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Review: Acquired of the Angels by Paul William Schmidt

Review: Acquired of the Angels by Paul William Schmidt

Reviewed by Linda Manzer

Originally published in American Lutherie #59, 1999 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Five, 2008

Acquired of the Angels
Paul William Schmidt
Scarecrow Press, 1998
ISBN 1578860024

In the fall of 1983 I had the good fortune to be invited to study in the shop of James D’Aquisto. I confess that while I knew James D’Aquisto was a respected and famous archtop builder, I didn’t know the half of it when I walked through those doors the first time.

As I worked side by side with him, listening to his stories, watching him work, and watching various characters in his life come through the doors of his workshop, I realized I wasn’t just at a workshop but I was witness to a very magical moment in guitar history.

The tools, the woods, the layout of the shop, the music we listened to, the stories he told, and most of all his guitars, all were another world for me. These impressions were the groundwork for my own path as an archtop builder and for many other builders. So when I learned that Paul William Schmidt had written Acquired of the Angels: The Lives and Works of Master Guitar Makers John D’Angelico and James L. D’Aquisto I was very curious to see how his impressions would compare with mine.

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