MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: Tahlequah resident builds, plays guitars

Musician, carpenter, and guitar luthier Scott Lawrence carves the back of a guitar.

Tahlequah resident and musician Scott Lawrence not only plays the guitar but builds them as well.

Lawrence said he has been a woodworker since he was a teenager but didn't start building guitars until he was in his mid-to-late-twenties.

"Somewhere along the line I realized that a really good quality and high end guitar was too expensive. So, I decided to apply my woodworking skills and build my own," said Lawrence.

Lawrence now owns and operates Westwood Artisan Woodworking and Finishing where he builds custom guitars, picture frames, and restores and builds furniture.

He started playing music when he was 12 years old by sneaking into a closet to play his brother's "cheap" acoustic guitar that Lawrence said was almost unplayable.

Lawrence said he has learned to play almost every musical genre, including country, rock, and the blues. His preference is focused on jazz.

After getting a job as a physical therapist in Oklahoma in his 30s, Lawrence said he quit playing music for around a decade. He said he eventually started playing again and met Dennis Tibbits who helped him to form a band in 2004 called the Holistix that performs versatile music. Tibbits and Lawrence still currently perform as a duo under the Holistix band name.

Lawrence never had any professional aspirations when it came to playing music. He said when he first realized he wanted to play music during the late '60s and early '70s. He wanted to play the music of the time, especially electric blues music.

"I heard Wes Montgomery and Jimmy Smith's dynamic duo album and it just floored me. I was just speechless and I go, 'Oh, man. I gotta learn how to play that,'" said Lawrence.

In his early years, Lawrence's other inspirations were the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, and the Neville Brothers. He currently plays the guitar, bass, percussion, and chromatic harmonica and is learning to play the mandolin.

"I just kind of wake up every morning and want to play guitar. I still enjoy playing guitar and refining my approach. I've kind of reached the limits of my technical ability but you can never reach the limits of learning your breath and scope of your musical influences," said Lawrence.

Check it out

Scott Lawrence and the Holistix will be performing at the Canbrake Aug. 17 and Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. They are also set to perform at the Branch in September on a date yet to be determined.

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