When tourists look at the small town of Key West they see the street performers and the local bars and they think that they have the whole town figured out, but they often fail to realize that there is much more to the Keys than fire swallowing and the beach.
Key West is rich in culture and artisans who surpass many others. One of these artists is Craig Burroughs Alyn, also known as CB Alyn, a guitar craftsman who builds acoustic guitars out of his house. Retired from the wholesale music trade in California, this man has copious amounts of experience in building guitars that are meant to be repairable for years to come. Built with care and animal protein based glues, his CB Alyn guitars are made to be like the guitars built in the 1930s and 1940s. Alyn prefers the older methods of guitar construction to the new epoxy glues and lacquers because they are better acoustically for the guitar.
Craig Alyn’s dreams for his guitars consist of having five dealers nationwide and eventually take on an apprentice to continue his work into the future. Alyn wishes to keep the traditions of taking pride in guitar craftsmanship and using the best materials for the job. Alyn says, “You can’t look at building guitars as a way to become rich, it has to be a passion,” and it truly is one of his passions.
From his first Everly Brothers concert in London, England, to his retirement in Key West creating timeless acoustic guitars, Craig Alyn will always have music in his heart, and that is what the tourists are missing as they stroll by.
Written by Savana Hardin