Howie meets “The Maker” Augustino LoPrinzi

Augustion LoPrinzi ~ For the sound of your lifetime!Each new project I record always has a mention made of my LoPrinzi Guitar. The LR 20 has such a sweet and even tone; it truly is an integral part of my music. It all began in 1977 when I was working Sal’s Music in Wappngers Falls, NY with my two partners, Ralph and Sparky. We were LoPrinzi dealers and I would play each one that came through the door. Fine craftsmanship, design, and the wonderful sound these acoustic instruments produced was like none I had heard before. Convinced I would one day own one, the search was on for the perfect match. One day and new shipment came in. Without hesitation I unboxed  this LoPrinzi LR 20, inspected it, then sat down to listen. As the notes sang from the sound hole, my heart was captivated. This was the one I had waited, patiently, so long for. A Guild D 40 cutaway and a Takamini Jumbo were sold in order to pay for it, but I had my voice.

More than thirty years have passed since purchasing the LR20. It almost became a burnt sacrifice in 1985. I met my Lord, Jesus Christ, got out of the bar music scene, and was going to sell everything to follow Jesus. The LoPrinzi was my best, so I planned to offer it as a burnt sacrifice when I sensed God telling me to keep it. So in a very real sense, God gave me that guitar. Since then I have used it to worship my Lord, and to invite others to place their trust in Him by faith. In fact, the music coming from that guitar is far better than anything prior to that blessed day in March, 1985.

In all the years my LoPrinzi has been with me, never has anyone worked on it. It has remained a sound instrument, with no neck twisting, splitting, and only a few dings and such from road use. However, with all that playing, it has been in need of a fret job for some time. Not wanting just anyone to work on it, I was hoping that someday I’d be able to take it to the man who designed this beautiful instrument. With that purpose in mind, I called Tom LoPrinzi about 1977, the man who actually made those guitars, and asked him for his brother’s number. Then I called Augustino, who had moved his family and the business to Florida. He was so gracious and friendly, told me his daughter Donna had the business now, and we chatted quite a while. After this call I determined that somehow I would meet him, and prayed God would make the way possible.

This year, before The Great Circle Tour began, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with Augie and Donna. I called Donne this spring, told her what I hoped, and she said “bring it down.” Debbie and I made the trip to Clearwater, Florida where I met these friendly luthiers. After a fine conversation with Donna, Augie set aside his gun engraving, gave me a big hug, and we had a fine time together talking shop. Man, I was impressed by the warm family-like reception I received from these two dear people. Let me tell you, it was worth waiting 31 years to have my guitar worked on. It plays better than new. One day I hope to own another LoPrinzi hand crafted by Donna. What a blessing to have met, not only a great craftsman, but also someone of such fine character. I’m truly proud to own a LoPrinzi guitar, and very blessed to have made two wonderful friends as well.

Thank you Augie and Donna. Your fine craftsmanship is surpassed only by your warm hospitality. May God grant you many prosperous years as you produce the means for music to be even sweeter!

Visit Augustino LoPrinzi’s Website at

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