I just received my 4th Calton Case, and have a 5th on order. Calton Cases, in my opinion, offer the best protection, the highest level of customizability, and the peace of mind that I want when it comes to protecting my instruments from any accident that could come their way. The fit and finish of each case is spot on, and the team at Calton is one of the most dedicated and friendly groups of music and gear lovers around. You can tell how much love and care goes into each and every aspect of the cases. From the ordering process, measuring, final delivery, instrument fit, and case performance Calton Cases are best in class. I am incredibly proud to be a part of the Calton Case family and couldn’t think of a better home for the instruments that I love so much.
I actually remember the first tape, yes cassette tape, I purchased; it was Pearl Jam’s Ten. I was in the 5th or 6th grade and that’s what hooked me on music, but really only as a listener. I went on to become a devout metal head throughout high school (and even still for the record). I started guitar later in my life (my first year of college) and that was the moment my ears were opened to so many other genres. What really sank the hook for me musically, was my first “music” job at the Old Town School of Folk music in Chicago. It was there that I got bit by the acoustic music bug and there was no turning back from that moment forward.
My greatest inspiration is my Dad. Both he and my mom have supported me every step of the way through life, but also in music. My Dad was the one that got me started on guitar by teaching me the descending bass portion of the Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” Beyond that, he continually has shown me that music is something to find joy in, whether listening or playing. I know that may sound very “pie in the sky” or even cliche, but whether him and I were listening to records at home, seeing a show together, or jamming it was always about fun and enjoyment…. something I know I’ll always carry with me.
To be honest, keeping the show under an hour. Once I get talking about guitars, artists, and gear I feel like I enter a time warp of sorts.
There are so many it’s difficult to pick just one. Tony’s Acoustic Challenge is unique in that it helps members of all levels to truly achieve their goals by focusing on a regular and consistent guitar routine that works for each member’s unique situation. If I was to pick one favorite story line it has to be the magic that happens every year at our annual Acoustic Life Festival. Each year 100 plus Tony’s Acoustic Challenge members come to Bozeman to live their best Acoustic Life for 3 days. The festival culminates with open mics and group performances and to date every participant has played on stage in front of their fellow guitar geeks. This is a major accomplishment for each and every member and especially for those who may have held the self limiting belief that they would never have the courage to perform or play live. It is so inspiring to see players of all ages get up on stage and for many of them live out their guitar dream scene.
Holy smokes I’l try my best to narrow this list down. Here goes nothin’: Kelly Joe Phelps, Molly Tuttle, Tony Rice, Dead Horses, Charlie Parr, Caitlin Canty, Antoine Dufour, Gwenifer Raymond, Slipknot and Lamb of God (I told you I was still a metal head), Colter Wall, Riddy Arman and Kiki Cavazos (both incredible Montana singer songwriters), Will McNicol, Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley… and the list continues on and on.
Well, I can say there’s been quite a bit of guitar time. I’ve been writing lessons for Tony’s Acoustic Challenge and working on writing material for my next album. Along with guitar time, my wife Whitney and I are prepping for the arrival of a new baby. I do have to say I feel an extreme amount of gratitude for both my family and guitars during this rather odd time in history.
Only 3?!?!?! Ok here goes:
– Custom Bourgeois OMSC (Torrefied Italian Spruce top with Cocobolo back and sides) I recorded nearly my entire album, Rodent, on this guitar.
– Beard Guitars Josh Swift Squareneck Resonator (All solid maple). An absolute hoss of a resonator guitar, and quite the looker too.
– Tom Sands Custom Model L… I don’t even have this guitar yet, but I am so looking forward to it. I’ve picked out the specs and I am beyond excited to have a guitar made by a friend and one of today’s premier boutique guitar builders. This guitar will have a master grade European Spruce top and Macassar Ebony Back and Sides.
– (I have to mention one more) Thompson D-CMA (Adirondack Spruce Top and Cuban Mahogany back and sides). So much horsepower with this dreadnought… I am continually blown away at the depth of tone and power this instrument has.
This is a great story… I remember back at the Old Town School of Folk Music my dobro teacher, Rob Anderlik, had a Calton case and from that moment I was smitten with them. After that I went to the Rocky Grass bluegrass festival, I believe in 2010 or so, and I saw Calton cases everywhere. Those two moments cemented the need for a Calton in my mind, but it wasn’t until some years later that I got my first of four (and counting) Calton cases. The funny thing is that it started simply by just wanting a Calton because I thought they looked incredible, but then as I started to perform more and tour, the true need for a Calton arose. I choose Calton Cases simply because I feel they offer the best protection for my instruments… period. The fact that the instruments that I love so much and use to make a living are safe and sound in a Calton brings me the ultimate peace of mind. I have flown with Caltons, I have driven with Caltons, I have accidentally dropped a Calton… and every single time the instrument in the case survived unscathed. Plain and simple, Calton Cases keep my instruments safe and in the best playing shape possible.
The ultimate vision for both Acoustic Tuesday and Tony’s Acoustic Challenge is to unite guitar geeks across the entire world. I want guitar players of all backgrounds and experience levels to come together, lift one another up, and to help each other attain their unique guitar goals. I would love for all viewers of the Acoustic Tuesday show and members of Tony’s Acoustic Challenge to find the true joy and fulfillment that they want out of their unique guitar journey. That could mean simply having a guitar hobby and routine that makes them happy or it could mean learning a song to play for their family or perform at an open mic. Bottom line, I want to help facilitate guitar geeks finding joy, happiness, and fulfillment in their guitar journey by supporting them with the Acoustic Tuesday show and Tony’s Acoustic Challenge.
Hmmm I think one thing that some folks may not know about me is that along with Tony’ Acoustic Challenge and The Acoustic Tuesday Show, I write and record my own music. To date I’ve released 3 solo albums all of which can be found at scratchfootacoustics.com. My most recent release, Rodent (Feb. 2020) is near and dear to my heart as it helped me through a difficult personal time. It’s an album that I am very proud of and am excited to be sharing with the world.
“I’ve been using Calton cases since about 1988, when I used to get them from Al Williams in Calgary, Canada. Every case I got was custom fitted to the shape and size of my various instruments. Not to sound too much like a beer commercial, but they were, and still are as good as it gets.”
“‘I first started using Calton Cases 7 years ago. I am endlessly impressed by the build quality, fit and customer service that the team continues to deliver. We hand-build instruments for musicians all over the world and I believe that there is no better case to protect these instruments on their travels.”
“In my opinion, Caltons are the hardest-working cases out there. Working with the Calton team is a joy, and they jump through hoops to make sure I’m satisfied. I didn’t really appreciate how tough these cases are, until I shipped a guitar in a lesser case and it ended up getting damaged. With Calton, it’s one less thing I have to think about.”
“I get more comments these days on my cases than the guitars that are in them! They bring me great enjoyment to me and I feel fortunate to have a connection with such a great company. I highly recommend them and have fun picking out your case!”
“If for whatever reason I can’t get it in the overhead and they make me gate check it or check it in, I can feel incredibly comfortable knowing it’s going to be safe in the case.”
“I was one of the people that thought Calton Cases were too expensive, that is until I bought a guitar that required a special made case. After looking through my options, I decided to take the dive. After getting the case and witnessing the craftsmanship firsthand, I was a fan. I now own two cases and have experienced one very rough handling on a flight. The airline managed to gouge and scrape the case and obviously dropped it in the process. The case cleaned up well and my irreplaceable guitar was left unharmed. Thank you, Calton for your dedication to keeping our instruments safe.”
“Absolutely the best case on this planet! If you love your instrument you will get one!”
“I bought a Calton Case for my custom made banjo and it’s a great fit! Extremely protective and durable. I love the big pocket and soft interior lining. I highly recommend Calton cases to anybody looking for something that will keep your instrument looking like new!”
“Calton Cases are handmade in downtown Austin, Texas by a group of dedicated professionals who are committed to providing an excellent product to their customers, and to being a contributing part of the Austin community. They are making incredible cases that will protect your investments in prized musical instruments, and they are super friendly. I had a great visit to their shop when I purchased my case for my Gibson ES335, which is amazing. I strongly recommend protecting your investment with one of these terrific cases.”
“I’ve always wanted a Calton and finally bit the bullet and ordered one. I got my Calton banjo case last week and it is great! My banjo fits perfectly and I feel like I could drive a truck over this thing. I’m really digging the new design of Calton’s cases. I am proud to support an AMERICAN owned and operated company. I will be ordering a case for my guitar later this year.”
“I love my Calton Mandolin case! It has served me well and protects my Gibson F-12 great when traveling far or near! Never leave home without it and would buy again in a heartbeat!”
“I just finished backing over my Martin guitar with my van like a moron. Thank goodness it was safely tucked into its Calton case. Case needs hinge repaired, guitar is still perfect.”
“I just flew today with my guitar. It was reassuring to know I had my precious instrument secure in the strongest possible case on the market. I own several other brands of cases but it was a no brainer on which case to fly with. Calton Deluxe all the way.”
“Calton Cases have been doing a fine job of protecting both of my McCollums, for years. So far neither severe weather exposure nor airline bagging handling has been able to surmount their stalwart defense of my best instruments.”
“I have two Caltons for two of my lifetime guitars. They are both very secure and perfect fitting, super durable, and I couldn’t be happier… Can’t recommend them enough. The peace of mind I have with them is totally worth it.”