Monthly Motivation-Lover Come Back To Me

TK Smith Monthly Motivation

Every time I  I hear this recording I think of what one of my Guitar teachers used to tell me…”play it like you mean it” is what he would always say. I don’t think it’s possible to play with more feeling and intention than Mr Barnes does on this one. My all time favorite guitar ballad/instrumental. Hope you enjoy it.

 Lover Come Back To Me

Al Willis-Sixty Minute Man

It’s amazing that for someone like me who originally never wanted a cell phone and just started using email a few years ago, that we can ship a guitar to France and a few short days later get back a video of it’s new owner playing a great version of Sixty Minute Man. I really like Al’s picking style. There’s a lot of drive, I can almost hear an upright bass player and a snare drum with brushes in the background. Technology has made my world much smaller in a good way and introduced me to some pickers that I would have otherwise never known. Thanks Al for sharing!

Dan Nosovich-Sheik of Araby

A few weeks ago we sent a box down to Brisbane Australia that included two C.A.R. pickups, a custom pickguard, a chopped B-16 and one of my bridge bases. I got this great clip back in the mail this morning. Looks like Dan and his Dad did a nice tidy job of putting everything together.


TK Smith

If you’ve visited our site before, you may have noticed some changes around here. TK’s focus has shifted in the past four years from general fabrication to almost exclusively focusing on custom guitars, guitar parts and all that goes with the design and manufacturing process of these products. Therefore, we wanted our website to better reflect what our business is about today. With the help of our friend Ryan over at Atomic Industry and of course The Jalopy Journal, we’ve been able to do that. (Thanks Ryan!)

A few things that won’t change:

TK and team will continue using our vintage American made tools to fabricate the highest quality guitars and accessories, at times in our somewhat hillbilly methods, because we feel that made in America does matter and new is not always better. There are faster and cheaper ways to do things but that’s not who we are.

We will continue to share music from, and stories about some of the best players from today and yesterday, from all over the world, who continue to inspire us to be better at what we do and to keep practicing every day.

We will continue to share photos, stories and videos about architecture, art, cars, tools, other interests and the crazy and beautiful desert we live in because these are the things that make life interesting to us, and hope that you may find something interesting in these stories too. There really is no separation in our work/life so we share it all.

When you love what you do as much as TK does, it’s a gift to be able to go to a space everyday and create something with your hands that another guitar player gets to eventually enjoy for many years to come. You know the difference when you hold and play an instrument that has the soul of the maker in it. Thanks so much to everyone who stops by from time to time and for your comments and conversation!

The California Playboys

I saw this short film recently and really got a kick out of it. It’s great seeing all the old Fender guitars and amps. Thought some of you might like it too if you haven’t already seen it.

Smith Jersey

TK Smith

We wanted to produce some new shirts this fall as we hope to do each year. We have new T’s on the way, and with fall/winter upon us, we decided to produce a heavier shirt inspired by vintage motorcycle wear.

Read The Rest

Monthly Motivation-Art Tatum Trio

Art Tatum

Of all the bands I wish I could have seen live, the Art Tatum Trio with Tiny Grimes and Slam Stewart is at the top of my list. They were only around for a couple of years, ’43 to ’45. I really like the contrast of Tiny’s playing against Art Tatum’s insanely fast and accurate improvisations. It wouldn’t have been an easy job for any guitar player and I think what Tiny plays fits perfectly.

Here’s one from the  EP above that I found years ago.

Art Tatum Trio Topsy

And here’s some great footage of them playing 52nd street at the Three Deuces Club, N.Y.C. Hope you dig it as much as I do.

My friend Tommy Harkenrider has some great instructional videos on youtube including this one on Tiny Grimes chording.

The Chambered Maple Pancake Guitar

TK Smith

I used to work with a grouchy old timer who referred to all flat-type guitars as pancakes. So until I come up with a better name, I’m calling these pancakes.

 This is the first of two guitars that I’ve recently built, loosely based on Deke Dickerson’s ‘’Jodie Pilliod’’ guitar built by P.A. Bigsby.

Frank ordered his with a 24.625’’ scale and features my C.A.R. pickups, custom vibrato arm and vibrato.

 A few photos…

TK Smith

TK Smith Guitar

TK Smith

TK Smith

TK Smith

TK Smith

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