By the mid-'50s, singing cowboys such as Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and Tex Ritter had inspired a generation of youngsters to pick up a six-string guitar and sing cowboy songs. Seizing on the cowboy popularity, every department store sold guitars stenciled with fitting western scenes.
The Harmony "Lariat" was available from Montgomery Ward from 1957-1958. Constructed of laminate birch, these parlor-sized guitars—with their classic Western stenciling on the top—may have felt like a guitar Gene, Roy, or Tex might play, but they were never built to be functional instruments that would ever tune and play properly. Over the years, most of these guitars have fallen into disrepair and become wall-hangers at best, even though they capture a unique Western vibe.
Fortunately, Scott Baxendale and his team of luthiers in Athens, Ga., recognize the potential of these cowboy-inspired guitars and regularly remanufacture them. In doing so, they totally, re-build, re-brace, and re-voice these instruments, giving them new life and world class tone with no shortage of authentic mojo. These inspiring instruments are an exceptional value, and they're an incredible way to recycle and repurpose old axes.
This Baxendale ‘50s Harmony Lariat has been totally rebuilt and re-braced to a scalloped X-braced pattern, which maximizes the sonic potential of this old cowboy box. It also sports new frets, a new 1-3/4" bone nut, a new solid rosewood bridge with bone saddle, and Golden Age Restoration tuning machines. Its lightweight, parlor-guitar feel is comfortable and inviting, and it plays like a brand new guitar. It packs impressive projection for such a small body, nice balance across the register, and quick, accurate response. Its short 24-1/4" scale and 12-fret parlor guitar design provide authentic small-body tone and comfort. The result is an inspiring cowboy guitar with the tone, intonation, and playability of a fine acoustic guitar.
This Baxendale '50s Harmony Lariat Conversion includes a hardshell case, and every Baxendale Conversion includes a lifetime warranty. Although it started as an old guitar, this Baxendale Conversion has been made new, so think of it as a "new" old guitar.