Kent Viles assembles a dobrato in his Gunnison guitar shop.

(Nancy Loftholm/CPR News)

Editor's Note: This interview originally aired August 30, 2016.

The dobrato is a mashup of a guitar and a dobro with a note-bending lever. Musician Kent Viles invented this instrument, and assembles it by hand, at his Castle Creek Guitars store in Gunnison. It took him six years to perfect it. But now the dobrato has caught on with some famous musicians, including Jimmy Buffett, Tom Petty, Jason Isbell, Michael Martin Murphey and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.

The dobrato has a whole range of creative sounds that lend themselves to country swing, bluegrass, jazz, Hawaiian-style and rock.

Viles spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.