Brad Nickerson was born and raised on Cape Cod and showed an early interest in music and the visual arts. Unlike many of his fellow Blue Guitar luthiers however, no one in his family was involved in either music or craft work. He attended The Berklee College of Music and subsequently made his living in the graphic arts field for many years while continuing his interest in music. He built his first guitar in 1982.
Brad never directly apprenticed under anyone but received valuable advice and encouragement from New York luthier Carlo Greco as well as Cape Cod violin and bow maker Donald MacKenzie. Brad, like many of the Blue Guitar luthiers, found inspiration in James D’Aquisto’s innovative ideas and sense of style. Much valuable experience was also gained doing repair work at Bay State Vintage Guitars in Boston and The Fretted Instrument Workshop in Amherst, Mass. He taught archtop guitar building at the Leeds Guitarmakers’ School in Northampton, MA beginning in 1996.
In 2006 Brad moved to Asheville, NC. There he has set up shop in the historic downtown – focusing on sharing his knowledge, skills and experience with a new generation of prospective builders.
Nickerson’s Equinox Custom displays regal elegance and a concise design featuring only the necessary appointments required to make this instrument sing. The guitar was built with a spruce top and flame maple back, sides, and neck with maple binding. The fingerboard was crafted with ebony, and the bridge, pickguard, tailpiece and headstock overlay are all made with select pieces of Macassar ebony. The headstock comes with gold plated Schaller tuners and features a distinct engraving of the blue hyacinth macaw done by Petria Mitchell on the headstock face. Nickerson crafted the body of this guitar with unique placed and shaped soundholes that, in conjunction with the bracing pattern, both give the guitar a warmer tone and direct some of the sound towards the player’s ear.