Denny was brought up one of ten children in a southern suburb of Chicago. He began playing guitar by spending time after school picking instruments off the rack at Lyon & Healy and Sears & Roebucks. In 1963 at the age of ten he saved twenty five dollars from his paper route and purchased his first guitar. Some of his favorite memories to date include playing on the streets of San Francisco in the early 70's and two album projects with his son Josh. Today his passion for music continues. Performing with son Josh in the “Rauen Boys” and on occasion a solo gig. Denny also plays a mean bagpipe.
From the mid 70's to 1982, Denny was production manager and designer for two Chicago area guitar manufacturers; S.D. Curlee and Dean Guitars. At the time he was in his early 20’s making him one of the youngest designers and production managers in the country. His designs include the SD Curlee Liberty Bass, Dean Guitars “Dean Baby” series, the final redesigning of the original Dean V headstock and Dean Guitars Shrimpfork headstock.
Adding to the workload he also started a guitar repair business he operated out of his basement on the weekends. In 1978 Denny invented the “Multi-Radius Fretboard” in his basement shop. Today the conical fretboard is often called compound radius. Several years after applying this creation to his own custom built guitars and repair shop refrets he published “Multi-Radius Fretboards”. Sharing ideas is a common tradition amongst luthiers and Denny is proud to have contributed. To this day luthiers around the world use this idea that allows guitarist to bend notes while retaining a light action.
In 1982 he quit his job with Dean Guitars and founded Rauen Guitars. Six years later he moved the business to Milwaukee, which was also the year Guitar Player Magazine featured Denny in an article as one of the nation's finest luthiers.
In the early years the shop was a place where musicians came to have a "one of a kind" instrument built. One can't speak of this period of time without mentioning Denny's role as a single parent of his children Lindsay and Josh. Denny often had his children at the shop and they developed quite a reputation for the pranks they played on clients.
The focus of work has evolved over the years but the quality of his work and attention to detail is second to none. Denny's passion for working with instruments and getting the most out of them can be seen as well as heard.
Matt’s inherent skill and interest in guitar construction and restoration brought him to Rauen Guitars in 2010. He quickly mastered a number of lutherie skills and today is considered one of the finest young guitar restoration and repair specialists in the State of Wisconsin. He has a Bachelors of Art in music from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and has studied guitar under John Stropes, Rene’ Izquierdo and Don Linke. His music endeavors include singer/songwriter and member of The Flood where he plays bass, guitar and also sings. Along with his music interests Matt is an avid outdoors man. A serious rock climber, backpacker, fisherman, etc. Basically Matt likes anything you can do outdoors that requires carrying a knife.