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Podcast 204: Jon Sullivan of Sully Guitars
Sully Guitars founder Jon "Sully" Sullivan has had quite a journey: from growing up in Chicago, to attempting to be a rock star on the Sunset Strip, to building electric guitars full-time in Little Elm, Texas. Along the way, he raised a kid as a single parent, took on a few day jobs and eventually collaborated with one of his heroes, Grover Jackson. On this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to Sully about all his evolution as a guitarmaker, his decision to manufacture a series of guitars in South Korea (Sully’s Conspiracy line), his influential social media presence and a lot more.
Sully Guitars: http://www.sullyguitars.com
This episode is brought to you by Dying Breed Music: http://www.dyingbreedguitars.com
|Jun 16, 2018|
Podcast 203: Guitarist Todd Albright
On this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to country blues guitarist Todd Albright. He tells us about his early infatuation with the acoustic guitar – from hearing Dave Van Ronk as a teenager to discovering Gamblin Woman Blues’ by Paul Geremia. The Detroit-based musician also tells about being signed to Jack White’s Third Man Records, his 12-string guitars – both built by Todd Cambio of Fraulini Guitars – and much more.
This episode is brought to you by our friends at Mass Street Music.
|Jun 08, 2018|
Podcast 202: Meredith Coloma and Isaac Jang
On today's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to two of the most promising young guitarmakers we know: Meredith Coloma of Coloma Guitars and Isaac Jang of Isaac Jang Guitars. Coloma talks to us about how she's found a unique audience for her guitars thanks to her hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. She also talks to us about the creation of Vancouver International Guitar Festival, a weekend-long celebration of handmade acoustic and electric guitars. We then talk to Jang, a young luthier who already has a multi-year wait list for his acoustics. Both of these insightful interviews took place thanks to the La Conner Guitar Festival, which took place Mother's Day Weekend in La Conner, Washington.
This week's podcast is brought to you by Dying Breed Music.
|May 31, 2018|
Podcast 201: Artist James A. Willis
This week, we talk to visual artist James A. Willis. Why are we talking to an artist on the FJ podcast? Because Willis has plenty of guitar and music-related projects under his belt. He's at least partially based in Nashville, where he’s served as the "Artist in Residence" at Gibson, he's used guitar cases as canvases for his Saints series and he even worked at Zac Brown's estate. Most recently – and for reasons that still baffle us – Willis started a new podcast called James A. Willis reads the Fretboard Journal, where he talks to musician pals about the FJ and their guitar (and songwriting) habits.
This episode is sponsored by our friends at Mass Street Music, based in Lawrence, Kansas. If you’re into boutique guitars, old Martins or just need a reliable repair team to tune up your guitars, check them out.
Check out James A Willis Reads the Fretboard Journal here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/james-a-willis-reads-fretboard-journal/id1355577648?mt=2
|May 24, 2018|
Podcast 200: Live from Austin, Texas with Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore
For our 200th episode of the Fretboard Journal Podcast, we take the show on the road and broadcast from our recent Fretboard Journal Live event from the Calton Case headquarters in Austin, Texas. You’ll hear our live interview with Steve McCreary (Collings Guitars), music from Redd Volkaert, Paul Glasse and Kym Warner (Greencards) and hear our conversation with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Dave Alvin about their new album, Downey to Lubbock. Closing things out, we hear a great tune with Anthony da Costa.
This episode is sponsored by Austin’s own Straight Frets Guitar Service, Exile Vancouver and Dying Breed Music!
On behalf of all of us, thank you for listening to our podcast and for helping us reach this milestone! As always, if you like what we’re up to, please leave us a review on iTunes and share the episode with your friends.
16:10 Redd Volkaert / Paul Glasse
22:28 Kym Warner (Greencards) & Redd Volkaert
26:47 Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore interview
45:12 Anthony da Costa
|May 18, 2018|
Podcast 199: Joel Eckhaus (Earnest Instruments)
For most luthiers, building and repairing six string guitars pays the bills. On this week’s podcast, we talk a luthier who has carved out an entire career for himself building just ukuleles, tenor guitars and the occasional mandolin. Portland, Maine’s Joel Eckhaus talks to us about his eclectic Earnest Instruments lineup, the fateful music lessons he took from Vaudeville music legend Roy Smeck and much more.
This episode is sponsored by our friends at Mass Street Music.
|May 10, 2018|
Podcast 198: Dom Flemons
Mulit-instrumentalists and music historian Dom Flemons (Carolina Chocolate Drops) joins us to talk about his new record 'Black Cowboys' (Smithsonian Folkways) and a lot more. The record documents the music that black cowboys would have performed in the Old West, alongside some tracks inspired by that chapter of America's histroy. We also talk gear - and learn about Flemons' unique vintage banjo and Fraulini guitars - and a lot more. This episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music.
|May 03, 2018|
Podcast 197: Greg and Janet Deering of Deering Banjos
Greg and Janet Deering (Deering Banjos) join us on this week’s podcast. Over the course of four decades, this husband-and-wife team has created one of the musical instrument world’s true success stories. Their company has produced over 100,000 instruments and continues to make around 30 banjos a day (all made in the USA). We talk about their early days at American Dream (the same cooperative that launched Taylor Guitars); how they grew their company; the banjo in popular culture; their array of instruments – from starter to collector-grade – and more.
This episode's sponsor is Mass Street Music.
|Apr 28, 2018|
Podcast 196: Eric Johnson
On today’s podcast, we talk to guitar god Eric Johnson! We chat about using meditation to live in the present, Eric's new Fender signature model thinline Stratocaster, his new pedal board, re-creating the Ah Via Musicom album today and much more.
|Apr 19, 2018|
Podcast 195: Chris Smither
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Chris Smither joins us on this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about his new double-album, Call Me Lucky. We chat about his unique interpretations of well-trodden covers such as “Sittin’ On Top of the World” and “Maybellene,” learn about his guitar of choice – a custom Collings 000 with a 12-fret, short scale neck, a cutaway and a solid peghead that he purchased from the Music Emporium - plus a lot more.
This episode is brought to you by Carter Vintage.
|Apr 12, 2018|
Podcast 194: Guitarist Duck Baker
Guitar legend Duck Baker joins us this week to talk about his new compilation, Les Blues du Richmond: Demos & Outtakes, 1973-1979 (out this month on Tompkins Square Records). The album features both the early instrumental demo recordings that landed him on Kicking Mule Records as well as some lesser-heard tracks that he recorded in London in the late ‘70s. Beyond that, we chat about why so many guitarists in the early ‘70s were arranging ragtime music, learn about Duck's forays into avant-garde music and jazz, plus a lot more. It’s a fun chat with one of the music world’s most versatile players.
|Apr 07, 2018|
Podcast 193: Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams
Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams join us on the Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about their latest recording; the challenges of being working musicians who happen to be married, guitars and much more!
|Mar 30, 2018|
Podcast 192: Caitlin Canty and Noam Pikelny
On today’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we’re talking to singer-songwriter Caitlin Canty and banjo wizard-turned-producer Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers). We chat about the making of Cantry’s forthcoming album, Motel Bouquet (out 3/30), the great group of Nashville musicians that ended up on the finished record and more. We also cover their gear of choice – including Canty’s vintage Recording King acoustic guitar and Pikelny’s National Tricone plectrum guitar.
This episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music.
Remember: Order a subscription to the Fretboard Journal and use the coupon code PODCAST and we’ll take $5 off your order.
|Mar 24, 2018|
Podcast 191: Glenn Jones
On this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to guitarist Glenn Jones (Cul de Sac). Glenn will be participating in the forthcoming The 1000 Incarnations of the Rose festival taking place April 13-15, 2018 in Takoma Park, Maryland. The festival is a three-day long celebration of the American Primitive guitar movement, as pioneered by John Fahey and Robbie Basho.
Over the course of our talk, Jones describes his lengthy relationship with Fahey (and Basho), why you probably shouldn’t befriend your music heroes, his guitars of choice for this style of music and the origin of the unique, one-off festival taking place in Fahey's old hometown.
To learn more about the festival, go here: https://1000rose.org
Glenn Jones' liner notes for The Epiphany of Glenn Jones, mentioned during this podcast, can be found here: http://www.johnfahey.com/pages/epiphany.html
Glenn Jones official website: http://www.thrilljockey.com/artists/glenn-jones
|Mar 15, 2018|
Podcast 190: Mark Leggett
Today we’re talking to accomplished studio guitarist and composer Mark Leggett. Mark has led a fascinating life with credits that include the guitar solo from Martika’s “Toy Soldiers” to the playing with Dolly Parton, to doing music for My Name Is Earl. During our chat, we get the inside story on Leggett’s viral guitar videos – yes, he has a solo album brewing – as well as the guitars he loves and what it’s like to make a living scoring music for films and TV.
This week’s episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music.
Reminder: Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes. And, if you're anywhere near Texas, the Fretboard Journal will be hitting the road and throwing a gathering in Austin on March 27, 2018. Details here.
|Mar 08, 2018|
Podcast 189: David Grisman and Del McCoury
On this week's podcast, we catch up with longtime friends and music collaborators David Grisman and Del McCoury at Wintergrass 2018. We talk about the early days of bluegrass festivals, some of the larger-than-life personalities they worked alongside (including Bill Keith, Jerry Garcia and Mac Wiseman), Grisman's amazing work at Acoustic Disc, McCoury's DelFest and much more.
The new Fretboard Journal #41 is out now, featuring David Rawlings, Jason Isbell, Red Diamond Mandolins and much more. Order it at fretboardjournal.com and use the coupon code PODCAST to save $5.
|Mar 02, 2018|
Podcast 188: Suzanne Santo
Singer-songwriter Suzanne Santo joins us on the Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about starting out in music, moving to New York City (by herself!) at 16, her work in HoneyHoney, the decision to put out a solo record and much more.
|Feb 19, 2018|
Podcast 187: Jim Herrington
Jim Herrington is one of the most accomplished music photographers of our time and the guy behind iconic shots of Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and other legends of country, blues and rock & roll. He’s been a longtime contributor to the Fretboard Journal; you may remember the incredible short story and photograph he contributed on tracking down Mickey Baker in rural France.
Herrington has his first coffee table book out and, no, it’s not on music heroes. The Climbers is a photo-laden book that features unforgettable portraits of the icons of the climbing/mountaineering world. On this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to Herrington about his start in photography, his techniques for getting these incredible shots of artists and athletes and his plans for another book based on music. It’s an enlightening and fun chat with one of our favorite contributors.
This week’s episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music.
|Feb 15, 2018|
Podcast 186: Larry Pogreba
We talk to a lot of unique individuals on this podcast and luthier Larry Pogreba is certainly no exception. Pogreba divides his time between homes in New Mexico and an off-the-grid homestead in Montana and builds resonator guitars, Weissenborns and acoustics that often feature recycled / reclaimed metal, bullet casings for inlays and all sorts of other adornments that harken to American steel and the Wild West. His instruments have landed in the hands of Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, David Lindley, Cindy Cashdollar and others. In fact, one of the most prolific Pogreba instrument collectors around is the acclaimed Darrell Scott, who is featured in the new Fretboard Journal #41. On today’s podcast, we talk to Larry about how the Danny Ferrington book got him turned onto guitarmaking, how he splits his time between two homes/workshops, his unique guitar (and cannon!) builds and much more.
This episode is sponsored by our friends at Dying Breed Music.
|Feb 09, 2018|
Podcast 185: Bruce Cockburn
On this week’s podcast, we talk to legendary singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn. Bruce was featured back in the Fretboard Journal #25 and he offers plenty of updates on his career, music and projects during our conversation. We chat about his Linda Manzer-built instruments (including the electric charango that she built for him), his memoir Rumours of Glory and the full length documentary on his life, Pacing the Cage.
This episode of the Fretboard Journal Podcast is brought to you by our friends at Dying Breed Music, where you can find a bevy of great acoustic guitars from the Golden Era.
|Feb 02, 2018|
Podcast 184: Hot Rize
On today’s podcast, we talk to the members of legendary bluegrass band Hot Rize: Tim O’Brien, Pete Wernick, Nick Forster and Bryan Sutton. The quartet—currently celebrating their 40th year performing as a band—talks to us about the early Colorado bluegrass scene, the instruments they’re currently using, Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, songwriting and more. It's an enlightening and hilarious chat with four bluegrass icons.
This week’s episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music.
|Jan 24, 2018|
Podcast 183: Earnie Bailey of Wire Instruments
On today’s podcast, we talk to Earnie Bailey of Wire Instruments. Earnie is a jack-of-all-trades who went from running a cafe in Seattle to being a guitar tech for Nirvana (and the Foo Fighters) and eventually building his own instruments. We talk about what makes his Wire Instruments unique, the inspiration he gets from unlikely predecessors like builder Dave Bunker and what the life of a guitar tech is like.
This episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music.
Use the discount code PODCAST when you order an FJ subscription and save $5.
|Jan 22, 2018|
Podcast 182: Steve Gunn
Today we're talking to Brooklyn-based guitarist and Matador recording artist Steve Gunn. Deeply inspired by John Fahey and the entire primitive folk movement, Gunn is equally talented as a singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and wild improviser. We talk about his background growing up in Philadelphia, the influence of Jack Rose and John Fahey on his music, his Gunn-Truscinski Duo recordings and, of course, gear.
For a limited time, subscribe and get three years (12 issues) of the Fretboard Journal for just $99. Click here.
|Jan 12, 2018|
Podcast 181: Del McCoury
On this week’s podcast, we talk to bluegrass icons Del, Ronnie and Rob McCoury of the Del McCoury Band. We chat about Del's Martin's, including his dark top D-18, Ronnie's Loar mandolin, the rigors of touring and much more.
This podcast was recorded backstage at Seattle’s Triple Door venue.
|Jan 05, 2018|
Podcast 180: Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn
On this week's podcast, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn stop by the Fretboard Journal and interview each other!
This episode is sponsored by RetroFret Vintage Guitars and Dying Breed Music.
|Dec 16, 2017|
Podcast 179: Filmmaker Drew Roller of Acoustic Uprising
On this week’s podcast, we talk to filmmaker Drew Roller, the mastermind behind the new documentary ‘Acoustic Uprising.’ Roller tells us how, thanks to YouTube, he discovered the new guard of fingerstyle guitarists such as Andy McKee and Jon Gomm; what it was like to attend Thomas Leeb’s Austria Guitar Boot Camp; the enduring influence of Michael Hedges; and much more. He also recommends a handful of contemporary fingerstyle guitarists we all should check out.
This episode is brought to you by Retrofret Vintage Guitars.
https://www.acousticuprisingfilm.com (now available for purchase/download)
Need a gift this holiday season or just want to splurge on yourself? Don't forget to check out our webstore: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com
|Dec 16, 2017|
Podcast 178: Kurt Bloch
Kurt Bloch is a legendary figure in Seattle’s music scene since his formation of the Fastbacks in the late ‘70s. On this week’s podcast, we talk to Bloch about growing up in Seattle, the creation of his first bands, how he began tinkering with guitar gear, his work with Alejandro Escovedo and a lot more.
|Dec 07, 2017|
Podcast 177: Guitarist Joel Paterson
On this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to the amazing guitarist Joel Paterson. Joel has just released a new record of instrumental Christmas songs called Hi-Fi Christmas Guitar (Bloodshot Records) that we can’t recommend enough. We talk about the making of the album, the insane amount of work that went into it, some of the gear that Joel used and the huge influence that Les Paul and Jørgen Ingmann had on his own playing.
This episode is sponsored by our friends at Retrofret Vintage Guitars.
|Dec 01, 2017|
Podcast 176: Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars
Few guitarmakers travel the globe as much as Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars. On any given day, he may be at Taylor’s massive El Cajon factory, at his ebony mill in Cameroon, on Hawaii replanting koa trees or offroading in Baja. On this week’s podcast, we catch with Bob (who was thankfully at home in California) to get his thoughts on CITES and the state of the guitar industry as a whole. We also hear about a guitar he recently built entirely by hand, learn about the impact that Andy Powers continues to have on Taylor’s product offerings and much more.
|Nov 23, 2017|
Podcast 175: Lindy Fralin
Back in the 1980s, Lindy Fralin didn’t set out to be one of the world’s most-trusted pickup winders, he just wanted to earn a living as a guitarist. With a tight budget, he’d buy cheap guitars and fix them up for himself or do minor repair work for friends. Eventually, though, the pickups took over. Today, Fralin has seven employees, a growing product line of guitar and bass products and a bustling pickup repair shop. On this week’s podcast, we talk to Lindy about his early days, some of his latest creations, the intricacies of pickup winding and much more.
This week’s podcast is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars, who happen to have a brand new website. Check it out!
|Nov 15, 2017|
Podcast 174: Delicate Steve
Today we’re talking to guitarist Steve Marion, aka “Delicate Steve.” When his old band’s major label record deal imploded, Marion invented his Delicate Steve persona, crafting over-the-top rock instrumental records loaded with great playing, a ton of effects, humor and plenty of references to the musicians and genres he loves. On this week’s podcast, we talk to Delicate Steve about how these albums come together, why he prefers guitars that make him feel uncomfortable and about the time he was asked to play alongside Paul Simon.
|Nov 08, 2017|
Podcast 173: Singer-Songwriter Amy Helm
|Nov 01, 2017|
Podcast 172: Luke Doucet
On today’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to the amazing guitarist Luke Doucet of Whitehorse. Doucet tells us about his upbringing in Canada and his relatively late start into the world of guitars, along with the fateful day he met his original guitar teacher in Winnipeg. We then hear about how Doucet is turning his own young son Jimmy onto music and guitars and how Jimmy (at the ripe old age of three) inadvertently helped shape the sound of Whitehorse’s 2017 album, Panther in the Dollhouse.
We also talk guitars, including Doucet’s Gretsch White Falcon, his Fender Custom Shop Jazzmaster, his Creston Lea offset and others.
This episode is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars.
|Oct 27, 2017|
Podcast 171: Murphy Jensen
The Fretboard Journal Podcast welcomes its first professional athlete, tennis player / coach Murphy Jensen! Murphy and his brother Luke were considered the rock & roll duo of tennis during their heyday, eventually winning the French Open in 1993. Jensen tells us about his childhood growing up in Northern Michigan; his early love for rock & roll; his rise as a professional athlete; and why so many pro tennis players gravitate to the guitar. We also hear about the annual “Wimbledon Jam;” Serena Williams’ love for Nirvana; the time Jensen brought Roger Federer to the Bowery Ballroom the night before his US Open match; working with Val McCallum and much more. Trust us, it’s a great guitar chat even if you don’t know anything about tennis. Jensen also talks to us about his new Seattle-based healthcare technology company, Weconnect.
|Oct 17, 2017|
Podcast 170: Ken Parker
On this week’s podcast, we check in with legendary guitarmaker Ken Parker. The archtop creations that Parker has built over the last decade are truly works of art (in fact, one example is in the permanent collection of the Met). Parker was the subject of a mammoth two-part Fretboard Journal feature in both the FJ #38 and FJ #39, penned by author Joseph Skibell. On this week’s podcast, we catch up and hear about some of this builder’s more recent developments. He tells us about the importance of hide glue in his instruments; we learn about a new pickup he’s using that was developed by Bob Palmieri; and we hear about his recent acquisition of some wood from the famed “The Tree” and what he plans to do with it.
|Oct 12, 2017|
Podcast 169: Colin Hay
Singer-songwriter (and former Men at Work frontman) Colin Hay is addicted to guitars. “Once the bug hits… you keep finding guitars that you can’t seem to live without,” he says. On this week’s podcast, he talks about his growing guitar collection, which includes not only Martins and Gibson but numerous luthier-built guitars. We also talk about songwriting, the music industry today and much more.
|Oct 04, 2017|
Podcast 168: Laura Baird / Richard Jones-Bamman
This week’s podcast is a banjo double-header of sorts: First up, we talk to musician Laura Baird (the Baird Sisters) about her debut solo album, I Wish I Were a Sparrow. This mesmerizing album features both traditional and original ballads featuring just voice and banjo. Next up, we talk to author Richard Jones-Bamman about his new book, Building New Banjos for an Old-Time World. The book is a scholarly take on the contemporary world of old-time, open back banjo makers and their place in banjo history.
Next week, we’ll talk singer-songwriter (and Men at Work founder) Colin Hay. Subscribe via iTunes to make sure you don’t miss it.
RIP Tom Petty.
|Oct 03, 2017|
Podcast 167: Guitarist Michael Gulezian
On this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we’re joined by fingerstyle guitar legend Michael Gulezian. Michael is talking to us from his new home in Paonia, Colorado and offers us an insightful, thought-provoking glimpse into the life of a working musician. He tells us about his childhood and the impact that Middle Eastern music had on his own compositions. We also talk about his time with John Fahey, Michael Hedges and Robbie Basho and the sad downfall of Takoma Records. Michael also explains why so many great guitar players have come out of Minnesota, talks to us about his choice of acoustic guitars (built by frequent FJ contributor Todd Lunneborg) and much more.
This episode of the podcast is brought to you by our friends at Retrofret Vintage Guitars.
Michael Gulezian's official site.
|Sep 22, 2017|
Podcast 166: Billy Strings and an IBMA World of Bluegrass Preview
This week’s podcast is a bluegrass double-header. First, we talk to the one-and-only Billy Strings. He’s about to release his first solo album, Turmoil & Tinfoil and we talk about the making of the record, his guitars of choice (he recently switched from his Noble dreadnought to guitars made by Preston Thompson) and a lot more. Over on fretboardjournal.com, you can hear a stream of “Pyramid Country” from the new album right now.
Next up, we talk to the IBMA’s Paul Schiminger about the organization’s mission, it’s annual World of Bluegrass festival (happening later this month) and the future of bluegrass.
This episode is sponsored by Retrofret and Dying Breed Music. Check out their offerings and tell them the Fretboard Journal sent you.
Next week, we talk to fingerstyle guitar legend Michael Gulezian!
This week’s podcast is a bluegrass double-header: First, we talk to the one-and-only Billy Strings. He’s about to release his first solo album, Turmoil & Tinfoil and we talk about the making of the record, his guitars of choice (he recently switched from his Noble dreadnought to guitars made by Preston Thompson) and a lot more. Over on fretboardjournal.com, you can hear a stream of “Pyramid Country” from the new album right now.
Next up, we talk to the IBMA’s Paul Schiminger about the organization’s mission, its annual World of Bluegrass festival (happening later this month) and the future of bluegrass.
Next week, we talk to fingerstyle guitar legend Michael Gulezian!
Use the coupon code PODCAST when you subscribe to the Fretboard Journal print magazine and you'll save an extra $5. Click here.
|Sep 15, 2017|
Podcast 165: Pieta Brown
Singer-songwriter Pieta Brown has had quite the journey. On this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast we talk to her about unique upbringing (her dad is famed folk musician Greg Brown), her early attempts at songwriting and the fateful day her father showed her a vintage guitar. She also talks about Postcards, her 2017 album that features collaborations with Mark Knopfler, Calexico, David Lindley and others. Watch for a video with Pieta soon on fretboardjournal.com.
As an added bonus, we share a quick story David Rawlings shared with us about his Epiphone Olympic, featuring luthier Joe Glaser.
Use the coupon code PODCAST and save $5 off any Fretboard Journal subscription or order.
|Sep 10, 2017|
Podcast 164: Chris Young of Union Tube & Transistor
Our guest on today’s Fretboard Journal Podcast is Chris Young, founder of Union Tube & Transistor. Chris walks us through Union’s history, his current pedal lineup and the story behind his pedal collaboration with Jack White. We also hear about the time he gave a pedal to Tom Waits and about some of Union’s latest products, including their new Lab compressor pedal.
While Chris was in Seattle, we also took him to Johnny Sangster’s Crackle & Pop studio to do a quick video demo. Watch it on fretboardjournal.com.
|Sep 01, 2017|
Podcast 163: Zack Vex of Z.Vex Effects, Part Two
The second installment of our interview with Zack Vex of Z.Vex Effects covers a lot of ground. Zack gives us an overview of Z.Vex’s current offerings, he then gives us his thoughts on the guitar effects industry today and he walks us through his latest invention, an all-new microphone that has to be heard to be believed. Plus a lot more...
Listen to part one of this two-hour interview here.
Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal print magazine and use the discount code PODCAST to get $5 off your order.
|Aug 29, 2017|
Podcast 162: Zack Vex of Z.Vex Effects, Part One
On this week's podcast, we talk to Zack Vex of Z.Vex Effects. Over the last twenty-plus years, Zack has been at the forefront of the boutique pedal movement. But, as you'll hear during our lengthy interview, his love for electronics and science goes way beyond just guitar effects. Zack walks us through his childhood, his first guitar repairs and the early days of his now-flourishing company.
On next week's episode, we'll hear about Z.Vex today and some of Zack's most recent inventions including the Candelas Vibraphase and a brand new (and mind boggling) microphone.
Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal and use the discount code PODCAST to get $5 off your order.
|Aug 14, 2017|
Podcast 161: Christian Lee Hutson
Musician Christian Lee Hutson is one of the most impressive young songwriters we've talked to in recent memory. On today's podcast, we talk to Chrstian about getting hooked on guitar (thanks to Nirvana), dropping out of high school to pursue music and his latest recording projects, including a forthcoming album featuring members of Dawes. We'll have videos of Christian at the Fretboard Journal coming soon. In the meantime, check out some of his music performances online to get a sense of his unique songwriting or catch him on tour opening for John Moreland.
This episode is sponsored by our friends at Retrofret Vintage Instruments.
|Aug 11, 2017|
Podcast 160: Todd Cambio of Fraulini Guitars
On this week’s podcast, we talk to builder Todd Cambio of Fraulini Guitars. While a lot of guitarmakers focus on traditional Martin or Gibson-style instruments, Todd loves to focus on models built by more obscure vintage instrument brands, including Stella, Larson Bros., Lyon & Healy and Oscar Schmidt. During our talk, Todd talks to us about his start in lutherie and his love for early blues and 78 recordings. He then explains the research he did to recreate Lydia Mendoza’s 12-string guitar and his new attempt to create a replica of Lonnie Johnson’s 12-string guitar (both, it turns out, were originally built by San Antonio’s Acosta family). Cambio is equal parts luthier and history detective… it’s fascinating to hear how he cobbles together information and grainy photos to build some of these instruments. We hope you enjoy our talk.
Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes. And use the discount code PODCAST when you check out at fretboardjournal.com to save an additional $5 off your order.
|Aug 04, 2017|
Podcast 159: Sam Amidon
Sam Amidon is, quite simply, one of our favorite musicians. His visionary music is mesmerizing, he somehow melds traditional Appalachian folk with experimental music. On this week’s podcast, we talk to Sam about his music-filled childhood (his parents are folk singers Peter and Mary Alice Amidon) and his transition from being a professional traditional fiddler to a groundbreaking solo artist.
Sam tells us about his discovery of avant-garde music and free jazz, what it was like to get lessons from Leroy Jenkins and his time in the indie band Stars Like Fleas. He also discusses his collaboration with hero Bill Frisell (2014’s Lily-O), the energy he finds in primitive field recordings, why he wore a kung fu outfit to his first solo gig… and a lot more. Sam has had a fascinating musical journey and he walks us through it all.
Sam’s 2017 Nonesuch album, The Following Mountain, is his first recording to feature his own songs. We can’t recommend it enough.
Audio note: There’s some cell phone distortion in the first ten minutes of this call; it gets better as the conversation goes on. Stick with it.
|Jul 28, 2017|
Podcast 158: Zeke Schein
For guitar collectors, Zeke Schein is best-known as the long-time salesman you see at Matt Umanov Guitars. What you may not know is that Zeke is also the guy who discovered what may very well be the third photo of Robert Johnson ever unearthed (an eBay find erroneously listed as a BB King photo).
Since purchasing that small photo over a decade ago, Schein has had quite a roller coaster ride. He went through hurdles to get the photo authenticated, he gave the rights to the Robert Johnson Estate and he’s witnessed his unlikely eBay find get reprinted in national magazines. He’s also faced the wrath of blues historians, some of whom rabidly dispute that this is in fact a shot of Johnson at all.
Zeke has written a new book entitled Portrait of a Phantom: The Story of Robert Johnson’s Lost Photograph. Though ostensibly about the discovery of this image, Zeke’s book is about a lot more, too. He writes about his love for the blues, his time at Umanov’s, the New York music scene and why some of us are so compelled to learn more about our music heroes. On this week’s podcast, we talk to Zeke about the photo, his career selling guitars at one of the world’s most famous stores and much more.
Need a subscription to the Fretboard Journal? Order today and use the discount code PODCAST to get $5 off your order.
|Jul 19, 2017|
Podcast 157: Remembering Bill Collings
Our dear friend Bill Collings, founder of Collings Guitars & Mandolins, passed away on July 14, 2017 after a long battle with cancer.
We’re working on a tribute for Bill in the next issue of the Journal (and if you have any great Bill stories, we’d love to hear them). We also decided to share this talk he gave at the first Fretboard Summit in 2015. During this session, Bill was interviewed by Mark Stutman (Folkway Music). It was a lively, unfiltered chat full of laughs. We also fielded questions from the audience, talked about Waterloos and more.
RIP Bill. We’re going to miss our chats with you. –Jason
|Jul 19, 2017|
Podcast 156: Lluís Gómez
Twenty years ago, Lluís Gómez heard Banjo Paris Session, an album featuring the playing of Jean-Marie Redon and Bill Keith. It completely changed this Spanish musician's life. Gómez would go on to obsess over the five-string banjo, eventually tracking down lessons with Keith, Tony Trischka and Pete Wernick. These days, Gómez is considered the “Spanish King of the Five-String Banjo.” He’s a prolific performer, educator and music promoter, bringing a distinctly American music to new audiences in Europe. On this episode, he tells us about the state of banjo in Spain today, his excellent new record Dotze contes, the instruments that he loves and much more.
We are now shipping the Fretboard Journal #39. Use the coupon code PODCAST when you check out at fretboardjournal.com and get $5 off your order.
Lluís' site: http://www.lluisgomez.com/index-en.html
|Jul 13, 2017|
Podcast 155: Jas Obrecht
Today we’re talking to Jas Obrecht, acclaimed music journalist and editor. Jas is the author of the recently published anthology, Talking Guitar: Conversations with Musicians Who Shaped Twentieth-Century American Music. The book is filled interviews Jas conducted with music icons such as Nick Lucas, Ry Cooder, “Pops” Staples, Ry Cooder and Jerry Garcia. He tells us a bit about how it came about, what these amazing interviews were like, his days working at Guitar Player and much more.
The Fretboard Journal’s 39th issue is now mailing. Use the coupon code PODCAST when you check out and you’ll save $5 off any subscription, just for being a FJ Podcast listener.
This episode is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars.
|Jul 07, 2017|
Podcast 154: Eric Schoenberg and Dana Bourgeois
Thirty years ago, luthier Dana Bourgeois (Bourgeois Guitars) and performer/vintage guitar dealer Eric Schoenberg teamed up to create a guitar that was at once both very traditional and very forward-thinking, the Schoenberg Soloist. The Soloist was Eric’s dream fingerstyle instrument – a traditionally-built Martin OM-style guitar built with a wider neck and a cutaway built into the body. On today’s podcast, we talk about the making of the Soloist and hear about the limited run of Soloist 30th Anniversary guitars that they’ve created. We also discover why Eric loves Martin necks from 1930; the tonal differences he hears between 12 and 14-fret guitars; and much more.
|Jun 30, 2017|
Podcast 153: Luthier Nate Wood (Stahman Guitars)
On this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to luthier Nate Wood, out of Springfield, Oregon. Nate regaled us with guitarmaking tales at last month’s La Conner Guitar Festival so we quickly hatched a plan to bring him on the show. Before launching his own guitar and guitar repair business (Stahman Guitars), Nate went to school at Roberto Venn and then honed his chops working for Ryan Thorell. His own inventive guitars are inspired by some of the funkier American guitar designs of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Nate is also a big fan of using reclaimed woods and eco-friendly materials.
|Jun 22, 2017|
Podcast 152: Singer-Songwriter Vikesh Kapoor
The music of singer-songwriter Vikesh Kapoor has always defied logic. Here’s a 20-something artist—born in small town Pennsylvania to immigrants from India—who seems more inspired by Pete Seeger, John Jacob Niles and Woody Guthrie that any popular music from the last few decades. On today’s podcast, we talk to Kapoor about his upbringing, his influences and his favorite guitars.
Kapoor has a new single out, entitled “Down by the River.” “It was one of the first songs that I wrote and I never had it recorded in a way that I liked,” he says. Kapoor wrote it while inspired by Seeger’s “Dink’s Song” in essentially a day, right before his 23rd birthday.
We also talk about guitars, including the ‘70s Gibson J-50 Deluxe that Kapoor found in a local shop, almost by fate. It served as the primary songwriting instrument behind The Ballad of Willy Robbins [Kapoor’s 2013 album] and "Down by the River."
This episode of the Fretboard Journal Podcast is brought to you by Retrofret Vintage Guitars and Dying Breed Music. Kapoor’s new recording is available at all the usual digital music outlets and can also be purchased as a flexi-single from Mama Bird Recording Co.
As always, we hope you'll subscribe to the Fretboard Journal print edition. If you do, use the discount code PODCAST when you check out. And don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes. It takes a few seconds and helps expand our audience.
|Jun 14, 2017|
Podcast 151: Luthier Mark Whitebook
These week, we talk to acclaimed guitarmaker Mark Whitebook. In the 1970s, Whitebook had a cult following for his handmade guitars and a client list that included James Taylor, Carly Simon, Phil Keaggy and Clarence White. But in 1980, having built around 70 instruments total, Whitebook left the world of lutherie and pursued a career outside of the music industry.
Thirty five years later, Whitebook has returned to building instruments (he kept all of his original tools and equipment all of these years). During this two-hour long talk, we chat about his background, how he taught himself to build his first guitar (with help from Irving Sloane’s now legendary book on guitar construction), the Southern California guitar scene of the 1970s (including his time spent with David Russell Young and Chuck “The Duke of Pearl” Erikson) and how his dreadnought instruments stray from traditional Martin construction. We also learn just how hard it is to make a living building guitars. Whitebook is a near-mythical figure in the world of guitars; we hope you enjoy this exclusive chat.
Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal and save $5 just by using the discount code PODCAST when you check out.
|Jun 08, 2017|
Podcast 150: Meagan Wells Interviews Jason Verlinde
For our 150th episode of the Fretboard Journal Podcast, we turn the tables: Luthier Meagan Wells (guest on episode #134) interviews Fretboard Journal publisher / editor Jason Verlinde. We talk about the origins of the Fretboard Journal magazine, Jason’s love affair with the musical saw, his favorite guitars, some of our most memorable video and interview sessions and a lot more. We hope you enjoy this little peek into the making of the FJ and all of our projects.
This episode is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars.
Follow the Fretboard Journal via www.fretboardjournal.com. And, if you like our podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes. And don't forget to subscribe to the print edition! Use the discount code PODCAST and you'll get $5 off just for listening to our show.
|Jun 03, 2017|
Podcast 149: Tom Nechville of Nechville Banjos
Minnesota’s Tom Nechville may very well be the closest thing the banjo world has to Leo Fender. For the last 30 years, he’s innovated the five-string banjo with revolutionary products like the Heli-Mount, the Cyclotronic Tone Ring and the Flux Capacitor. On this week’s podcast, we talk to Nechville about his inventions, his banjos (acoustic and electric) and some of the challenges of building forward-thinking products for a market that largely leans towards the traditional. Even if you’re not a banjo player, you’ll enjoy hearing about how Nechville found his calling in the world of fretted instruments and some of the R&D that he goes through with his instruments.
|May 25, 2017|
Podcast 148: Nic Delisle of Island Instruments
“I’ve always been into the older, cheaper Sears’ catalog-type guitars,” Nic Delisle of Island Instruments explains on this week’s podcast. That influence is clearly apparent when one looks at Island’s unique guitar lineup; you can see familiar Silvertone, Kay and Stratotone shapes but with refined hardware, ergonomics and pickups. During our talk, Delisle walks us through his numerous electric guitar models, explains his love for reclaimed materials (he recently made a guitar using reclaimed floorboards from the Boston Symphony Hall) and more. We also talk about the La Conner Guitar Festival, which took place May 12-14, 2017 in La Conner, Washington.
|May 18, 2017|
Podcast 147: Luthier Bryan Galloup
Want to become a professional luthier or repair person? Are you already a working in the field but want to up your game? If so, you’ll love this week’s podcast episode. We’re talking to luthier Bryan Galloup about his annual Northwoods Seminar, a four-day retreat where you can learn the finer points of guitarmaking and repair from some of the biggest names in the business, including Bob Taylor, Richard Hoover, Dan Erlewine, Andy Powers and others. This year’s event takes place August 21-24, 2017 and includes music performances by Bill Kirchen and Redd Volkaert. On the show, we also talk to Galloup about his Galloup School of Guitar Building and Repair, his own guitar creations, the unique presentation he gave at our Fretboard Summit and more.
Galloup is one of many luthiers who will be on-hand at this year’s La Conner Guitar Festival, which takes place this weekend (May 12-14) in La Conner, Washington. The Fretboard Journal is proudly sponsoring this event. We hope to see you there.
Enjoying our podcast? Consider subscribing via iTunes and don’t forget to leave us a review.
Northwoods Seminar Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/409974032696325/
|May 11, 2017|
Podcast 146: Matt Hampton of the Hampton Brothers
The first time Matt Hampton sought out to harvest Red spruce for guitar tops, he, quite simply, "searched Google Earth for dark patches on top of tall mountains." Matt and his brother Nate are now continuing the legacy started by Ted Davis and John Arnold and making a full-time living hunting down Adirondack red spruce for luthiers and larger-scale guitar manufacturers.
Matt describes the process and how one tree can yield up to 500 tops, their unlikely start in the world of guitarmaking, their relationship with John Arnold and more. He also busts a few myths about spruce. We also hear about the brothers’ quest to find quality domestic back and side tonewoods. It’s a fascinating story, they sound almost like the American Pickers of trees.
Watch the Brothers harvest a Red spruce tree here on YouTube.
Subscribe to our magazine here.
|May 04, 2017|
Podcast 145: Ben Harper
Today we’re talking to the one-and-only Ben Harper. Ben tells us about a very special guitar he just received from luthier John Monteleone. It's the first lap steel guitar that Monteleone has ever made, a guitar that John has dubbed a Radio City Special Deluxe (see pictures and video at fretboardjournal.com).
In addition to talking about the origin of his Monteleone guitar, we talk to Ben about his new Reverb store, some recent recording projects (including a session with jazz player Bruce Bishop) and a lot more.
Ben Harper's Official Site: http://www.benharper.com
Please subscribe to the Fretboard Journal Podcast on iTunes if you haven't yet and don't forget to leave us a review.
Want our print edition? Go to fretboardjournal.com and use the coupon code PODCAST and save $5.00 off any subscription or order.
Want to support our digital efforts even further? Click here to donate and support our ever-growing (and always free) podcast, video and digital content.
Lastly, this episode is sponsored by Retrofret, one of our favorite vintage instrument dealers in the country. Visit them online or at their Brooklyn showroom.
|Apr 26, 2017|
Podcast 144: Luthiers Linda Manzer, David Wren and Tony Duggan-Smith
On today’s podcast, acclaimed luthiers Linda Manzer, David Wren and Tony Duggan-Smith gather around Manzer's kitchen table to talk to us about their new Group of Seven guitar project.
The Group of Seven consisted of Canadian landscape painters Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, Franklin Carmichael, Frank Johnston, F.H. Varley and A.Y. Jackson. These seven artist friends were prolific through the 1920s and early '30s and are now considered highly influential.
Manzer saw similarities between the bond these seven legendary artists had and the one she shares with fellow luthiers and friends who studied under Jean Larrivee, decades ago. She decided to pay homage by having seven guitars built. Each luthier would focus on a different Group of Seven member.
The luthiers participating include Manzer, Sergi de Jonge, Duggan-Smith, Wren, George Gray, Grit Laskin and Jean Larrivée. The luthiers also built an eighth guitar as a group to pay tribute to painter Tom Thomson.
The project launches May 6, 2017 at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection outside of Toronto and the guitars will be on display through October in a room right next to the art that inspired them.
|Apr 20, 2017|
Podcast 143: Andy Powers of Taylor Guitars
Andy Powers is a force of nature. He’s a gifted musician, an avid surfer and, of course, a stellar guitarmaker. As Andy tells us on this week’s podcast, he’s always had the guitarmaking bug. In fact, he attempted to build his first instrument when he was still in elementary school and, when he was barely a teenager, he had enough of a guitar repair business brewing that he earned himself a letter from the IRS.
As an adult, Powers had a bustling business building archtops, guitars, ukuleles and mandolins and doing restorations out of his Oceanside, California workshop when he decided to switch gears and become a full-time Taylor employee. At Taylor, Powers has tirelessly worked on new lines and improvements, including the Grand Orchestra model, revamping the 600 and 800 series lines of guitars, the new Academy series of instruments and the GS Mini-e Bass. During our chat, we talk about these models, the recruitment offer he received from Bob Taylor, the state of affairs when it comes to Taylor sourcing wood, his R&D process and much more.
This episode of the Fretboard Journal Podcast is brought to you by Retrofret Vintage Guitars in Brooklyn, New York.
|Apr 07, 2017|
Podcast 142: Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters)
On today’s podcast, we talk to Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett. Chris tells us about growing up in Santa Barbara; starting out on guitar; his early love for metal; how he landed the Foo Fighters gig; why he started playing Telecasters; and the making of his new solo country album, ‘West Coast Town.’ Chris also talks to us about his weekly podcast, ‘Walking the Floor,’ where he’s interviewed a wide array of artists including Marty Stuart, Bob Mould, Lucinda Williams, Buddy Miller and others.
Watch our video with Chris playing "Goodnight Little Rock" from the new album here.
For a limited time, use the coupon code PODCAST and save $5 off any Fretboard Journal subscription or order.
Tune in next week when we interview Andy Powers of Taylor Guitars. And don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes.
|Apr 06, 2017|
Podcast 141: Singer-Songwriter Ethan Gruska
On this week’s podcast, we talk to Ethan Gruska (Belle Brigade) about his 2017 solo album, Slowmotionary. As Gruska tells it, he innocently recorded a handful of songs thinking they would serve as a sort of business card to remind musician pals that he could do session work for them. Little did he know he'd eventually synch up with producer Tony Berg, record an entire album steeped in ‘60s and ‘70s singer-songwriter sounds and end up releasing it on Sire records. Gruska talks to us about working with Berg on the project, Blake Mills (who plays guitar on the album's second track) and what it was like to co-write a song for John Legend ("Right by You" on Legend’s Darkness and Light). Though Gruska says “the guitar is a series of happy accidents for me,” he’s a stellar player. Watch our video with him playing “Reoccurring Dream” on fretboardjournal.com.
This episode of the Fretboard Journal Podcast is sponsored by Retrofret Guitars. Visit their website or Instagram and tell them the FJ sent you! http://retrofret.com
|Mar 29, 2017|
Podcast 140: Doug Kauer (Kauer Guitars / Titan Guitars)
This week, we have a fun talk with Doug Kauer of Kauer Guitars, Titan Guitars and DRS racks. Doug tells us about how his family’s cabinetry business gave him the experience he needed to build instruments, why he utilizes CNC machines in his production facility and the unique business model behind the Titan line (an American-made electric guitar starting at $1300 with plenty of customization options).
This episode is brought to you by Dying Breed Music. Dying Breed has an amazing selection of Golden Era Martins, Gibsons and other instruments available: http://www.dyingbreedguitars.com
|Mar 24, 2017|
Podcast 139: Rick Turner, Jack Casady and Dan Schwartz at the Fretboard Summit 2016
Another highlight from the 2016 Fretboard Summit: Rick Turner, Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna) and Dan Schwarz have a candid talk about the evolution of instrument amplification and tone from the 1960s to today. Casady talks about his desire for higher fidelity bass sounds, even as rock concert sound systems got bigger and bigger, and the electronic experimentation that ensued. Schwarz talks about the fateful day in 1973 when he walked into the Alembic guitar factory. Meanwhile, Rick Turner discusses the back-and-forth collaborations that happen between luthiers and their clients. It's a deep (two hours long) talk that covers a lot of ground...
This episode of the Fretboard Journal Podcast is sponsored by Dying Breed Music.
Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal print magazine here.
|Mar 16, 2017|
Podcast 138: Noam Pikelny of the Punch Brothers
Banjo virtuoso Noam Pikelny joins us on this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about his new (and excellent) solo album 'Universal Favorite', some of the instruments in his growing collection (including his 1930 Gibson Granada, his 1941 Gibson TB-7, his 1953 Martin D-28 and his 1953 Fender Telecaster) and a lot more.
Get Noam's tour dates and order 'Universal Favorite' here:
This episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music:
Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal Podcast via iTunes:
|Mar 07, 2017|
Podcast 137: Wes Lambe and Ben Maschal of Pre-War Guitars
Relic’d guitars are nothing new in the world of electric instruments, but they’re relatively unheard of when it comes to acoustics. Pre-War Guitars – the duo of Wes Lambe and Ben Maschal – hopes to change that. The pair of veteran luthiers are creating guitars that tap into the vintage sound and feel of Martins and Gibsons of the 1930s and ‘40s with hide glue, ultra-thin finishes and torrefied top woods. But they’re also adding scratches, dents and play wear to each of their new guitars (they offer a variety of distress levels based on a customer's preference). On this week’s podcast, you can hear about how this company came together, how they're constructing these instruments and why sometimes a little wear can result in a better sounding guitar.
This week’s episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music. Check out their Gbase page here: https://www.gbase.com/stores/dying-breed-music
Don't forget to subscribe to us via iTunes and please leave us a review if you can. Our 38th issue of the Fretboard Journal is now mailing... with features on Daniel Lanois, Leo Kottke, the first "Loar" mandolin and a lot more.
|Mar 02, 2017|
Podcast 136: Wyatt Wilkie of Wilkie Stringed Instruments
If you love a good story, you’ll want to tune into this week’s podcast with luthier Wyatt Wilkie. Though he comes from a musical family, Wilkie is a completely self-taught instrument maker. He built his very first instrument, a mandocello, while working in New Mexico as a gravedigger. He then moved to a small town in Wales where he honed his craft and eventually found himself in Georgia apprenticing for archtop guitar icon Bob Benedetto. Wilkie is now nestled in the Comox Valley on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, where he divides his time today between mandolins and archtop guitars. Nearly all of his work is exquisite and custom… and no two guitars are alike.
This week’s episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music: https://www.gbase.com/stores/dying-breed-music
|Feb 16, 2017|
Podcast 135: Jason & Pharis Romero of J. Romero Banjo Co.
On today’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to Jason and Pharis Romero of J. Romero Banjo Co. From the tiny town of Horsefly, British Columbia, the Romeros craft some of the most coveted new fretted instruments being made. They currently have a five year waitlist and, as they describe it, even getting on the waitlist is a bit of a challenge. The duo are also exceptional musicians and won the 2016 Juno Award for Best Traditional Album of the Year.
In June 2016, a fire swept through the Romeros entire shop, destroying many of their new instruments as well as some of the prized vintage possessions. During our conversation, we talk to them about the fire, the help they received from the music community and how their rebuild process is going. We also chat about some of their latest banjo creations and innovations.
|Feb 11, 2017|
Podcast 134: Luthier Maegen Wells
On this week’s podcast, we talk to luthier Maegen Wells. After years of working alongside famed archtop guitar and bass builder Tom Ribbecke, Maegen is now building her own guitar and mandolin creations out of her Forestville, California workshop.
Wells has devoted nearly her entire adult life to learning the craft of lutherie and woodworking. Straight out of high school, she enrolled in Bryan Galloup’s Galloup School of Guitar Building and Professional Guitar Repair. She then went on to work at the Reverend Guitars warehouse and served as an apprentice to both Andrew White and Ribbecke.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Fretboard Journal Podcast via iTunes and, if you can, leave us a review on iTunes to help us with our search rankings: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fretboard-journal-podcast/id394447340?mt=2
The Fretboard Journal’s latest issue, #38, is now mailing worldwide. Subscribe via fretboardjournal.com and we’ll start you off with this edition.
This episode is brought to you via sponsor TR Crandall. Check out their amazing inventory of vintage archtops, electrics and flattop acoustic guitars. And tell them the Fretboard Journal sent you: http://trcrandall.com
|Feb 02, 2017|
Podcast 133: William Seeders Mosheim of Seeders Instruments
On today's podcast, we talk to William Seeders Mosheim, the owner of Seeders Instruments. Seeders is an open-back banjo builder who has found success combining old world designs with new world craftsmanship. The Vermont-based luthier honed his woodworking craft at his father's furniture business but now has a multi-year wait list for his banjos. His custom creations can incorporate any number of tone ring styles, wood options and levels of ornamentation.
This episode is sponsored once again by TR Crandall. If you're visiting their store or website, don't forget to tell them that the Fretboard Journal sent you.
Don't forget to subscribe to all of the Fretboard Journal podcasts via iTunes. And leave us a review if you can!
|Jan 27, 2017|
Podcast 132: Recording Engineer Larry Crane on Elliott Smith
This week, we talk to recording engineer Larry Crane of Portland’s Jackpot! Recording Studio about the new and expanded 20th anniversary reissue of Elliott Smith’s Either/Or, his friendship with Smith and what those original recording sessions were like. Larry tells us about Smith’s in-studio work habits, the gear they used, the work that went into remastering these songs and a lot more. We also discuss the economics of running a recording studio and Tape Op, the magazine that Crane co-founded with John Baccigaluppi.
This week's episode is sponsored by TR Crandall in New York.
Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal podcast via iTunes and leave us a review, please.
|Jan 12, 2017|
Podcast 131: Michael James Adams & the Guitar Store Panel at the 2016 Fretboard Summit
This week: A double-episode of sorts! First off, we talk to Michael James Adams (aka by his social media handle, puisheen) about interviewing Nels Cline for us for issue 37. Michael walks through the interview process, Nels’ gear selections and more. Around the 20 minute mark, we share another session from the 2016 Fretboard Summit, this one on the next generation of guitar stores. On the panel: Adams (co-founder of Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar), Mark Stutman (Folkway Music), Reuben Cox (Old Style Guitar Shop), Will Lowe (Lowe Vintage) and Paul Heumiller (Dream Guitars). Topics covered: Using social media to sell guitars, finding your niche, and how these stores find their inventory.
This episode is brought to you by another relatively new store, TR Crandall.
Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal Podcast via iTunes here.
|Jan 06, 2017|
Podcast 130: Singer-Songwriter Paul Burch
On today's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to singer-songwriter Paul Burch, who went from performing in rock and indie bands in the Midwest to working the honky tonks on Lower Broadway. Burch tells us about his years performing at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, focusing on “post-war, pre-Elvis” music; his classic country music influences; how his songwriting and singing evolved; and his latest project, Meridian Rising, an imagined, musical autobiography of Jimmie Rodgers.
Read about Burch on fretboardjournal.com here:
This episode is sponsored by TR Crandall.
|Dec 29, 2016|
Podcast 129: Vintage Gibson Panel at the Fretboard Summit
Yet another fun session from the 2016 Fretboard Summit! This week we hear John Thomas (Kalamazoo Gals), TJ Thompson, Mark Stutman (Folkway Music), Jim Baggett (Mass Street Music), Robb Lawrence (The Les Paul Legacy) and David Sheppard (Lowe Vintage) field questions on vintage Gibson acoustic guitars.
Sponsored by TR Crandall.
Use the coupon code FJHoliday when you check out at https://shop.fretboardjournal.com and get an additional 15% off any order.
|Dec 23, 2016|
Podcast 128: T. Drew Heinonen and the Summit OM Build, Part Six
The wait is over!
Back on our 100th episode, we introduced you to T. Drew Heinonen, a young luthier who attended the first Fretboard Summit. We ended up ordering a guitar through Drew, using woods and materials we sourced through some of our favorite suppliers. Ever since, we’ve been checking in with Drew on the podcast as he builds the instrument. Well, the wait is over and at the second Summit (held in October 2016 in San Diego), Drew presented us with the finished guitar, a fine sounding koa/Lutz OM with surprising tone (for a koa instrument) and plenty of personal touches.
On today’s episode, we talk to Drew about how the guitar came together, how it’s opening up and what his plans are for 2017 and beyond. We also discuss the sister OM guitar that Drew built using Black locust and Red spruce. That instrument is currently for sale via Drew.
|Dec 16, 2016|
Podcast 127: CITES Rosewood Updates with John Thomas
Law professor, author and Fretboard Journal Field Editor John Thomas joins us once again to discuss some recent updates to CITES and the impact they will have on musicians, instrument collectors and builders. Specifically, beginning January 2017, all remaining species of Rosewood (beyond Brazilian, which was already protected) will be added to CITES Appendix II. This may not affect you at all if you keep your guitars in United States but if you ever plan on taking an instrument with rosewood across the border (or selling one to someone outside the country), you may have some work to do.
We discuss the various steps that collectors, luthiers and dealers should take if they want to transport guitars with rosewood internationally; how builders can protect their wood stockpile; the expenses and timing needed to file all this paperwork; and a lot more.
Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal podcast for free via iTunes:
If you’re holiday shopping and want to give the Fretboard Journal as a gift this year, use the coupon code FJHOLIDAY when you check out. You’ll get 15% off any order: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com
Intro/Outro music by Jon Rauhouse.
Today’s podcast is sponsored by TR Crandall:
US Fish & Wildlife Link for Musical Instrument Passports:
The Fretboard Journal’s Guide to Musical Instrument Passports: https://www.fretboardjournal.com/columns/musical-instrument-passports-new-cites-provision/
The FJ’s Guitar Lover’s Guide to CITES:
League of American Orchestra’s CITES Protected Species Travel Tips:
|Dec 09, 2016|
Podcast 126: Michael Corcoran on Washington Phillips
On December 5, 1927, the day after Blind Willie Johnson recorded some of his most influential blues sides at an impromptu Columbia Records recording studio in Dallas, in walked an equally mysterious and haunting musician, Washington Phillips. Phillips carried a homebrew instrument - later described as a “dulceola” but, as we learn on today’s podcast, actually two zithers he fabricated together. The otherworldly music coming out of those zithers, combined with Phillips’ powerful singing and songwriting, created some of the most awe-inspiring and mysterious sounds ever recorded. It’s no wonder Phillips has been covered by Ry Cooder, Jorma Kaukonen, Will Oldham and others.
On today’s podcast, we talk to writer Michael Corcoran, whose research helped fill in the gaps of who, exactly, Phillips was, where he lived and when he died. We also talk about Phillips instrument of choice and how the dulceola theory was finally debunked.
All of Corcoran’s findings on Phillips can be found on the new Dust to Digital book/CD recording called Washington Phillips and his Manzarene Dreams. It’s great music and great writing (the liner notes are actually a 76-page book)… we can’t recommend it enough.
“Where did this come from? That still remains the mystery,” Corcoran concludes. “I still don’t know that… you really will never know the motivation of the artist…”
Discussed in this podcast:
http://www.dust-digital.com/washington-phillips/ (Washington Phillips and his Manzarene Dreams)
|Dec 01, 2016|
Podcast 125: Mike Watt
You don’t need to be an offset guitar connoisseur to appreciate the beauty of Nels Cline’s beat 1960 Fender Jazzmaster, affectionately dubbed “Watt.” On today’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to the former owner of that guitar, Mike Watt himself. Watt reflects on his ongoing friendship with Cline, his ownership stint with the Jazzmaster (which was briefly owned by J Mascis before Watt bought it via Rick King at Guitar Maniacs), the Minutemen and more. We ask Watt about the recent release of Ring Spiel Tour ‘95, an amazing live document featuring Watt with Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, Pat Smear and William Goldsmith.
Also discussed: D. Boon, EMG pickups, Floored by Four, the Black Gang, a potential signature model Mike Watt bass and more.
Referenced in the discussion:
Nels Cline is on the cover of the new Fretboard Journal #37, available now. Podcast listeners: Use the coupon code "podcast" when you check out.
|Nov 22, 2016|
Podcast 124: Jon Herington of Steely Dan
On this week’s podcast, we talk to guitarist Jon Herington. For the last several years, Herrington has performed guitar duties for Steely Dan, but his credits go far beyond that. He’s also an accomplished singer-songwriter and session musician. We also discuss his 2016 solo album Adult Entertainment, his Wysocki Telecaster, the rigors of touring and a bunch more.
|Nov 18, 2016|
Podcast 123: Vintage Martin Guitar Panel from the 2016 Fretboard Summit
On this week’s podcast, we’re sharing the vintage Martin guitar panel that took place at the 2016 Fretboard Summit. Included on this panel were guitar experts Mark Stutman (Folkway Music), TJ Thompson, Jim Baggett (Mass Street Music), David Sheppard (Lowe Vintage), Eric Schoenberg and Joe Glaser (Glaser Instruments). Also joining in is Dick Boak from Martin. This episode makes for a nice bookend with Fretboard Journal Podcast #122 with TJ Thompson. Topics include: TJ’s background, the Martin “longscale” myth, proper intonation, hide glue, popsicle braces, slotted bridge pins, why you can’t make a new guitar exactly like an old one and much more. All-told, a fun and informative chat with six of the world’s best-known vintage instrument experts.
Note: The audience was un-mic’d for this informal session so questions are hard to hear on this podcast. You should be able to figure out all the questions asked via the panel’s responses.
This episode is sponsored by TR Crandall Guitars.
|Nov 11, 2016|
Podcast 122: TJ Thompson at the 2016 Fretboard Summit
On this week’s Fretboard Journal podcast, we’re sharing the talk that acclaimed luthier TJ Thompson gave at the 2016 Fretboard Summit in San Diego. This talk was billed as “Myth Busting with TJ Thompson” and had the following description in our program:
Adirondack you say? What makes you think so? Is it possible to build a new guitar just like the old guitars? How long is long scale? Is hide glue really better? Should you have that popsicle brace removed? Internet bloggers who believe they know the answers to these questions beware, this lecture may not be for you.
This was easily one of the most candid talks at the Summit. By popular demand (and with his permission), we’re sharing it today. At the 2016 Summit, TJ was also on panels discussing vintage Martin guitars, vintage acoustic Gibson guitars and the merits of the PLEK machine. We’ll be sharing those in the near future, too.
Please review us on iTunes if you haven’t yet and don’t forget to subscribe to the Fretboard Journal print edition. Our new issue (#37) is now mailing with Nels Cline on the cover.
This week’s podcast sponsor is TR Crandall, a must-see vintage guitar shop in New York City.
Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine here.
|Nov 04, 2016|
Podcast 121: Rick Turner, Dana Bourgeois and Andy Powers at the Fretboard Summit
The last official talk at the 2016 Fretboard Summit featured three giants in the world of guitarmaking: Rick Turner, Dana Bourgeois and Andy Powers. This sprawling talk covers a lot of ground: What makes a great guitar? How long are guitars supposed to last? Will artificial intelligence take over guitar making? They also fielded plenty of enlightening questions from our audience. [Note: Audio is a little variable with audience questions – not everyone spoke into a microphone – but the answers should be plenty audible.]
The second Fretboard Summit took place October 14-16, 2016 in San Diego. Over the next few months, we’ll be releasing more content – talks, panels and concert footage – on fretboardjournal.com.
|Oct 27, 2016|
Podcast 120: Henry Kaiser with THD Electronic's Andy Marshall
Two old friends join us on this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast as we talk with guitar improvising legend Henry Kaiser and Andy Marshall of THD Electronics.
During our sprawling chat, Kaiser tells us about his love for diving in the Antarctic and how being underwater in the cold has affected his sense of rhythm. He also tells us how he met Alexander “Howard” Dumble and how he obtained his #1 Steel String Singer in one of the great guitar deals of the century. Kaiser then walks us through his pedalboard’s entire signal chain, briefly demoing each pedal. The pair also discuss the magic of Bell & Howell Filmosound amplifiers and the future of Marshall's THD Electronics.
Must-watch video of Henry Kaiser swimming with the Weddell seals:
And Kaiser playing slide on the South Pole:
Note: During this taping, we filmed a few videos with Kaiser and Marshall performing at the FJ. Look for those on fretboardjournal.com and on our YouTube channel over the next couple of weeks.
|Oct 21, 2016|
Podcast 119: Will Lowe & David Sheppard of Lowe Vintage
On this week's podcast, we talk to Will Lowe and David Sheppard of Lowe Vintage. Lowe Vintage is a relatively new guitar shop based in Burlington, North Carolina. Despite their newcomer status in the world of vintage guitars, mandolins and banjos, they've already amassed an incredible selection of Gibsons, Martins and more.
During our talk, Will Lowe tells us about how this store came about and where they find all these classic '20s-'40s era instruments. We also talk to David Sheppard about the repair work he does to these instruments, collector trends and more.
|Sep 30, 2016|
Podcast 118: T. Drew Heinonen and the Summit OM Build, Part Five
Our Fretboard Summit OM guitar project is now nearing completion. On this episode, we conduct one last Skype conversation with luthier T. Drew Heinonen to talk about the instrument, where it stands currently and about some of the finishing touches Drew will be making to the guitar. He tells us a bit about pore fillers, the intricacies of UV finishes, how he prefers to glue the bridge to the body, the merits of Ironwood as a replacement for Ebony and much more.
We’ll be unveiling this guitar for the first time at the Fretboard Summit, October 14-16, 2016 in San Diego, California. Join us for three days of music, guitar talks, interviews and panels if you can. We’ll even let you play this very guitar. It’s going to be a blast.
Special thanks to Stewart MacDonald for sponsoring this and other Summit guitar episodes.
|Sep 22, 2016|
Podcast 117: Music Pastor Paul Enns
We don’t often cover religious music here at the Journal but on today’s podcast we talk to Paul Enns, a music pastor based in London. He walks us through his unique job, crafting music and playing acoustic guitar for church services; tells us about his wildly eclectic music tastes (here’s a player who can appreciate everything from Joe Henry to John Zorn and Albert Ayler); describes the life changing impact Springsteen’s The River had on him as a child and a lot more.
Also, Summit updates, some Southern California FJ reader meetups and more.
Jon Rauhouse with Eric Bachmann:
|Sep 13, 2016|
Podcast 116: Richard Hoover at the Fretboard Summit
As Santa Cruz celebrates its fortieth anniversary, we’re sharing the talk that founder Richard Hoover gave at the first-ever Fretboad Summit. Richard tells us a bit about the SCGC operation, gives us his thoughts on how tonewoods affect what we hear, describes his specific builds for Tony Rice and much more.
The next Fretboard Summit takes place October 14-16, 2016 in San Diego, California. Once again, Hoover and many luthiers from around the country will be on-hand, fielding questions and explaining their craft. We’ll also have some of our favorite musicians, interactive exhibits, dozens of vintage guitars in a pop-up “guitar library” and much more.
|Aug 26, 2016|
Podcast 115: Jim Olson of Olson Guitars
Jim Olson is a legend in the world of acoustic guitar making. The Minnesota-based luthier is a cult favorite among guitar collectors around the world thanks to the instruments he's built for James Taylor (Taylor's Olson was once immortalized in cartoon form on a Simpson’s episode), Phil Keaggy and Leo Kottke. Due to their high demand, Olson’s new creations start at $15,000, a price that even he is a little embarrassed by. “I’m the Forrest Gump of guitarmaking,” Olson tells us. “I fell into here. I don’t think these things are any more special than anything else.”
During this candid talk, Olson tells us about the first guitar he built (with help from the classic Irving Sloane book), how Keagy ordered the first cedar guitar and how an early (and failed) distribution deal for his dreadnoughts in the late ‘70s resulted in his fanatical appreciation for tooling and build efficiency. “I’m sometimes more interested in making a new piece of tooling than a guitar,” he says. We also talk CNC machines, the creation of the Small Jumbo, tone woods, his fateful meeting with James Taylor and more.
|Aug 17, 2016|
Podcast 114: Luthier Otto D'Ambrosio
These days, Otto D’Ambrosio is best known for his exquisite archtop guitars. But his guitar journey began long ago, when he stumbled into Mandolin Brothers as a 13 year old. He ended up working at Mandolin Brothers for Stan Jay, then for luthier legends Flip Scipio and John Monteleone. He did some time at the repair department of Guild’s Westerly plant and, eventually set out on his own as a luthier and repairman.
On this week’s podcast, D’Ambrosio tell us about his background, describes the ongoing evolution of his archtop models and tells us about his ongoing collaboration with Eastman Guitars. After working for most of his life on the East Coast, Otto has now relocated to the West Coast to work out of Eastman’s California headquarters.
It’s an informative and fun chat with one of the fretted instrument world’s best craftsmen.
|Aug 05, 2016|
Podcast 113: T. Drew Heinonen's OM Guitar Build, Part Four
It's starting to look like a guitar!
Luthier T. Drew Heinonen is hard at work on the OM guitar project we'll be unveiling at the 2016 Fretboard Summit. On this week's podcast, Drew tells us about his assembly of the guitar's body, gives us his views on bracing and bridge plates and much more.
|Jul 28, 2016|
Podcast 112: Author and Banjo Expert Bob Carlin
Author, record producer, historian and performer Bob Carlin joins the Fretboard Journal podcast to talk about his latest project, the gorgeous new book 'Banjo: An Illustrated History.' The book is an exceptional tome for any fretted instrument collector: Carlin walks us through the history of the instrument while showcasing some of the most gorgeous banjos ever created. It also offers profiles on notable players and builders (including Jason Romero, Doc's Banjos, Kevin Enoch, Deering and others).
Order the book here: http://amzn.to/29W7i0w
|Jul 20, 2016|
Podcast 111: Guitarist Tim Young
Tim Young is best known for his guitar playing with Wayne Horvitz in Zony Mash but he’s also done a ton of session and studio work with everyone from Todd Rundgren and Fiona Apple to John Legend.
On this week’s podcast, we talk to Young about his career as a session guitarist, including his stint playing on the case/lang/veirs record (he’s also immortalized as the subject of the song “Best Kept Secret” on the album) and his work as the guitarist in the house band for The Late Late Show with James Corden. Young tells us about his time at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, his struggle to connect with some classic jazz sounds and how he found his guitar voice thanks to the music of Bill Frisell and Ween.
Added bonus: We shot video of Young playing with Bill Frisell at the Fretboard Journal, coming soon to our website. Stay tuned…
Special thanks to D’Addario for sponsoring this episode.
|Jul 13, 2016|
Podcast 110: Matt Munisteri & Bill Frisell
On May 24, 2016, jazz guitarists Bill Frisell and Matt Munisteri performed a short Facebook Live set at the Fretboard Journal’s Seattle headquarters. After the cameras were turned off, we kept the microphones rolling while Bill and Matt had an insightful conversation that covers Johnny Smith, the ‘80s New York City jazz scene, guitars, Bill’s work with Vernon Reid, inspiration, attempting to take vacation time and much more.
Watch Bill and Matt’s Facebook Live session here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQUq9v34dsA
or via the Fretboard Journal’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/fretboardjournal
Matt Munisteri will be appearing once again at the Fretboard Summit, held October 14-16, 2016 in San Diego, California. www.fretboardsummit.com
|Jul 07, 2016|
Podcast 109: Luthier T. Drew Heinonen and the OM Guitar Build, Part Three
Once again, we check in with Minnesota-based luthier T. Drew Heinonen. As we've discussed on podcasts #100 and #101, Heinonen will be building the Fretboard Journal an OM-style guitar, which we’ll be unveiling at the 2016 Fretboard Summit. As you’ll hear in this podcast, we sent Drew a wide variety of domestic tone woods to choose from – from highly-figured koa to sleeper Black walnut. We also sourced some bracing material from Michael Gurian, a Lutz top from Pacific Rim Tonewoods and a Red spruce top from the Hampton Brothers.
During this conversation, we talk to Drew and get his reaction to the various tonewoods we mailed to him. We get his thoughts on thickness sanding, how much (if at all) a luthier can affect the tone of the raw materials he’s using and a lot more. Last but not least, we finally decide on the raw materials we’ll be using for the Fretboard Summit OM.
Special thanks to Stewart MacDonald for sponsoring this episode of the Fretboard Journal Podcast. Backing music by Jon Rauhouse.
|Jun 27, 2016|
Podcast 108: Creston Lea at the Fretboard Summit
Burlington, Vermont's Creston Lea first appeared in the Fretboard Journal #21 when we ran a feature on him and fellow electric guitar builder Paul Languedoc. Over the years, we've continued to follow and be amazed by this created luthier.
Today's podcast was recorded live at the first Fretboard Summit in November 2015. This is Lea's presentation entitled "Flame Job!" where he talks about design, collaborating with artist Sarah Ryan on custom paint jobs, customer requests he's willing to take (and not take) and a lot more. He also fields some great questions from Fretboard Summit attendees. Huge thanks to our friends at prsguitars.com for sponsoring our Summit podcasts.
The next Fretboard Summit takes place October 14-16, 2016, this time in sunny San Diego. We hope to see some of you there.
|Jun 08, 2016|
Podcast 107: Luthier Jason Kostal
Even though his guitars command top dollar and his wait list is several years long, luthier Jason Kostal isn’t done learning his craft. In fact, as we hear on today’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, Kostal just flew to Europe to attend an inlay master class with Grit Laskin. We talk to Kostal about the course, Laskin’s approach to teaching and whether he’ll use his newfound inlay skills on his own guitar creations.
Beyond describing his class with Laskin, Kostal also tells us a bit about his build philosophy, how his business is doing and the state of boutique guitarmaking in general.
Kostal is a tireless learner and easily one of the most fascinating builders around: Before becoming a full-time luthier, he graduated from West Point, served in the Army, earned an MBA from Emory and did his time working for a Fortune 500 company. Eventually, he found himself at Roberto-Venn in Phoenix, apprenticing for Ervin Somagyi (who will be featured in issue 36 of the Journal) and starting his own guitar company.
This episode is sponsored by D’Addario’s new Nickel Bronze Wound strings: nickelbronze.daddario.com
Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine here:
|May 26, 2016|
Podcast 106: Walter Carter of Carter Vintage Guitars on the First 'Burst
On this week’s podcast we talk to Walter Carter of Carter Vintage Guitars about one of the store’s latest acquisitions, a May 1958 Gibson Les Paul that could safely be called the first ‘Burst. This prototype guitar came from the factory with a three-piece top and a “Special” finish, which just happened to be the same yellow to cherry red sunburst pattern that would be found on all those iconic 1959-1960 Les Pauls. Carter tells us about this unique instrument, how he found it (or it found him) and, yes, the price he’s asking.
Carter is an invaluable resource when it comes to all things fretted, so we also ask him about some of the recent sales trends he’s seen in vintage instruments, what guitar markets seem soft and more.
|May 16, 2016|
Podcast 105: Making Guitars for Prince with Roger Sadowsky and Andy Beech
For 105th episode, we talk to two of the many guitarmakers who built instruments for Prince over his career. Roger Sadowsky tells the entertaining story of how he built Prince's "Ejacucasters" and Andy Beech of D'Haitre Guitars describes the dozens of guitars he built for the late music star and some of the abuse they went through after years of rigorous touring. If you have your own Prince guitar story, we'd love to hear about it. Drop us a line!
This episode is sponsored by D'Addario.
|May 04, 2016|