Small bench luthiers across the world are currently crafting some of the most amazing guitars ever made. I am talking about guitars that would make any guitar geek weak in the knees. This particular luthier crafts instruments that from the tone woods used all the way to the smallest of appointments would easily give any guitar geek the vapors.
His name is Michael Millard and he has been building guitars under the name Froggy Bottom Guitars for over 40 years. Vermont is home base for Michael Millard and his small talented crew of guitar builders. Froggy Bottom, in my opinion, is one of those mythical guitar companies because you don’t really see them in many shops across the country. I have always felt like when I had a chance to play one it was a magical opportunity mainly because they’re quite rare, but also because the guitars are exquisite.
Visually Froggy Bottom Guitars are something to marvel, and the tone woods that Michael selects for the guitars are the finest examples available. Tonally, these guitars would make any guitar geek’s mouth water… We’re talking Pavlovian response here. Upon hearing a Froggy Bottom the first question usually asked is, “where is this magic sound coming from?”
Another thing that I think needs to be noted about Froggy Bottom Guitars is that they pay incredible attention to fit, finish, and the artistic customizability of their guitars. Froggy Bottom is one of those guitar makers that takes pride in the smallest of details. One of the details that stands out is the intricate heel caps that they use. Some of the more artistic heel caps are made of ivory and have detailed scrimshaw done on them.
The detail doesn’t end at the heel cap either; the wonderful part of the guitar that is referred to as the butt wedge (the end part that’s by the strap button on the bottom of your guitar, think lower bout) actually can be ordered with scrimshaw on it as well. Now keep in mind this isn’t a standard option, this is reserved for those who want to take there guitar into the very custom realm.
One of the other aesthetic things that stands out to me with Froggy Bottom is the headstock. The basic frog inlay done in abalone is very striking, but they’ve even taken that one step further and done engraved mother of pearl, both on the frog logo and also some very elegant filigree-type patterns.
Froggy Bottom is primarily a custom shop. They have some standard models that they base guitars off of, but you as the player design the guitar to fit your own sound and your own aesthetic. Looking at their gallery of custom instruments they do an impeccable job of helping players find the perfect instrument for them.
I would strongly advocate checking out their website, there are stories of how the name came to be, stories of Michael Millard’s luthier journey, how he started the company, who he apprenticed with, and some of his favorite custom pieces.
Their work is simply breathtaking. Remarkable guitars are being made by the folks at Froggy Bottom, and it is your duty as a guitar geek to know about them and check them out. You will be floored at just how visually stunning these guitars truly are.
Froggy Bottom Guitars Links
OMG. I love that small body git Tony McManus is playing.