A word from Tony
(scroll down to read Tony’s bio)
During the summer of 2012 my wife Christina and I decided to take a break from the shop and schedule a brief summer tour to share my original singer/songwriter music at several churches, coffee houses and recovery groups. I performed about 30 concerts across Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. It was a wonderful time…especially in Alabama.
While performing at a local church in McCalla, Alabama we camped at Tannehill State Park. That weekend, there also just happened to be a dulcimer festival in the park and we found ourselves right smack dab in the middle of it…there was no escape! The Southern Appalachian Dulcimer Association was having their 39th annual festival. As I began to mingle, make friends, and participate in the late evening jams (with my guitar) I was quite taken with the kindness and generosity of the players and their love for music. What’s more, the dulcimer was an amazing part of my own culture…invented right here in the Appalachian Mountains. That sweet intimate sound stirred a part of my creativity that had lay sleeping since childhood. I will never forget that weekend.
Once my new friends found out that I made the guitar that I was playing, I reckon you can guess what happened next! I guess you could say that this wonderful bunch of people coerced me into making some dulcimers…well, you can’t coerce the willing! Four years later after many prototypes and late nights in the shop and the generous support from the Southern Appalachian Dulcimer Association and my lovely wife Christina, I am excited to bring 27 years of Lutherie experience to one of the greatest musical instruments ever conceived….The Mountain Dulcimer.
A very special “Thank You” to Mr. Paul Sykes for his support and friendship.
A Brief Biography
Born and raised in East Tennessee, Tony Vines grew up surrounded by music and Appalachian culture. At an early age Tony discovered a love for music. The influence of his brother playing guitar and his mother playing autoharp and piano always had him singing a song. By the age of 14 the sweet sound of steel string instruments became the choice of his own musical explorations. In his early twenties he became frustrated while searching for the “perfect guitar.” With no prior woodworking experience, he decided to make his own guitar…this decision would soon lead him to the artistry and craftsmanship that he could only express in lutherie.
In 1989 Tony began his lifelong career as a professional Luthier. Early in his pursuit of lutherie excellence, Tony built five guitars per year and logged over 400 repairs as owner/operator of the premier musical instrument repair shop in Kingsport, Tennessee. During these early years he gained extensive knowledge regarding design and function of a wide variety of musical instruments. This knowledge began to harmonize with Tony’s creative passions and the song of Tony Vines Guitars was written. Through the years (and 170 guitars later) many great artists have cherished ownership of his handmade world class guitars…most notably Johnny Cash and Joe Carter (son of A.P. and Sara Carter). Tony’s artistry can be seen at www.tonyvinesguitars.com and at the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota.