Dealer Spotlight: Mandolin Brothers

Mandolin Brothers is aptly described as an American institution. This Staten Island, New York store is not only a home where high quality and vintage instruments are sold but where a passion for music still reigns supreme in the heart of founder Stan Jay. “We are passionate about the music that results when a fretted instrument is played in a facile and melodious manner. If there is anything prettier than a soloist who performs instrumental or self accompanies, it is the sound of two guitars played in harmony”, says Jay. It’s this type of intimate connection to the music as both art and expression that sets aside Mandolin Brothers as an international destination for musicians.

Described by many as a kind of mecca for players of everything from guitars to ukuleles, dobros to, of course mandolins. Mandolin Brothers has been a source of instruments for a literal Hall of Fame of musicians the likes of Joni Mitchell, George Harrison, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Bela Fleck and Paul McCartney too name a handful. So much has been said and written about Mandolin Brothers that to describing its singular importance is impossible. And to list its significance would be a considerably lengthy exercise. One thing is clear – as one of the most discerning experts in acoustic instruments, Mandolin Brothers counts Guild Guitars as one of its stalwart residents. The Guild’s live in a room called the “G” room. A room reserved for Gretsch, Gibson and Guild.

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Since the age of 11, Jerry Frazer of Long Beach, CA has been playing the Guild F–30. And not just any F–30 – the very same guitar his grandfather, Andrew Frazier Sr. owned and then passed down to Jerry. Back in 1976, the two set off together to several guitar stores, and after trying out many acoustics, they agreed that the Guild was “the one.”

“It just felt really good,” Frazer says. “It has nice resonant tone. I like the way it sings, and it just plays really well, even after all these years. In fact, I think it’s even better now. The tone just gets better with time – it’s fantastic.”

Frazer grew up in a house full of instruments with a father who also played guitar, so he was exposed to music from an early age. He recalls visits to his grandparents’ house, and the excitement and anticipation of knowing the F–30 was there. “I used to go visit them and I couldn’t wait to play it. I just absolutely loved that guitar.”

Frazer plays mostly blues and rock ’n roll, and has been in several bands over the years. But even after all his experience with different music and different guitars, he still comes back to the Guild as his go–to guitar.

“As far as an acoustic, the F–30 is all I need. I’ve never had the urge to go and buy another acoustic. And I’m hard on them, believe me – I beat them up,” he laughs.

Frazer has an eight–year–old son and a six–year–old daughter, who he reports have taken up a strong interest in the guitar. “I’ll hand the guitar down to my kids at some point, I’m sure,” he says. “I started playing as soon as I could walk, and to see them so interested already is amazing.”

– Jerry Frazer, Long Beach, Calif.