like to think that everyone had a good time playing some new and interesting guitars, but it’s also important to remember that they all put themselves out there playing guitars they weren’t used to, and many of them were extremely accommodating of my schedule, for which I owe them a personal thank-you.
A lot of the players surprised me with music I hadn’t heard before or just particularly beautiful performances, and some of them just plain lived up to my already-high expectations of them.
In no particular order, here are the players who made this blog a really great place to hear guitar music this year and without whom many of us might never have heard some of these guitars (names will link to videos or articles about them on the blog):
Duo Solaris (Scott Wolf and Connie Sheu)
Alma Nova (Almer Imamovic and Jessica Pierce)
Line Forms Hear (Scott Morris, Steve Thachuk and Julian Coryell)
The story of the Conde Hermanos workshop dates back to the early 20th Century. For the first time, a breach began to appear in the world of guitar building, and two clearly distinct instruments were taking shape. These instruments evolved into what we today know as the classical and flamenco guitar.
Several of the luthiers that worked in the workshop of Manuel Ramírez proved instrumental in the development of these two different instruments. Among them was a man by the name of Domingo Esteso.