Glenn Hill Jr.
Glen Hill Jr. builds custom hollow-body guitars by hand, tailored for modern performers and inspired by vintage construction honed by luthiers over centuries. He fell in love with the art of luthiery after many years playing guitar and slowly learning how to fix the parts of his instruments that wore out from use, and since 2015 has been working to make building guitars and playing music his sole source of income through his brand, SonnyBoy Guitars. He uses maple and black walnut he gathers from the Adirondacks, not far from his home in Akwesasne. His guitars are included in the permanent collections of the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum and the Adirondack Experience.
SonnyBoy guitars are hand-carved using high figured wood, utilizing the naturally occurring wood grain patterns, as well as wood inlay and colored paints and dyes to create unique designs, some of which incorporate visual elements from Mohawk culture. Glenn considers building guitars an intimate experience in which the wood reveals its sonic possibilities as he goes through the process of carving and sanding. Maple has a bright sound, for instance, while mahogany is dark and warm. He compares investing in a handmade guitar to the appeal of a custom car: “You can have a Mustang, but if you want it to be different from the rest, if you want it to stand out, you have to customize it a bit.”
› Listen: Project Antelope Presents Glenn Hill Jr.