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Harry Tueting has been a participant in the Raleigh music scene for over 30 years. He began playing professionally full time in 1978 doing solo acoustic work throughout the South. In 1981, Harry formed Tueting and Guild, an eclectic folk-rock duo that performed at colleges, clubs and festivals. In 1983 the R&B band Hot Pursuit grew out of the duo as more members were added. Over the years he has also performed with Southern Star, Uncommon Desire, Dick and Jane, Silverado and the Debbie Elam Band.
Harry currently is performing with Mister Mustard a group who pays tribute to influences like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elton John, CCR, and The Band. All band members sing lead and harmony, play a variety of instruments, and also write new material. Mister Mustard's gigs are remarkably fun. The onstage camaraderie and chemistry of Mister Mustard is contagious!
Born in Cincinnati, Harry’s family relocated to NC in 1972. He attended UNC and received a degree in folklore. After completing college, Harry took a job as a fundraiser with the local Boy Scout council in 1979. In 1985, while driving home from a performance, the idea to open a guitar shop formed. Harry found it hard to buy things as a customer. He remembers going into a music store by the fairgrounds with cash in his pocket and coming out feeling he was treated as if he wasn’t cool enough to buy something.
In 1985, Harry's Guitar Shop was started with $8,500 and had 8 guitars in inventory. It opened on Johnson Street in a small rented space and moved to the current Glenwood Avenue location in 1988. At the time, many considered Glenwood Ave. to be a poor choice of location. Over time, it turned out to fantastic and in 2006 the New York Times published an article recognizing the shop as a big part of the neighborhood revitalization. Once a warehouse-wholesale district a half-dozen blocks northwest of the State Capitol and deserted, the Glenwood area has become a hive of restaurants, bars, boutiques and now luxury housing.
Initially, in order to make a go of it Harry taught guitar on the side and continued to play professionally. Today the store is a major dealer of quality instruments including Taylor, Martin, Fender, and Epiphone. In our current age of the “nameless, faceless – big box house “ or music superstore, I tried to get a sense of what makes the shop successful.
At Harry’s you will find a lot of choices versus the same guitar in five colors. They try to carry items that are the best value for the customer. Service is a key ingredient. They try to support us as artists helping to find the right sound versus having to sell to make a quota. The store’s staff is musicians who have much in common with the customers.
The film student video below is entitled "First Guitar" and was produced by Ascending Productions. Filmed in part at the shop, it is a very cute story of a young girl's first rock show.
In addition to guitars and amps, Harry's stocks a large selection of strings, straps, a wall full of guitar parts, tubes, lots of pickups, and instructional books. At Harry's you can also sell, trade and offer gear for consignment. They also have an in store guitar tech for repair and restoration work.
Sixteen+ instructors provide guitar, bass, banjo, uke, and mandolin lessons to an average of 250 students per week. The teaching program is completely separate from the music store. The instructors are not charged a fee to provide lessons. People talk about the need to support the arts. When Harry started the store, real thought was given to providing a way to help musicians work in music. Some really great local musicians work or have worked out of the store as instructors, Steve Howell (The Backsliders), John Heames (Motocaster), John Whelis (Glass Moon), and Audley Freed to name a few.
Harry's list of instructors is a who's who of the local music community. Current instructors include:
Steve Howell - Acoustic & electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, resonator guitar. Multiple styles- including blues, bluegrass, country as well as a surprising list of specialties.
Jon Heames - Electric guitar & bass - currently plays bass with Crush. Formerly of Let’s Active, Motocaster and many more notable bands.
Scotty Miller - Acoustic and electric guitar, slide guitar- Scott plays with the Al Williams Band currently, and is a favorite hired gun on countless recording projects.
Laurie Capparella - Guitar and Bass, all ages Laurie has been teaching at Harry's for over a decade. In addition, she has performed and recorded with many groups . Laurie teaches guitar, bass guitar and voice to all ages, tailoring each lesson to each students' individual tastes.
Joe Knowlton - Acoustic and Electric Guitar & bass- Been teaching at Harry’s and playing in Raleigh for years.
Larry Hutcherson - Guitar and slide guitar, dobro, lap steel guitar, harmonica, ukelele. Specializing in classic and current acoustic & electric rock, blues, fingerstyle, folk, country and popular music, beginners to advanced; expanding 'stalled' playing, and reaching the next level. Lessons are based on the student's ability and music preferences.
Byron McCay - Guitar lessons on Saturday. Byron is locally famous for having run the legendary JAG Studios
Shane Bullis - Electric/Acoustic Guitar and Bass Shane has been teaching guitar professionally since the mid 90's and has been on our staff since 2006. He is patient and great with beginners, but also proficient enough to help more advanced players get to another level.
Stewart Aull - BA/ minor in musical performance. Teacher of guitar, bass, sax and keys by appointment. Fridays and Saturdays.
Elliot Wilcox - Guitar instruction on Saturday. Fronts his own original band and plays Angus in an AC/DC tribute.
John Whelis - Advanced Jazz and theory
Harry's Guitar Shop has been in business for over 25 years and they are now seeing children of former guitar students coming in to buy a guitar. It won’t be long until the grandchildren of original customers are doing the same.
For the record, I have purchased both my guitars and a bass at Harry's. Many years ago, I took some lessons at the shop from John Heames although that should not discourage you. I consider Harry to be a personal friend and appreciate all he does for the local music community.
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