David R. Hussong

Comeaux Collection: The Fretted Instruments of Dr. Tommy Comeaux

Dr. Tommy Comeaux was a musician in the Cajun band BeauSoleil, as well as a vintage music “archaeologist” and instrument aficionado. Starting in the 1970s, he built an enviable collection of guitars, mandolins, and resonators – some he toured with, others he saved for their historic value.

This volume presents the instruments with photography by Jim France and smart, passionate text by VG contributor Dave Hussong. An homage to Comeaux is interwoven with tributes from friends including Jerry Douglas, Sonny Landreth, Michael Doucet, Eric Johnson, and Tim O’Brien.

The range of instruments is stellar; archtop guitars from the big-band era, steel-bodied Hawaiian guitars of the 1920s and ’30s, Fender and Gibson solidbody electrics from the 1950s and ’60s. Among the stunners are examples crafted by Orville Gibson, Lloyd Loar, John D’Angelico, and James D’Aquisto.

Full-guitar shots are all small (which is too bad), but larger photos celebrate the details. You’ll see exquisite inlays on a 1902 O.H. Gibson guitar, beautifully figured wood on a range of mandolins, and glorious engraving and all-around craftsmanship on a 1990 Dobro presentation model, among many others.

This article originally appeared in VG’s May 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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