James Baggett lives in Lawrence Kansas, where he is the owner of Mass Street Music, a retail musical instrument establishment that specializes in the sales, appraisals, and restoration of high-quality new and vintage guitars, mandolins, and banjos. After graduating from the University of Missouri in 1971, Mr. Baggett worked as an apprentice with Macario Briseno, a classical guitar maker from Kansas City, Missouri. While apprenticing there, James was involved with all aspects of building classical guitars with traditional tools. These early experiences lead to the opening of his own stringed instrument workshop that specialized in the building and repair of steel-stringed guitars, as well as bowed instruments. Currently, Mass Street Music is a full-line musical instrument shop employing a dozen specialized employees, including three full-time luthiers, repairing a broad range of stringed instruments.
Mr. Baggett's primary focus has been on the repair and restoration of the finest steel-stringed guitars, especially C.F. Martin guitars. He is highly regarded in guitar collector circles for his extensive knowledge of collectible stringed instruments. Though he no longer builds guitars, he has been involved as a consultant with some of today's finest makers in their efforts to reproduce modern instruments with a look and sound reminiscent of the finest guitars from an earlier era.