“This is working class. This is the new sound of steel.” – Matt Eich.
Matt Eich and his team have been building instruments in Saginaw, Michigan, under the Mule Resophonic Guitars name. These steel and brass-bodied resonator guitars have become known for their full-bodied and complex tone, impressive volume, natural reverb, gorgeous vintage looks, and easy playability.
After making a couple guitars in high school and learning the basics at Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix, Arizona, Eich spent three years in Virginia working for acclaimed guitar and banjo makers Huss & Dalton.
Eich subsequently worked in manufacturing and built guitars on the side, but when he lost his Chicago factory job in 2010, he returned to central Michigan. Seeing Kelly Joe Phelps play a resonator guitar at a show in Traverse City, three hours from Saginaw, was just the inspiration he needed. Initially based in a small garage closet, Mule opened for business in 2012.
These days, the Mule team builds about 120 instruments a year in a 1,600-square-foot shop they’ve enjoyed since 2016, and the list of high-profile players who swear by their Mules includes Charlie Parr, Jeffrey Foucault, Charlie Hicks, Joey Landreth, Dan Auerbach, and of course, Phelps.