Rocking out and blowing minds, that’s what the meticulously crafted masterpieces of local artist and luthier, Todd D’Agnostico, are designed for specifically.
“Making a beautiful art piece that will be in the family for generations, and generations, and generations. That’s the whole goal is to make something to last,” D’Agostico said, seated on a sawdust-covered rolling office chair.
Hand-building masterfully crafted guitars wasn’t always the life-calling of this Connecticut native. Rather, he fell into it when looking for a change of pace from his career as an electrician. Answering a help wanted ad found him working for Hamer, USA, one of the most prolific guitar manufacturers in America. His inner artist awoke, and he fell in love.
“It was like an addiction. It’s beyond a normal kind of drive,” D’Agnostico said. His love for his artwork would lead him to a different kind of love, as well as a whole new environment.
D’Agostico’s transplant to Texas came by a twist of fate when he built a pair of instruments for the Tyler-based superstar rock act, Eisley.
“I made her and her sister a guitar when they were on tour in Boston,” D’Agostico explained, recalling his first encounter with his future wife. “That’s where I met her, and one thing led to another. Now I’m here. Tight Texas family stuff.”
As if being married to a rockstar wasn’t quite enough, D’Agostico has an impressive roster of musicians playing his work. Even so, the focus remains on the meticulous detail of his craft.
His hands expertly followed the precise contours of the instrument, indicating years of practiced sculpting and carving as he detailed the values of rare woods and time intensive finishing work. The headstock of the instrument read in a clean script, LaRose, the Rose Capital influenced moniker under which his instruments are produced.
“LaRose is completely handmade. Everything,” D’Agostico said.
As any artist will tell you, art is a time-consuming labor of love, and perfection is not something quick or easy, and it’s something very personal. Local musician Brady Antilley believes that his D’Agostico custom built LaRose has achieved that perfection.
“He seemed to understand exactly what I needed, tonally and aesthetically,” said Antilley. “I wanted a very simple, clean guitar, and Todd understood the classiness in something simple and clean.”
Being the handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pieces of art that they are, LaRose guitars are not as mainstream as many other mass produced guitars. D’Agostico compares his art to cars.
“The top end Ford is a nice car, I mean, don’t get me wrong,” D’Agostico said. “But I’d rather have a Ferrari.”
For further information on D’Agostico and his hand made instruments, visit larose-guitars.com, on Twitter, @LaRoseGuitars, or contact him directly at LaRoseGuitars@yahoo.com.