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.
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.
This week’s episode is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars.
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.
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.