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.
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.
This episode is brought to you by Retrofret Vintage Guitars.
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.
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.
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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.
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