If you've followed Shoreline for a while, you know that my main stage guitar has long been the Renaissance RS6. I'm a huge fan of stage/hybrid guitars, that is, guitars that are meant primarily for stage use, with acoustic pickups and no soundhole. They solve a host of performance problems: Without a soundhole or the big box of full-bodied acoustic, feedback is a non-issue. And if you've ever worked with a well-intentioned but untrained volunteer at the soundboard, you know how nice it is to have a guitar that sounds great just plugged in by itself, without any tweaking or EQ required.
As great as the RS6 has been for me—I'll never part with it—I have long been on the lookout for a similar guitar with a different approach, something to complement the Renaissances hanging on our wall. The Crowdster really has been the obvious choice all along. Named for worship songwriter and bandleader extraordinaire David Crowder (who also plays this guitar), the Crowdster is everything you could hope for in a stage guitar: Impeccable design and craftsmanship, easy playability, and superb tone. Whereas I find the Renaissance to be a bit more smooth and acoustic, I think the tone of the Crowdster is fatter and punchier. It's perfect for live worship settings where cutting through the mix is important, but it's versatile and acoustic enough that it's a good choice for any live setting from solo open mics to rock and roll cover bands.
I've owned Tom Anderson Crowdsters in the past but have always wanted one without the electric pickups when I happened to see this one on the Shoreline Music site. My wife and I dropped by to take a look at it and give it a strum or two. It turned out to be just what I was looking for and John was a great guy to deal with. All in all a great purchase experience and a real hidden gem of a guitar shop in Durango. I highly recommend dropping by to check out Johns inventory.