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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
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.

Get a subscription to the Fretboard Journal magazine and  support independent publishing and this podcast.

Dec 21, 2020

Danny Barnes returns to the Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about the making of his 2020 Grammy-nominated album, Man on Fire (ATO). The album is full of surprising twists, right down to the lineup: Bill Frisell, Dave Matthews and John Paul Jones all make appearances. We talk to Barnes about the making of the Man on Fire, how he met Jones, and learn a bit about his creative process (beyond banjo playing and songwriting, Barnes is a talented visual artist and cartoonist). It's a great chat with one of our favorite boundary-pushing musicians.

Links:

Danny's Music page: https://dannybarnes.com/

Danny's Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/isotope709?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=911282867

Danny's interview with Bill Frisell for the FJ's fourth issue: https://www.fretboardjournal.com/columns/listen-danny-barnes-new-awful-strange/

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

Get a gift subscription to the Fretboard Journal magazine and  support independent publishing.

Dec 12, 2020

Jordan Tice and Kenneth Pattengale of the Milk Carton Kids join us on this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about the making of Tice’s 2020 album, Motivational Speakeasy. The Pattengale-produced solo album is noteworthy not just for  Tice’s always-exceptional playing and vocals, but also for its stripped-down beauty. It’s one of our favorite albums of 2020.

During the call, we hear about the songs on the album, Pattengale’s recording process and Tice’s latest guitar acquisition (yes, he's doubled his guitar collection). Pattengale  - at the time hunkered down in a cabin in Eastern Canada - also hilariously describes the pandemic project he picked up in 2020, plus a lot more. It's a fun chat about the making of a great acoustic album.

Note: We've included a track from Motivational Speakeasy on our new Thirty for 2020 Spotify playlist, filled with some of our favorite songs from the year.

Recorded November 11, 2020.

http://jordantice.net/

This episode is sponsored by Mono Cases and Folkway Music.

Get a gift subscription to the Fretboard Journal magazine and  support independent publishing (and the occasionally hilarious podcast).

Dec 1, 2020

We make a rare exception on this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast and talk to a drummer! Percussionist / singer-songwriter Joachim Cooder joins us to talk about his new album, Over that Road I'm Bound: The Songs of Uncle Dave Macon. It's a captivating collection of Macon songs performed on a rather unlikely instrument, the electric mbira. Joachim is also joined by his dad, Ry Cooder, on the banjo; Rayna Gellert on fiddle, Juliette Commagere on vocals; and Sam Gendel on bass-guitar hybrid.

During our chat, we hear about Joachim's first exposure to the music of Uncle Dave Macon as a kid, his own daughter's infatuation with this material, the versatility of the electric mbira, his pedal board of choice and a lot more. Whether or not you're a fan of Macon's decades-old original recordings, we can't recommend this new album enough.

This episode is sponsored by Mono Cases and Folkway Music.

Links:

https://www.joachimcooder.com/
https://www.arraymbira.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baEljguE2hI

Get a gift subscription to the Fretboard Journal magazine and help support independent publishing.

Nov 20, 2020

Nels Cline joins us on this week’s podcast to discuss his new double-album on Blue Note, Share the Wealth. Share the Wealth finds Nels alongside the powerhouse lineup of Scott Amendola, Skerik, Trevor Dunn, Brian Marsella and Cyro Baptista. Inspired by the cut-up recording methods of Os Mutantes and influenced at least a bit by Miles Davis' electric period, it's one of his wildest projects to date. During our chat, we also talk gear (including the guitar that is closest to his heart while he’s quarantining during the pandemic, his pedal board and more), collaborator Julian Lage, forthcoming Wilco recordings and more. It’s a fun conversation with a Fretboard Journal favorite.

Check out some of our previous features with Nels: His interview with Ralph Towner for our 39th issue, our cover story on him in the FJ #37 (part one, part two), and our podcast with Nels and Lage.

Support what we do with a subscription to the Fretboard Journal magazine: digital / PDF subscription / keepsake print subscription.

The Fretboard Journal Podcast is sponsored by Mono Cases and Folkway Music

 

Nov 10, 2020

Author and guitar collector John Stubbings joins us for a very special episode of the Fretboard Journal Podcast to read from his monumental book, The Devil Is In It: A Story of Love, Obsession, and the American Acoustic Guitar. This hefty, slipbound-cased tome is equal parts history lesson, art book and memoir, showcasing John's love for the modern lutherie movement and all things acoustic guitar. It also features exquisite illustrations from FJ contributor Drew Christie. 

Listeners to the podcast can get a 50 GBP discount if they order now by using the discount code LONDON. Click here.

The Fretboard Journal Podcast is sponsored by Mono Cases and Folkway Music

Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine and help support the show and all that we do: digital / PDF subscription / keepsake print subscription.

Nov 6, 2020

On his latest release, 'I Love You,' Kevin Breit does something truly monumental: 30 covers of his favorite songs performed entirely on vintage, mandolin family instruments. Performing all the parts, Breit himself becomes a one-man-band mandolin orchestra, while a different guest vocalist appears on each tune.

It's just the latest brilliant idea to come from the Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist and mandolin player. Over the years, Breit has backed the likes of Norah Jones, Rosanne Cash, Cassandra Wilson and Hugh Laurie. He's also released some truly high concept solo albums and 2019's 'Stella Bella Strada,' where he showcased his latest custom guitar from builder Joe Yanuziello.

During this week's podcast, we talk to Breit about his love for the mandolin, hear about the cool-looking pickups that inspired the 'Stella Bella Strada' album and much more.

Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine and help support the show and all that we do: digital / PDF subscription / keepsake print subscription.

This episode is sponsored by Mono Cases.

Links referenced:

Kevin Breit's 'I Love You' (Bandcamp)

David Gillis' 'Cooing With the Doves'

Kevin Breit on the Music Makers & Soul Shakers Podcast

Oct 29, 2020

Guitarist and composer Jim Fox has backed dozens of vocal luminaries over the years, including Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Rosemary Clooney and Dean Martin. During this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk about his start in music, attending Berklee, his early stint backing Bobby Vinton, and the numerous years he spent accompanying Frank Sinatra, Jr. We also talk about Fox's jazz albums, his friendship with late studio legend Bob Bain, and his obsession with the archtop guitars of Australian luthier Steve Gilchrist.

The Fretboard Journal Podcast is sponsored by Mono Cases. Want to support the show? Get a digital or print subscription to the Fretboard Journal magazine. Digital subscriptions are just $30 per year.

Links:
https://jimfoxguitar.com/home
http://www.gilchristmandolins.com/
https://www.fretboardjournal.com/video/bill-frisell-with-bob-bain-and-dennis-budimir-a-musical-conversation/

The Fretboard Journal Podcast is sponsored by Mono Cases.

Oct 15, 2020

Steve McCreary is the GM of Collings Guitars and Mandolins and one of the most respected members of the musical instrument industry. Since joining Collings in 1992, he's helped helm the Austin, Texas-based company's growth into mandolins, electric guitars, and – most recently – their more affordable Waterloo line of instruments.

During this lengthy interview, we hear about Steve's unique background (he's a former stonemason), what it was like to work with the late Bill Collings (a larger-than-life character) and how the company is navigating the COVID crisis through 2020 and beyond. We also talk about Collings' ongoing collaboration with guitarist Julian Lage, hear about the '70s and '80s Austin music scene, and a lot more  

If you enjoy in-depth interviews with the people behind your favorite guitars, we’d love your support. Get a digital subscription to the Fretboard Journal for just $30 (click here) or a keepsake print edition subscription (click here). We know you'll love it.

Fretboard Journal #46 just mailed and our next issue will be out in early December 2020. Subscribers also get subscriber-only perks.

Previous Collings Interviews:

Bill Collings on the Fretboard Journal Podcast (link)

Bruce VanWart of Collings on the Fretboard Journal Podcast (link)

Our tribute to Bill Collings in the Fretboard Journal magazine (link)

The Fretboard Journal Podcast is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars and Mono Cases.

Oct 8, 2020

Robert "Nitebob" Czaykowski is a legendary rock & roll sound engineer. For nearly 50 years, he's done front-of-house mixing for musicians both famous and infamous, consulted with musical instrument companies (there's a "Nitebob" setting on Fender Cyber-Twins), worked as a gear tech, and even served as Walter Becker's de facto "guitar pimp." During this sprawling talk (hopefully the first of many), Nitebob reflects upon years working for Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Iggy Pop, the New York Dolls, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Steely Dan, Lez Zeppelin, and REM (to name a few), talks about his early love for the guitar, explains what makes a great live mix and so much more. We think you'll love getting to know Nitebob.

The Fretboard Journal Podcast is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars and Mono Cases.

Support our show with a subscription to the Fretboard Journal magazine (get our digital/PDF version or the keepsake print edition). Our new, 46th issue is now mailing featuring John Leventhal and Rosanne Cash, Hubert Sumlin, luthier Steve Grimes and many other guitar greats.

Links mentioned: Nitebob on Roadie Free Radio; Nitebob on Joseph Arthur's Come to Where I'm From; Satellite Amplifiers on the Truth About Vintage Amps Podcast; and the Fretboard Journal's tribute to the guitars of Walter Becker.

Sep 30, 2020

For our 300th episode, we're mixing things up with an informal Zoom conversation with two of our favorite people, jazz guitarists Bill Frisell and Anthony Wilson. During this hour-plus chat, these two friends riff on influences, the Los Angeles jazz scene, Dennis Budimir, Gerald Wilson (Anthony's dad), Gabor Szabo, and so much more. 

Watch Bill Frisell perform alongside Dennis Budimir and Bob Bain here.

Our podcast is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars and Mono Cases.

We are also sponsored by Izotope. Use the coupon code RUIN10 at izotope.com/ruinous to save 10% off any order.

The Fretboard Journal's new 46th issue is now available, with features on John Leventhal and Rosanne Cash, Hubert Sumlin and much more. Order or subscribe via this link.

Sep 21, 2020

Guitar great Adam Miller joins us once again (he originally appeared on Fretboard Journal Podcast #240) to talk about the making of his fantastic new electric album, Unify. Miller has had quite an interesting year:  He and his wife were all set to relocate to Los Angeles full-time when COVID hit and sent him back home to Australia. He recounts how Unify came together, the influence his California time had on the album and why he decided to re-record its guitar parts. We also hear about Adam's current gear of choice and a lot more.

Check out fretboardjournal.com for a new video featuring Adam playing the track "Leaving" from his new album.

This episode is sponsored by Mono Cases, Retrofret Vintage Guitars and Izotope. Use the checkout code RUIN10 when you check out at izotope.com/ruinous to save 10% off your next software purchase.

Sep 12, 2020

With Beginners (ANTI- Records), Christian Lee Hutson released one of our favorite records of 2020, so it only felt fitting to invite this Los Angeles-based musician back on the Fretboard Journal Podcast. During our chat, Hutson talks about the making of his album (including his previous failed attempts to record these songs); overcoming self-doubt; working alongside Phoebe Bridgers (who ended up producing Beginners and appearing on it); taking up the clarinet and flute in the middle of the pandemic and much more.

We also talk about Hutson's guest appearance on the Reply-All Podcast, where he pieced together and re-created a forgotten pop song based on one listener's recollection. 
 
Subscribe to reader supported Fretboard Journal magazine in print or digital/PDF form and get our new, 46th issue, mailing next week.
 
Christian Lee Hutson also appeared on the Fretboard Journal Podcast #161 during an earlier visit. 
 
This episode is sponsored by Mono Cases, Retrofret and Izotope. Use the checkout code RUIN10 at izotope.com/ruinous  to save 10% off your next software purchase. 
Sep 5, 2020

On this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast, Jason checks in with luthier and fellow podcaster, Michael Bashkin. It's an unfiltered and fun chat about the boutique guitar industry at large, the annual output of an independent solo maker, Michael's Luthier on Luthier Podcast and a lot more. Jason also asks Michael about guitar shows, Moon spruce and the realities of building production guitars overseas. It's a nearly 90-minute look at the state of the handmade guitar market.

https://www.bashkinguitars.com

Luthier on Luthier on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/luthier-on-luthier-with-michael-bashkin/id1208172851

 

Aug 26, 2020

Beginning in March of 2020, while most of the world was in lockdown mode due to COVID, Daniel Romano did something truly remarkable: He began releasing an album nearly every week on his Bandcamp page.

On this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to the Canadian musician about his prolific output this year: from a track-by-track re-creation of Bob Dylan's Infidels album played as if the Plugz were Dylan's backing band, to his British folk-inspired Alias Ensemble album, and all points in-between. We hear about some of the self-imposed rules he gives himself when recording, his current gear of choice, his forthcoming (ninth) album for 2020, 'How Ill Thy World Is Ordered' (out Sept. 18, 2020 on You've Changed Records) and a lot more. Romano is one of our favorite musicians and it was great to get a peek at his creative process.

Further reading: The story of the Plugz and Bob Dylan's appearance on Letterman

This episode is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars and Mono Cases

Support the podcast by picking up a PDF or print subscription to the Fretboard Journal

Aug 19, 2020
Chase Bliss Audio makes some of the most interesting pedals created today. On this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to founder Joel Korte about his company's rapid rise in popularity, his workflow, some of their latest creations and their ongoing collaborations with both pedal makers and musicians. 
 
We also talk about the human element found in Chase Bliss' output, some of the noteworthy videos they’ve produced, Korte's unique career path and plan for the future, mushrooms, and more. 
 
Stuff mentioned: 
Chase Bliss
https://www.chaseblissaudio.com
 
The Story & Retirement of Chase Bliss Wooden Boxes (video): 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7A5X10k8U8&t=7s
 
The Chase Bliss Blooper campaign on Kickstarter
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chaseblissaudio/blooper
 
Paul Stamets on Joe Rogan (excerpt)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVhd56KYS6s
 
Get the second-ever Fretboard Journal Electric Guitar Annual while supplies last. 
https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/collections/all/products/2019-electric-annual-pre-order
Aug 11, 2020

For forty years, Bruce Harvie (Orcas Island Tonewoods) has carved out a nice existence for himself in the instrument making world as a tonewood supplier. His one-man operation is based in one of the most beautiful spots in North America (Washington State's San Juan Islands), where he sells spruce, redwood and other raw materials to mandolin and bowed instrument makers around the world. He's also a prolific musician. 

Though he makes his living selling hand-selected wood, Harvie is quick to point out that there's great instrument-making materials all around us, for cheap. "It's amazing how many mandolins get burned," he says. "I've gotten a lot of wood out of firewood piles."
 
On this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to Harvie about his early instrument building days, how he sources his tonewoods, and about some of the lesser-used woods in instrument making that deserve a chance. 
 
Follow Orcas Island Tonewoods here and listen to Bruce's new album here

This episode is sponsored by Mono Cases and Retrofret Vintage Guitars

 
Jul 31, 2020

Musician and singer-songwriter Mac McAnally has led quite a life: As a teenager, he was a studio musician in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, able to jump from between sessions and studios as an in-demand acoustic guitarist. He soon started writing songs, got a record deal of his own and penned hit songs for Jimmy Buffett, Alabama, and other top country acts. Since 1994, he's played guitar in Buffett's Coral Reefer Band.

As you'll hear on this podcast, McAnally is as humble as it gets, but he's also a ten-time CMA Musician of the Year winner. In 2007,  he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

McAnally just released his latest solo record, Once in a Lifetime. On this week's podcast, he recounts his early days in the Muscle Shoals scene, tells about his gear of choice (including his cherished, slot-head Martin guitar), and we talk about the making of the new album. 

This episode is sponsored by Mono Cases and Retrofret Vintage Guitars

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