About Mark

Since 1969, Erlewine Guitars has been THE name in Austin for guitar repairs and custom guitars for the most exacting professional musicians as well as the casual hobbyist. His guitar designs such as the Chiquita Travel Guitar (designed with Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top), the Lazer headless guitar, and the Automatic have stood the test of time and continue to be in demand.


Mark Erlewine began playing music when he was 6 years old and continues to play pedal steel guitar today. He first started working on guitars in 1969 when he apprenticed as a luthier to his cousin, Dan Erlewine, owner of a guitar shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After completing his apprenticeship, Mark and Dan became partners, and Mark bought the business outright in 1972 when Dan decided to take a full-time position with Herb David Guitar Studio. Dan now works at Stewart-MacDonald and is world-renowned for his many how-to books and videos on guitar repair.

In early 1974, Mark got a call from his good friend and former bandmate, James Machin, urging Mark to come to Austin and check out the amazing music scene that was happening there. Mark visited and immediately knew it was the right place for him. He moved the shop in 1974 from Ann Arbor to Austin and has been an integral part of the music scene ever since.


After 20 years at the original location on Guadalupe, Mark relocated the shop to its present location at 4402 Burnet Rd. To underscore Mark's evolving expertise and focus on guitars, he changed the business name from Erlewine Instruments to Erlewine Guitars. As a master luthier and avid musician himself, his passion for bringing out the very best sound from a guitar to enhance the musician's experience has earned him the trust and confidence of a wide-ranging clientele in Texas and beyond. Preferring to control the quality and timeliness of his work, Mark is in the shop every day and does all repair work himself. Mark's wife, Dianne, handles the administrative side of the business so that Mark can devote all his time to pursuing his craft: building and repairing guitars for music legends and legends-in-the-making.

Mark at 20, w/ one of his first repairs
Mark in his first band at Mr. Floods Party (Ann Arbor, MI)
Sunset Riders, circa 1975
Sunset Riders, circa 1976
Mark at the old shop on Guadalupe
Painted sign by Sam Yeates, 1979
The store front on Burnet
Custom Erlewine Automatic Double Neck
Luthiers at 1990 Dallas Guitar Show
Custom Erlewine Automatic
Iowa Rock n Roll Hall of Fame
Jerry Garcia w/ custom Dan Erlewine guitar
Stevie Ray & Mark on 1980's Dunlop poster
Mark, Jimmy Day, Paul Glasse, Kimmie Rhodes, & others w/ Al Dressen's Super Swing Revue
Mark and Lou at the Guadelupe shop
Mark at the Guadalupe shop
Mark & Rick Nielson of Cheap Trick
Erlewine Guitar photoshoot
Early Erlewine Instruments sign
1981 Sounds of Austin Magazine
Stevie Ray & Albert King, with Dan Erlewine's Flying V
Texas Highways article
Don Felder of The Eagles, with custom Erlewine Doubleneck
Young Mark, old shop
Mark in promo photo for ZZ TOP "El Loco" Tour
Mark with cousins Dan & Tom
Mark shaping custom Lazer neck
Mark building custom accoustic
Mark at the "operating table", Burnet shop

 Ultimate Guitar | Halloween Special: The Mystery of the Headless Gibson ES-335
 Reverb | What To Know After Buying a Stratocaster: Three Lutheriers Weigh In
 Vintage Guitar | Mark's history with Willie Nelson & Trigger, and other well known clients he has worked with over the years
 StewMac.com Part I | Repairing Willie Nelson's Trigger
 StewMac.com Part II | More inside info on Willie Nelson's Trigger
 Student project at UT Austin | Austin's Guitar Luthier
 YMCA of Austin | Y Story - The Erlewines
 The Daily Texan | Austin luthier works on guitars for music legends
 CBS Austin News | Austin luthier keeps Willie Nelson playing
 NPR Texas Standard | Meet the Man Who Takes Care of Willie Nelson's Beloved Guitar*
*Please note there are a couple of items in the audio version which have been corrected in the written story
 Texas Folklife Stories Summer Institute 2016 Documentaries | Pedal Steel Self-Made Man
 Austin American Statesman (article)/(pictures)/(video) | Repairing and building guitars for all the greats.
 Invaluable, Auctions | Johnny Winter's beloved custom white Lazer guitar sold in auction ($180,000).
 Reverb | (Back to) Back to the Future: Marty McFly's Other Guitar.
 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar | Mark receives recognition for his passion and commitment to craft.
 UPG Video | May 2015, The Handcrafters - Mark Erlewine.
 Rolling Stone | February 2015, Willie Nelson and Trigger.
 Music Interview Magazine | June 2014, An interview with Mark.
 Austin 360 Interview (video) | Featuring Mark repairing Willie Nelson's guitar, Trigger.
 Austin Business Journal | Legendary musicians seek Austin guitar man.
 Texas Monthly | Mark as featured in article about Trigger, Willie Nelson's guitar.
 Rig Rundown (video) | Interview with Johnny Winter.
 Guitar VIBE | A review of the Hondo Chiquita travel guitar.
 Street Youth Ministry (video) | Mark provides repair services to Street Youth Ministry clients.
 Metro Music Mayhem | Luthier's Corner, interview with Mark.
 Raisin' Cain | The story of Johnny Winter includes a write-up on Mark & Erlewine Guitars.
 Tom Guerra interview with Johnny Winter | Includes Mark's history with Johnny and his custom Lazers.
 ACCORDO.IT | An interview with Mark about his custom guitars and the Automatic.
 ACCORDO.IT | An interview with Mark Erlewine.
 ACCORDO.IT | An interview with Mark about his Lazer Guitar.
 ACCORDO.IT | An interview with Mark about his Chiquita Travel Guitar.

Mark just finished my Automatic a few months ago and it's phenomenal. One of the greatest axes I've ever played. Such a natural feeling guitar it's like I've "known" it for decades.
Matt D. | Lakeville, CT

Working with Mark was a dream come true and so is the guitar he built for me. Trying to find words to describe the moment when you open that guitar case for the first time will only diminish a truly magical moment in your life. I'll never forget that moment.
Rich S. | Austin, TX

Working with Mark was a dream come true and so is the guitar he built for me. Trying to find words to describe the moment when you open that guitar case for the first time will only diminish a truly magical moment in your life. I'll never forget that moment.
Rich S. | Austin, TX