product types: 

  • acoustic guitars


Jim Sullivan was born in 1955 in Hartford, Connecticut. Growing up he served as personal roadie and guitar tech to his father, Ray, who played guitar in local bands on the weekends. In 1966 Jim began his own musical career playing the bass at local dances. In the late 1970's Jim moved to Nashville where he landed a job at Shot Jackson's legendary Sho-Bud pedal steel guitar company. Here he honed his skills building wooden bodies for pedal steel guitars, learning the art of wooden inlay work as well as elevating his finishing skills.

In the early 1990's, while working as a repairperson at Rose Guitars in Hendersonville, Tennessee, that he was introduced to acoustic guitar construction. Jim's friend Sonny Thomas owned a repair shop in Antioch, Tennessee. There under Sonny's guidance, Jim further broadened his repair skills, especially in such areas as re-frets, neck sets, and bridge replacements.

It was also Sonny who introduced Jim to the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society, better known as the CAAS. Jim began attending the annual CAAS event in 1997. It was at one of these CAAS events that Jim met his future employer and mentor, master luthier, Paul McGill. Under Paul's tutelage, Jim not only refined his acoustic guitar building skills on a craftsmanship level, but also benefited greatly from Paul's extensive knowledge of acoustical physics. A great deal of Paul's "step out of the box" innovative approach to guitar design is something which Jim both carries with him and constantly strives to take to new heights.

In 2002 Jim, fortified by all his years of "hands on" education, took a bold, but not necessarily unexpected, step and started building his own line of guitars at his shop in Portland, Tennessee. Unlike Paul, who primarily deals in resonator and or classical (gut string) guitars, Jim chooses to design and build steel stringed instruments. This is only natural since his early influences James Taylor, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bob Dylan, Dan Fogelburg, Chet Atkins, the Beatles, and me, well, maybe not me, all instilled in him a profound love for the warmth and soothing properties of well executed acoustic music.

Source: Sullivan Guitars website (archived 2008)


Sullivan Guitars
200 Hwy 259
37148 Portland , TN
United States
Tennessee US