By Raiza Giorgi

The stage at Lost Chord Guitars in Solvang seemed more like a recording studio with a few friends jamming when actor-musician Jeff Bridges, dressed in comfy slippers, a faded T-shirt and jeans, played there recently with his band, The Abiders.

Lost Chord Guitars at 1576 Copenhagen Drive in Solvang is the newest music venue in the Santa Ynez Valley, created and owned by musician and studio designer Chris Pelonis. Bridges and The Abiders, who were named as an allusion to his character in the 1998 cult-classic film “The Big Lebowski,” were the first to play there.

“This was a wine-tasting room before, and when they moved out it sat empty for a while. I have always wanted to create a space where people can come and enjoy the music and really feel how the instruments were meant to be heard,” he said.

Pelonis is not only a musician, he’s a songwriter, a music producer and a sound engineer. He also loves photography and making wine, and he feels that Lost Chord Guitars is a combination of all of his talents and passions.

On the walls of the carefully crafted music studio are his photographs of landscapes, portraits and abstract images. In the bottles are the fruits of his labor mixed into his wine label, “Lost Chord Wines” which he sipped while playing with Bridges on a cold night in December.

The room was filled with 50 or so people who were excited about having a new music venue and about hearing Bridges and Pelonis banter back and forth while playing songs and telling stories of “back in the day.”

“I’ve known Jeff for close to 30 years and designed his music studio and produced his first album. He’s the one that really knocked me back into playing music,” Pelonis said.

Pelonis has been playing music his entire life and spent a majority of his career studying sound and frequency and how it changed depending on the device playing it or the room in which it was played. His reputation spread in the music community and he has designed and built spaces for legendary musicians including Bridges and Jim Messina, and produced in the same studio as the greats from Prince to Michael Jackson, Jackson Browne and Michael McDonald.

“I am more into the clean sound, and when the musician is stripped down and not hidden behind production. The most talented musicians are honest in how they play, not overdubbed or voices changed,” he said.

Pelonis is excited for this new venture as he plans on hosting musicians at Lost Chord Guitars as often as he can. The scheduled show with Bridges was sold out within five minutes, so he decided to play a second night, which also was sold out almost at once.

“I want everything from well-known artists to those just getting started. I want people to enjoy the art of making,” Pelonis said.

For upcoming events follow Lost Chord Guitars on Facebook or @LostChordGuitars.