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Paramount Arts Center show makes guitar the star

ASHLAND, Ky. — It was an afternoon of fiddlin’ and pickin’ banjoes and guitars at the inaugural Guitar Show at the Paramount Arts Center Saturday.

The idea came about from new PAC marketing director Jenny Holmes as a way to promote the upcoming Roy Clark concert on Saturday as part of the annual Kentucky Music Trail.

Holmes patterned the PAC event after the Guitar Show in Columbus, now in its 25th year, that brings together musicians, vendors and crafters.

Roger Hausmann, who joined a dozen vendors on the PAC stage, came all the way from Tennessee to show off his hand-made electric guitars.

Hausmann got into guitar building as a way of appeasing his wife, who had reached her limit as far as his guitar collecting went.

“My wife said I could buy no more guitars, so I asked, ‘Would you mind if I build one,’” he said.

It can take Hausmann between six to 10 weeks to build a single guitar. One of Hausmann’s prized creations is a guitar he recently made out of pine from a 125-year-old barn a neighbor was razing. But while this guitar was on display Saturday it was definitely not for sale. It is being held for Hausmann’s son who is currently in Afghanistan serving with the U.S. Marine Corps.

“It’s a connection to our country and our history,” Hausmann said. “It’s to be a meaningful present. He risked his life for us.”

Out in the Marquee Room were musicians offering their expertise in fast-fingering and getting the crowd toe tapping and singing. Among those offering workshops were Joe Dobbs on fiddle, Phil Osborne on classical/jazz guitar, Chip Holbrook on banjo and Rob McNurlin, the Beatnik Cowboy, on guitar.

Also offering CDs and concert schedules were Brad Mayo and Robert Bicknell, both of Huntington, who teamed up a year ago to form the hard rock band, Given Hatred, whose music focuses on the tragedy of drug and child abuse.

“All of us grew up in rough families,” Mayo said. “This is what we sing about.”

The band is schedule to appear at this summer’s Rock on the River in Ironton.