A display of guitars at the Nevada Exchange store on Broad Street. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Step into Nevada Exchange on Broad Street in Red Bank these days and you’re likely to get a history lesson from a feisty Italian-American woman with a passion for a certain brand of esoteric hand-made guitars. Because unless you’re among the cognoscenti on Depression-era guitars, you probably don’t know the importance of D’Angelico guitars and how they now fit in with Red Bank, at least according to Liz Barulic, the Exchange’s manager.
Barulic is a both a student and teacher of the John D’Angelico story. The late New York City-based luthier hand crafted some of the most coveted archtop guitars in the industry between the 1930’s and 1950s, but didn’t quite have the recognition of, say, Les Paul or Leo Fender. That’s where Barulic and Nevada Exchange come in.
Opened as a hybrid antique shop/guitar store a couple of years ago, the Exchange has in recent weeks converted to sell nothing but reproduced D’Angelico guitars, those slick, hollow-bodied beauties prominently displayed in the store’s Broad Street window.
“Les Paul had 90 long years here. (D’Angelico) only had 59 short years on this earth, and I’m going to keep his legacy alive,” Barulic said.