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        St. Blues Guitar Workshop

        Saint Blues Guitar Workshop has its roots deep in the Memphis music scene of the 60’s and 70’s. Tom Keckler, St. Blues’ designer, grew up working for 2 legendary custom guitar shops, Mike Ladd’s Guitar City and Strings and Things. In 1978, Tom left Memphis to hook up with Tom Anderson and David Schecter to turn Schecter Guitar Research from a parts supplier to a guitar company. In 1983 he moved back to Memphis and rejoined Chris Lovell and Charlie Lawing from Strings and Things to build custom guitars. These first generation guitars were called S&T Custom Workshop Guitars and dealers were wild for the guitars but not for the name. The name was changed to St. Blues in 1984 and the brand was born. The first original prototype designed for St. Blues was the Bluesmaster. Its unique shape, vintage appearance and playability created a lot of interest from players. The list of people who played the Bluesmaster is impressive, and includes those you see here: Bono on the Rattle and Hum album, Eric Clapton, Jeff Carlisi of .38 Special, Billy Squier, Joe Walsh and Glenn Frey of the Eagles, Albert King, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and many, many more. St. Blues’ guitar assembly was done in Memphis, but the bodies and necks were single sourced by ESP in Japan. In 1989 when the Japanese Yen doubled against the dollar, St. Blues was priced out of the market. Without the capital to retool elsewhere, they mothballed the line. Interest in the line has never waned though. In 2004, Vintage Guitar Magazine wrote several articles about these guitars with Jeff Carlisi singing it’s praises above all of his other guitars. This spiked demand for the original guitars at auction sites around the world. In 2006, St. Blues was restarted by a local Memphis investor, Bryan M. Eagle III. He bought the rights and designs and got Keckler to come back to oversee design and manufacturing. They began with launching the Pro Series, a Korean-made, yet high quality guitar with USA components and an outsourced Workshop Series of custom guitars. The Pro Series was popular and St. Blues built its international distribution up to 150 dealers in 19 countries. With prices rising rapidly at the Korean manufacturer, for St. Blues to be competitive it required them to move production to China. Instead, St. Blues decided to move all production back to the United States. In early 2011, they shut down the Korean production and began building the US Workshop. In early 2012, St. Blues re-launched the Workshop Series of custom guitars and basses, this time being built out of their factory in Memphis. They also launched the Roots Instrument line of hand-made cigar box guitars and amps, and other roots instruments like the Woogie Board, an electric washboard. Both lines are sold online, through the St. Blues shop, and through select retail outlets around the world. Today, every St. Blues guitar is made in Memphis just a few doors down from Sun Studio.