About Little Crow Guitars
The magic of creating
Creating an instrument from raw wood and metal and various hardware and strings and then hearing it played by people who love playing music is a magical experience. This creative feedback loop is what motivates and inspires us. Our aim is to make instruments that inspire people to play music. From our premium 6 string guitars to our “rootsy” 3 string Blues Planks, we appeal to all levels of musical ability and aptitude. You don’t need to be a musical prodigy to pick up a guitar and have some fun.
We love working with wood. We’ve been making furniture since 1990. During a quiet spell in 2012 we made our first electric guitar, got some encouraging feedback and made another. It was at this point that we came across the Intheblues YouTube channel. Shane was demoing effects pedals and guitar gear and we loved his style of playing. We asked if he’d be interested in checking out and possible demoing our guitar. (This also meant that we’d have to build a left-handed guitar). Shane agreed enthusiastically and the rest, as they say, is history. Shane and his Intheblues channel put us on the map. The first guitar Shane demoed was the precursor to the current Raven model. The second guitar we developed was the semi-hollow Corvinho and the model Shane demoed had the Tele bridge, mini humbucker neck combination suggested by Shane. This was so successful that this guitar was named the Corvinho SD for Shane Diiorio. (Justin Johnson, who helped us develop the Blues Plank series of guitars, so liked the semi-hollow Corvinho that he commissioned a custom model with a Bigsby and a third (P90) pickup to be used as his stage guitar).
The next premier guitar we developed was the Raven, a double cutaway solid body with dual humbuckers by Brierley and another big hit tone-wise. Shane owns one and reckons it leaves his other dual humbucker guitars for dead tone-wise. All our premier guitars have Brierley pickups as standard, second to none for clarity.
More inspiration and the birth of the Blues Plank
The next bit of inspiration came when we became aware of the “roots revival” and the resurgence of the cigar box guitar. The totally minimalist approach to this type of instrument making really appealed to us. Instead of joining the cigar box guitar movement we decided to augment it with some solid body instruments built with the same ethos of simplicity and minimalism. This time we approached Justin Johnson who was (and still is) one of the artists at the forefront of the roots revival. Justin enthusiastically embraced our ideas and went on to help us develop our “Blues Plank” series of roots and blues oriented guitars. Justin and his wife Nikki (who is the behind-the-scenes master videographer) have helped many budding luthiers, predominantly in the blues and roots scene, become known to the wider world. Little Crow Guitars is no exception. We are very grateful for their continued support. Here is an interview Justin did for the Roots Music School about us and our guitars.
So who are we making guitars for?
We are making guitars for people who love making music and appreciate a hand made instrument — an instrument made by two people who are passionate about what they do and enjoy sharing that creativity with musicians at all levels. We’re not going to be as cheap as some mass-produced instruments and we’re not going to be as slick as some of the big brand names but we have lots of uniqueness and character and some of the best tones around.
So we are finding that Little Crow buyers are people looking for a special quality in an instrument — be it the uniqueness, the feel or the tone, or all three. And these buyers turn out to be established artists looking for a new feel or tone, beginners and returning players appreciating the simplicity and robustness of the Blues Planks and then that wide and growing family of people who just dig the blues.
The Little Crow team
The team at Little Crow Guitars is Dave & Viv Street and Muffin the cat. Dave does the guitar designing and making and Viv does the finishing and polishing and quality control. Muffin keeps an eye on things. We live out in the country with few neighbours and only nature to distract us — a good place to work.