I love guitars, always have. There’s something in the sound that really speaks to me. Especially in when I’m singing or comping. A year ago I travelled to Southeast-Asia where I found a guitar that amazed me.
It was a rainy day (read: monsoon) and I was walking through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. By chance I kind of walked into Guitar street, which is a street that holds more than 40 guitar shops. Vintage, new, famous brand and custom guitars are built there. Imagine a street, with an open garage door near the road. Cars and scooters racing by and it’s a 40 degrees celsius with 80% humidity. I ended up in the shop of Binh Nuygen, he’s the owner and builder of a store called: Guitar Binh. He works on guitars in a small shop and the guitars he sells are, amazingly considering the circumstances, quite wonderful.
I picked up a model that was roughly based on an Gibson L1, not expecting too much of it. But the sound and resonance shook me. The guitar played and sounded great. I was super surprised. In fact, I couldn’t put it down. The guitar wasn’t completely finished yet. But I had made up my mind, this guitar would return to The Netherlands with me. When I asked him if he could finish it he said; “Yes, there’s a café around the corner, come back in an hour”.
After an hour I returned and the guitar was indeed ready, set-up and all. Crazy craftsmanship and friendliness from mr. Binh that I still cherish every time I pick up this instrument. I will enjoy this guitar for many years (and gigs) to come.
If you’re ever in Ho Chi Minh, go see this shop and get yourself a nice instrument. You will not regret it.