WHAT IS FOLKLORE?
“Folklore is the traditional art, literature, knowledge, and practice that is disseminated largely through oral communication and behavioral example … The word “folklore” names an enormous and deeply significant dimension of culture … Folklife is community life and values, artfully expressed in myriad forms and interactions. Universal, diverse, and enduring, it enriches a nation and makes it a commonwealth of cultures … Though folklore connects people to their past, it is a central part of life in the present and is at the heart of all cultures–including our own–throughout the world.”
-Excerpts from the American Folklore Society – What is Folklore?
Although our focus is on musical instrument set-up, repair, retail, and restoration, Mountain Fruit Folklore Centre is more than just an instrument retail store. The Folklore Centre serves as a cultural hub, connecting, sharing and developing folk and arts culture in the Kootenays. Local and traveling musicians offer performances for our “Live From the Pew” series. At Mountain Fruit Folklore Centre we maintain an intimate connection to the musical folk traditions of our predecessors. We offer professional level musical instrument repair, set-up and restoration services with an ‘Old World’ attention to detail and love of handwork. As a service-based, rather than a sales-based, enterprise it is our great pleasure to be here for our community, offering our wealth of information and experience to musicians to help them best understand and take care of their instruments.
We only sell instruments that reflect our own standards of quality in materials and craftsmanship, appropriate to players from beginning to professional levels.
Mountain Fruit Folklore first opened its doors in 2010. Since then we have proudly boasted our status as Canada’s smallest music store. Since then the business has grown steadily, drawing clients from all over the Kootenays. We are starting to feel a bit like a hermit crab ready for a bigger shell. And the good news is that day is coming! A new location on Front Street in Kaslo is in the works, so stay tuned for more exciting news there!
One of our most frequently asked questions is “Do you build instruments here?” We do! We are in the midst of constructing a brand new workspace, which will allow us to keep the instrument building and repair shops separate. At the moment none of our fine handmade instruments are for sale as we are building up our inventory to be unveiled at the Mountain Fruit renaissance at our forthcoming new location.
Stay tuned! Big things are coming and nobody could be more excited than we are!
Meet the Luthiers
I trained with with Master Luthier Michael Dunn, and was mentored for a short time by Ray Nurse, twenty-five years ago. After this training I built and repaired stringed instruments for several years. During which time I received a few grants and turned my focus to 19th century guitars and original designs.
After starting a family, moving to, and living in Kaslo,BC I opened a small stringed instrument repair business in 2010.
I’m relieved to say, after the doors opened eight years ago, that the repair work keeps coming. That the workshop has expanded to include a ‘Canada’s smallest’ retail storefront and that I’ve had the privilege of sharing what I know with an eager apprentice, Kevin John, who has has helped firmly establish the business in the Kootenays.
I am sincerely grateful to all those who have supported us over the years and I look forward to continuing those relationships and our expanding endeavours in a new location within the next year.
Since early 2015 I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work under the wing and look over the shoulder of luthier Jeremy Behn. Over these years Jeremy has been a mentor and become a great friend. His teaching style encourages me to develop problem solving skills and a keen eye (and ear). In this line of work we have an arsenal of “standard measurements” but instruments are much like people; each presents its own deviations from the norm and each has to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. He has passed on to me an avid love for the old-world techniques, doing your work by hand, and utilising natural materials and products for every step of the process.
Since beginning under Jeremy I have gone from nearly zero experience to handling the bulk of the basic set-up and repair jobs that come through our shop. In early 2018 I undertook additional training at Summit School of Guitar Building, where I learned the entire guitar-building process from design to construction, hand-carving the neck, finishing, and final set-up. I am continuing to build guitars by hand here in Kaslo, BC, refining and expanding the knowledge gained at Summit and developing my skills in other hand-making techniques such as varnish and french polish.
I am proud to be working in this field for there is no end to the learning. The work satisfies a peculiar desire in me for precision and detail while allowing ample room for creativity. It has only deepened my appreciation for music and instruments. We are connected by a long lineage of guitar makers and players, tool makers, and music-lovers. I look forward to working with you to help you get the most out of your instrument.
Shellac be with you,