The story of Lucky Dog Guitars, how they came to be and what sets us apart.
Anthony Sims 1st heard Chuck Berry on a small black & white TV in about 1981 and at that very moment he knew he wanted to play guitar. He was about 6 years old at the time.
His dad eventually got him a 1969 Fender Bronco for Christmas and he spent every spare hour in his bedroom learning to play for years.
During his late teenage years he began playing live music on the weekends at area barn dances and garages. Eventually he came to play with some of the top local/regional country, southern rock and gospel groups in the area. Everything from 100 people to 100,000 people shows. Supporting acts for artists such as Merle Haggard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Craig Morgan, Kentucky Headhunters, Confederate Railroad and more.
In 2013 a little girl came into his world and soon he found it was time to transition into being home a lot more & spending quality family time. Eventually the decision was made to stop playing live music and just simply be dad. The decision wasn’t easy as playing music had been his life for over 20 years. It has definitely proved to be the best decision he ever made.
Soon he found himself with a lot more spare time on his hands & decided to build himself a guitar just for fun. He set out to build the guitar he always wanted to buy but really couldn’t afford and wanted playability/tone that would exceed that of most production-line guitars hanging on the walls of guitar shops.
A little over 2 months later Anthony’s 1st custom T-style guitar was completed. The compound radius neck played great and handwound pickups sounded much better than his previous guitars. After a few months of tweaking the setup and working the frets over he felt it was finished & hung it on the wall.
A one-off spot gig came up that someone needed his help on for a benefit concert. He decided to take the “No Name” guitar to the show & give it a spin. Several local musicians asked about the guitar & took it for a test drive with great feedback. Within a week or so the 1st request to build a guitar came from a local musician. This was a surprise and really not in the plans. Anthony’s wife said “You should come up with a name to put on it if you are going to sell one”. She looked down at
their dog ”Lucky” and said “Why not Lucky Dog Guitars” Anthony agreed that was a good name and Lucky Dog guitars was born.
Slowly other requests started flowing from nearby players and people began posting demo videos online. It seemed like overnight requests started coming in from neighboring states then 400-500 miles away then across country & eventually around the world. It truly has been overwhelming to see the brand grow & learn more every day about building a better guitar. It has been such a joy becoming friends with the Lucky Dog customers & hearing how happy they are once receiving their guitar.
Currently Lucky Dog is ran solely by Anthony Sims out of a very small 2-car garage shop along with a part-time helper who works out of his own small home-based shop. On June 4, 2018 Anthony quit his job of 23 years at a large trucking firm that had treated him so well & taught him so much. He transitioned to full-time guitar builder and was able to grow the volume from 1 guitar a month to approximately 1 guitar a week. The relative low volume of guitars is due to the fact that we do NOT buy mass produced bodies/necks from a parts manufacturer. We build our necks and bodies to Lucky Dog specs / customer specs one at a time. We also spend an incredible amount of attention on the unique aesthetics, obsessing over quality fretwork and ensuring playability is as perfect as possible. We could likely triple our output by simply putting the neck on and setting the action a little high like many big-box brands but reputations are built and destroyed over night. We plan to become known as the greatest small builder of vintage style
guitars in America.
An essential part of Lucky Dog is our use of the highest quality, quartersawn neck woods that we are able to obtain. We have developed custom jigs that allow very repeatable milling/shaping of the neck carve and tight tolerance on the fretboard radius which results in much less necessary fret leveling. The construction of our neck is fairly unique in comparison to many other T-style/S-style/Bass guitars on the market. They are typically one piece necks with no scarf-joint. (Scarf joints
are often done by manufacturers to save cost. They have a 6-degree tilt-back headstock to avoid the need for string trees, a heel adjustable spoke-wheel truss rod, purple-heart stiffening rods inlaid inside the full length of the neck and a unique headstock design. Most of our necks are very high grade flamed-maple or other figured woods. Our necks are built with the touring artist/professional musician in mind. Especially those who travel to many different climates/humidities throughout the year who must have stable necks that resist warping and are absent from the frequent need for trussrod adjustments. It results
in a neck that costs about 4-5 times more to build but not only has striking looks but the rock-solid construction that a professional musician can appreciate.
Thank you to everyone that has bought a Lucky Dog or shared our products with friends and Social Media……. You have helped us grow to where we are today & supported our small family business. Thank you, Anthony Sims & family. We truly appreciate you all.