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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: November, 2022
Nov 25, 2022
This week, we talk to one of the young guns of vintage instrument dealing, 33-year-old John Shults of True Vintage Guitar.

John is based out of Birmingham, Alabama and has a unique business model. As his Instagram account reveals, he's seemingly on an endless guitar safari, traveling around the world and acquiring closet-find Fenders and Gibsons, often from the instrument's original owners or their family members. His sales strategy is unique, too. John not only has a knack for finding rare instruments, he also knows how to tell a great guitar story. 
 
During our chat, John tells us about his decision to become a vintage instrument dealer and some of the many tricks of the trade he's picked up over the years. We learn about the perils of traveling with large amounts of cash, how he puts anxious sellers at ease, and the trends he's noticed in today's vintage electric market. We also learn about why, after a decade of being an online-only retailer, John is about to open his first brick & mortar showroom. 
 

The Fretboard Journal is launching a Substack where we'll be sharing even more content, including photo outtakes, essays, and special podcasts. Be an early supporter here: https://fretboardjournal.substack.com

And don't forget to get a gift subscription to the Fretboard Journal this holiday season: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/collections/all/products/fretboard-journal-gift-subscription

Our podcast is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars, Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); and Calton Cases.

Nov 19, 2022

Author Kristina R. Gaddy joins us this week to talk about her new book, 'Well of Souls: Uncovering the Banjo's Hidden History.'

This is unlike any instrument history book you've ever read... and we can't recommend it enough.

Though it's widely known that the banjo was brought to the Americas via enslaved Black people, there's so much we still don't know about this instrument's earliest period. Through journal entries, books, art, surviving instruments, and some amazing detective work, Gaddy reveals that the banjo wasn't just a musical instrument for slaves... it was also a deeply important spiritual tool.

During our chat, we ask Gaddy about the making of the book, the unlikely places she found her evidence, and the construction of those earliest instruments. We also talk about the banjo's growing popularity with a new generation of Black musicians.

More on the book: https://wwnorton.com/books/9780393866803

More on Kristina R. Gaddy (plus some cool bonus photos of early banjos): www.kristinagaddy.com/wellofsouls

Pete Ross (Gaddy's partner / old-time banjo maker): https://www.banjopete.com

The Fretboard Journal is launching a Substack where we'll be sharing even more content, including photo outtakes, essays, and special podcasts. Be an early supporter here: https://fretboardjournal.substack.com

And don't forget to get a gift subscription to the Fretboard Journal this holiday season: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/collections/all/products/fretboard-journal-gift-subscription

Our podcast is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars, Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); and Calton Cases.

Nov 11, 2022

The one-and-only Sam Bush joins us this week for an enlightening talk about John Hartford and so much more.

Sam has just released 'Radio John: Songs of John Hartford,' a tribute album to his old friend/mentor where he plays every instrument (acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass, and fiddle). We talk about the inspiration behind the album, the Hartford tracks he chose, and his recording process.

Sam also talks to us about some of the unique gear he employed. In addition to his tried-and-true 1937 Gibson F-5 mandolin (dubbed "Hoss"), he used a Silvertone bass with 40-year-old strings; a low-tuned banjo on loan from Bela Fleck, and a Cat's Eyes / Tokai copy of a Martin D-42.

It's a great chat with a true bluegrass music legend. We hope you enjoy it.

Get Sam Bush's 'Radio John' here: https://folkways.si.edu/sam-bush/radio-john-songs-of-john-hartford

Get a digital subscription to the Fretboard Journal here: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/collections/downloads/products/fretboard-journal-digital-subscription-offer

Pre-order An Instrument Maker’s Guide to Insanity and Redemption: Behind-the-Scenes Stories from the Instrument Making and Repair Community here.

Our podcast is sponsored by Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); and Calton Cases.

Nov 4, 2022

A little over a month ago, UK guitarmaker Richard Waddell (Uberfrank Guitars) shared photos of his latest creation to Instagram: an electric baritone guitar built for musician and friend Daniel Marcus Clark. This wild instrument - featuring a unique offset body, a Charlie Christian pickup in the neck, a three-pole bass pickup, dual outputs, a built-in capo system, and even a secret compartment in the pickguard - made guitarists around the world take notice.

On this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to Richard and Daniel about their collaboration. We discuss the original inspiration for the body's shape (a vintage Coral Hornet), Daniel's unique live rig, the unlikely hinge that made the secret compartment work, the ideas that didn't make it in to the finished guitar, plus a lot more.

Daniel Marcus Clark's new album, 'I've been thinking,' is available now on Bandcamp if you want to hear this guitar (and musician) in action. https://danielmarcusclark.bandcamp.com 

https://www.uberfrankguitars.com

Love the show and want to support the Fretboard Journal Podcast? Pick up a digital subscription to our magazine: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/collections/downloads/products/fretboard-journal-digital-subscription-offer

(It's just $30 annually and it goes a long way towards supporting the show...and you get to read the Fretboard Journal!) 

Pre-order An Instrument Maker’s Guide to Insanity and Redemption: Behind-the-Scenes Stories from the Instrument Making and Repair Community here.

Our podcast is sponsored by Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); and Calton Cases.

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