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217-607-8132 | 723 S NEIL ST, CHAMPAIGN, IL 61820 | MON-SAT: 11A-6P

The Upper Bout

Our rock stars: You want knowledge? You just arrived at the right place.

Ricky Bright, Owner

Ricky Bright, Owner

Ricky came to Champaign in 1998. By training he is a fine arts major and a photographer. But when in 2006 an opportunity presented itself to join the local music scene he changed course. Through this experience since, he has developed his own vision for a musical instrument store. He wants to share his passion for guitars and music, and invites you to visit The Upper Bout.

Favorite Gear: Gibson© Custom Shop ES-339
Andrew Kauffman, Bass, M.D.

Andrew Kauffman, Bass, M.D.

Andrew Martin Kauffman is a musician from Arcola, Illinois. He has been a gigging musician for over 10 years and has performed in choirs, guitar ensembles, jazz combos, garage bands, and orchestras. Andrew prefers playing bass and drums but also likes to strum on his acoustic guitar and sing his favorite classic rock and 90's alternative songs on his days off. Andrew studied Music Business and upright bass at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He is the Director of Online Sales at The Upper Bout.

Favorite Gear: Fender Highway-1 Custom Strat, Lakland Skyline 55-60 (Vintage J)
Ben Wilson, Lord of the Strings

Ben Wilson, Lord of the Strings

Ben has been in the Champaign music scene since 2010. He has played with a wide variety of bands, such as electro-punkers That's No Moon, folk favorites Whiskey Fingers, and classic rockers Penny Horses. You will likely see Ben out performing at night but during the day, you can take advantage his musical knowledge at The Upper Bout.

Favorite Gear: 1995 Gibson Songbird Deluxe, 2015 Gibson Less+, Marshall 1936 Lead 2x12 cabinet
Noah Tennison

Noah Tennison, TBD

Noah is a local student here at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying to become a doctor. In his off-time he fronts local indie band CONA who have just recently released their debut EP, Maybe Someday. He loves all things indie, 80s pop, and alternative. Come and stop by the shop, and say hello!

Favorite Gear: Gibson SJ-200, Roland JUNO-106 synthesizer, his 1965 John Lennon Epiphone Casino and his 1967 Fender Mustang

Gonzo, Director of Human Resources

Gonzo is not your average Shih Tzu. He's 11.5 years old and loves to sing the Blues. He thinks he is a guitar player but doesn't get that his licks are a little different ours.

Favorite Gear: Epiphone Casino with dog ear P-90's.