A Home Grown Workshop

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A locally born guitar shop that isn’t going anywhere.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- With its rich musical history, Memphis is a haven for musicians.

To keep the music going, the perfect guitar is a must, and that's why St Blues Guitar Workshop has been around for decades.

"We were born and raised here and we are going to die here." -Mitchell

It all started in the late 60's when Mike Ladd and Tom Keckler started a shop called Mike Ladd's Guitar City right across from Graceland.

The shop was one of the first custom guitar workshops retailers, and even counted Elvis as a client.

When Guitar City closed its doors, Keckler ended up working for Strings and Things.

During his time there, he perfected his signature guitar body, the "Bluesmaster."

Keckler eventually left Memphis for a few years, but couldn't stay away from this music rich city.

In 1983, he came back and with the guys at Strings and Things took his "Bluesmaster" guitar to a trade show.

People were impressed, which led to the opening of St. Blues.

Keckler said the name is inspired by the city, "Well, are we going to call it? Well, lets call it St. Blues. St for Strings and Things and Blues because it's Memphis."

Business was good from 1984 until 1989 when a strong Yen meant labor costs in China skyrocketed and the business went under.

It sat dormant until 2005 when one of Mitchell's partners Brian Eagle bought the name.

"While [Gibson] has 40 people. We have 4 and so we can spend more time with the guitarist since we are a smaller company." -Mitchell

In 2010, the decision was made to bring manufacturing in house.

"We want guys from Memphis playing a Memphis based guitar." says Mitchell, " We have done our best, over the last 6 years, that parts, components, and everything are made in the US."

From nobs, bridges, and recently even making cigar box guitars.

"We are not just building a guitar that they can pick up and play. We are building their dream guitar."-Mitchell

St. Blues as had huge impact on not only the Memphis music scene but the blues scene around the world.


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