The body of this new model, the Midwestern, is very similar in appearance to the recently produced Modified Jazz Model. It is slightly smaller. I consider both guitars to be of the same model, but with a couple of different options. Despite the fact that it is a solid body, the Midwestern is incredibly light-weight. The reason is that the center section of the body is pine,, and the top and bottom plates are of American sycamore and sassafras respectively. All 3 plates are of low density species, the pine being a softwood. The primary distinction between the two guitars is the recessed controls plate that sets the control knobs about 1/2” below the top surface of the guitar. This characteristic of the instrument still allows for easy access to the controls, yet makes it much less likely that the knobs will interfere with strumming or other player techniques.
Across the street from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where the city’s band shell now resides in Grant Park, there once was a stand of very old crabapple trees. When the trees were cut down to make way for the new band shell in 1978, the Park Police kindly allowed me to take some of the wood. After all these years, I finally found a perfect use for the crabapple wood – guitar necks! Opportunity knocks. It’s funny how little things can make you happy sometimes.
This model is called the Midwestern because all wood species used to make it came from the American Midwest.