Omaha Guitar Shop Turns History Into Music
OMAHA, NE (Nebraska) – Soul Dawg guitarist Terry Olsen has made Phil Whitmarsh a proud father.
Phil is a craftsman who coaxed pieces of wood found in the demolished Woolworth store into something special.
“When I discovered there was wood in Omaha from an old warehouse that used to be a print shop and that building had been shaking for 140 years, I just knew there was going to be something special about that wood,” Old’s Whitmarsh said. guitar market.
What started out as an outlet during the boredom of the COVID pandemic has turned into a passion for guitarists like Terry and Jared Veers.
“In particular, these guitars have a uniqueness and history that even other well-built guitars in this style don’t have,” Jared said. “When you put your fingertips on the string and press them against the fretboard… I mean, it releases your sense of expression.”
“For every project like this, you will pay with sweat and a little blood,” Whitmarsh said. “You must offer your sacrifice to the tree.”
Phil’s search for specialty timber led him to his most prolific project to date, with timber salvaged while rebuilding the last World War I “dreadnought”, USS Texas. The battleship took part in both world wars, including the assault on Normandy.
“She’s in Galveston, pulled out of the water, the hull is being repaired,” Whitmarsh said. “They are hauling deck timber, in whole pieces. These are half-inch thick torpedo bladders, and they remove and replace them because they have been in place for so long that in some cases they have caved in.
Phil dreams of having the big name try them out on the deck of the Mighty T, BB-35, when the $34 million project is completed and the first U.S. Navy museum ship reopens in its new home in southeast Texas.
“There’s a big holiday coming up, and I just imagine someone like Billy Gibbons or George Strait standing on the nose of Texas with one of my guitars playing the national anthem, the focus of the music,” Whitmarsh said. “It will be fantastic.”
For Phil, this guitar carries the energy of those who served and later visited Texas, bringing their stories and memories to life through music.
Guitar makers like Whitmarsh are known as craftsmen. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the guitars goes to the Battleship Texas Foundation.
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