Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ad-Hoc Guitar Fixing

I have had my acoustic, a Fender A/E dreadnought, for nearly a decade, and while I have changed the bridge pins and the strings and have had the end pin jack resoldered a few times, but really, it's as it was made. And, while I play up the neck a lot, I by and large play the dread to play blues, folk and country and other first-five frets stuff.

Today we had practice for a big special musical event we're having in September, where I'm the acoustic guy. Last practice, I noticed a little bit of buzzy, sitar-like sound coming from the high E when the 3rd fret is played. Which, if you're playing first-position cowboy chords, you hit all the time. Even more if you're using the James Taylor jangle chords, like G (320033), C2 (x32033), Dsus4 (x00233) and Em7 (020033). That high G popped out and hit my hearing like a poke in the eye. I tried to retune to D and capo 2, but I hit two problems. First, the tuning stability was AWFUL, and second, I began to notice that the B string also had the buzzy sitar problem.

First thing when I got home, I cut up an old membership card and placed it under the saddle, in order to shim the saddle up and avoid these sound problems. It's only been together for a bit, so I don't know if everything is solved, but it seems good so far.

87 Dollars and a Guilty Conscience

Richmond Fontaine. This song is country as anything, except this would never be accepted as country by radio. It's a beautiful, terrible song. This is why alt-country had to happen.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ghost Train

Marty Stuart - Ghost Train Preview by Sugar Hill Records

This is from Marty Stuart's new album, Ghost Train, which was recorded in the famed Studio B in Nashville. The track is "Hummingbyrd" and man, doesn't it just scream of that Clarence White vibe? It's Oh So Very Nashville West. All the more reason I need a B-bender.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New York City Has A Lot To Do With It

Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris doing "Big Mouth Blues" in 1973. "Big Mouth" is the first GP song I recall hearing, and honestly, it doesn't reward a close listening to the lyrics. It just doesn't make a lot of sense. It is fun, though.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gonna Make You Burn, Gonna Make You Sting

This is from a gallery on Premier Guitar, showing Robert Kantor's Swarovski-bead-encrusted guitars. I of course went to the Tele Deluxe, which is named "Black Dog". Evidently, they're available at Rudy's Music in New York. As you might guess, the Black Dog is a little plain compared to some of the others. For example, take the Crash guitar Eric Clapton has been playing recently. Then, redo the art in glass beads.

And Now For Something Completely Different

This is Henry Kaiser playing Q-Tuners. You can look at other Kaiser videos and fall over in pain, but here, while I'm not sure about the note choices, the guitar tone itself is solid. It's a decent sounding recording, not too different from some of Zappa's work, like "He Used To Cut The Grass" or some things from Shut Up And Play Yer Guitar. And when I say "I'm not sure", I'm not saying that I hate it. I haven't decided that way, either.

Words To Live By

Not "Get yourself some cheap sunglasses", although that works. "Think Buck Owens". Although I think "Think Don Rich" might be slightly better advice.

As a listener, I get and like Jack's tone here, but as a player, I always want something that has more of the fundamental tone and less of the buzz. But still, great guys to listen to.

New Tele Documentary

How could I consider myself a Tele blogster if I didn't cover this?
That's James Burton, Redd Volkaert, Keith Richards, John 5, Sue Foley, Ritchie Kotzen, Albert Lee, Jerry Douglas, Greg Koch, G.E. Smith and Steve Cropper, all talking up the King of electric guitars, the Telecaster. (Kinda sad that Arlen skipped to Gibson, because he wrote the book on the Telecaster. Literally. I'm thinking I should put this on my Christmas list. Thanks, Fender Blog.