Jack's Guitarcheology

Jack’s Guitarcheology

I may have found the perfect guitar shop. And I passed it by for years.

This week I went to Jack’s Guitarcheology in Lebanon, TN. I’ve driven past it so many times over the years going from the Carthage, TN area to Painturo’s: my daughter’s favorite gluten free pizza. I can’t believe I hadn’t gone until now.

Whenever I’m in Smith County, I like to look at the local paper. There’s a classified ad asking for old and broken guitars. It calls out specifically oddball stuff I love like the Danelectro-made guitars for Sears (Silvertone) and Ward’s (Airline) and Japanese guitars like Tiesco. Contact Jack. I’ve wanted to meet Jack because he seems like a cool guy.

I never put it together that Jack was the guitar store guy in Lebanon. Then watching an episode of The JHS Show I was like “I know that place!”

I pulled up their website and immediately put 2 + 2 together.

Jack is Nashville Rubber Bridge guitars. But he also sells the most eclectic selection of guitars and amps I’ve ever seen.

I go to all of the Nashville shops when I can. World famous places like Carter Vintage, Eastside, Fanny’s, etc. They’re all very cool in their own way, but they don’t land with me like this place did.


Like I said, the selection is so amazing. If you’re looking for PRS, you will be disappointed. If you want a $50K Martin Acoustic or Gibson Les Paul, go to Carter Vintage. But if you want to see inspirational oddball gear, there is nothing like it. I’ve seen one or two of these types of things in a shop before, usually priced really high. But this is racks and racks of gear from Fender and Gibson to Silvertone and Tiesco, all with character.

Did I mention I touched the Silvertone Guitar and Amp-in-the-case?

Their pedal selection was solid. All “boutique”, but mostly big boutique. Except they still had a bunch of Death By Audio. Man I wish I had money that day.


And the prices… You can walk in with $700 and walk out ready to start a punk band with “real” gear. Not a Squire beginner package, but a vintage guitar and amp. Now, they do also sell the short scale Squier guitar in pink my daughter has been drooling over but is still too small for.

They top off around $1-2K, where most vintage shops start off.


Maybe most important is the vibe of the shop. There’s places to sit down and play, a place to mess with guitar pedals, and a couch to just hang out at. And the employees are people you genuinely want to hang out with.

My daughter and I talked to them for probably half an hour and could have kept going. We talked about their cool gear, the boom from the JHS shoutout, local restaurants, and finding the pick in the best shade of purple for my daughter. The woman who worked their longer and does a lot of the rubber bridge work spent a lot of time talking to my daughter. Julie hates when adults talk down to her, but this was like watching 2 friends chat about guitars and hair color. It made this dad so happy.

I was very up front that I had no budget to buy anything that day, but they encouraged me to just play with whatever I wanted and didn’t blow me off.

Closing thoughts

Jack was out of town in New York that day. But I’ll come back in my next quarterly Carthage trip. I’ll try to build in more time to hang out, and a little budget to spend on something cool. I’ve exchanged comments with him on YouTube and Instagram and he seems so cool.

I did get that purple pick and a set of StringJoy all nickel strings that do make my cheap Epiphone Les Paul Studio have amazing vintage character. I had to buy something to support them, and even the “something” has been inspiring. They’ve made playing my Les Paul with just a little overdrive a blast.

I still love going to the nice shops in Nashville. But they feel like museums compared to this.

If I lived there, I’d volunteer to set up guitars, work the counter, clean bathrooms, whatever… just to be able to hang out and borrow stuff. It is that cool of a place. I haven’t experienced anything like that since I used to hang out in obscure record shops in the 90s and knew the staff. But even that didn’t have the feeling of being able to play with history without it being precious.

I’m still just giddy thinking about it all.