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.”
“Time and time again my Calton has provided protection for my Collings D-2HBaaaA. Be it an accidental tipping over to an unruly handler putting it through it’s paces my Calton never fails. I wouldn’t leave the house without my prized guitar fully protected by my Calton I call “Bumble Bee”. Thanks Calton!
“I could not be more impressed with my Calton experience. Matt was incredibly easy to work with, and answered all of my questions, including random ones about the NASA sticker. The case itself far exceeded my expectations. On top of being tough as nails and sturdier than I had hoped, it is functional. It has more than enough room for multiple sets of strings, my capo, strap, tuner, cable, batteries, picks, string winder, pliers, and it all stays secure. I live in the high plains of Wyoming, and my Hummingbird has suffered some major dryness damage over the past couple of years. Now that it’s been restored, there is no other case I would trust except my Calton Gibson Signature series case.”
“My Calton mando case has been up and down the eastern seaboard and all to many times did the band leader rent a vehicle that was smaller than a tuna can. As my luck would always have it, my mando would be stacked at the top of the pile of gear and luggage. I don’t have enough fingers or toes to count the times that case would would take a tumble to the pavement when the hatch would be opened. That case has saved my cherished mando that to this day, haven’t played enough gigs to pay back what I spent for it. Maybe one day I’ll be good enough or play something of note that could help me get another Calton for my second mandolin. Until then, I’ll be rubbin pennies together to make dimes and saving for my next Calton. Thanks for building a tank and keep up the great work!”
“As I understand it, my Calton was the very first holographic glitter case made, before it was a color option. I spent weeks trying to decide what color glitter I wanted (obviously I was going to get glitter!) until one day the rep I was working with called and told me they had the PERFECT color and I should come down and see it. It’s protected my Taylor and my Gibson on many a flight, gives me peace of mind that when I do have to gatecheck my gear will.still be intact by the time I get to the gig, and it still makes me irrationally happy every time I see it. It was way cool to get to meet (and show off the new color) Mr. Calton himself!”
“I use the extra large mandolin case and it’s about twice as thick as the regular model. This case is a tank, yet light weight. I prefer to keep the tonegaurd on the back of the mandolin and this case allows it to fit snug without taking the tonegaurd off. I live in a walkable city, Charleston SC, and I have the luxury of walking across town with my mandolin strapped to my back to perform. A 30 min walk with a Calton strapped to my back is not a big deal and better than the gym! Speaking of durability, I have a toddler. Ever since he has been able to walk and get into things, he has V-lined for the Calton. He likes to walk on it, jump on it (or jump off) and even thinks he can be like his dad and pick it up. One can imagine, having a very nice mandolin yet the case allows a toddler to be destructive with out harm to the mandolin! I can not give enough praise to Calton for this. I want my son to be comfortable around the mandolin so one day he will have interest to play. Having the case available to peak his curiosity yet safe where he can not damage the mandolin. The locks are perfectly stiff as well. I mean by this is that I am able to open the case, but my son is not. I do not have to lock it. Thank y’all so much and look forward to many mandolins and guitars cased in a Calton! Sandy”
“As a traveling musician nothing is more important that getting to your gig with your instrument safe and. I am a banjo player and own several Calton cases. Calton cases are so good if your instrument is in tune when you put it in the case more times than not it’s in tune when you get it out of the case. Second to none quality, with awesome appearances as well!”
“I was touring in a bluegrass band and our vehicle was an ancient camper van. While we were unloading for one of our gigs, my mandolin which was stored on top of all the other equipment fell 8 feet to the asphalt. I quickly opened my Calton case and found my mandolin to be perfectly fine and still completely in tune. I know I never have to worry about my mandolins well being when it is in a Calton case.”
“20 some odd years ago, I was playing a Bluegrass Festival near Colorado Springs. We camped in a tent, my beloved Martin was in the back end of my car. When we got up the next morning to play, my Martin seemed sopping wet! We went to the nearest Holiday inn and borrowed some towels to dry off the guitar. Later that summer, I was performing as a drummer at the Days of 47 Rodeo in Salt Lake City. I stopped into an acoustic guitar shop run by Larry Pattis. He had 2 Calton cases that he said were “watertight” and would protect my guitars. I spent nearly all my Rodeo Concert money and bought both Calton Cases. I still have them! Currently I am a Guitar Instructor for the US Government, Bureau of Indian Education. I have 9 Calton cases in my collection. 3 Martins, A Taylor 914CE, 1 Goodall and a Ryan Nightengale and my Gibson Earl Scruggs Golden Banjo are among the instruments protected by Calton Cases”
“I never thought I’d own a guitar expensive enough to justify owning a Calton. Turns out, there is not a guitar I own that I can afford to NOT have in a Calton.”
“I have two Carlton cases for two of my banjos ,and have travelled to the Usa,Canada,France,Holland and Oman with them ,and never had any worries, or suffered any damage.One winter, after rehearsals I slipped on the ice and went head over tail and my Nechville went flying and the case landed upside down! Although the case is now slightly scratched ,the banjo is unscathed !! Top banana !!!”
“As a touring musician traveling over 200 dates per year, I count on my Calton Case to keep my Collings D2H and my Gibson J45 safe. Whether I am flying or driving to gigs, I always feel comfortable and safe with my guitars in Calton Cases. After having several guitars damaged by airlines and the rigors of touring, I believe Calton Cases are totally worth the investment. Not to mention, I get compliments on the looks and design of the case all the time!”
“So I ordered a custom built Collings guitar last May… and I figured… with an investment like that I had better put it in a Calton Case! … and here how I came to that conclusion… I live in Wilkesboro, NC where the legendary Merle Watson Bluegrass Festival takes place. I mention this, because there are a lot of great players that live here and come through this area, and a lot of them like nice guitars. In particular, a lot of them play the “vintage”, “Pre-War”, “when dinosaurs roamed the earth”, Martin guitars that cost like a bazillion dollars!!! And you know what I noticed about all of these flamin’ flat pickers and their guitars? They all carry those old dinosaur Martins that cost a bazillion dollars around in Calton Cases! You know why? Because, Calton Cases are built like a Sherman Tank, and like the late great John Wayne… they aren’t takin’ no crap of of nobody… or no thing! So, I told myself that one day when I got a really nice guitar, I was going to get a me a Calton Case to put it in for safe and happy travels… and you know what? That is exactly what I did! I couldn’t be happier with my new guitar, or the fact that it sleeps in a Calton Case! I know that in that case, there it slumbers, safe and secure from all alarms, just like the faithful old hymn says! Not only is my guitar sleeping safe and sound in the security of a Calton Case, it’s also looking all “fly” with its custom paint job. Even my wife, for the first time ever, seemed interested in a piece of music gear that I have purchased! I want to give a shout out to Calton Cases… Calton Cases!!! Woot! Woot! … for creating something that has both form and function…. for creating something that goes above and beyond the call of duty… and for just flat out making a great product that is worth getting excited about! Calton Cases. Made right here in The Good Ole U – S – of – A!!! In all seriousness, thank you to Calton Cases for making a great product. I feel very blessed to be able to own one. They really are the best thing on the market, and it’s not even close. The craftsmanship is second to none. Glad and proud to support a company like this. Thank you.”
“I have had my Calton tenor banjo case for over 20 years. It was made in the UK, and was secondhand when I bought it although it looked brand new. It protects my precious Ome Mogul banjo, and they have travelled the world together.”
“I cannot recommend a Calton case enough. For those of us who deeply love our killer instruments, only a killer case will suffice. From drop protection to water protection to crush protection, a Calton continues to be the best insurance policy you can take out on a high-quality instrument. Not only are Calton’s worth every penny will pay for themselves in a short amount of time but their staff is incredibly knowledgeable about every aspect of instrument handling and make buying such a vital part of an instruments life easy and pleasurable. Do right by your axe: get a Calton.”
“I custom ordered my first Calton new in October 2020. I have owned many high end guitars over the years, but have always been underwhelmed by the stock cases that came with them, especially compared to the quality of the guitar. However, when I finally bought my dream guitar – a new Brazilian rosewood Santa Cruz OM – I wanted the absolute best case available for it. I am a player, not a collector, so I need a case that will let me safely travel with my dream guitar. One where I do not have to worry about physical damage and temporary exposure to changes in humidity or temperature. After a lot of research, I decided on a Calton. Calton provided the best protection and looks flat out awesome. Mine has a grey exterior and deep blue interior, and looks just as refined and high end as the guitar inside. I could not be happier with my Calton.”
“I purchased a Calton (black with green interior) when I purchased my Martin D-42. I knew I wanted to take the guitar everywhere and the stock plastic case wasn’t going to cut it. True to the marketing, the case is virtually indestructible and has survived car trips, airport baggage handlers, you name it. The latches are tight and dependable, the interior fits my dreadnought like a glove, and the humidity and temp inside the case stays uniformly even throughout the day. Overall, I couldn’t be happier and highly recommend for the musician traveler. I’m even considering a second one for my National Style O.”
“Purchasing my first vintage guitar last year (a ’53 D18) was a BIG deal. Not only was it a pretty big purchase financially, but I also saw it as a big responsibility. I was now going to be the caretaker of an incredible irreplaceable 70 year old instrument. Obviously I wanted to protect it and care for it, but I also didn’t want to constantly WORRY about it. So I put it in a Calton. Easiest decision ever. It’s safe, it’s protected, and I get to be worry free. No better case than a Calton.”
“I love my fire engine red Calton case with black interior, original to my 2000 Gilchrist Model 5 mandolin, purchased through Carmel Music. Sill looking forward to updating to the new slightly larger Calton F-5 case as soon as it’s available in the Bronze textured glitter finish! Cheers, Dou”
“I have had my case for over a year now and it has saved me guitar on multiple occasions. Wouldn’t buy any other case!”
“I’ve always wanted a bulletproof case for my bass guitars. Something I could throw in the back of a truck, the band trailer, or whatever, and not have to worry. For years, my only options were the flimsy offerings from SKB and Gator. Finally Calton arrived with their Jazz Bass case! I was excited, but a little hesitant to buy since I also play P-style basses and Music Mans. After pulling the trigger, I was pleasantly surprised it fit several basses; including Jazz, P, Music Man Stingrays, G&Ls, and even oddballs like Kubicki, Fender JP-90s, and P-Bass Lytes! Talk about bang for the buck!”
“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!”
“I came to Calton looking for a case that would provide life-long security and protection, especially for flights. I have a vintage Gibson guitar and am unable to purchase tickets for it on every flight I take. The representative I spoke to about this was incredibly kind, attentive and made sure I was satisfied with the custom look and feel of the case. My guitar fits in the case perfectly snug, the clasps are tight, the hinges and fabric feel very high quality and the outside is built like a tank. On top of it all, the case showed very little signs of wear after my guitar was in checked luggage for a 6 hour flight. I am convinced that Calton cases are a valuable investment for any musician.”
“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 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.”
“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 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.”
“I really have to say everyone at Calton has been so helpful and knowledgeable right from the get go! I first got in touch about placing an order using the chat portal on the website, and Brock replied almost instantly answering all my questions and even going to extra lengths to verify colours from a Facebook picture I had seen! The ordering process was so simple and clear and I really appreciated the help in choosing the “template” for my fiddle, Brock helped me out based on my own rough measurements! The process was quick and the wait was understandable, but My order is currently on route to Ireland (and cheers to Matt for helping me track it down…!) and I’m extremely excited to get it! I’m hoping it’ll arrive this week and can’t wait to share some pictures with you folks over on Instagram! Here’s Hoping it’ll be here in time to feature on my new album cover and I’ve a few stickers here I’ve been saving up to go in the back!”