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2019 Bourgeois Slope D – Style 35
 
A vintage-style slope-shoulder built for the 2019 NAMM show.
April 6, 2022
 

Luthier Dana Bourgeois has been among the vanguard of luthiers reinterpreting classic American flattop designs for more than 40 years. He is part of a small group of builders responsible for advancing the modern steel-string guitar not only by refining its tonality, but also by developing new construction methods and elevating the standard of craftsmanship. And while Bourgeois Guitars has explored most common vintage flattop designs, the company has received particular recognition for its slope-shoulder dreadnoughts. I recently came across a Bourgeois Slope D at Schoenberg Guitars in Tiburon, California, that was made for the 2019 NAMM show, so I took it to our nearby video studio, where Peghead Nation co-founder Scott Nygaard also took it for a spin. 

Fans of Bourgeois guitars know that the company’s instruments can range from simply appointed to some of the most elaborate appearances in the business. Taking its cues from vintage Gibson J-35’s, this Slope D – Style 35 is in the former camp. As with all Bourgeois guitars, the instrument’s woods are gorgeous; the body is made of reddish mahogany with great figuring and a wonderful straight-grained, torrefied Sitka spruce top. The guitar’s fingerboard and bridge are made from great-looking rosewood, and animal protein glue was used in the construction. A high-contrast firestripe pickguard is the most distinctive part of the Slope D – Style 35’s appearance, which otherwise features simple white binding,  black-and-white purfling and rosette, and basic dot fingerboard markers. The guitar’s craftsmanship does the high-quality materials justice, so despite the relatively simple appearance, there’s no question about the boutique category this Bourgeois resides in. 

Tonally, the guitar delivers the power, presence, and volume that Bourgeois Slope D’s have become known for. Its clarity and singing sustain in the trebles was especially evident when Scott was flatpicking the guitar, but it also sounded great when I did some accompaniment-style strumming, and I was pleased to find a classic, slightly “dry” voice when I fingerpicked my way through a couple of rounds of “Freight Train.”

A relatively recent instrument, this Slope D – Style 35 is indicative of the high level of Bourgeois’s current guitarmaking, benefitting from Dana’s more than four decades of experience as well as the skill of his fine team of luthiers. And since Bourgeois offers slope-shoulders in many different styles, players looking for a contemporary take on the classic slope-shoulder dreadnought would do well to put Bourgeois on their short list!

Bourgeoisguitars.com 

 

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Peghead Partners
 
Richard Hoover and James Nash | Santa Cruz Guitar
The Santa Cruz founder and flatpicking virtuoso team up for a presentation about the company at Organic Sounds Guitars.
 
 
 
 
 
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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com