Walter Messick

The Konnarock/ Whitetop area of Southwest Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the heart and soul of old time, traditional and bluegrass music has been in my home since 1977. What a serendipitous and life changing move for me – beautiful mountains, beautiful music and beautiful people – more than anyone could hope to experience in one’s lifetime. I am truly blessed. It was only natural that I become a musical instrument maker. My intense love of music has been a part of my life from early childhood. I can remember around age 7 or 8 playing 78 records over and over on my parents’ wind up Victrola.

After moving from Philadelphia to the mountains to pastor two small Lutheran churches, I fell in love with the musical heritage of the area. In 1981, one of my parishioners, good friend and national treasure, Albert Hash, and his talented daughter, Audrey, apprenticed me for a year prior to his death, starting me on a path that changed my life forever. Making musical instruments has become a passion and way of life. The lives of several instrument makers have touched me deeply and for which I am eternally grateful. As I mentioned earlier, Albert Hash and Audrey Hash-Ham not only taught me instrument making skills, but even more importantly, the values of sharing, giving, helping, caring, accepting and loving. Russ Sturgill, Bob Mize, Wayne Henderson, Gerald Anderson, all well known local instrument makers, have shared friendship, time and knowledge, especially in the beginning when I was a novice getting started back in the early 80’s

After being “on the road”, so to speak, for over 20 years exhibiting at craft shows up and down the east coast, I am finally “home” doing only a couple of craft shows a year. Most of my energy now is centered around my workshop in Whitetop. You should feel free to call me about any of the instruments. I operate a one-man shop and if the sawdust is flying, I may not hear the phone so be sure to leave me a message and I will call you back. Because of the excellent foundation my mentors imparted to me I was able to exhibit at many of the finest craft shows in the country and have won many awards and honor, including exhibiting at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, The National Folk Festival in Richmond, Virginia and The Abby Rockefeller Museum in Williamsburg, Virginia. I am a member of Holston Mountain Artisans, Virginia Carolina Craftsmen, The Artisan Center of Virginia, Round the Mountain Southwest Virginia Artisan Network, including being juried into Heartwood.

I thank all my customers over the years for your support and encouragement and in many cases your friendship. By getting these instruments into your hands, you are helping to keep traditional music alive and well for at least another generation. For those browsing this site, I want to emphasize that every instrument pictured on this site is exclusively made by me. Most woods used are locally harvested from these Blue Ridge Mountains and some have historic significance. I hope you like what you see on this site and that something intrigues you enough to purchase a Cabin Creek Musical Instrument. If you like what you see on my site, I’d appreciate if you’d tell a friend.