The Holy Grail Guitar Show in Berlin was a great success. First of all, the city of Berlin is absolutely amazing, with a vibrant culture of new ideas and old traditions. It is certainly the most hip and happenning place I've been to recently. The organizers of the show did a wonderful job running this complicated event smoothly and efficiently, creating an environment where all of us luthiers really felt like we belonged. I got to meet and chat with some of the great guitarmakers who have shaped the way I build, jammed with some very cool musicians, and somehow even had the time to hang out and just enjoy everyone's company.
What struck me the most was the incredible variety and creativity of so much of the work on display. Almost every builder brought something that pushed the envelope of what's possible with the guitar, from Michihiro Matsuda's deconstructed archtop to Uli Teuffel's mind-bending Birdfish to Linda Manzer's 52-stringed wonder. Not just that, but the visitors to the show were a cosmopolitan and knowledgeable crowd who were as thrilled as I was to see and play these new guitar ideas. It's a long way from home, but I sure hope I can do this again every year!