Jennings Chestnut – Luthier

We walk up Main Street in Conway, SC to a small store front with an unobtrusive yellow banner hanging outside the door. "State of SC Award Winning Luthier" it reads. We walk in to see Jennings helping a very tall, thin black man who wants a left-handed electric guitar. Jennings helps him find the exact right instrument to meet his needs, calls the vendor, and orders one. He glances up briefly to greet us as we come in and wander to the back of his shop, carrying our instruments. Coming to the back, he greets and hugs Irene and we shake hands. We’ve come in for him to do his magic to my banjo and Irene’s mandolin. A visit to Jennings’ shop has become, for us and many other acoustic string instrument people, a regular pilgrimage to soak up his lore, his hospitality, and his skill.