Kamloops guitar maker sees creation on America's Got Talent - InfoNews

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Kamloops guitar maker sees creation on America's Got Talent

The mystery performer played on one of the Canadian Performer series by Riversong Guitars.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK- Mike Miltimore
June 17, 2019 - 6:00 AM

KAMLOOPS - A guitar from Riversong guitars of Kamloops was played on the big stage on America’s Got Talent.

Mike Miltimore, founder of Riversong guitars, said a friend sent a picture of the performer auditioning with the guitar. He has been trying to identify the mystery performer, but to no avail.

“I’d like to thank him. It’s always nice... when people who own Riversong guitars go and take time to use their Riversong when they can choose any guitar. That was probably the most important gig of his life up to this point,” says Miltimore.

The guitar seen on stage for the America’s Got Talent audition was the Tradition Canadian Performer guitar. Miltimore was happy to see it on stage because it is a combination of woods that all represent Canada.

“It’s adirondack from the east coast, sitka from the west coast, walnut, Canadian maple for the neck; it’s a beautiful guitar. When I saw it, I thought, ‘perfect!’ What we’re doing here is going against the grain where everyone builds with the same wood combination…. We’re using stuff that’s actually representing Kamloops and the area which is really exciting for us.”

This isn’t the first time Miltimore has seen his work on grand stages before. He has received many nominations, awards, and been featured in various magazines for his innovative design and sound quality.

“Over the years we’ve built a guitar for Paul McCartney, that was pretty big. Our guitars have been on stage with the Grand Ole Opry many times, a Queen Latifah show, and the fun thing is I’ll never know where they end up next,” Miltimore says. “Last night was one of those things.”

Miltimore started from humble roots working with his family at Lee’s Music, and continues to work with his mom, dad, and uncle. He had experience in repairing guitars, and decided to take on the task of building guitars with a friend in 2006.

“We became really well known in the area for our guitars, and then I came up with a new patented guitar design, and that’s when things started to get really interesting. Next thing you know, we're distributing our guitars around the world, we’ve got dealers in Japan, China, all over Europe, and countries I’d never even heard of before,” he says.

Mike Miltimore giving Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton a guitar on their visit to the province in 2016.
Mike Miltimore giving Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton a guitar on their visit to the province in 2016.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK- Mike Miltimore

He patented a guitar design with an adjustable neck that can tilt up or down. This adjusts the distance from the strings to fret, a task that could only previously be done through a more involved process. His design has won him many awards and nominations, and he credits it all to his experience in repairing guitars in Kamloops.

“I grew up in a family music store and my dad is an inventor. We’ve always done guitar repair work for people coming through town and people in Kamloops, and we used what I call common sense. We know that there are some deficiencies with traditional acoustic guitar design and I came up with ways to fix those problems.”

Although he has garnered worldwide recognition, Miltimore is simply happy to do what he loves.

“We were just doing something we thought was cool and fun,” he says. “The good news is, I still think what we’re doing is cool and fun, and we're finding some success with it.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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