Featured Store – Guitar Brothers

Craig left with Mick Hadley

This week we are looking at a local Australian store – Guitar Brothers, based in Brisbane. I have come across this store both on ebay, and also on Facebook, which I highly recommend following as they update with recent acquisitions and sales. I got in contact with Craig Claxton from Guitar Brothers and he was good enough to give me some time to answer some questions around the shop and the people behind it.

The Beginnings of Guitar Brothers

The store was originally opened in 2007  when owner Craig decided that he no longer wanted to work with Allans/Billy Hyde, especially after the takeover in 2005 by a venture capital company. Craig decided to make it on his own and opened the Guitar Brothers store in Red Hill at 95 Musgrave Road. Guitar Brothers has recently celebrated it’s 10th birthday.

Ten years is a long time for any small business to be around, especially in the current economic climate. Not to mention the fact that the amount of goods that can now be ordered online means that a lot of businesses just can’t keep up with online only stores. But Guitar Brothers is different, while they still have their online store, they are flourishing as a bricks and mortar store. In Queensland, I have personally found that there have been recent closures of both independently owned and also bigger companies (such as Allans/Billy Hyde Mermaid Beach), so I wanted to know what was different for Guitar Bros.

Craig is passionate about the guitar and says that he feels that everyone should pick on up and give it a go, if just for the sheer enjoyment of (which I have to agree with). Given this, he feels that it is a good time to try considering that everything guitar related is so connected and available on the internet now.

Craig says “I think the secret of our success is that I have a fabulous team who really pride themselves on customer service.” I wholeheartedly agree with this, whether it has been purchasing from Guitar Bros through eBay, enquiring about a sale price or even sourcing the content for this piece, the Guitar Bros team are quick and reliable and they know their stuff. But not in that ingratiating way that sometimes plagues music stores, follow their Facebook and you will see that this team just loves talking guitars and gear.

“Everyone who works here is a player & my job is to make sure we have the coolest guitars, amps and effects available on the planet” Seriously, check out their New Arrivals section and tell me that the National Resonators that they get in aren’t some of the most beautiful things that you have seen. Craig also says that Guitar Bros is more a ‘fretted instruments’ store, which helps to get a range of customers across ranges such as ukuleles, banjos and mandolins, although guitars remain the core business.


Craig’s Playing and Rig

Craig plays both live and as a session guitarist and as a result his rig changes due to the requirements of each of these.

For live gigs he works with:

Xotic California Classic Guitar

Suhr Badger 35 amp

Pedal Board with: several drive/boost pedals – Xotic RC-V2 and Xotic SL Drive, for modulation a TC SCF Stereo Chorus Flanger, a TC Vintage Delay, Strymon Lex Rotary, Budda Wag and Dunlop Volume X pedal. Craig is currently on leave from live gigs while he works on his new record.

Craig with Robben Ford

For sessions he works with a 335, Les Paul’s, Teles and various Martin acoustics. As a session guitar player Craig has played with many greats with the standouts being Robben Ford, Mick Hadley, Melbourne blues legend Chris Wilson, The Carol Lloyd Band, The Purple Hearts, Wendy Saddington, Tim Gaze ,US session great Louie Shelton and his own band The Mercurys.

As always, I made sure that I asked Craig for a few musical and gear recommendations of the past year or so, he recommends Oz Noy’s latest “Who Gives a Funk” (some licks from this album here) and also any of the work from Steely Dan and Larry Carlton. In terms of gear Craig recommends the Xotic RC Booster 2 and his Xotic guitar (which can be found here through Guitar Brothers), he also recommends anything from the Strymon range.

Thanks to Craig from Guitar Brothers this week for the interview and his insights, you can find Guitar Brothers at their online store or Facebook and if you are visiting or in Brisbane they are based on Musgrave Rd at Red Hill.


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