Podcast 421: Fretboard Summit Updates With Creston Lea and Micah Bruce

This week’s double-header of an episode is all about the 2023 Fretboard Summit taking place August 24-26, 2023 at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. As you hopefully know, the Summit is a three-day-long guitar show and festival curated by the Fretboard Journal. All weekend long, you can meet some of your favorite players and guitarmakers, try out new products, and have some fun. Performers include Tommy Emmanuel, Jeff Parker, Jorma Kaukonen, Via Mardot and numerous others…and you’re invited.

Register: https://fretboardsummit.org/

We start the podcast off by talking about some new Summit additions and updates, including many not currently announced on the site.

At 15:36, we interview guitarmaker Creston Lea of Creston Guitars. He’s attended every Summit the Fretboard Journal has thrown and shares some of his favorite memories over the years. Then we get a recap of last year’s Nickel Wound Chef competition, where Creston was pitted against Duncan Price in an hour-long Partscaster build-off (think: Iron Chef but for guitarmaking). Last, but not least, Creston tells us a bit about his current guitar builds, what it’s like to have Gene Parsons install B-Benders on one of your guitars, and much more.


Creston competed against Duncan Price: https://www.instagram.com/diskobebe/

Summit Trophy maker Tom Longobardi: https://tomlongobardi.com/

At 45:32, we talk to luthier Micah Bruce of Bruce Guitars. Micah is making a very special, Harmony H-49-inspired electric guitar that one lucky Summit attendee will go home with. We chat about the Summit build, the art of lamination, how modern luthiers utilize CNCs in their builds, re-topping vintage Martins, and hear about what other guitars Micah will be bringing to Chicago. It’s a great chat.


We still have a very limited number of three-day, all-access Summit passes available that include all the weekend’s programming and the concerts. Just want to come to the lutherie showcase and guitar shop? Tickets are now on sale for $30. They will also be available at the door.

Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal and start with our new, 52nd issue:  https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/products/fretboard-journal-annual-subscription

Get a discounted digital subscription and get our 52nd issue immediately:

Our podcast is sponsored by Mike & Mike’s Guitar BarPeghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); and Stringjoy Strings (get 10% off your order with the FRETBOARD discount code). This episode is also sponsored by iZotope. Use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your Izotope order.

Pics below: Progress on Micah Bruce’s Fretboard Summit guitar build!