Warwick guitar maker teams up with Leamington musician Joe Dolman for guitar project

Simon was trained in his craft by world renowned luthier Alan Marshal. Alan built guitars for many famous people, the most famous of which was George Harrison.

Simon O'Nions of Arden Guitars. Photo supplied
Simon O'Nions of Arden Guitars. Photo supplied

A guitar maker from Warwick has teamed up with a musician from Leamington for a guitar project.

Simon O'Nions, who is behind Arden Guitars, has been making acoustic guitars from his purpose-built workshop in Warwick for more than 12 years.

Simon was trained in his craft by world renowned luthier Alan Marshal. Alan built guitars for many famous people, the most famous of which is George Harrison from The Beatles.

The two guitars for Joe Dolman were made from identical rosewood, the only difference being was the internal bracing of the guitar. Photo by Arden Guitars

Recently the guitar maker joined forces with 26-year-old Joe Dolman, a professional musician from Leamington, whose music has been played on BBC Radio 1.

Simon said: “Purely by good fortune Joe and I have a mutual friend who saw the quality of the Arden guitars and he contacted Joe and introduced me to him.

"Once Joe completed his tour we agreed to meet again and he took one of my guitars to review.

“Soon after, Joe commissioned me to make two guitars for his next tour and recording sessions.

Simon O'Nions of Arden Guitars. Photo supplied

“The two guitars were made from identical rosewood, the only difference being was the internal bracing of the guitar.

“We are both passionate about music and fascinated by the tone of the guitar and the affect that the different woods make to the resonance, the playability and of course the tonality of the guitar.

"We chose the woods together and designed one guitar on the Martin structure and the other on the Taylor method, all other elements were exactly the same.”

When asked what he loves about being a musician, Joe said whether it’s performing, producing or writing — for himself or for others — he’s happy being a part of making great music happen.

He said: “I just want to make music I’m proud of.”

Joe began making his name in the music business by performing in local pubs, but before long he began gathering attention from BBC Introducing who gave Joe his first appearance on the big stage back in 2014 at BBC Radio 2’s Festival in a Day at Hyde Park, as well as playing his songs on BBC Radio 1.

Since then music has not only taken Joe around the UK but overseas also: from house concerts across America, to touring arenas in Europe with the likes of Billy Lockett alongside Jeff Lynne’s ELO, as well as sell out UK tours supporting Tom Clarke (The Enemy).

Joe, who has racked up more than four million streams online, still lives in Leamington and performs a ‘one night only’ annual Christmas show in his hometown at All Saints’ Church, of which a portion of profit is donated to local charities.

Simon and Joe are looking to continue working together and are hoping to release a ‘Joe Dolman’ model of guitar later this year.

For more information about Simon and Arden Guitars go to: http://ardenguitars.com/index.html

For more information about Joe Dolman go to: https://www.joedolman.co.uk/