FRIENDS OF ROOM 17 PRODUCTIONS
Mike Mankel doesn’t waste a single moment of his day. When not spending time with his family or closest friends, Mike is building. Building one of the highest quality electric guitars that one can own, made out of RECLAIMED BOURBON BARRELS. Mike is the creator and owner of The Bourbon Barrel Guitar Company which opened in 2015. Since that time, Mike has created a slew of fabulous guitars and has participated in some important charity events involving his work. Considered both Art and a functionally superior guitar, Mike’s creations now hang in some of the largest Bourbon distilleries in the world and are fast becoming a favorite among musicians who own his pieces.
As he tells it, “I have had a fascination with guitars most of my life. I tinkered around with them in junior high and built miniature models of them from balsa wood while at college. Years later, I started building electric guitars and basses from scratch. I wanted to create guitars I saw in my head but could not buy. I moved to Kentucky in 1991. Not long after that, I developed an interest in bourbon and then the barrels it was made in. I am a woodworker, and recognized that each barrel head had its own unique character and identity. Then, one winter afternoon in 2012, while I warmed myself with a glass of bourbon after shoveling snow for hours, I gazed at one of my guitars through the rusted amber colored bourbon in my glass. I realized later, as the concept for building a guitar from a bourbon barrel began to resonate and fully form in my head, that the idea had been in the glass that afternoon.”
Mike has been a solo performer, band and church music -leader, sideman, and now performs regularly with Tatsiana McGee as the highly acclaimed duo One Lane Bridge. They have performed live on Red Barn Radio and you can catch this amazing duo in performance around the Lexington area by checking their Facebook calendar below. Mike and Tatsiana have also been great friends and supporters of Room 17 Productions.
Wherever you find Mike, one of his incredible Bourbon Barrel Guitar creations will be nearby. Be sure and watch the powerful video below and stop by his pages and check them out!