2006 Buck Curran Butterfly

Posted by Teja Gerken

2006 Buck Curran Butterfly

Guitarist/singer/luthier Buck Curran (curranguitars.com) has long split his time between the stage and the workbench. A seven-year stint working in Dana Bourgeois’s shop in Maine provided an opportunity to not only work alongside some of the best craftspeople in the business, it also allowed Curran to handle many of the finest tonewoods available. But Curran’s vision of guitar design had been influenced by hearing Martin Simpson’s Stefan Sobell guitars before he started at Bourgeois. He eventually obtained a few Sobells, and his observations on how they were built shaped his own designs, including this Butterfly model.

Since leaving Bourgeois in 2009, Curran’s primary focus has been on touring and recording with Arborea (arboreamusic.blogspot.com), a duo with his wife, Shanti. His personal sonic requirements inform his building. “My quest is to build a guitar that performs extremely well for both flatpicking and fingerstyle, but I also prefer guitars that have nice overtone qualities,” Curran says. Curran feels that the guitar’s narrow waist (based on a Sobell-style body outline with a 16¼-inch width at the lower bout) helps enhance the midrange frequencies, which creates a voice that works well for his slide playing.

Built in 2006, the guitar pictured here has a red spruce top that was harvested in Maine and Indian rosewood back and sides. The neck is made from Honduras mahogany, and the fingerboard and bridge from ebony. Curran used Brazilian rosewood for the heel cap, headstock overlay, and rosette. 

Excerpted from Acoustic Guitar 231, March 2012

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