Visiting Wayne Henderson: Legendary Musician and Guitar Maker

This summer I had the pleasure to visit the guitar shop of legendary guitar maker and bluegrass musician, Wayne Henderson. Wayne’s shop and home sit along a quiet country rode in the rural village of Rugby, Virginia. Please watch my brief documentary below:

Wayne Henderson’s performance resume stretches from The White House to Carnegie Hall, and all the way to the Queen of England.  He is perhaps even more well-known for his world-class custom-made guitars and mandolins.

Over 500 Henderson Guitars have graced the fingers of world-renowned musicians such as Eric Clapton, Doc Watson, Peter Rowan, Norman Blake, and Brad Paisley.

Here are some Books & CD’s about Wayne that you can click on to check out:

[amazon1]   [amazon2]   [amazon3]

[amazon5]   [amazon4]   [amazon6]

[amazon7]

 

If you’re thinking of purchasing a custom Henderson guitar, then you’d better get in line behind some pretty famous (and wealthy) musicians and collectors.

Wayne’s cozy and tidy shop is filled with guitar parts, unfamiliar tools, and exotic wood. The floor is covered with curly wood – produced by endless hours of hand whittling.

Over the years, the Henderson Guitar shop has become an unofficial pilgrimage stop along the world-famous bluegrass route, known as The Crooked Road. If you come on the right day, it’s likely that you’ll run  into someone famous, such as Doc Watson, a close friend of Wayne.

Over the years Wayne Henderson’s personal apprentice has been his daughter, Elizabeth Henderson. My wife Laura grew up with Elizabeth, and that is how we were introduced to Wayne.

Wayne and Elizabeth have worked together on many guitars, and now Wayne’s reputation for skill and craftsmanship is sticking to Elizabeth. Drop me a line if you’d like to Contact Elizabeth Henderson for a custom-made guitar.

Wayne took time out of his busy schedule to show us around his shop, share some of his special experiences, and pick some amazing songs on his favorite guitars (and a nearly-finished mandolin).

Over a barbeque lunch in his house, Wayne pulled out an old “guitar” that he made when he was 7 or 8 years old. The body was made from a tobacco box, and the string came from fishing line.

He also spoke of his passion for the Boston Red Sox, showed us some of his guns, and strummed some of his favorite guitars that he has made (and kept) over the years. His eyes really lit up when he pulled out “number 400”, a beautiful acoustic guitar, with custom inlays and a sound as warm as the sun. Watch the video to hear a couple songs on this guitar.

We had a great and memorable day with Wayne and Elizabeth Henderson, and hope to return soon! You can learn more about Wayne Henderson Guitars and Wayne’s bluegrass music festival on his website.

Show your support for Wayne & his craftsmanship by checking out some of his Books & CD’s:

[amazon1]   [amazon2]   [amazon3]

[amazon5]   [amazon4]   [amazon6]

[amazon7]

 

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Comments

  1. 1
    Andrea Barnhart says:

    I really enjoyed this article! I would love to visit this shop and meet Wayne and Elizabeth. If I ever get famous (or just rich!), I’ll order something custom-made! My 8-year-old daughter and I liked your video very much.

  2. 2

    Great article and video Josh!

  3. 3

    Great Elizabeth! I always love your blogs!

  4. 5
    Carole Eastridge Waters says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this video article about an incredibly talented man!

  5. 6

    dear wayne, elizabeth and josh,

    my cousin sent me the link to this video and it was a pleasure to watch it.

    • 7

      Thanks for your comment on the Wayne Henderson article/video! (P.S. Sorry for the late reply to your comment..for some reason, these comments haven’t been emailed to me lately).

  6. 8

    My family and I actually did get the chance to meet Wayne and Elizabeth over the summer. It was amazing and made our entire vacation. He played for us, showed us his AMAZING private collection of guitars, guns, and knives. He is so sweet, and we loved it! I am so glad we got to meet him.

  7. 10
    Ronald King says:

    Wayne what is the price of your guitars if I needed on made? Thanks

    • 11

      Sorry Ronald, this isn’t Wayne Henderson’s website…just an article on him. (P.S. Sorry for the late reply to your comment..for some reason, these comments haven’t been emailed to me lately).

  8. 12
    frank Sardina says:

    would like to visit with my 16 year old guitar playing grandson. Says he’d sure like to come.
    Where’s Rugby

  9. 14
    Jarom Richardson says:

    Rugby/Mouth of Wilson in Grayson County is where my dad’s side of the family is from. According to one of my uncles, I am related to Wayne Henderson although I am not sure exactly how. My grandfather, Lacy Richardson, used to play with EC Ball (one of Wayne Henderson’s childhood guitar hero’s) and recorded a few songs with him that you can actually download from iTunes. I think I will go visit him sometime and talk with him while I still can.

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