Once the centre of the New York bohemia, Greenwich Village is now home to lux restaurants, and buzzer door clothing stores catering to the nouveau riche. But one shop in the heart of the Village remains resilient to the encroaching gentrification: Carmine Street Guitars.
There, custom guitar maker Rick Kelly and his young apprentice, Cindy Hulej, build handcrafted guitars out of reclaimed wood from old hotels, bars, churches and other local buildings. Nothing looks or sounds quite like a Rick Kelly guitar, which is the reason they are embraced by the likes of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, and Jim Jarmusch, just to name a few.
Featuring a cast of prominent musicians and artists, the film captures five days in the life of Carmine Street Guitars, while examining an all-too-quickly vanishing way of life. With Christine Bougie (Bahamas), Nels Cline (Wilco), Kirk Douglas (The Roots), Jim Jarmusch, Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Band), Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan Band), and many more.
“A portrait of the Greenwich Village guitar shop that represents a vanishing New York in more ways than one: Not only has the store resisted gentrification, its owner builds guitars out of wood salvaged from city buildings.” (New York Times)
“A gentle, warm, immensely satisfying portrait of a West Village institution… A love letter — to NYC, to the bohemians and musicians who call the place home… to taking pride in your work and to finding a place for freaks and misfits to call home.” (Rolling Stone)
“CARMINE STREET GUITARS is a New York story about standing tall in the face of commerce-driven gentrification. It’s also a meditation on the magic of wood and of music, and the interaction of people.” (Variety)
Sunday, April 14
Doors 2:00 pm | Movie 2:30 pm
Advance tickets $10.50 HERE | $12.50 at the door
Tuesday, April 16
Doors 6:00 pm | Movie 6:30 pm
Advance tickets $10.50 HERE | $12.50 at the door
*Minors welcome in the balcony. Must be 19+ w/ID for bar service and main floor seating.
*Rio Theatre Groupons and passes OK! Please redeem at the door.
About Rick Kelly
Long Island native Rick Kelly took his fascination toward trees one step further to break boundaries as a guitar builder. Growing up, Kelly had always idolized his grandfather as a woodworker. While in college studying sculpture, Kelly began collecting and working with ancient woods, noticing that the tones they conjured on the electric guitars he was building held deeper, resonant tones than those built on factory assembly lines. He eventually made his way to Greenwich Village where he opened up for business in the late 1970s before moving to the present storefront for Carmine Street Guitars in 1990.
A chance meeting with filmmaker Jim Jarmusch (who gave Kelly some wood from his loft to build him a guitar) led to Kelly’s discovery of New York timber: pine that had been lumbered in the Adirondacks’ virgin forests nearly two centuries ago for the construction of the neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan, the Village, Bowery, and what would become Soho and Tribeca. Reclaiming these “bones of the city,” Kelly commenced building electric guitars primarily modeled on Leo Fender’s classic Telecaster design.
Singer-songwriter Eszter Balint is also an actress who made her cinematic debut in Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise.
Guitar and lap steel player, Christine Bougie is both a solo recording artist and guitarist in the indie band Bahamas.
Nels Cline is best known for his role as guitarist in the alternative rock band Wilco, as well as leading his own avant-garde jazz group.
“Captain” Kirk Douglas is the lead guitarist for the Hip Hop/Soul/Rock/Funk outfit The Roots, which performs as the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Singer-songwriter Eleanor Friedberger is also known for being half of the indie rock duo the Fiery Furnaces.
A true innovator on his instrument, Bill Frisell is considered one of the world’s great jazz guitarists.
DALLAS AND TRAVIS GOOD
As well as prolific recording artists for The Sadies, the band also has backed the likes of Neko Case, Andre Williams and Neil Young.
Writer, DJ and stand-up comedian, Dave Hill is a member of the groups Valley Lodge and Painted Doll.
Guitarist extraordinaire for indie rock duo The Kills, Jamie Hince lost the use of his middle finger in a freak accident, but that didn’t stop him from playing.
Long time guitar tech and friend of musician Lou Reed, Stuart Hurwood (in collaboration with Laurie Anderson) conceptualized the sonic installation Drones using Lou Reed’s amps and guitars.
Film director, actor, and guitarist for his NYC band SQÜRL, Jim Jarmusch has been a guiding force of independent cinema since his breakout Stranger Than Paradise.
Lenny Kaye is best known as Patti Smith’s guitarist from her debut to the present day. Possessed with an encyclopedic knowledge of music, history and culture, Lenny Kaye compiled the classic garage rock LP anthology Nuggets.
Guitar virtuoso Marc Ribot has explored free rock/jazz guitar as a solo artist as well as collaborator with Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Marianne Faithful among others.
Longstanding guitarist for Bob Dylan, Charlie Sexton is also an actor featured in the award-winning films Boyhood and Blaze.
CARMINE STREET GUITARS (Ron Mann, 2019 / 14A / 80 mins) Five days in the life of fabled Greenwich Village guitar store Carmine Street Guitars.