In 1975, in high school, Jack bought his first guitar sight unseen through the mail: an Ovation Legend for $329.
“I thought it was a good thing when it came. It seemed like a nice guitar until I touched a Martin D-28 in a store in Syracuse. I went: ‘Oh…..wood…’
“And I realized that I had made a terrible mistake.”
And so began, by Jack’s own reckoning, a long series of failed and aborted attempts to find his Holy Grail of acoustic guitars. In 1990, Jack’s search finally ended in Michael’s workshop at Froggy Bottom Guitars.
“I had always been looking for very specific things in guitars,” Jack says.
“I’m looking for very fat notes with long sustain, things that are hard to come by with a lot of acoustic guitars. They’re not made that way very often. And I remember you could play a classical rest stoke on a Froggy Bottom guitar and the note would just go on and on: here was that angelic sound that never goes away. You could get all these individual notes, but they would also mesh perfectly well as a chord.”
Jack lives and works in southern Vermont. He plays a grand concert Froggy Bottom Model M (Brazilian / Adirondack ) and a full size Model F-14 (Koa / German spruce). In an email recently, Jack wrote:
“There is a sound that some guitar players carry around in their heads, and it is the sound a dream makes, the sound of that perfect guitar. Few of us ever expect to find the guitar that sings that lovely melody, but there are occasional, incredibly rare exceptions, to the rule.
“Michael’s guitars feel, play and sound like nothing else. There is a bit of the miraculous in what he does, what he builds…and I’ll bet even Michael cannot adequately explain how he turns raw wood and steel into a player’s dream.”