Our Team

Dennis Kalkowski and Bob Rogers

Dennis,-Gloria-and-Bob
Dennis and Bob met in the 4th grade and grew up together doing the things that young kids did. Dennis lived near the local recreation park, so after school hours and most weekends were consumed by swimming basketball, baseball and football, bicycling, golf, archery, playing music and guitar. The attraction of the park created a healthy group of childhood friends, many of whom they are still in touch with today. During this time, Bob and Dennis merged their interests. Dennis began playing guitar at age 7 and Bob the bass at 17 and immediately began playing together (Bob had some catch-up to do). They laughed and had a great time building a musical bond that strengthened their friendship that never wavered throughout the years. Bob and Dennis stayed connected through high school after which both attended college.

Dennis joined the PGA of America where over his 25-year professional career he was a club professional and Director of Golf. All the time, a guitar was near his side. Bob’s career had been in the newspaper, IT and Workers Comp field as well as gigging in a few local bands along the way. Early on, his musical tastes evolved into jazz.

After 16 years of Dennis being out of the area, they reconnected at a friend’s mother’s funeral. By this time Dennis’ bout with Kennedy’s Disease (SBMA) began to show publicly. Over time, the disease progressed from him using a cane to crutch to scooter, and then to a wheelchair. They stayed in touch throughout the changes and challenges in each of their lives.

One day during a 4 month hospital stay, while playing guitar, Dennis had an idea about the future and how he could do something interesting for himself and positive for others around him as he began a new chapter in his life confined to a wheelchair. Always tinkering with his guitars, he decided to pursue the concept of designing/building/assembling electric guitars. He and Bob talked about it at great length. The longer they talked, the more the excitement grew and the idea of Slowlane Guitars began. Dennis spent his time reading books, studying videos and working with Jesse Cassotta at SonFather Guitars polishing his skills. Bob began honing his skills with computer programs that were going to be a huge part of the marketing effort.

After coming home from the hospital, Dennis was taken in as a private student by the Cassotta family members Dave, Jesse and Julie at SonFather Guitars which is the top luthier shop in Northern California. With their guidance and Dennis’ understanding, his skills progressed quickly and Slowlane Guitars began to take shape. While Dennis was busy with the guitars, Bob spent time with the Muscular Dystrophy Association developing the relationships and programs that were needed to organize our efforts to ensure that 100% of our net profits from the sale of guitars would go to the MDA. He then engulfed himself with the web designer, Dave Naves, to put together the website for Slowlane Guitars. During that time he also handled marketing matters, attended special events and coordinated activities between Slowlane guitars and the Northern California MDA. All of this took place over a two-year period and that brings us to September 2013 where we have proudly created more than 70 professional quality custom guitars.

After 2 years of working behind the scenes, Slowlane Guitars and the MDA Walk and Roll Custom guitars have become a reality. Dennis’ wife of 34 years, Gloria is responsible for shaping all of this into a business which she owns, directs and is President of….yes, they take orders from her. It’s through her love, her kindness, her caring and giving spirit that this entire project was made possible. It began as a dream while lying in a hospital bed and it became a reality the day Dennis came home to find a workshop full of tools waiting for the project to begin.

Slowlane Guitars exists solely to help raise funds for the MDA and to bring the joy of music to everyone who plays one of our guitars. Please take the time to discover a little bit About Us and how our program came to be. By purchasing one of these beautiful instruments you are making a meaningful difference by helping the Muscular Dystrophy Association create more research for a cure and better treatment for those afflicted with a form of Muscular Dystrophy.

Team listed alphabetically:

Allparts Music

Allparts MusicAllparts Music Corp. for over 30 years, has been a distributor of guitar, bass, and amplifier parts to customers around the globe. We offer parts to builders, luthiers, retail guitar shops, and retail customers. We distribute to customers in the USA, and customers worldwide. Allparts prides itself on providing excellent customer service and quality parts to its customers. Our salesmen are knowledgeable of the vast array of parts we distribute and we are all here to help in any way possible.

We are happy to provide these same services to the MDA. The hope is that with this help, the dedication for continued research for a cure will be benefited.

www.allparts.com


 

Buzz-Saw Intl. – Custom Tone Woods/Tops

I want to thank Dennis for the opportunity to help the MDA and to pay it forward. I’m also very much looking forward to seeing pictures of Slowlane Guitars as that is a highlight for me when I get to see the creations made with my products.
Mark Garoutte – Owner, Buzzsaw Intl.


 

Cary McCart – Custom Guitar Finishing

Cary McCartMy name is Cary McCart from Foresthill, CA. I heard about this project in the beginning when Dennis contacted me. I have known Dennis for a few years and have seen how Muscular Dystrophy has affected his life. I felt that this was a charity that could use my skills. It sounded like a really interesting challenge since I hadn’t ever done anything like this before. My background is in cabinet and furniture finishing. To me, each guitar is a unique piece of art and seeing them come alive is exciting. It is wonderful when doing such enjoyable work can benefit such a worthy cause.

paper1@ftcnet.net


 

Crane Designs

Crane DesignsI was born in Coquille, OR on a small dairy farm. After picking up the guitar at an early age, I developed a love for music. As I got older, other interests emerged as well: Electronics, mechanical design, and wood working. It was only a matter of time until all of these passions combined into one thing: Guitar making. I had no idea that after setting up shop in my garage in Boise, ID that my business would take off like it has.

Crane Designs was the final product of all this. Specializing in Tele and Strat type guitars, I have shipped bodies all over the world to other builders who complete my work.

www.crane-designs.com


 

Dave Naves of Daveworks Web Development

An Auburn CA Web Design Company
Dave Naves - President Daveworks Web Development
“When Bob showed me what he, Founder Dennis K and the rest of the team at SLG were doing I immediately wanted in. It’s not often one gets to work with people of such high character, integrity and skill. I’m really honored to be part of the team.”

Bio:
Dave has over 20 years experience in the Internet industry. Some of his larger projects have included Ticketmaster.com, Guess.com, Citysearch.com and DisneyChannel.com, to name a few. He’s passionate about getting Small Business America in to the “Big Game” of SEO and ecommerce, so he founded LocalMarketplace.com™ to do just that.

Dave holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration, plays drums, is an avid fly fisherman and enjoys using his general contractors license from time to time.

You can typically find him making noise out on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.


 

Gluff Custom Guitar Bodies

Gluff Custom Guitar Bodies

I’m Eric Gangluff and have been designing and building custom guitar bodies for many years and selling on Ebay since 2008. My guitars are mainly strat and tele style with variations such as solid and chambered bodies made of various woods which lend themselves to a warm tone. I became involved with this MDA project when Dennis first became one of my loyal customers. This is a very worthwhile endeavor and look forward to a lasting relationship with Slowlane Guitars.

Eric Gangluff – Gluff Guitar Bodies
egangluff@yahoo.com


 

HIPSHOT PRODUCTS

Hipshot ProductsHipshot Products was founded by Dave Borisoff in 1983 in a small shop in Van Nuys, California, owned by his father (and founding partner) Bob Borisoff. At the time Dave founded the company, he was playing Pedal Steel in the country band Red Rock Ramblers along with his late wife Kate McDonald who sang and played guitar and fiddle. His first invention was a string bender for telecasters and similar guitars, but Gene Parsons held the trademark on the name so Kate suggested “Hipshot,” named for the lever that made the whole thing work. (Later Gene, his wife Meridian, and Dave became good friends and today Hipshot Products manufactures both the Parsons String Bender and the Hipshot String Bender.)

Within a year Dave came up with another great idea, the D-tuner for bass guitar, but not knowing how it would sell, he put it on the last page of his products pamphlet. Then he met Billy Sheehan at a NAMM show and Billy loved the D-tuner and wasn’t afraid to lend his name to advertise it. In no time the D-tuner started outselling the Hipshot and today it remains a perennial favorite among both professional and amateur players.

In the beginning, Dave was buying tuning machines from Schaller (Germany) to convert into D-tuners, but due to popular demand, Schaller couldn’t supply them fast enough. So Hipshot Products began manufacturing their own bass tuners in 1985. These products were just the beginning of a whole STRING of great Hipshot Products

Contracts from big companies like Peavey, Fender, Cort and Yamaha have also helped to make Hipshot a serious contender in the global marketplace. Today, Hipshot is one of the last remaining companies that not only designs, but manufactures guitar hardware in the USA.

When Dennis told us about his Muscular Dystrophy guitar project, we were happy to help the cause.

www.hipshotproducts.com


 

Lace Music Products

Lace PickupsLace Music Products was founded in 1979 by the late Don Lace Sr., an innovative electronics designer with a passion for solving problems using creative solutions. The company was started in the family garage and quickly grew to become one of the most respected companies in the music industry.

In 1979, Lace founded Actodyne General Inc. as a manufacturer of solenoids for the semi conductor industry with coil winding at the heart of the business. While looking for additional business opportunities, Lace found that Fender was having a high-rejection rate during production of traditional style pick-ups that were made at the time.

By the late 1980’s, Lace had perfected a single rectangular shaped sensor that fit under the strings. The goals were simple: to reduce the rejection rate, increase fidelity, and reduce outside hum. Lace presented this technology to Seth Lover (inventor of the original humbucking pick-up), who was working with Fender at the time. Fender began to use the new technology and feature the Lace design pick-ups on their own guitars. Known as Fender-Lace Sensors, the pick-ups were originally made for the Strat Plus guitar which won numerous awards. Today they can be found on many other Fender guitars and are available in Gold, Silver, Blue, or Red series as either Single or Dually models.

Sadly, Don Lace, Sr. passed away on October 11, 1992, leaving a strong impact on the music industry. Don’s family carries on his tradition of solving complex problems and developing solutions for the equipment used in everyday music. By creating new, cutting edge, products that capture the sound and soul of classic vintage originals, the Lace Music team continues to lead the industry.
We at Lace are proud supporters of the Muscular Dystrophy Guitar Project. Several of our employees have been directly affected by this disease, and we are happy to be part of this great cause.

www.LaceMusic.com


 

Lakota Leathers

Lakota Leathers

Fine Musical Instrument Straps

Each Lakota Leathers strap is made on the Pine Ridge Lakota Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota, USA. Pine Ridge has the undesirable distinction of being the poorest county in the entire United States. The purchase of any Lakota Leathers strap not only gives you the ultimate quality, but helps provide income for people on the reservation. Truly a ‘cottage’ industry, Lakota Leathers straps are assembled in living rooms and on kitchen tables of the people who make these wonderful straps.

We use only native leathers which have been used by the Lakota people for milenia. Bison (American buffalo) and Elk are our leathers of choice. These leathers are extremely supple and provide for unsurpassed comfort no matter what instrument you play. Our bison hide straps are available in four colors (chocolate, black, saddle, and tobacco) and are available for guitar, banjo, resonator guitar, and mandolin. Hand braided Elk hide straps are available for mandolin and available in a multitude of color choices.

All Lakota Leathers straps are 100% guaranteed to be the softest, strongest, and most comfortable strap you will ever use.

We’re excited to be a part of this great cause and are looking forward to our continued participation.

Kenny Bohling (Owner)
www.lakotaleathers.com
kenny@lakotaleathers.com
Ph: (865) 962-9303


 

Latimer Handwound Pickups

Dale Latimer - PickupsI’m Dale Latimer. I’m a guitar pickup craftsman from the Deep South area of Gulfport, Mississippi, USA. I‘ve been doing guitar tube amp repair, voicing and building for a number of years, but for the last 3 years or so, have been focused on pickup winding, primarily Strat and Tele type, but also other designs as well. Through a couple of good friends, one of whom is a physician and guitarist, I have access to several vintage Strats, Tele’s and several pairs of ORIGINAL Gibson 1950’s PAF and P-90 pickups. So, in essence, I have a wonderful source of vintage pickups, with which to compare my pickups. That can be humbling at times, but it allows and pushes me to not lose focus of what my pickups should sound like. I presently only offer a specific Strat and Tele set, with small variations, which I have worked very hard to perfect, but more importantly, what sounds great and works for most players. Every pickup I wind, I try to make sound better than the last.

I approach building each pickup starting with my bobbin construction, I strive to make each pickup slightly microphonic; where the coil is allowed to resonate, or slightly move, within itself. I view pickup bobbin construction, much as a luthier would a Spruce soundboard top, on an acoustic instrument. I strive to make the bobbins very stiff and resonant. Using old formula nitrocellulose lacquer as my glue in selected areas within the coil, it is a very slow, time consuming process that forms somewhat of a honeycomb effect within the coil. This method will not allow one to wind very fast, but once cured, will let through every little nuance you and your instrument expose it to. Yet not feed-back uncontrollably with your amp.

I always start with the Neck pickup, and wind each pickup as a set, usually with progressively more wraps (200-300 more) as I build toward the bridge. This creates a more tonally balanced set: to have the bridge a little hotter than the middle, and the middle a little hotter than the neck. Everyone I have wound these for, have loved them. As I stated earlier, along with Dennis and Bob, my goal is to help you, as a player, find exceptional guitar tone. Once you experience it and have it, there is no going back.

Working in Medical Electronics, in a hospital setting, I have come to know several young men living with Muscular Dystrophy, over the past 27 years, 2 of them with whom I work. When I was asked by Dennis to be a part of the MS guitar project, I jumped at the opportunity. It is an honor and a privilege to be part of a project that I hope and pray will bring more awareness to a disease that effect’s so many and their families.

www.dalelatimerpickups.com


 

LazrArt Inc

LazrArt Inc

LazrArt (pronounced Laser Art), is a family-run Laser Engraving business, which was established in 2006. We operate via the Internet, offering: one-of-a-kind products through direct contact; standard customized products through our ebay store (http://stores.ebay.com/LazrArt); and do-it-yourself tags through our www.Make-A-Tag.com eStore. When Dennis told me about his project, it sounded amazing and I was honored to become a part of it and be his sole supplier of engraved neck plates.

www.stores.ebay.com/LazrArt
www.Make-A-Tag.com
Jay@LazrArt.com
Ph: (516) 216-4234
570 Emerson Ave, Baldwin, NY 11510


 

Madison's Music LLC Gracey's Vintage Finishes, Crystal Clear Pickups

Madison’s Music LLC

(Gracey’s Vintage Finishes, Crystal Clear Pickups)

Madison’s Music is a small family-owned and operated store that is happy to offer some of the best customer service in the industry. We take great pride in being your home for all your aged guitar part needs. Our goal is to provide you with a personal transaction along with the highest quality of parts hand-aged to your individual needs. Gracey’s Vintage Finishes is another of our companies where we specialize in vintage restoration and aging, spraying all our necks and bodies with vintage correct nitrocellulose colors. If you can’t find what you are looking for on our site, please ask as we offer a wide variety of custom work and packages. Our Crystal Clear Pickups are wound in our shop one-at-a-time. Our main goal in designing our pickups is to create a high quality product while capturing that signature vintage tone in each individual pickup. Our pickups are scatter wound by hand offering a balance of crisp highs, defined mids and a warm balanced low end.

When I found out about this MDA guitar project, I wanted to help out in any way I could. It’s a very worthy endeavor.

Ben Lindsey (owner)
www.madisonsmusicstore.com
ben@madisonsmusicstore.com
Ph: (419) 654-1853
537 S. Schrader Rd. Sevierville TN 37876


 

METAL SHOP MUSIC

Metalshop MusicMETAL SHOP MUSIC is an independent company, founded and operated by musicians, and for musicians.
We have built our business on providing high quality products at affordable prices and by so doing we have amassed a loyal clientele worldwide with our commitment to personal service. Metal Shop Music products are currently in use in all 50 states of the USA, all provinces of Canada, and 59 other countries.

I have a friend in New York who has Muscular Dystrophy. Until recently that was my only personal knowledge of the disease, then some time ago another MD victim, Dennis Kalkowski started to buy guitar parts from me because he was building guitars to be sold to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I have done my best to support Dennis’ efforts, and will continue to be as generous as I can in that regard.

I wish Dennis and the MDA good fortune in their fundraising efforts and thank them sincerely for all the good work they are doing.
Clive “ANDY” Shaw, founder of Metal Shop Music

www.metalshopmusic.com


 

RG Custom Guitars

RG Custom GuitarsI’m Robert Gilmore, a professional guitarist who’s been playing for 30 years with many famous Israeli artists. I started to repair guitars 20 years ago and have been building guitars since 2003. Today, RGcustomguitars is a very respectable brand. The goal of my pieces is to keep the tradition of hand crafted, exotic woods and I make every neck, body or complete guitar, unique and different. I am a one man small guitar factory, and I plan to keep it like that for now. Guitar building is in my soul and it’s been my biggest love for the last 10 years. Usually I build bodies and necks according to the standards of Fender models, but I also do custom shapes. I’ve also invented a few serious tools for luthiers.

I was very moved when Dennis told me about the disease and felt like the right thing to do is to help out any way I can.

www.robert-gilmore.com


 

SonFather Guitars Custom Shop

SonFather-GuitarsWorking with Dennis and seeing soemone suffering through the disease had an impact on me. I trained Dennis in various stages of guitar building. Dennis’ learning curve was very unusual in that I only had to show him how to do things once. There’s somethig tangible about working with Dennis, seeing his workmanship and the end result of these guitars. It has become a very important personal project to me.

These custom instruments created by Dennis and Slowlane Guitars are no less than top notch from heel to headstock. The exotic wood choices for both bodies and necks are all of the highest quality and top of the line components and hardware used throughout. The finished guitars surpass custom shop models and you’ll never see guitars like these at a retail guitar shop. When these guitars are in our shop for final set-up, customers who see them are very, very impressed. They always ask about the manufacturer and how they can get one of these beautiful guitars.

SonFather Guitars is a guitar custom shop owned and operated by the Cassotta family. Dave started the shop in 1995 in his garage. He first started by repairing and modifying his own instruments, then his friends instruments, then friends of friends, until it grew to the point of needing a shop. He opened the shop in 1999 with his then teenage children, Jesse and Julie. The three of them have worked together for 12 years, making Sonfather Guitars one of the largest repair and custom shops in the area.

Julie Cassotta – Luthier
www.sonfatherguitars.com

Jesse Cassotta – Luthier
jesse@sonfatherguitars.com

Dave Cassotta – Luthier

SonFather Guitars
4930 Pacific Street
Rocklin, CA 95677
916-624-3794


 

Martin Trujillo

I was born and raised in Auburn and am a 1981 graduate from Placer High School. I started painting with my Dad and have been painting for 30+ years and in business for myself for 20 years. I have painted the exquisite homes of Los Lagos and many homes here in the greater Auburn area. My specialty is cabinet refinishing and cabinet painting. When I was asked if I would do the guitars I was happy to donate my time. My longtime customer is the only person I know with MD and I have painted for him and his father for many years. I enjoyed being able to help with this project and hope it does well.

Ph: 530-888-9825


 

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