Gretsch Releasing a New Line of Folk Instruments

Exciting news! It looks like Gretsch is starting a folk/bluegrass line of instruments. There are a few dobros out, and there is a line of open back and resonator banjos. I can’t seem to find them anywhere but it looks like they are coming soon. I tried calling a few store and it seems like they can order them but most don’t have them in stock. I am hoping that I can play one of them in the next few months.

In case you don’t know who Gretsch is they make some of best guitars in the world. Chet Atkins, George Harrison, Brian Setzer and Duane Eddy are just a few of the many Gretsch player and there seems to be a big upswing in not only Gretsches, but also rockabilly music. It makes me very happy. They all look very retro and very cool.

Here is a link for the roots collection

http://www.gretschguitars.com/products/rootscollection   It’s even made to look Old Timey

Following this, two my next posts will be

Finally Egnater rebel half stack

My newest guitar a used SG Special, and the upgrades I made to it.

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Guitar: An American Life

There is a wonderful book that came out several years ago called Guitar: An American Life by Tim Brookes. The book goes through the history of the guitar especially its life in the Americas and the US as well as Brookes’ journey through getting a new guitar. His old trusty guitar was broken on a flight and he decided it was time to get another one. I really liked the history of the guitar and how it is intertwined with the banjo and  the identity of the American people. The guitar used to be a ladies instrument, where as now it is a phallic symbol for rock stars. This is a great book for someone who is interested in history, guitars or both. Mr. Brookes is an writer for his blog and NPR, as well as his own books.

I am glad I got this book and it has definitely given me a new appreciation for the life and art of a luthier. However, the only problem I had with the book was the treatment of the electric guitar. He seemed to treat it as an instrument for punks and that folkies and classical musicians were at the top of the guitar chain. As someone who is interested in everything, I think that is a narrow view. Especially since the electric guitar is an American instrument. Sure it’s based off the Spanish style guitar, but at this point they have totally different uses, sounds and histories. Although to be fair putting both acoustic and electric guitars in a book that size would do neither justice. Hell there long books totally dedicated to telecasters and SGs.

I still recommend this book to anyone interested in the amazing history of the guitar or who is interested in the relationship a luthier has with his clientele.

This is his website.

http://www.timbrookesinc.com/

Music Concert Series

Since I hadn’t written anything in a while I decided two posts today. Enjoy the second one below.

I have recently been watching a lot of Austin City Limits. It’s been the longest running concert series on TV since 1976 and it is great. A few recent concerts I really liked were Raphael Saadiq and the Jeff Bridges/ Miranda Lambert concerts, also Randy Newman was great. I watch it through PBS like I assume more of America because I happen to live in DC. It is a great music series, and commercial free. It plays a lot of Americana music, so if you are looking to get into Americana just DVR ACL. I find myself looking a lot at the guitars (Jeff Bridges has a great gretsch).

The Website is below

http://acltv.com/

And Photos! All photos come from ACLTV.com

Hayes Carll

Hayes Carll

Jeff Bridges

Another music concert series I recommend is the A/V club Undercover series. It has new artists come in and cover older songs. One of my favorites was Wye Oak covering Mother originally by Danzig. I think its really cool to see different takes on well known songs and it also lets me see how different artists interpret songs. There are also bands I haven’t heard of and it helps me decide if I want to listen to them more.  The premise is that the people at the A/V Club have a list of famous songs to cover and then they ask a bunch of bands to come and do a cover. However, once a band covers that song no other band can cover the same song. So as time goes on the list dwindles.

Here is the 2011 site. They are starting the 2012 series now.

http://www.avclub.com/articles/undercover-2011-watch-the-recap-and-vote,61735/

and Wye Oak

http://www.avclub.com/articles/wye-oak-covers-danzig,53066/

I don’t have any photos for this, but it’s also not as big as ACL