Thursday, February 16, 2006

Al Dodge's Santo

The Fretboard journal has pix of Al Dodge's custom copy of a Jose do Espirito Santo concert. What a beauty. And if I'm putting 2 and 2 together correctly today, this would have been built by Mike DaSilva. I had the rare pleasure of actually holding an original Santo at Mike's several months ago, and he was in the process of studying its construction for Al. Stay tuned, because I believe this is only one of three different Santo replicas that Al and Mike will be building. Link

UPDATE: Michael Simmons over at the Fretboard Journal wrote to set us straight on Al's uke:

"Actually, Al Dodge made that Santo-style uke on his own, based on his own ideas. He's a pal of Mike DaSilva's, and used some of the tools in Mike's shop, but all of the design and execution is Al's own work. Mike has been experimenting with making a couple of Santo-style ukes, but his are sopranos while the one in the photos is a concert. Al is a skilled builder who has been making ukes for years under the Kaleponi label. (I own a Dodge-made Kaleponi concert, sort of a Martin-style, which is my main uke and one of the finest instruments I've ever played.) If anything, Al is the guy who suggested to Mike that he look to the older pre-1915 designs for inspiration and I suspect he arranged for Mike to get his hands on the Santo that you got to see at the workshop. The uke in my photos is an Al Dodge-made instrument, but it's quite likely that Al and Mike will collaborate on instruments in the future. I hope you can update your post to reflect all of this."
(Thanks, Michael!)

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