Back & Sides: Maple
After the celebrated “Churchdoor” series of Rodriguez guitars from the 1970s– which are either the greatest guitars ever made by the Rodriguez dynasty or merely the worthy beneficiaries of a mystique about these instruments made with visually stunning, golden-streaked rosewood from an old church door–the Rodriguez shop began producing guitars in 1988 with a new label celebrating the 100th anniversary of the dynasty. These are known as “Centenarios” and though overshadowed by the Churchdoor hype, they are exceptional instruments.
This particular Centenario was made by Pepe Rodriguez (1949-1996) for Pepe Romero and named “Carissa,” the name of Pepe Romero’s wife, which appears on a second dedication label in the guitar. The materials and workmanship are of the very best, including elaborate purflings, old European spruce for the top and elegant flame maple for the back and sides–a wood that Pepe Romero is particularly fond of for both its physical and tonal beauty. The guitar has the long 664mm scale that Pepe prefers, yet it is very easy to play, highly responsive and exhibits the deep, percussive bases and lyrical, sustaining trebles Rodriguez is known for.