He grew up in a religious home with a rule against listening to secular music,, but when he heard it for the first time, it gripped him.

Queen, Aerosmith, Heart and other bands changed his world, and when Danny Fonfeder received a guitar for his Bar Mitzvah, it helped him forge a new path in life.

"Music saved my life in my opinion and it brought me into the real world," he said. "My first songs started coming out when I was 17 or 18 just to express myself, and that was my therapy through very, very hard times."

In addition to writing, playing and recording his own music, Fonfeder also makes the instruments he plays. After a painful divorce, he started Blueberry Guitars in collaboration with Balinese wood carvers.

The guitars are inlaid with incredible detail, and there is a story behind each of his handmade guitars.

"I knew that I wanted a guitar that is decorative and quite different," he said.

Fonfeder will perform Nov. 30 at Mariposa in "a night of music and strange stories."