©Terry Docherty Guitars 2013
Without doubt, my most successful instrument and I’ve built more of these than any other model. I still have the prototype which received an excellent review in “Guitarist” magazine in 1995, and I’ve used it consistently for solo work and in the “Roadshow” for the finger-picked accompaniments to Tom’s vocals. The instrument featured here, I made for Wally Bell in 1996 which, along with the same model made for Ken Tonge of the Davy Lamp Folk Club resident band in the same year, are two of the finest guitars I’ve ever produced. Like the prototype, they are each made of Indian Rosewood and German Silver Spruce, the latter having a purity of tone like no other top wood and with light, scalloped bracing, they ring like a bell. Whenever I visit Wally on Vashon Island, just off Seattle, I never bother lugging a guitar all that distance because I know I can enjoy his when I get there and which incidentally, has yet to require any set-up maintenance or truss-rod adjustment and which has undoubtedly got even better with age.
These guitars produce a sweetness of tone with a lot of sustain that make them perfect for the open tuned finger-style song accompaniment or melody playing of English and Celtic traditional folk music. The best of these are the ones with the slightly deeper sound-boxes which I would always therefore recommend.
"Listen every discerning guitarist. My Mistral is now nearly
ten and it plays sweeter every day. It outshines
my D35 and Taylor 414 any day of the week.
I am a lucky girl!"
Michael Docherty’s Mistral
I very recently built this Mistral model for my son Michael's 21st birthday. I gave him a free choice but he went for the Mistral because he loves my old one so much, though he still hasn't given it back! The back and sides are of Cocobolo, purchased from Stefan Sobell's 10 year old stock (it's actually a four piece back) but the top is a 12 year old German spruce set which was given to Michael when he was eight, by Manfred Gleissner, in 1997 when we visited him in Bubenreuth to buy materials. It came from Herr Gleissners very best stock and you can see the beautiful "bearclaw" figure in the grain. I've often been tempted to use it but I'm very glad I kept it for this special purpose. It has a Brazlian mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard and bridge and I'm quite sure, given the way it came to life when first set up, that it will develop into one of my best. Its certainly going to get a lot of playing"."I'm currently working on a flat-back mandolin, using the same method of construction that I demonstrated in the building of a carved-arch cittern which you can read up on here. This mandolin will differ in one respect in that the European spruce top will be of "bent-arch" construction with the top gently arched over curved braces that have been shaped to a 15 foot radius. The back and sides will be of American black walnut. Look out for the photos coming soon.
Kat Eggleston’s Mistral
While I was on Vashon Island in the summer, my good friend, singer/songwriter Kat Eggleston ordered a guitar. She was happy to leave the details to me and so I shipped her new Mistral with UPS on Monday 28th. November but not before my friend Andy Craig, a professional photographer, had taken these pictures. Kat's guitar cleared US customs and was in her hands on the morning of Friday 2nd December.
Here's her message to me shortly afterwards:
It's HERE, it JUST arrived, it's in PERFECT shape, and it's the most
BEAUTIFUL INSTRUMENT I'VE EVER SEEN!!!!
I'll be playing it at a Christmas concert this evening, and I'll tell
everybody where it came from.
Thank you Terry, thank you so much.
Docherty Junior (above) with my
original prototype Mistral and
below with his own…
Keith Pollard’s Mistral
“I have several quality acoustic guitars in my collection including a Martin, a vintage Fylde and a Guild but the guitar that I love the best is my Terry Docherty Mistral. It's a quality instrument with a beautiful clear tone and volume. This is the instrument I take to gigs. When I decided that I needed a Cittern I chose a hand crafted Docherty. It's performance and build is unsurpassed and compares favourably with citterns costing up to three times as much. Sounds nice too!!”