Comments: Coffeehousin'

Wow! That is superb stuff. What guitar is Sugarchuck playing?

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at October 25, 2012 2:54 PM

That lovely thang is a Dobro, and, as Rick Okasec might say "I think she used to be mine." (Our guitars are so inbred and fluid anymore I can never tell. I certainly never got very far with slide.)

The resonator was developed before electric amplification to make a louder guitar (yay!) but found a home in blues and bluegrass with slide players.

Posted by jk at October 25, 2012 3:42 PM

More precisely, I believe it's a "National" guitar. They made the all steel type, while Dobro was a wooden body guitar. (A high school buddy owned (owns?) one and I helped him shop for it.)

Posted by johngalt at October 25, 2012 3:52 PM

And yes, Mollie is rapidly rising through the ranks of "Top Five Vocalists" on The Virtual Coffeehouse. One question: "Dangerbucket" - stage name?

And a bonus link: Shining Like a National Guitar

Posted by johngalt at October 25, 2012 3:56 PM


Since National had applied for a patent on the single cone (US patent #1,808,756), Dopyera had to develop an alternative design, which he did by inverting the cone so that rather than having the strings rest on the apex of the cone as the National method did, they rested on a cast aluminum spider that had eight legs sitting on the perimeter of the downward-pointing cone (US patent #1,896,484).

I thought it was pretty clear that the cone was inverted and not the strings resting on the Apex, but maybe it's hard to see in the video...


Posted by jk at October 25, 2012 4:01 PM

Ah, I thought it was metal.

Play me a song, Curtis Lowe, Curtis Lowe
I got your drinkin' money, tune up your Dobro.

I always loved that tune.

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at October 25, 2012 4:02 PM

Waited a while for SC to come to my defense but maybe it ain't happening. Are you saying Dobro made a steel body model too?

Posted by johngalt at October 26, 2012 3:18 PM
In the following years both Dobro and National built a wide variety of metal- and wood-bodied single-cone guitars...
This instrument actually says "Dobro" on the headstock. Sorry, man, I think the President may send Seals for you first... Posted by jk at October 26, 2012 3:39 PM

Well I did leave myself a weasel word: "believe."

And if you want the president to send troops to protect you don't yell "terrorists!" yell "contraception!"

Posted by johngalt at October 26, 2012 6:54 PM

Sorry to be so late to the table. JK is correct; when we were kids the term "dobro" was a generic reference to any guitar, metal or wood, that had a resonator. One often heard guitars referred to as National dobros. A few years ago Gibson bought Dobro and started suing the pants off of anyone that used the term "dobro" unless it was used specifically in relation to Gibson products so the new generic term is resophonic guitar. Maybe they deserved the SWAT team after all.

JK is also correct on the guitar's provenance. He bought it sometime in the late 70's and I got it from him in the early 80's, after cracking the headstock. I broke it then bought it. Mollie broke the headstock completely off when she was 2, so at some point I guess she'll have to buy it from me.

Posted by Sugarchuck at October 26, 2012 10:27 PM
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