ask me what kind of music I play, I admit that I struggle a bit. I
mean, how does one boil down so much experience into a few words?
A few years ago I realized that I could say the most by replying
“American folk music.” I mean, I am an American, and I am a
regular person, so it must be American folk music, right? Not only
that, but with influences as diverse as Bill Monroe, Charles
Brown, Muddy Waters, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Sonic Youth, Jim Hall and
Bill Frisell, how can I say anything else? Now, when people ask
what kind of music I play, I can point them to this website.
am not a guitar collector, I play all of my guitars and they all
serve a purpose. In fact, each of my guitars has it's own
repertoire. I have some solid body electrics, some flat top
acoustics, a brass bodies resonator, but my total love and
devotion is reserved for my archtop
play them for folk and country, for old acoustic swing, for jazz
solos, and with my band. I have old ones and new ones.
sunburst is a 1945 Gibson
L-5, made in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The neck was replaced by the
factory in the 50’s; the rest is original. I play it every day.
The blond is a '97 Grimes
Montreux. Steve Grimes makes about 25 guitars a year at his
workshop on Maui, Hawaii.
two lovely instruments are no longer with me. The '45 L-5 has been
replaced by a somewhat better preserved '46. My modern archtop
needs are filled by beautiful instruments made by Bryant Trenier. I've posted some reviews on my YouTube channel.
These are heavenly guitars. They sing softly when played with a
light touch, and they can overpower a room when played hard. They
have punch, sustain, and blooming rich overtones.
For a great selection of new and old archtops, check out the great
I have been interested in tube amps
for quite a while. Here are some
notes on my own creations.
Musicians, especially loopers, love to talk gear. Here's some of
the stuff I use.
Sound Samples, Fooling Around and YouTube
Here's some more music. Sometimes I just want to throw down some
tracks just to see what they sound like. One of the little
appreciated benefits of being an amateur is that you can do whatever you want. Lately I've been trying to keep up with the times and posting more of my work on my YouTube channel.
South Bay Folks
My latest pleasure has been
participating in the open mic put on by South Bay Folks. This
group has sponsored and run an open mic
continuously since 1992. Some extraordinary talents
participate, but the atmosphere and attitude is such that no one
needs to be afraid to take part. On any given Thursday night you
are likely to hear folk, jazz standards, acoustic Beatles covers,
and blues played solo, as duets, or in bigger ensembles. The
open mic is smoothly organized, and the sound man is excellent.
This is the most positive group of folks running the best open mic
I've ever seen. Here is my occasional band, Sad But True, there: