Chapmans to offer recovered Eastman guitar in charity raffle

The Chapmans are more than just a typical bluegrass band. I mean they are a bluegrass band, made up of three brothers (John, Jeremy, and Jason Chapman) plus their dad (Bill) on banjo. John plays guitar, Jeremy the mandolin, and Jason the bass.

They toured for many years together and released a number critically-acclaimed recordings. John, in particular, was in the process of becoming understood as one of bluegrass music’s most promising young guitarists and lead vocalists, when they guys decided to come off the road, pool their resources and expertise, and open a full-service music store near their homes in Springfield, MO in 2013.

The Acoustic Shoppe was a success from the start. The Chapmans’ many years on the touring scene brought them business from other full time pro artists, and their sparkling wit and service-oriented mindset proved appealing to the folks in their hometown, and soon locals were bringing their kids in for lessons, their instruments in for repair, and themselves in when they needed strings, accessories, PA gear, or new instruments.

For lack of a better term, The Acoustic Shoppe is a guitar store, but one that carries banjos, mandolins, ad fiddles as well.They also stock lots of instructional books and videos, and a rotating stock of vintage pieces.

But they recently underwent one of the greatest frustration that retailers experience, a customer who passed a bad check to purchase a valuable instrument in the store. The Chapmans were actually away from the store when it happened back in January, attending the big NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. John says that they noticed that the friends who were watching the store in their absence had sold an Eastman E40D guitar, valued at roughly $2000, by watching the store’s accounting software online. But their joy at the big sale quickly turned sour when they noted it had been paid by check.

Experienced retailers know that using a check for a large purchase is a fairly common way for a thief to make off with something of value. By the time the bank alerts the merchant that the check is bad, the thief has already sold it on and possibly even left the area. And just such was the case here. When the boys returned home the next day they started researching on their own, and located the guitar on display at a competing, big-box music store there in town. That shop owner was alerted to hold the guitar until the police could get involved, which wouldn’t start until the check had officially bounced.

Though this all happened in mid-January, it wasn’t until the first week in April that an affidavit was ready for them to sign, begin the prosecution, and get the guitar returned to their possession. Once they had it back, John said that he was torn over the ethics of selling it as a new instrument. Since it hadn’t been legally sold they could still offer it with a manufacturer’s warranty, but with the other dealer being out the money they had paid for the stolen guitar, he said that it still didn’t feel right.

So he and his brothers hit on the idea of raffling the guitar for charity, and donating the proceeds to The Children’s Miracle Network who had been so incredibly helpful to John and his wife, Vickie, when their daughter Kylie needed emergency medical treatment right after her birth in 2008. Since that time the family has helpoed to raise more than $10,000 for CMN so that they can continue to help young families in distress.

So now the guitar is being offered in a raffle from the Acoustic Shoppe web site. Tickets are $5 each, or 5 for $20, 15 for $50, or 35 for $100.

All of the details and specifications on this fine, solid wood guitar can be seen there as well.

Hats off to The Chapmans for finding such a happy ending to this not-so-cheerful story. Go get yourself some tickers now and you could become the new owner of this beautiful guitar.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.