Barton Applewhite

The idea for building instruments started during my senior year of high school while trying to draw a logo for my first band during math class. Somehow the ambitious thought of making all of the instruments sprung to mind and the seed was planted. As time went on the idea focused in on building basses and never left. As I continued to play in bands and grow as a musician I found myself emulating the likes of Jaco and Les Claypool so the obvious thing to do was to pull the frets out of my bass and I never looked back.File Sep 06, 10 53 50 AM

After reading Mickey Hart’s “Drumming at The Edge of Magic” I was inspired to build a drum, and as luck would have it I located the book he referenced, “The Ojibwa Dance Drum: Its History and Construction” at the local library and made my first musical instrument. Many other percussion instruments followed, e.g. Shekeres, Bullroarers and a variety of other noise makers. Then one day I saw an article in the local newspaper about the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery guitar making & repair school, made a phone call, took a tour and was signed up all within a day or two. After attending R-V, I went on to tour the country with my semi-successful ska band, Kongo Shock which lasted for about 5 years until the band dissolved. As Bob Marley once vocalized (as well as many others) “When one door is closed, don’t you know another is open”  and a position became available at Roberto-Venn where I am currently the Assistant Director and continue to build my original designs as well as play around locally in my current ska band Mr. Incommunicado.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my work.