Raised in rural Kentucky, Charles developed an early fascination for building (and sometimes un-building) things, the latter of which introduced him to guitar construction; reverse engineering is a sound principle and an honest teacher. After high school Charles found work as a machinist, beginning a series of jobs that would teach him about metal and the tight tolerances that luthiery demands, and giving him the skill set required to launch his guitar company. After over a decade there, he went on to oversee the construction and manufacture of wooden wine barrels for the foreign and domestic wine industry, giving him insight into the varying propeties of wood (and wine!).
Ask anyone who has played a Whifill guitar and the very first thing they'll tell you is how great the wood is. Light, resonant and harmonic, the man flat out knows wood (he also knows wine, and if you can get him going on about both at the same time you'll get a really good education and a damn good time to boot). For you nuts and bolts people, Charles also spent about a decade handcrafting mandolins and doing instrument repairs on the side, getting his chops together until he felt confident that he had something special to offer with his guitar designs. For the past few years those designs have been gaining favor with a whole bunch of pickers and gear heads, including Jack Pearson, Brent Mason, Johnny Hiland and Vince Gill.
If you were to ask Charles what goes into making a fine guitar, he'd likely tell you "passion, elbow grease, patience, skill and a little luck." Those elements, combined with his superior wood sourcing abilities, proprietary pickups and top notch electronic/hardware, and most importantly, his tremendous skills, ensure that each and every build earns nothing but the highest praise. (Oh, yeah, there's more than a fair share of hillbilly zen in there as well.) Whitfill Custom Guitars believes that every instrument has a story to tell and that the interaction between a guitar and the person playing it is vital to the tale. Mojo, magic and vibe, these are a few of the words that folks have used to describe these guitars.
This early '60s Tele replica is one of Charles Whitfill's modern masterpieces. Everything about it is mesmerizing, from its brilliantly relic-ed looks through to its modern-vintage tone and feel, you just can't help but want to reach for this one...