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The Fretboard Journal Guitar Podcast

Each week, the Fretboard Journal interviews some of our favorite musicians, instrument builders and historians.
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The Fretboard Journal Guitar Podcast
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Now displaying: Category: music
Aug 13, 2018

Brighton, England’s Gwenifer Raymond joins us on this week’s podcast. Raymond started playing guitar and drumming in punk and rock bands, but eventually stumbled upon Appalachian music, pre-war blues and John Fahey. Since then, she picked up a PhD, became a video game programmer and has just released her first album of Fahey-inspired American Primitive music, You Never Were Much of a Dancer (Tompkins Square). It’s a fascinating journey that we cover on today’s podcast, as well as her choice in gear and much more.

This episode is sponsored by Lee Valley, Retrofret Vintage Guitars and Dying Breed Music.

Aug 6, 2018

Austin-based Tom Ellis is one of the world's most respected mandolin makers. On this week's podcast, we talk to him about how he got his start building instruments, the fateful day he showed Ricky Skaggs his second-ever mandolin and about the inlay work he does at Precision Pearl, Inc. today. We also chat about how Tom shared his shop with Bill Collings in the early '80s, talk about torrefied wood, discuss the merits of using CNCs in a high-end build and a lot more.

This episode is brought to you by Lee Valley and Retrofret

Jul 30, 2018

This week, we talk to Reverb.com's Dan Orkin. Dan recounts the company's early days, its explosive growth, some current marketplace trends when it come to guitars (including what's hot right now and what isn't) and a lot more. 

This episode is sponsored by Lee Valley and Retrofret

If you like the FJ Podcast, we hope you'll leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, iTunes or wherever you stream it. 

Use the coupon code PODCAST when you check out at fretboardjournal.com and save an additional $5 off any order. 

 

 

Jul 20, 2018

This week, we talk to one of the unsung heroes in the world of boutique guitars, Bruce VanWart of Collings Guitars. Bruce is the first official Collings employee and the one person who has touched nearly every instrument the company has produced since the late ’80s (almost 30,000 instruments). He reflects upon working alongside Bill Collings during the company’s earliest days, talks about his process evaluating wood for the company’s instruments and describes the 2018 re-launch of the Collings C-100. The C-100 was the brainchild of Bill Collings, a guitar with a dreadnought-sized lower bout with a skinnier upper bout and waist. Around 20 original C-100s were made in the mid-‘90s. They were reintroduced at the 2018 NAMM Show. 

Here's a video featuring Bob Minner playing one of the first Collings C-100s made in 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3d7izbaBZE 

This episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music, where there is an ever-growing inventory of vintage Martin and Gibson flattop guitars from the golden era.

Jul 12, 2018

Cory Wong is a force of nature: The thirty-something guitarist performs in Vulfpeck, the Fearless Flyers and on innumerable sessions. On this week’s podcast, we talk to Cory about the Minneapolis music scene (including his interactions over the years with Prince), why he loves clean amps and green screens, his impressive right-hand technique, Blake Mills and more. 

Cory’s second album, The Optimist, is available for pre-order with all sorts of cool perks: https://www.corywongmusic.com

Jul 5, 2018

Acclaimed guitar repair guru Tom Crandall of TR Crandall Guitars joins us to talk about the making of two gorgeous videos currently on fretboardjournal.com. In the videos, Tom is shown doing his magic to two vintage Stella guitars, a 12 and 6-string. Both guitars required extensive restoration work and a neck reset. Tom also talks about his background as a largely self-taught luthier, current projects he's working on and much more. 

https://trcrandall.com

Jul 3, 2018

This week, we welcome frequent FJ contributor Nathaniel Riverhorse Nakadate onto the podcast. Over the years, Riverhorse has penned some of our favorite articles for the FJ, including his features on Huey Long, Paul Buskirk and Darrell Scott. We talk to Riverhorse about the making of these features, his writing career (including his prolific work writing about fly fishing), his favorite guitars and much more.

Jun 22, 2018

Stephen Bishop - the guy behind pop hits "On and On," "It Might Be You" and "Save It For a Rainy Day" - joins us on this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk guitars (especially the gorgeous instrument that he commissioned from Danny Ferrington), movie making, songwriting and more. 

Jun 16, 2018

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


The Fretboard Journal’s first-ever Electric Guitar Annual will be out this August. Pre-order your copy now: 

https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/collections/all/products/fretboard-journal-electric-annual

 

Jun 8, 2018

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.

https://www.toddalbright.com

http://fraulini.com

https://shop.fretboardjournal.com

https://massstreetmusic.com

 

May 31, 2018

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 24, 2018

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 18, 2018

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.

Show notes
10:15 Steve McCreary (Collings Guitars / Waterloo Guitars) interview

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 10, 2018

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 3, 2018

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

Links:
https://theamericansongster.com

https://folkways.si.edu/dom-flemons/black-cowboys

https://www.fretboardjournal.com

Apr 28, 2018

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.  

https://www.deeringbanjos.com
https://www.fretboardjournal.com

This episode's sponsor is Mass Street Music

Apr 19, 2018

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.  

https://www.ericjohnson.com
https://www.fretboardjournal.com

 

Apr 12, 2018

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 7, 2018

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.

Mar 30, 2018

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 24, 2018

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 15, 2018

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 8, 2018

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

Link: Mark Leggett's Facebook page

Mar 2, 2018

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. 

http://acousticdisc.com
http://www.delmccouryband.com

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. 

Feb 19, 2018

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. 

This episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music

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