Bernie Lezotte - In his own words
I graduated from Roberto Venn School of Luthiery in 1994 and I have been working as a stringed instrument repairman every since. While the course specialized in Guitar building and repair I soon branched out to include just about any instrument with strings, including Mandolins, Banjos, Ukulele's, Dulcimers, Autoharps, Basses and Violins.
After graduating from Roberto Venn School of Luthiery I went on to work at Gibson Guitars, Phoenix Guitar Company, Guitar and Keyboard city, Music go Round, Music Brokers and I was the repairmen on call for the Tempe Guitar Center. I had also started my own business named Bernie's String instrument repair where I learned the knocks of running a business and ultimately laid the ground work for my career as a Luthier .
Currently I have worked for the last 6 years at Acoustic Vibes Music where we service and sell Martin, Gibson, Breedlove, Bedell, Lowden, Macphearson, Bourgeois, Collings, Guild, Hill, Cervantes, Taylor, Santa Cruz, Deering, OME banjos, Kamaka Ukes and Weber mandolins .
Basically I'm a guy who loves to figure out how things work and fix them when they aren't working right .
I started playing guitar when I was 12 years old. My passion and love for the instrument is what has carried me through my life in just about every endeavor I have embarked on. While many things have come and gone in my life, I have never strayed far from the path of my love for guitar. Although I would say my first instrument was my voice, the guitar taught me how to scream! My Path as a musician has seen me cover musical genres from Folk to Rock and Metal to Americana .
Growing up in Detroit MI. I was immersed in the great musical riches of Motown with sweet harmonies, catchy hooks and the hard working ethics that were embodied by the bands of the era. Detroit was a fertile breeding ground of innovation and inspiration in modern music that stands tall still to this day. The MC 5, Ted Nugent, Grand funk Rail Road, Bob Seger, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Madonna, Alice Cooper, Eminem and the list goes on, these were my mentors. My first love of music was Rock n Roll and then on to Heavy Metal, at some point in my 20's I was introduced to the Grateful Dead and everything changed, from there I was exposed to Bluegrass, Jazz, Improv, Folk and Americana.
Along with my new found inspirations I started finding good deals on various instruments in the music stores I worked in. As I gathered instruments I started to learn how to play the Mandolin , Bass guitar , Banjo , Ukulele and even drums. I have been the lead singer in a Metal band named Dagger, I have been the Lead guitarist and backup vocalist with my friend Carey Slade and in our band Flow, I was the founding member and mandolinist / vocalist in the High Grass Pickers, I played for 15 years as the rhythm guitarist / back up vocalist in the Caribbean Cruisers, I played guitar and mandolin / vocals with Laughing Stalk, I was the bassist at Christlife church, I sang and played lead guitar with Rockslide Jones and I am currently playing all the instruments in my one man band called the Just Berns Band.
Ultimately I have been in too many bands to list and remember in the 30 + years of being a musician, I have toured around the country and around the world palying music and it has been one heck of a ride !