For years, ragtime guitarist Craig Ventresco was one of the music world's best-kept secrets: The only way to see him was to catch him in his hometown of San Francisco, playing a solo show at a small cafe or with his gypsy jazz band, Gaucho. He seldom left the city and recordings weren't a big part of his career.
Like many others, when COVID-19 and shelter-in-place orders hit, Craig and partner Meredith Axelrod turned to the internet to keep performing. Here's where things get interesting: With a minimalist setup, Ventresco and Axelrod started live streaming their performances on Facebook... not once a month or weekly, but every single night. As of this interview, Ventresco and Axelrod were up to 100-plus shows. And their unique take on ragtime guitar is suddenly finding new fans around the globe.
On this week's podcast, we chat with Ventresco about growing up in Maine, getting turned on to 78 records, the years he spent busking around SF, his role on the 'Crumb' soundtrack, and his life online. We also talk about his Fraulini guitars, the music he's been obsessing over and much more.
Meredith Axelrod's Facebook page (where Craig and Meredith perform every night at 8pm PT): https://www.facebook.com/meredithaxelrod
Their tip jars: Paypal.me/meredithaxelrod Venmo: @meredithaxelrod
Fraulini Guitars: http://fraulini.com
Fretboard Journal: https://www.fretboardjournal.com
(Use the discount code PODCAST when you check out and save $5 off any order)