Once the center of the New York bohemia, Greenwich Village is now home to lux restaurants, and buzzer door clothing stores catering to the nouveau riche. But one shop in the heart of the Village remains resilient to the encroaching gentrification: Carmine Street Guitars. There, custom guitar maker Rick Kelly and his young apprentice, Cindy Hulej, build handcrafted guitars out of reclaimed wood from old hotels, bars, churches, and other local buildings.
Nothing looks or sounds quite like a Rick Kelly guitar, which is the reason they are embraced by the likes of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Jim Jarmusch, just to name a few. The film captures five days in the life of Carmine Street Guitars, while examining an all-too-quickly vanishing way of life.
Appearing in the film and slinging six-strings are: Nels Cline (Wilco), Bill Frisell, Eszter Balint, Charlie Sexton (in a show-stopping performance), Kirk Douglas (The Roots), Jim Jarmusch, Eleanor Friedberger, Mark Ribot, and more.
“A little gem for both guitar heads and lovers of old New York.” – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter
“Carmine Street Guitars is a New York story about standing tall in the face of commerce-driven gentrification. It’s also a meditation on the magic of wood and of music, and the interaction of people.”- Variety
“The subject is so interesting, and the music played by these people is so gorgeous.” – Sheila O’Malley, RogerEbert.com