Killick | Lacunae (University of Colorado)

Saturday evening Killick txted me: “Livestream tonight…my part starts in 15 minutes.”

I followed his link, not knowing what to expect. He was, in actuality, live improvising (with Walrus) the soundtrack to Lacunae modern dance MFA performance at University of Colorado, Boulder.

The show will use the spiral, gesture and drive of bodies to craft a collision of apocalyptic, upside-down fairy tales, feminist ruminations on neurological difference and site-specific experimentations involving questions of intimacy, connectedness and the unknown.

Killick truly finds the most interesting paths.

It was about four months of remote back and forth collaboration under choreographer Kelley Ann Walsh’s direction…for each of the 3 shows there was 25 minutes of pre-recorded music (all original plus building on a theme from a project of mine with Federico Balducci) over top of which I improvised with the fretless Walrus. I was responding to the parameters from the playback material, the audiences, and primarily to the energy and movement of the dancers, all brilliant and completely ON! throughout. (Killick)

SCREEN CAPTURES: CU Theatre & Dance opens “Lacunae,” choreographed by MFA Dance candidates Kristen Holleyman, Gretchen LaBorwit and Kelley Ann Walsh.

Goshawk | Purple Relic

purple goshawk guitar
PHOTO: Patented Intonation Cantilever™ solo bridges, precision machined from stainless steel. Exclusive DiMarzio™ pickups. Carbon fiber pick guard.
advantage neck profile
PHOTO: Proprietary Advantage™ neck profile roasted figured flame maple.


Apologies for the bluntness, but man… Goshawk™ is something to behold. 

I’ve been playing guitar for the better part of 30 years, over half of that for a living, and I can’t recall the last time — if EVER — I got goosebumps playing guitar. As it were, it happened while rolling off the tone knob (which also deserves its own comment: I’ve also never had a guitar where the ENTIRE range of the tone knob was not only useable, but sounded AMAZING).

There is some SERIOUS tonal mojo going on here.

The ergonomics are a very good fit for me. The neck size, and even more so the way the body fits me and seats the neck much more “in” my person, it just works. The ability to play in the lower register without feeling like I am stretching my arm out is just superb. 

Again, wow… the whole chemistry of this instrument is ME. I’ll be taking it out on the road in the coming weeks for the road test part. And I’ve got a recording project underway I’ll be using it for in the meantime.

Thank you Rick. You’ve gotten me an instrument that makes me want to just sit and write. It’s rare I’m inspired to this degree with a new guitar. This one is special. (Matt Richard)

rick toone
PHOTO: Compact curves that fit. Swamp ash solid body.
goshawk guitar

8-String | Component Set

intonation cantilever tuner bridge
IMAGE: Patented Intonation Cantilever™ solo bridge. Securely anchors plain-end or ball-end strings.
eight string guitar neck
IMAGE: Ball-ends drop in effortlessly and anchor securely on the 8-string Element™ neck.
IMAGE: Slender, sleek and lightweight. Ergonomic contours with smooth flowing thumb surfaces.
element guitar neck
IMAGE: Element™ 8-string multi-scale neck. Single billet precision machined aerospace aluminum.
fretboard flare
IMAGE: Fretboard Flare™ allows exceptional string bending capabilities where you need it most.
intonation cantilever bridge
IMAGE: Patented Intonation Cantilever™ solo bridge. Stainless steel, bearing bronze. Lightweight, precise, stable tuning. Zero intonation drift. Intonation adjusts independent of tuning.

Goshawk | Perfect Pair

In their own words…

Hi, Rick!

For the last hours I have had the pleasure of getting to know the intricacies of the Gowshawk™ and these are my first impressions. I ran the guitar through my new Komet 60 HD and in stereo with a Tone King Falcon to create a bit of ambience and fuller sound. I should point out that the Komet is also a new acquaintance so I might need some time to dial in the sounds to perfection.

Where to start? It’s hard to put the guitar down once you’ve started playing. The ergonomics of the instrument are first class, in fact I have never played a guitar that is more comfortable and inviting than this. It’s extremely light weight. When I carried the box inside my house, I was worried that there was no guitar inside. The shape of the body gives the guitar a distinct and unique shape, unlike any other traditional guitar. It has its own DNA, and the balance of the guitar is perfect regardless if you play sitting down, standing up or laying on the floor in cheer joy. It just melts in with your body.

The neck shape (Advantage™ Neck Profile) is great for any type of playing, and unlike some other guitars, there is no fatigue even after hours of intense playing. In particular when soloing on the higher spectrum, the frets are well accessible and you can really articulate high notes all the way and better than on any guitar I have tried before. The neck was perfect right out of the box, and tuning appears to be very stable. The fretwork is flawless and dots and markers give excellent visibility in low light settings, on stage, etc.

Both the tone and volume knobs are highly interactive and shape the sound significantly. The pickup selector has no less than 10 settings and I have not gotten around to figure out how it’s wired in all different settings, but I anticipate that in combination with the volume and tone control, virtually every sound a guitar can make is available right at your hands.

What was truly amazing was how consistent the sound was all across the board. Most guitars have their sweet spot, a place on the fretboard where it really sings. This means that other areas are weaker or a tad too loud and must be compensated with work on the volume or tone knob when you move around. The Goshawk™ is different. The sound is consistent all across the fretboard, you can drop your E and play with the devil and in the next moment go to screaming highs and the guitar will project a well balanced sound all the way through. Also between pickup settings there is very little loss of volume, although going from a single coil to humbucking fattens up the sound as desired.

The placement of the guitar volume knob is perfect for me and the knob itself is an absolute gem to work with. The (DiMarzio™ exclusive) pickups are indeed touch sensitive and the volume knob interacts very noticeably in every pickup selection, and goes all the way from grit to high and chimey sounds without the use of pedals or adjusting amp settings.

The placement of  the input jack makes the guitar easy to hold regardless of playing position without the often annoying break and tear of cable that other locations often produce.

Sound-wise the guitar is very versatile and can reproduce nearly any guitar sound imaginable, but like I said it has its own DNA. In that regard, and this was very pleasing to experience, the guitar has its own distinct sound and character, instead of trying to imitate established guitars and brands. This guitar has the capability to render a lot of guitar collections redundant, simply because it will be the «go to» guitar for many tasks. It will be the ONE guitar that you always pick up.

The native sound of the instrument is excellent, and as said, very versatile for all types of music. Adding pedals enhances sounds in all directions and allows entrance to guitar heaven. It can very fast become an addictive and trance-like state of being, and your companion, friends and family might have a challenge in getting in contact as you get lost, forget to eat, or sleep.

Thank you, Rick. This was a great experience and the process of ordering and communication on creating this instrument was first class all the way.

Hopefully in a not too distant future I will post some samples of how she sounds in my hands. I noticed you put 009 gauge strings. Any reasons for this? All my other guitars are 010. I however noticed the more expressive and articulated bends I am able to get, so I might experiment with 009’s a while.

Thanks for a truly great guitar.

(Carl, Norway)



Thanks a lot. Now my fingers are sore.

I couldn’t put it down last night. It really opened up after about an hour of playing and I just kept going. Then I got up early and played it again because I didn’t really believe it was that good. I have a bunch of questions and would love to talk with you about why this and why that type of stuff. It’s just so cool. My all-time favorite guitar (which I own) just feels dead now compared to the Goshawk™.

So I want to order another one. Let me know if you are around tomorrow to talk. I’ll call you.

Again, well done, just well done.
(Mark, California)

goshawk guitar
PHOTO: Goshawk™ natural Swamp Ash and roasted Flame Maple with mother of pearl inlays and bone nut.
rick toone guitar
PHOTO: Goshawk™ Swamp Ash and roasted Flame Maple with mother of pearl inlays and bone nut. Iceland-inspired finish.
trapezoid neck profile
PHOTO: Trapezoid Neck Profile™ is supremely ergonomic for thumb-over and pinch-grip players.
advantage neck profile
PHOTO: Advantage Neck Profile™ is the perfect design for a mix of playing hand positions: thumb-over, pinch-grip, classical.
goshawk swamp ash guitar
PHOTO: Intonation Cantilever™ precision machined stainless steel solo bridges, Carbon fiber pickguard, OEM DiMarzio pickups.
goshawk guitar iceland
PHOTO: Intonation Cantilever™ precision machined stainless steel solo bridges, Carbon fiber pickguard, OEM DiMarzio pickups. Note jack location on this custom guitar.

The Warning | Second Spearfish

The Warning recently band purchased a second Spearfish™ 6-string guitar, the mighty Moby Dick. Daniela Villareal has put the guitar to immediate use, in the studio and live. The Warning will be touring the US once visa issues are squared away. PS: The answer is YES.

She LOVES it!

Dany always wants another of your guitars, if it where up to her she would have 10 by now!

In the studio and live, I am sending you pictures…

We arrived home last Wednesday at noon after a red eye flight and went directly to interviews and promotions of our 2 weekend shows (which went great both of them) then Sunday we received at our little studio fans that came from Brazil, Canada, Sweden, Germany, England and the USA, so now we are finally having some time to rest a little before we go to Colombia to the Rock al Parque Fest June 29.

I have a request for you, it would really mean the world to us if you can make a trip to watch them play live, I would really love to have you there, so you can watch them, hear them, be with us, know us better.

What do you say my friend? (Luis Villarreal, Manager)

the warning band
spearfish guitar
dani villarreal
daniela villarreal
spearfish guitar