BRIAN HENKE: A DREAM COMES TRUE
Once upon a time, there was a musician named Brian, who had a vision of a guitar with many strings, a harp-like sound, and two necks. He would dream about this instrument while he was flying around (while he was sleeping of course), over fields of ....
A DREAM TAKES SHAPE
This sounds like a fairy tale, but actually it's a true story. Brian Henke, famed Cleveland-based acoustic virtuoso, had a dream of a double-neck, harp guitar for a long time before we met at a local winery. Between his performances we sat down and he explained to me how it would look. And he said he already had a name for it: the "Dreamcaster." Without hesitation, I said, "I can build that!"
So with no sketches and just a few preliminary objectives I set out to design the "Dreamcaster." It seemed to design itself. The longer neck of the baritone seemed to be the natural choice due to its size with the harp. Many things about the instrument were a bit puzzling, but as time went on the problems were solved, one by one.
ALEX BEVAN: FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION
From the very inception of the project Pat was right there with design meeting functionality. We had an idea to make a novel guitar using only the very best woods, electronics and finish. As you can see, the final result was fantastic.... and....it plays and sounds even better than it looks!"
I have always wanted a Gibson EB-2D bass guitar but could never afford one. Patrick offered me a solution. He would build me my dream bass. After talking to Patrick several times to narrow down the idea of the bass, we picked out the things I liked about the Gibson EB-2d and other basses and incorporated them into the new design. My Liam bass is made from butternut with a flamed maple top. It is the size and shape of the Gibson EB-2d with Gibson electronics and hardware. The differences are the neck size. Gibson is a 30 1/2 in scale, mine is 34". The Gibson is semi hollow, mine is too but with thicker walls, back, and top. The Gibson has a set neck. Mine has a neck through for a more enhanced sustain. Through the center piece of my "Liam" bass Patrick ingeniously cut a few tone ports through. This bass has the absolute BEST tone I have ever heard. The sustain seems to go on forever, and it is very, very powerful. The Bass player in my band has a Fender (American made) Geddy Lee signature series Bass. He plugged my Liam bass in after playing his and nearly had a heart attack at how much louder my bass was. My bass also has some other unique features. Not only does it have a duel adjustable truss rod, it has two smaller rods on either side of the truss rod for more neck stability. This neck will NEVER twist or bend out of shape. Patrick had put a beautiful cherry red supper gloss finish on it. On the head stock were the Gibson logo would be is a Kenpo Crest, the shield of the martial arts style I have my black belt in. He put block inlay markers on the fret board and inscribed in the Chinese characters on our Kenpo Crest meaning fist law, Kenpo Karate. The characters were just enough to put one in each of the inlays. This bass is a work of art, and it plays like it too. I normally I like my action to be as low as possible, though this bass doesn't have the lowest action possible; I really believe it would ruin the sound to have it any lower. It can growl with the best Fender, and it can generate the low end boom like any Gibson, and it can also give that soft tone of an upright bass. I wouldn't trade this bass for anything in this world. Thank you Patrick!!!!
MAKING YOUR DREAM A REALITY
I am currently looking for more musical visionaries to build instruments for — remembering that all good things happen with a simple idea or dream. I invite you to share yours with me.