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Castelluccia by Bumgarner

Joli GadjoJoli Gadjo Cardiff, UK✭✭✭✭ Derecho, Bumgarner - VSOP, AJL
Over the last 2~3 years, I have been trying on and off several guitars built by Jacques Castelluccia in the 1950s ~ 1960s. a few D-holes, and one f-hole. If you follow the flow of guitars that comes to Djangobooks, you have then seen most of them as I never kept more than one a time. I think one of them had even been copied by Bob Holo.

My friend Craig Bumgarner and I, are the 2 guitars of the Hot Club of DC. Craig and I have been interested in cracking the secret that made those guitars amazing. So, amongst other things, Craig has been studying those Castelluccia from all angles. And of course trying to reproduce them: taking the best of them, trying to improve the weak points and built a Super-Castelluccia based on a research-project on those 4~5 guitars. This project has been fruitful and led Craig to build 3 or 4 of them. Copies combine the best of what he has studied. Very rich with a lot of grain like a Busato, with a bit sweeter sound like a Favino. They're amazing.
I have resisted for the longest time not to get one, before I had to admit the obvious: I would have to pay > $4,500 to get the same guitar built by one the top builders today.So I got myself one, and it has everything I have loved in my previous Castelluccias.

If you don;t have a strong right hand, you'll be very pleased, as the sound is very full and satisfying. If you play gypsy style using the rest stroke, you'll get the best of it. Gypsy guitars sounds like it what they're played gypsy style, and Craig's guitar are no exception: they're excellent gypsy guitars.

One of Craig's guitars is coming to Djangobooks anytime soon and it's a great one. It's probably underpriced, but so were Bob's guitars a few years ago. Take a look at it today. You might regret it in a couple of years when Bumgarners become the new thing.
- JG


  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,932
    You can see and hear Craig's guitar here: ... -2012.html

    This is a really wonderful guitar at a great price. Perfect for someone who wants to party like it's 1959!

  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    Craig had two of these at Django in June, and I played both of them a good bit. They were both excellent guitars, and I tried to get the lead guitarist in the band I play in to buy one of them. They had different bracing inside, and so sounded different, but both were really excellent instruments. I agree with Stephane: Craig is a Coming Man, and his guitars are incredible bargains, with great vintage tone and excellent build quality. They are beautiful to look at as well. Someone is going to be very happy. If I had any room left in the closet, that someone would be me.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 794
    Thanks for the kind words and encouragement on my debut at Djangobooks, I've been looking forward to this for a long time.... 8)
  • Archtop EddyArchtop Eddy Manitou Springs, ColoradoModerator
    Posts: 589
    Congrats Craig on your well-deserved debut at DjangoBooks. As Michael Bauer said your guitars were exceptional instruments -- a treat for the eyes, ears and hands at Django in June. I remember how Sebastien Boyer was super impressed with your guitar. He showed it to Antoine who immediately began playing it and looked up nodding his approval. Beautiful instruments indeed! AE
  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,127
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,664
    Those two guitars that Craig had at Django in June 2012 were simply amazing. Fabulous sound and astonishingly loud without being harsh. I sat at a 90 degree angle from someone who was playing one, and it sounded louder than most guitars heard head on. If I had not been broke at the time, I would have brought one of them home.

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    Benny isn't kidding. He was trying to sell a guitar all week just so he could buy one of Craig's. They are that good.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • BohemianBohemian State of Jefferson✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 303
    Congrats Craig. !

    Enjoyed our conversation.
  • Joli GadjoJoli Gadjo Cardiff, UK✭✭✭✭ Derecho, Bumgarner - VSOP, AJL
    Posts: 542
    Down here in DC, we all play Craig's guitars:
    Drew Deshler, whom most of you might know for being a regular at Django in June
    Mary Alouette our local GJ singer, Rick Peralta from the New Orleans Jazz Quartet Laissez Foure, and also Ben Wood from Franglais in Brooklyn.
    Craig's first guitars were very close to his previous MD50, and were amazing Selmer copies.
    Now that he nailed the Castelluccia style, you can only imagine what he's gonna work on next.
    - JG
  • noodlenotnoodlenot ✭✭✭
    Posts: 388
    nice one Craig, you´ve pulled it!

    looks real nice! congrats!

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