Hook Mandolins snags two new endorsers at SPBGMA

Zach Rambo with his new Hook mandolin at SPBGMA 2015 with luthier Chris SheltonChris Shelton with Hook Mandolins made a good showing during the SPBGMA convention earlier this month. He found endorsers for both of his mandolin lines.

One was a foregone conclusion, as Zach Rambo from Marty Raybon and Full Circle had technically signed on as an endorser some months earlier, but hadn’t been able to take delivery of his custom mandolin until SPBGMA weekend. He had provided Shelton with very specific parameters for his instrument, from designing the peg head inlays himself, to specs on neck width and thickness.

Chris said that he was determined to get Zach the mandolin of his dreams.

“He knew exactly what he wanted. We met a couple of times during the building process in order to make sure the mandolin was just the way he wanted it.”

Zach’s Hook was built to emulate the older mandolins of the 1920s, with a red spruce top and maple back, sides, and neck, plus a hand-rubbed varnish finish.

Chris Shelton with Tori and Jocey Gold at SPBGMA 2015But the one that captured the attention of Tori Gold, mandolinist with Gold Heart, was something else indeed. It’s the new Hook Hybrid model, which eliminates the ornate scroll work common to the F-style mandolin body and headstock, but retains the basic body dimension for the F-style tone.

She gravitated right to the Hybrid, with it’s distinctive visual appeal. Chris said that he was located right next to Martin Guitars, so Tori grabbed the Hybrid and her sister (and Gold Heart guitarist) Jocey picked up a Martin and they started to jam.


In short order, Tori was heading off with a new mandolin and Chris had a new Hook endorser. She tells us…

“I’m so honored to endorse such a beautifully crafted mandolin!”

And Chris was equally excited…

“I couldn’t be happier to have Gold Heart as endorsers of my instruments. These ladies have a bright future in music!”

You can find out more about Hook Mandolins online.

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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.