Music And Meat
Austin company launches handcrafted guitars inspired by local barbecue joints
Austinites adore many things including, but not limited to, breakfast tacos, beer, dogs and being outdoors. But is there anything we love more than barbecue and music? Probably not.
For its newest line of custom-made guitars, Austin-based Moniker Guitars is taking our barbecue-and-music love affair even further. Started in 2012 by co-owners Kevin Tully and Dave Barry, Moniker is a web-based business that allows customers to build one-of-a-kind specialty guitars.
Via Kickstarter, the company is launching its Texas BBQ Series, which pays homage to the national cuisine of Texas with custom-made guitars inspired by the famous barbecue joints that call the Austin area home.
Moniker uses specialty wood, antiqued hardware — and even real Black's barbecue rub — to handcraft guitars that sound like heaven and look like Texas.
Hoping to capture the gritty aesthetic of places like Black's Barbecue, Stubb's and Iron Works, the crew uses specialty wood, antiqued hardware — and even real Black's barbecue rub — to handcraft guitars that sound like heaven and look like Texas. (Which may in fact be the same place.)
Moniker hopes to use the funds from its Texas BBQ Series and Kickstarter to branch beyond its South Austin warehouse.
"We love when our customers purchase our guitars through our website, but to grow our business we want to have select retailers across the country working ... face to face to design the perfect Moniker guitar," explains the company. Moniker plans on using the funds to establish a network of interested retailers, attend trade shows and travel.
So why barbecue? "The inspiration for the project comes from wanting to build a guitar that captures the Austin aesthetic — a little worn, a little dusty, and natural looking with wood grain and earthy colors," explains Moniker co-owner Kevin Tully.
"We latched on to the 'BBQ' theme because barbecue is another part of Austin that we love and, of course, barbecue is a little sloppy, a little messy and conjures up images of wood and other natural elements in the process."
On Tuesday, December 9, the local music community (and its adoring supporters) gathered in celebration of this uniquely Austin endeavor. Hosted by Big Green House and CultureMap, the party featured barbecue from Black's Barbecue (including a very special appearance from third generation pitmaster Kent Black), drinks from Deep Eddy, Guns & Oil and Dos Equis — and multiple impromptu jam sessions featuring Moniker guitars.
Spotted among the crowd were Austin music mavens including Nakia, The Octopus Project's Yvonne Lambert, TotoMiranda and JoshLambert, DanielleThomas of Big Green House, KUTX's LaurieGallardo, Senior Executive Director of Recording Academy of Texas Theresa Jenkins, andThe Wind and the Wave's PattyJenkins and KevinManchester.
Moniker Guitars is currently auctioning off a donated guitar via CultureMap. Part of the Texas BBQ series, the company used real Black's barbecue sauce to create the color. For more information, please go here.