Steel guitars have played an essential role in Hawaiian music since they were pioneered by musicians like Joseph Kekuku and Sol Ho‘opi‘i. In the early nineteen-hundreds - Herman Weisseborn developed a new type of instrument by creating a square hollow neck on the guitar that increased the volume of the steel strings. But the introduction of electric amplification made that acoustic style obsolete.
Now–inside a tiny Kakaako workshop the instrument is making a comeback. For a few years now…Iseman Guitars have been replicating the Weisseborn style - crafting handmade guitars from fallen Big Island Koa wood.
Their unique sound has been re-embraced by modern players looking for a different sound- but also a connection to Hawai‘i’s musical roots. Matt Nigro is co-owner of Iseman Guitars.
More information can be found on their website.