Musicians love their instruments. They spend hours fawning over them, talking about them (and sometimes to them), dreaming about new ones, and eagerly anticipating that moment in the day when they can drop life’s chores and simply pick up and play their instrument. For many musicians the greatest pleasure in life comes from owning, handling, practicing, and performing with that special instrument. So, you can imagine the reaction when one of these “children” is broken or needs repair. Taking your prized guitar to the repair shop is like taking your child to the emergency room.
James Hood Guitar, specializing in restoration and repair service, may be just the place for you if you find yourself in this unfortunate circumstance. Located in the old Buffalo Brothers Guitar building in Carlsbad — yes, that big blue building on El Camino Real with the big chicken on the roof — you will find skilled and caring luthiers and repairmen. Folks who will take the time to chat with you, to get to know you and your musical instruments, to learn a bit of the history of your instrument, and who are committed to taking on your repair job with the skill and seriousness it deserves.
James Hood, proprietor, has been working on instruments for 26 years, since he was 15 years old. For many years he worked at Buffalo Brothers and ran the Buffalo Brothers repair shop, before taking on ownership of Buffalo Brothers in Carlsbad and Old Time Music in North Park when long-time owner Bob Page sold the business and moved to the Azores. Old Time Music and Buffalo Brothers are now closed and James has moved on to his new venture: James Hood Guitar specializing in restorations and repair.
Working with James are Chris Ogard and George Lorence III. Chris honed his luthier skills with Corky Shelton in the highly regarded Palomar College woodshop program and later at Corky’s Illusion Guitar Company. George Lorence III specializes in sales as well as repairs and set ups, and he also teaches at the shop on Sundays. As a banjo player George takes lead on the shop’s banjo restorations and repairs. The shop also works on mandolins and other instruments, and on electric instruments, but not on violins, which they refer out.
As James puts it, quality, trustworthiness, repairs, and set-ups are the anchor for musicians and for his business, and his shop takes its work very seriously. For the future, James says he may, time permitting, move into making some of his own instruments, but a quality restoration and repair business will always be at the center of his undertakings. And, don’t be surprised if his successful business expands to add additional locations.
Whether you need a simple set up, fret polish, or major restoration or repair, there is no job, big or small, they can’t take on. The shop is a certified Martin repair shop so they can do your Martin warranty work. James also notes that Deering Banjos has taken to referring folks to James Hood Guitars for banjo work. As further testimony to the caliber of their work, the shop receives work from Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and some musicians have shipped in their instruments for work from other states and even from overseas and as far away as Australia.
Stop by and see the see these friendly folks. You won’t regret it.
James Hood Guitar