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This site is dedicated to the memory of Paco de Lucía, Ron Mitchell, Guy Williams, Linda Elvira, Philip John Lee, Craig Eros, Ben Woods, David Serva and Tom Blackshear who went ahead of us.

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El Burdo

 

Posts: 630
Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

Tom Blackshear 

I often wondered how he was getting along of late. I'm not sure the forum treated him well in recent years. Maybe it was right, but it seemed a little cruel to me. He'll leave a name though.

"SAD NEWS. TOM PASSED AWAY ON 6/29/2023" from https://tomblackshearguitarbuilder.weebly.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 3 2023 20:13:55
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 914
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

Oh that is sad news. RIP Master Tom. I am sure your spirit will live on through your guitars and infamous Reyes plan.

_____________________________

Classical and Flamenco Guitars www.EdenGuitars.co.uk
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 3 2023 20:58:15
 
davewphx

Posts: 126
Joined: Jul. 11 2011
 

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

Sad news, I hope his last days were peaceful. I enjoyed reading his posts. Rip Tom.

_____________________________

Dave
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 3 2023 21:37:10
 
RobF

Posts: 1602
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

My condolences to his family and friends. I enjoyed reading his posts and the conversations we had. I benefited from the knowledge he shared and made good use of his plan on more than one occasion.

RIP Tom and thanks.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2023 3:25:47
 
ernandez R

Posts: 724
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

And so it goes.

The world does seem a little less bright knowing Tom is no longer in it…

He loved to build flamenco guitars.

He loved to share his knowledge.

I will raise up a glass in his name, won’t you join me?


HR

Oh ya, hundreds of Blackshear guitars will sing out throughout the decades henceforth, will any of us be so fortunate?

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2023 3:50:12
 
Echi

 

Posts: 1108
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

May he rest in peace and condolences for those who were close to him.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2023 5:59:39
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1739
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

That is sad news.
R.I.P. Tom, you where here for a long time.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2023 7:54:45
 
mango

Posts: 158
Joined: Apr. 2 2019
 

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

RIP Tom. Thanks for your tips and advices when I started to built guitars.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2023 8:22:26
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3456
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

I didn't know Tom or have much interaction with him, but he was a long-time presence on the Foro. RIP and condolences to his family.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2023 13:04:36
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14627
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

quote:

ORIGINAL: El Burdo

I often wondered how he was getting along of late. I'm not sure the forum treated him well in recent years. Maybe it was right, but it seemed a little cruel to me. He'll leave a name though.

"SAD NEWS. TOM PASSED AWAY ON 6/29/2023" from https://tomblackshearguitarbuilder.weebly.com/


I for one thought he was not respected as much, at least his build ideas, and when I tried his guitars found that they were in a different high level of quality. Also got to try a guitar he “fixed” with his tuning method and it absolutely was rendered a better responding instrument from the standard I was familiar with (Pedro de Miguel). He was very kind to me off line as well. Glad he shared those final builds with us on YouTube. He will be greatly missed around here.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2023 14:49:01
 
silddx

Posts: 562
Joined: May 8 2012
From: London

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

I am very saddened to hear this. I greatly enjoyed his thoughts and videos. 'Welcome to the shop o' Tom Blackshear' is something I'll always remember. Sympathies to his friends and family.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2023 17:48:13
 
FERREREZAKI

Posts: 64
Joined: Jul. 10 2013
 

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

Sorry to hear the news.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2023 20:29:56
 
JasonM

Posts: 2037
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

Oh no! Glad to have known Tom through the forum and for him sharing his information, and all the questions I asked him working from his plan!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 6 2023 14:46:32
 
Escribano

Posts: 6415
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

I have put his name in our memorium at the top of each page.

_____________________________

Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 6 2023 16:46:43
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1739
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to Escribano

Nice gesture Simon, may the list stay short for a long time.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 6 2023 20:58:56
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3415
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

I first met Tom in the 1970s. Jerry Lobdill (RIP), then president of the old Austin Guitar Society, brought Tom in for a talk on guitar making. At that time Tom was voicing his guitars by sanding specific spots on the sound boards.Having no background in physics, Tom had to devise his own vocabulary for changes in tone quality. I couldn’t make heads or tails of what he said, until near the end of his talk. Then I realized that the places he was pointing to were the nodes and antinodes of the soundboard’s modes of vibration. I admired his ability to find these empirically, though I assumed he never thought of it that way.

I next encountered Tom here on the Foro. I followed his thread on the construction of a cedar/ Indian “Miguel Rodriguez” model classical. After he strung it up the sound intrigued me. Tom’s house and shop in San Antonio were only a couple of hours from my house in northwest Austin, so I made an appointment and drove down to hear it in person. I took the spruce/Brazilian Abel Garcia classical and the Arcangel Fernandez blanca to compare. Tom posted he would only sell for cash, so I left the house with some in my pocket.

Tom said mine were good guitars, but implied that his was as good or better. I liked his well enough to buy it. He threw in a Visesnut case for the price he quoted.

Googling yesterday I ran across a thread on Delcamp which listed the guitars I owned at the time (omitting a spruce/ Brazilian Contreras Sr. Doble Tapa) and quoted me saying on the Foro that I preferred Tom’s above the others. I tried but failed to find the post on the Foro. I can’t deny saying it, but my settled opinion is that the ‘73 Romanillos is the best guitar I have ever owned, though I agree with Antigoni Goni that it is hard to play. Your right hand has to be exactly right.

Tom’s “Rodrguez” is loud, brilliant, capable of a fairly wide tonal range, and is easy to play. Slightly uneven notes continue to improve with age and playing. There have been weeks at a time when it was the most played classical. The Garcia is very different, but at least as good. The Romanillos can be better if I can get my right hand used to it.

Tom’s guitar making philosophy was different from that of any other successful luthier I have known. He wasn’t looking for a distinct personal sound or design. He was interested in understanding the work of a few Spanish masters. He made copies and worked until he felt he understood the design and could produce a good sound. His voicing method shifted to sanding or shaving the fan braces. Describing a “Rodriguez” model he had for sale, Richard Brune said Tom’s guitars were sometimes better than the originals. Brune may be the only dealer I would believe, saying that about an instrument he was selling. Personally, I have never played a real Miguel Rodriguez.

After I bought the guitar we settled in for the first of several two- to three-hour conversations. We talked mostly about guitars, makers and players, many of mutual acquaintance. I visited Tom on several more occasions. A few times he brought up topics I had my doubts about, but generally I let them pass. A few times we disagreed, but maintained a conversational rapport. I thought we were both old enough to cut each other a little slack once in a while.

Tom had a loving wife, loving and loyal children. He was a devout Christian, but he never pushed it with me.

I will miss him.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 7 2023 2:06:45
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3456
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to Richard Jernigan

A very nice eulogy for Tom, Richard.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 7 2023 17:48:15
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14627
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

Just wanted to share a pic in honor of mr. Blackshear. This is my guitar student, and she played classical on this Blackshear she is holding and it was one of the first I ever tried. She borrowed a Reyes flamenco Blackshear copy from her professor that I also got to try, and I was impressed with both instruments. She was a great flamenco student but no longer studies, as she is a pro body builder.



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 11 2023 18:18:44
 
JasonM

Posts: 2037
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Just wanted to share a pic in honor of mr. Blackshear. This is my guitar student, and she played classical on this Blackshear she is holding and it was one of the first I ever tried. She borrowed a Reyes flamenco Blackshear copy from her professor that I also got to try, and I was impressed with both instruments. She was a great flamenco student but no longer studies, as she is a pro body builder.


Whaaaa
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 11 2023 21:03:27
 
davewphx

Posts: 126
Joined: Jul. 11 2011
 

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

Nice long guitar fingers. 🙂

_____________________________

Dave
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 12 2023 0:27:57
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14627
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to JasonM

quote:

ORIGINAL: JasonM

quote:

Just wanted to share a pic in honor of mr. Blackshear. This is my guitar student, and she played classical on this Blackshear she is holding and it was one of the first I ever tried. She borrowed a Reyes flamenco Blackshear copy from her professor that I also got to try, and I was impressed with both instruments. She was a great flamenco student but no longer studies, as she is a pro body builder.


Whaaaa


She talks about her guitar degree and studying flamenco dance in Spain around 4 min mark.
https://youtu.be/U2FKpl2MUuo

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 12 2023 17:44:03
 
bahen

Posts: 378
Joined: Mar. 4 2006
 

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Thank you for sharing this, Richard. Tom will be very greatly missed in our community.

Bahen
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 16 2023 13:00:21
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3415
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to bahen

I may have found the Foro thread which the Delcamp poster referred to. There’s a lot of participation by Tom Blackshear in it

http://www.foroflamenco.com/tm.asp?m=292863&mpage=1&p=&tmode=1&smode=1&key=blackshear

I did say that Tom’s “Rodriguez” might have been the best classical I ever owned, but with two important provisos:that I had only played it for an hour, and that I had yet to compare it to the 1973 Romanillos.

Further on in the thread I described the Blackshear’s development with time.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 18 2023 4:13:20
 
ernandez R

Posts: 724
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Thanx for sharing this Richard. Just before Coved 19 I had planned a visit with Tom… I’m almost bitter about how much that damn virus has taken from us…

Still, Tom lived a good life and shared music with the world, like I mentioned upthread already, we should all aspire to do as much.


HR

_____________________________

I prefer my flamenco guitar spicy,
doesn't have to be fast,
should have some meat on the bones,
can be raw or well done,
as long as it doesn't sound like it's turning green on an elevator floor.

www.instagram.com/threeriversguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 19 2023 0:25:02
 
JasonM

Posts: 2037
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

She talks about her guitar degree and studying flamenco dance in Spain around 4 min mark.
https://youtu.be/U2FKpl2MUuo


Wow that is quite a story that propelled her into body building. She sounds like a very driven person in general. I looked at her instagram and she even has the swole upper lip job now.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 19 2023 14:21:05
 
Firefrets

 

Posts: 107
Joined: Mar. 22 2023
 

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

Condolences to those who knew him.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 19 2023 21:27:53
 
Piwin

Posts: 3540
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

DEP

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 19 2023 22:25:33
 
Jim Kirby

 

Posts: 149
Joined: Jul. 14 2011
From: Newark, DE, USA

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to Piwin

Just seeing this now. Tom had tremendous influence on my growth as an admittedly amateur luthier. Out of my early guitars, 4 were based on Tom's drawing of Rodriguez, and 2 based on his drawing of Reyes. A local guitar teacher plays one of the Rodriguez copies. Tom's in-print plans and his commentary on the process of building were a gift of immense proportions. RIP Tom.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 26 2023 22:40:00
 
gatopaco

 

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb. 13 2011
 

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

Not knowing that Tom had passed away at the time, I entered my first Blackshear/Reyes build into a listening session at this year's Guild of American Luthier's Convention.
After the guitars are played, each builder introduces themselves with a brief comment about their guitar. I'm so glad that I mentioned my guitar was built from the Blackshear/Reyes plan.
Working on my second Blackshear/Reyes now....
Rest in peace Mr. Blackshear
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 3 2023 19:04:03
 
SephardRick

Posts: 358
Joined: Apr. 11 2014
 

RE: Tom Blackshear (in reply to El Burdo

Rest in peace, Tom.

IMHO Tom's approach to tuning an instrument during construction always fascinated me.

Hope there are students of Tom carrying on his methods.

Savage guitars quoted of his instruments to me last week - $10k. Oh, well I can still dream of owning one....

_____________________________

Rick
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 15 2023 17:38:41
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