2012 Federico Sheppard "Camino" CD/MH
|Back & Sides||Mahogany|
|Scale Length||650 mm|
|Nut width||52 mm|
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This instrument was built in Sheppard's workshop in Carrion de los Condes, Spain which is about midway between Burgos and Leon, and situated right on the "Camino de Santiago" - the 500 mile trail to Santiago de Compestela that pilgrims have been walking since the Middle Ages. The area of Carrion de los Condes is littered with Medeival churches and castles built largely in the austere and breathtaking Romanesque style. Sheppard has walked the trail in its entirety 3 times, and has become enamored with the rich artistic history, Catholic mystical tradition and pilgrim culture that is associated with the area. Not surprisingly, he infuses these elements into a series of instruments that he calls the "Camino" guitars.
The decorative themes for this instrument come from the traditions associated with the camino - shells, walking sticks and drinking gourds in the rosette, tuning machines and carved head are the symbols used to mark the route of the Camino de Santiago since ancient times. The colors are derived from the plants of the meseta during the summer season, wheat, rye and sunflowers, along with red from the Spanish poppy. This design is enhanced by some really eye-popping materials, most notably the very rare, exotic and extremely flamed set of mahogany for the back and sides. Really stunning materials!
The instrument sounds as fantastic as it looks. Federico Sheppard is a veteran of the craft, having built for many years from his storage of high-grade wood that he has amassed over several decades. This one is actually lattice-braced internally, which gives the guitar some added volume. It has a singing and dark, mysterious sound that is perfect for virtually any style of music. Overall this is a very inspired maker with a unique approach to guitar making that incorporates the great instrument making traditions of the past, fused with decorative elements from this mystical and historically rich part of Spain where the guitar was built.