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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: 2021
Apr 30, 2021

Reverb.com's Michael Lux and Dan Orkin are the co-producers of The Pedal Movie, Reverb's first feature-length documentary on the history of pedals, the current pedal movement and the artists who are pushing the boundaries of music with their stompboxes today. It's an inspiring, epic film - around two and a half hours long! - filled with the many, diverse faces that make up today's pedal industry. There's also a ton of guitar history, too.

During this week's chat, we talk about the making of the movie, the countless hours of interview footage they recorded, the pedal movement today (and where it's headed), and a lot more.

For more information, visit www.thepedalmovie.com. It's currently available via iTunes, Google Play and Vudu.

This episode is sponsored by Mono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars. Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine here. Our 47th issue features James Taylor, Chuck Prophet, Ben Harper, John Monteleone, Bahamas, Flip Scipio, luthier David Wren and much more. Read about it here

 
Apr 22, 2021

Richard Thompson joins us this week for a very special talk about the making of his new memoir, Beeswing: Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967-1975. The book chronicles the first chapter of RT's music career - including his time in the Fairport Convention, playing with Sandy Denny and his first solo albums - and is a must-read for fans of the famed singer-songwriter.

During our chat, we talk about the times Jimi Hendrix sat in with the Fairport Convention, how the group unearthed all those old British folk songs, his relationship with Sandy Denny and how he gleaned at least part of his right hand technique from banjo-ukulele great George Formby. We also hear about Thompson's future recording projects, his Lowden guitars, and a lot more. 

This episode is sponsored by CaddisMono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars. Use the discount code FRETBOARD15OFF to save 15 dollars off your Caddis order.

Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine here. Our new, 47th issue features James Taylor, Jim Olson, Ben Harper, John Monteleone, Bahamas, Flip Scipio, luthier David Wren and much more. Read about it here

Apr 13, 2021

A very special bonus episode: We're sharing a recent interview  Jason and Skip Simmons from the Truth about Vintage Amps just did with Anthony Coscia. Coscia just completed one of the wildest passion projects ever: a working, 1/6 scale model of the Grateful Dead's Wall of Sound, the audiophile-grade PA system the band employed during their concerts in 1974. 

(If you already subscribe to the TAVA Podcast, no need to download this episode.)

Coscia, a Deadhead who makes speaker cabinets and guitars as Coscia Guitars (Facebook link) ended up spending over 200 hours building cabinets, individually soldering and installing 390 tiny speakers (some meant just for cell phones), and even creating a lighting rig for this miniature state setup. He posted the updates to followers on his "Petite Mur De Son - Mini Wall of Sound" Facebook page (link).

Upon completion, Coscia donated it to non-profit HeadCount, where someone contributed $100,000 to be the next Mini Wall's owner.

With momentum and a recent Wall Street Journal front page article (link) celebrating his accomplishment under his belt, Coscia is already plotting his next, even bigger Wall. It's the real life tale of one of best pandemic projects we've heard of.

Apropos of nothing, Skip and Jason also go over the Geloso G-18R discussed on Ep. 67 of TAVA. 

We hope you enjoy this joint Truth About Vintage Amps / Fretboard Journal Podcast bonus episode.

Support the show as a TAVA Patreon patron and get bonus episodes, in-depth articles on amp circuitry and other surprises.

TAVA Discounts: Use the discount code THETRUTH10 to save 10% off your order from Amplified Parts between now and April 15, 2021. 

Use the discount code TRUTHV150FF to save $15 off Caddis readers between now and April 30, 2021. 

Visit fretboardjournal.com for more photos and a partial transcription of this episode. 

Special thanks to our sponsors: Grez Guitars, Amplified Parts, Caddis, Folkway Music, Retrofret Vintage Guitars, and Mono Cases

Apr 2, 2021

In the span of just three years (1970-1973), Steve Kalb took up guitarmaking and ended up selling his creations to Leo Kottke, David Crosby, Jerry Garcia, Robbie Robertson and Paul Simon. And then, with fewer than 30 guitars under his belt, he threw in the towel, sold off his tools, and enrolled in law school.

On this very special Fretboard Journal Podcast, we re-connect with this lost guitarmaking legend, now based in Southern California. We hear about how he took up instrument making upon reading Irving Sloane's influential 'Classic Guitar Construction' book, how he almost made a guitar for Bob Dylan, the financial (and personal) struggles that convinced him to give up lutherie to become a lawyer, and a lot more.

This is a conversation about more than just guitars: It's about the fragility of life, the perils of chasing perfection, and one guy's never-ending love for woodworking. Steve has a beautiful story that hasn't been told until today.

This episode is sponsored by CaddisMono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars. Use the discount code FRETBOARD15OFF to save 15 dollars off your Caddis order.

Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine here. Our new, 47th issue features James Taylor, Jim Olson, Ben Harper, John Monteleone, Bahamas, Flip Scipio, luthier David Wren and much more. Read about it here

Mar 31, 2021

Taylor Guitars' Andy Powers returns once again to the Fretboard Journal Podcast for an enlightening talk about some of the latest additions to the Taylor lineup. We talk the new GT (Grand Theater) Taylor models, hear about how he goes about exploring new bracing patterns, and learn how domestic woods like "Urban Ash" have helped buoy Taylor's output during COVID. Andy also tells us about the music that's inspiring him right now (including two very familiar names to FJ readers), talks magnets and a lot more.

This episode is sponsored by CaddisMono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars. Use the discount code FRETBOARD15OFF to save 15 dollars off your Caddis order.

Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine here. Our new, 47th issue features James Taylor, Jim Olson, Ben Harper, John Monteleone, Bahamas, Flip Scipio, luthier David Wren and much more. Read about it here

Mar 25, 2021
This week, Jason reaches out to singer-songwriter Anthony da Costa, who is quarantining in a Nashville apartment with an ever-growing array of rack mounted gear, guitars, synths and (possibly) a spinet piano. Da Costa goes in-depth on the art of co-writing songs remotely via Zoom and talks about his recently-released What Plans? album on Bandcamp, a sprawling project that featured over 20 special guests (including Madison Cunningham and Molly Tuttle).
 
We of course chat Collings Guitars, too (Anthony is a huge fan). It's an enlightening, fun chat with one of the FJ's favorite young singer-songwriters. 
 
Follow Anthony via his Bandcamp page
 
This episode is sponsored by Mono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars

Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine here

Mar 16, 2021

Bonus Episode: Jason launched a new podcast where he celebrates the makers of the world (not just guitarmakers). It's called Sweep the Floor. Every two weeks, he'll talk to an artisan, a craftsperson or a maker of some sort, doing fascinating work. Most of these subjects will have nothing to do with music. 

But, for his first episode, he did talk to a familiar Fretboard Journal face: guitarmaker Linda Manzer. On this bonus episode, you can hear the full interview. 

Linda Manzer is one of the greatest guitarmakers alive today. She pushes the boundaries of instrument-making and engineering with each of her creations and has a cult-like following among both collectors and world-class players like Pat Metheny, Julian Lage and Bruce Cockburn. 

During this chat, we talk to Linda about her development as a luthier, the fateful period she spent learning from archtop guitar hero Jimmy D'Aquisto, and hear about how her own creations continue to evolve. 

Subscribe to Sweep the Floor on Apple Podcasts here

Follow Sweep the Floor on Spotify here

This episode is sponsored by Mono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars

Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine here. Our 47th issue (out now) has a lengthy feature by David Wren with many photos of Linda Manzer at the beginning of her career; plus James Taylor, John Monteleone and much more.

 
Mar 9, 2021

Guitar great/singer-songwriter Ariel Posen just released a new album, Headway

On this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to Posen about the making of the album, the art of cowriting (and how it's changed in the pandemic), why he loves his Two-Rock amplifiers, and his current gear lineup.

Posen recounts his early infatuation with slide guitar, thanks to the music of George Harrison, Ry Cooder and Kevin Breit (who we interviewed during on FJ Podcast ep. 304). We also chat about why he's begun to love Jazzmasters, why he prefers modern guitars over vintage, and much more. Jason also gives a recap on the ever-growing Fretboard Journal family of podcasts.

https://www.arielposen.com

Bonus Content: Posen has posted a video just for Fretboard Journal readers showing you how to play "It's You" from the album. Click here to watch it

This episode is sponsored by IzotopeMono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars. Use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your next Izotope order.

Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine here

Mar 2, 2021

Acoustic guitarist / composer Yasmin Williams just released a breathtaking new album called 'Urban Driftwood.' On today's Fretboard Journal Podcast, she talks to us about the making of the record (most of which took place in the middle of the 2020 pandemic), how she took up guitar after beating Guitar Hero 2, her gear of choice (including her custom Skytop Guitar) and much more. It's a great chat with one of our favorite new artists. 

This episode is sponsored by IzotopeMono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars. Use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your next Izotope order.

http://www.yasminwilliamsmusic.com

Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine here

Feb 23, 2021

A few weeks back, we talked to Keith Calton, founder of Calton Cases (Fretboard Journal Podcast, Ep. 313). Keith, as you hopefully know, perfected a fiberglass "flight case" design decades ago that is still used by touring artists around the world.

This week, we're talking to Calton's current owner, Austin, Texas' Jeff Poss. Jeff explains how he ended up in the musical instrument industry, the evolution of Calton's construction over the years, their current-day output (including the non-guitar cases they produce) and much more. 

This episode is sponsored by IzotopeMono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars. Use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your next Izotope order.

 
Feb 12, 2021
Acclaimed acoustic guitarist and harmonica player Tom Ball joins us on this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast. Tom reflects on the passing of Ash Grove founder Ed Pearl and the legacy of that incredible, highly influential venue. Tom attended innumerable shows at the Ash Grove and he regales us with some of his favorite memories of the venue, including one wild John Lee Hooker performance.
 
We also hear about Tom's new novel, Backstraw (link); how he's coping with the lockdown (Tom and Kenny Sultan famously played at Santa Barbara's Cold Spring Tavern every weekend for over four decades); his vintage guitar of choice and more. 

This episode is sponsored by IzotopeMono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars. Use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your next Izotope order.

Feb 4, 2021

Bob Minner returns to the Fretboard Journal Podcast to walk us through his new album, SOLO. Recorded entirely on the newly-announced Collings CJ-45 T, the album is a must-listen for Collings fanatics or anyone who appreciates great flatpicking.

During the chat, Bob tells us how he's spent the last year off the road (he's usually found backing Tim McGraw on acoustic guitar, a job he's held for nearly three decades) and walks us through his home recording setup. We talk about Bob's love for slope-shouldered guitars, his appreciation for both boutique and vintage instruments (including "Frankie," his cherished 1936 Martin D-18), and why he dedicated a song to Collings employee (and former FJ Podcast guest) Bruce VanWart. Plus a lot more. 

This episode is sponsored by IzotopeMono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars. Use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your next Izotope order.

Links: 
https://minnerguitar.com
https://www.collingsguitars.com/acoustic-guitars/cj-45-t
https://www.teegardenaudio.com (Bob used the PPC-125 mics, and the 2100 pre)

Jan 27, 2021

Today, some of the world's most valuable acoustic and electric instruments are protected by Calton Cases. What you may not realize is the colorful history of the case company or its founder, Keith Calton. On today's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to Calton about his unlikely entry into the musical industry some 50 years ago, when he came up with the brilliant idea of a fiberglass guitar case and began tracing friends' instruments in his father's garage. Somehow, he stumbled upon a timeless (and nearly indestructible) design that is still considered the gold standard of flight cases. And, though he no longer owns the case company (it's going strong and is now based out of Austin, Texas), he's still hard at work making stuff out of fiberglass... these days for boat owners. 

We'll be interviewing Jeff Poss, current owner of Calton Cases, on a future episode.

https://www.calton-cases.com
https://www.caltoncraft.co.uk

This episode is sponsored by IzotopeMono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars. Use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your next Izotope order.

Jan 19, 2021

Until we can convince legendary live sound engineer Robert "Nitebob" Czaykowski to host his own podcast, we'll just keep inviting him back onto the Fretboard Journal Podcast. This time around, Nitebob regales us with tales of early NAMM Shows, working with the New York Dolls, getting fired mid-concert, and more. We also hear more about his work for Walter Becker of Steely Dan, his advice for bands on the road, discover the one guitar brand he's not a fan of and much more.

If you missed Nitebob's first appearance on the Fretboard Journal Podcast, check it out here: https://www.fretboardjournal.com/podcasts/podcast-301-robert-nitebob-czaykowski/

This episode is sponsored by IzotopeMono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars. Use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your next Izotope order.

 
Jan 8, 2021

Johnny Sangster of Seattle's Crackle & Pop! studio joins us this week to walk musicians through some home and studio recording basics. Johnny will be the host of our newest Fretboard Journal Podcast, the Truth About Recording & Mixing. This all-new show aims to demystify the world of recording and will feature Sangster and an array of world-class engineers, producers and mastering experts fielding your questions on recording gear, technique and more. It's inspired by our extremely popular Truth About Vintage Amps Podcast and we can't wait to share it with you. Launches late January 2021.

Submit your questions or voice memos for Johnny to podcast@fretboardjournal.com. 

Subscribe to the Truth About Recordings & Mixing via Apple Podcasts here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-truth-about-recording-mixing/id1545628110

This episode is sponsored by Mono Cases, Folkway Music and Retrofret Vintage Guitars.

Jan 2, 2021

Martin’s Custom Shop is a unique anomaly: Within their large Nazareth, Pennsylvania production facility, a small crew of luthiers builds completely custom, one-off guitars for discerning customers around the world. From personalized inlays and wood choices to double-neck Martins (!!), nothing seems off-the-table. On this week’s podcast, we bring back one of our favorite guests, Fred Greene (Vice President of Product Management for C.F. Martin & Co.), to talk about the Custom Shop, the ordering process and what Martin will (and won’t) build. We also have a candid talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Martin’s 2020 output and get some hints at what new products they’ll be unveiling at the virtual 2021 NAMM Show.

Link: https://www.martinguitar.com/custom-shop/

This episode is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars, Mono Cases and Folkway Music.

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