By: Heidi Hopf

Photo by: Heidi Hopf

Every so often we are lucky enough to come across someone who truly radiates the excitement and passion they feel for their craft. Someone that wants nothing more than to share their love and knowledge with those around them.

Shaun Mulrain is one of those people.

Photo by: Heidi Hopf

Mulrain has immersed himself in music from a young age but really began to shine in high school. Throughout his adolescences, he began singing in high school musicals, joined a number of bands and vocal music class in grade nine where he would become close friends with Aly, his future wife. He then moved on to studying vocal jazz in college. I had asked him why vocal jazz. His reply was, “simply because I hadn’t studied it before,” yet another sign of his thirst for knowledge.

While in college, Mulrain would return home to Brantford from Toronto every other weekend with the agenda to see two very important people, Aly, and his Grandfather. It was his grandfather that taught him to play guitar in order to accompany himself while singing, as well as the skills he would need to become a skilled Luthier.

Photo by: Heidi Hopf

Upon entering Mulrain’s shop there is a small stack of his grandfather’s fedoras that he deems to be part of the uniform one must sport while building.

“I surround myself with him every day,” Mulrain said with wet eyes.

He still uses all of his grandfather’s tools and tricks of the trade on a daily basis. Family is clearly the most important thing in Mulrain’s life. Photos of his wife and two children are strategically placed throughout the shop to keep him focused on what’s important and the reason behind all that he does.

Photo by: Heidi Hopf

It was three years ago that he decided to make his profession that of a Luthier. After years of working in the heating and air conditioning business, he grew tired of the politics. His wife was eight and a half months pregnant, the house was under major renovations and somehow, he knew that this was the time. I must say I was shocked at first when he told me this. The timing seemed less than ideal to start a new adventure until he further explained his thought process with very sound advice.

“I knew if I didn’t do it now, I’d never do it,” Mulrain said. “Once you discover who you are, don’t deny it, follow it because doing anything else is going against your own grain.”

Photo by: Heidi Hopf

Since then he has strived to give each guitar built and every repair made a personal touch.
Mulrain takes the time to get to know each client individually and pays particular attention to their wants and their needs.

“I want you to play the instrument you want. I want it to feel the way you want it.”

Just building guitars is not enough for this man. As well as being a member of both the Rotary Club and a new branch of The United Way he also performs solo and has formed a band called The Last Band Standing.

The Last Band Standing consists of Mulrain on vocals and guitar, Cory Mercer- guitar, Liam Brown- bass, and Greg Robb on drums. They are a high-quality band that play functions such as weddings and corporate events, steering clear of the bar scene. The Last Band Standing aims to keep things highly professional right down to their attire.

Mulrain explained the methodology of the band. “I want someone to value it because we work really hard at doing it. There’s no stimulants and no fooling around, it’s work. We are all professionals and we want to do this to the top quality we can without excuses.”

Photo by: Heidi Hopf

Throughout the interview, Mulrain continually expressed and demonstrated his need for efficiency and utilizing the full use of everything around him. That doesn’t stop short when it comes to his basement studio. Not only does he use it frequently to assist others in the recording process, but also uses it as a teaching space for a variety of instruments.

“I just love music. I love to play and I love to share it, and I like to help other people enjoy life through learning and experimenting.”

I have never seen such a professional and detailed schedule posted on the inner door of a studio before. Shaun Mulrain has somehow seemingly managed to find the perfect balance of work and play while being sure to fill his day with much-needed meditations while simultaneously being sure to always be a present and loving husband and father.

I left the Mulrain homestead that morning feeling a tad lighter than when I arrived. I was reminded of things that are so easily forgotten in what we perceive as our busy lives.

I left with not only a further understanding of the creation process of my favourite instrument but also… a further understanding of myself.

For further information on Mulrain Guitars or contact info please visit