TWiE Award winning Weissenborn player and total enthusiast John Merrill stormed onto the Weissenborn scene at the back end of 2014 with what I can only describe as a “blitz style” Weissenborn assault on YouTube that literally came out of nowhere. But as in all cases no one comes from nowhere and produces such a high density and quality of Weissenborn music overnight there’s always a back story to be told, and John’s one is intriguing. A story or highs and lows, from youthful dreams of making it big to the crushing lows of virtually losing it all in an instant. Join me as I talk to John and discover his fascinating story of how the Weissenborn turned this mans life completely around.
“Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how pleased I am with my Style 3. There’s just something really cool about a Weissenborn that’s actually handcrafted in Hawaii. A Weiss is, after, a life-style instrument rooted in Hawaii and you just can’t get that vibe from guitars made elsewhere. I just received my guitar last night and could almost hear the surf as I first opened the case to reveal that sweet Koa curl. Taking inspiration from such prominent lap-slide players as Thomas Oliver, John Wilde, Ed Gerhard, Ben Harper, and David Lindley, I took up lap steel a couple of years ago starting with moderately priced Gold Tone, Anderwood and Imperial guitars. These served the purpose adequately but are no comparison to the Iseman for ease of play, craftsmanship, greater volume and consistency throughout the guitar’s range and just great looks. When I was ready to step up to the next level, I did extensive online research and found Bill Hardin of Bear Creek Guitars, Bill Asher, Tim Kill and Tony Francis are among several custom builders whose passion for unraveling the secrets of the original Weissenborns has enabled them to build very accurate and beautiful reproductions both in terms of construction and tone. Luckily, I found your website and was intrigued by the “cool factor” and positive reviews and decided to take a chance on buying an instrument sight unseen. Great decision, great instrument, great work!”
Gulf Breeze, FL