Current Projects and News

1. Currently on the Bench
I have been busy bringing an F5 mandolin to completion, including using stainless steel frets for the first time.

I have also been busily carving soundboards and backboards and a neck in preparation for a custom order, which will start in the new year 2016.

2. Australian Bluegrass and Banjo Conference – Maleny 2014
The annual Australian Bluegrass & Banjo Conference was again held in December 2014 at Tranquil Park Resort in Maleny, Queensland. Dunn Mandolins had a promotional stand at a prominent position right next to the stage where student and instructors performed each night. We were blessed by having the Kruger Brothers from the USA participate in the conference and they did this with all the enthusiasm and energy that these great musicians could provide. We were all touched by their humility and willingness to pass on their knowledge and skills to us all. Jens and Uwe Kruger, Joel Landsberg, Ross Nickerson, Mark Miracle, Gary Vann and other tutors all provided excellent workshops again.

The Company, excelled as the "house" band and I again had the honour of performing a song with them at the student's concert.

This conference is run by Peter Nahuysen of Bellbird Banjos with help from others and also supported two great public concerts. While there will be no conference this year (Peter deserves a rest), we are hoping that it will be back in 2016 with more great talent and tutors. Keep up to date by checking Peter’s website, www.bellbirdbanjos.com

3. Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festivals
We displayed again at the annual Gold Coast Acoustic Music Festival on 19th and 20th September 2015 and received excellent feedback and encouragement. This festival gets better every year, so check out the website, www.coastacoustics.com.au.

In late November, we travelled to Harrietville in the Victorian Alps for the third annual Mountaingrass Bluegrass and Old Time Festival and set up the tent again, with two mandolins and one fiddle on display. This festival gets bigger and better every year and attracts top acts from the USA. This year, Chris Henry and the Hardcore Grass, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, Orpheus Supertones and others wowed the festival goers as well as Australian super acts such as the Davison Brothers, Bluegrass Parkway and many more. Check out the festival website www.mountaingrass.com.au.

My instruments were well received at Mountaingrass, especially when Chris Henry played my A5 at his Monroe Mandolin workshop on the Sunday. I received an order for a custom-built F5 mandolin at the festival, to be made ready by the next Mountaingrass.

4. Gibson ES-335 Tribute Guitar
Apart from Bluegrass music, my other music passion is the Blues. Having witnessed many great blues guitarists playing the iconic guitars over the years, one stood out to me – the Gibson ES-335 , especially the 1959 dot inlay version which was the pinnacle of Gibson's development of the semi-acoustic partly hollow - bodied / archtop electric guitars.

In between mandolins in 2012, I researched the building of one of these, thinking that it would not be dissimilar to building a mandolin, but on a bigger scale.

I researched the building of jazz guitars but eventually found a builder in Traverse City, Michigan USA, who specialized in Gibson ES-335's and he was exceptionally helpful in my little side-track.

The guitar was finally finished in July 14, after it was a promised loan to the lead guitarist / vocalist of a band with members from three states holding a reunion gig in Brisbane. It has proven to be an outstanding success as a tribute to the famous 1959 Gibson model.

5. Workshop Tour
My workshop is in my home in Ascot, Queensland, an inner suburb very close to the Brisbane CBD. I have gathered the majority of specialist luthier's tools and also have access to specialist services as required. There are some photos here of my time spent with Roger Siminoff while training under him in California, USA.