“The highly coveted Bourgeois tone is now within reach of more players than ever before”: The Country Boy is US boutique builder Bourgeois’ latest groundbreaking collab with Eastman Guitars in China

Bourgeois Touchstone Series Country Boy
(Image credit: Bourgeois Guitars)

Bourgeois Guitars has launched its much anticipated Touchstone Country Boy models, the latest acoustic guitars from the Maine-based boutique luthier’s collaboration with Eastman Guitars in China.

As with the other models in the Touchstones Series, the Country Boy models are designed by Dana Bourgeois, with tops constructed and hand-voiced in Lewiston, Maine, which are then paired with bodies crafted at Eastman’s facility in Bazhou, China.

Once the guitars are finished, they receive a final check and setup back in the USA. The result is a high-end acoustic guitar that is a lot more affordable than your regular Bourgeois. 

“The Country Boy/TS is the latest step in the evolution of our partnership with Eastman, allowing us to put well rounded guitars – punching way above their weight class – within arm’s reach of a much larger audience,” said Bourgeois.

That the tops are fashioned in the USA is indicative of how fundamental they are to acoustic tone. 

Speaking to Guitarist, Bourgeois, who has recently just celebrated the 10,000th instrument leaving his workshop, said the techniques used to make one of his tops has been developed in a process of trial and error over many years.

We’re trying to get the top to be as responsive to as many different musical notes as possible

Dana Bourgeois

“What we try to do is voice the top so that it vibrates in as many different modes – or responds to as many different notes – as possible,” he said. “That’s just a technique that we’ve learned over many years of trial and error. It’s a matter of flexing the top and making sure that it’s the right stiffness in the right places by holding it in various places and tapping it and listening.

“We’re trying to get the top to be as responsive to as many different musical notes as possible. If you look at an electronic harmonic spectrum of the output of a guitar, it’s not possible to get it to vibrate at every musical note. However, it is possible to optimize, and that’s what we try to do.”

Where the Touchstone Vintage TS OM and TS D models paired Alaskan Sitka spruce tops with East Indian rosewood backs and sides, and affected a pre-war voicing, the Country Boy offers a Honduran mahogany option, and it is something that has been eagerly anticipated ever since this Bourgeois/Eastman two-hander was announced.

“The Touchstone Country Boy finally offers the boutique playing experience to musicians who prefer the sound and weight of a Mahogany guitar,” says Christopher Fleming, president of Bourgeois Guitars.

“The hand-voiced soundboards and meticulous craftsmanship combine with Dana’s signature designs to make these guitars nothing less than a Bourgeois. With the arrival of the Touchstone Country Boy/TS, the highly coveted Bourgeois tone is now within reach of more players than ever before.”

Both the dreadnought and more compact OM model feature tops fashioned from old-growth Alaskan Sitka spruce, with Adirondack spruce bracing. Their necks are mahogany, joining the body at the 14th fret, and topped with ebony fingerboards. The ebony is reprised for the bridge. 

Bourgeois has kitted these out with Schaller Grand Tune nickel tuners, bone nuts and saddles, and for more information on the Touchstone Series Country Boy, head over to Bourgeois Guitars. Expect to pay around $2,999. 

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.