Bassist Paul DeCourcey mixes band, store and luthier work into one busy career
DOWNTOWN Peekskill, New York, is busy for a Sunday morning. People are shuffling in and out of buildings, circling the block in search of parking while the police set to cornering off Division Street and its restaurant row for a nearby local art show and to be more pedestrian friendly for the coming lunch hour. Nestled among the eateries between Central Avenue and Main Street is Division Street Guitars, a venture that started out as a repair workshop, but soon evolved into a full-service guitar store. Captaining the Division ship is Paul DeCourcey, who in addition to his shop duties is a partner in instrument manufacturer Linden Guitars as well as bassist in the rock band Aloke, which recently released a new album produced by famed Chicago-based noise-smith Steve Albini.
Linden, where DeCourcey — also a 10-year repairs veteran with Southside Guitars in Brooklyn — partners with Bill Walker, neighbor and father of Aloke bandmate Alex Walker, builds mainly Fender-esque guitars with emphasis on Tele-style and Jazzmaster-style body styles, but usually sporting more unique pick-up configurations and neck profiles.
“We also do a baritone, which is like a Bass VI that is really cool,” says DeCourcey. “It is one of my favorite ones. We started building Lindens in 2011. I’ve been working on guitars for years and built a lot of parts-guitars. When I had my first son I moved out of the city back up here where I grew up. I happen to move next door to who is now my partner in Linden… Bill Walker. We were both right there and into it so we decided to start making some guitars. It took off from there. As for the name, that’s our street. We live next door to each other on Linden Ave. It had a good ring to it.”