Rank #1: Podcast 234: Luthier Eric Galletta
On this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to Southern California builder Eric Galletta.
Eric has been building electric guitars for over 25 years and has worked alongside numerous guitarmaking legends, including Wayne Charvel (Charvel Guitars) and Bernie Rico (BC Rich). But the focus of much of our conversation is Eric's love for the guitars of Paul Bigsby.
Eric talks to us about his fateful encounter with R.C. Allen, the magic found in Bigsby-built guitars and about his own re-creations of these ultra-rare instruments.
Jan 22 2019
Rank #2: Podcast 196: Eric Johnson
On today’s podcast, we talk to guitar god Eric Johnson! We chat about using meditation to live in the present, Eric's new Fender signature model thinline Stratocaster, his new pedal board, re-creating the Ah Via Musicom album today and much more.
Apr 19 2018
Rank #3: Podcast 250: Steve Earle
Legendary singer-songwriter Steve Earle joins us this week for one of the best conversations we've had in years. Over the course of this nearly hour-long chat, Earle talks to us about meeting and working alongside his hero, Guy Clark, how sobriety changed his playing and his ever-growing guitar collection (135+ instruments as of this recording). Earle also discusses overcoming his fear of Telecasters, his love for the guitars of James Trussart, his favorite amps, gambling tips and more.
Earle's Guy Clark tribute album, Guy, is out now. We can't recommend it enough.
This week's podcast is sponsored by Mono Cases. Check out all their case and pedalboard offerings at monocreators.com.
Don't forget to subscribe to the Fretboard Journal Podcast on iTunes and please leave us a review!
May 14 2019
Rank #4: Podcast 209: Bruce VanWart of Collings Guitars
This week, we talk to one of the unsung heroes in the world of boutique guitars, Bruce VanWart of Collings Guitars. Bruce is the first official Collings employee and the one person who has touched nearly every instrument the company has produced since the late ’80s (almost 30,000 instruments). He reflects upon working alongside Bill Collings during the company’s earliest days, talks about his process evaluating wood for the company’s instruments and describes the 2018 re-launch of the Collings C-100. The C-100 was the brainchild of Bill Collings, a guitar with a dreadnought-sized lower bout with a skinnier upper bout and waist. Around 20 original C-100s were made in the mid-‘90s. They were reintroduced at the 2018 NAMM Show.
Here's a video featuring Bob Minner playing one of the first Collings C-100s made in 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3d7izbaBZE
This episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music, where there is an ever-growing inventory of vintage Martin and Gibson flattop guitars from the golden era.
Jul 20 2018
Rank #5: Podcast 224: Vintage Amp Repair with Skip Simmons
Amp repairman Skip Simmons calls it like he sees it. He joins us on this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about vintage guitar amp repair, why smaller wattage amps can be better for the average player, and what bargains still exist in the world of amplification. We also talk Filmosound conversions, Alexander Dumble, repair horror stories and a lot more.
Going forward, Skip will be hosting a monthly podcast called the Truth About Vintage Amps for the Fretboard Journal where he will be fielding questions from you, our listeners. Send any and all amp questions and comments to email@example.com!
Skip was featured in the FJ's 33rd issue.
This episode is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars, Lowden Guitars and Lee Valley.
Nov 07 2018
Rank #6: Podcast 181: Del McCoury
On this week’s podcast, we talk to bluegrass icons Del, Ronnie and Rob McCoury of the Del McCoury Band. We chat about Del's Martin's, including his dark top D-18, Ronnie's Loar mandolin, the rigors of touring and much more.
This podcast was recorded backstage at Seattle’s Triple Door venue.
Jan 05 2018
Rank #7: Podcast 227: Billy Strings
Guitarist Billy Strings joins us on this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about one of the more interesting instruments we’ve learned about this year, an electric guitar that his grandfather built in prison (check out the hashtag #prisonguitar on Instagram to see pictures). Billy and Scale Model Guitars of Nashville have spent the last several months restoring the handmade instrument and it’s finally finished. We also learn about his Preston Thompson guitar, the D-28 he purchased from Bryan Sutton and why he lugs a Fender Deluxe Reverb to all of his acoustic shows.
At 22:32, we also get the heartwarming story of how Billy stumbled upon and recovered his father’s Martin D-93.
We’ll be featuring Billy and the Prison Guitar restoration in the Fretboard Journal soon with all-new pics. Subscribe today and we’ll make sure you get the issue.
Holiday shoppers: Remember that the Fretboard Journal makes for a great gift… we offer one, two and three-year gift subscriptions to our reader-supported magazine.
Nov 17 2018
Rank #8: Podcast 208: Cory Wong (Vulfpeck, Fearless Flyers)
Cory Wong is a force of nature: The thirty-something guitarist performs in Vulfpeck, the Fearless Flyers and on innumerable sessions. On this week’s podcast, we talk to Cory about the Minneapolis music scene (including his interactions over the years with Prince), why he loves clean amps and green screens, his impressive right-hand technique, Blake Mills and more.
Cory’s second album, The Optimist, is available for pre-order with all sorts of cool perks: https://www.corywongmusic.com
Jul 12 2018
Rank #9: Podcast 254: Fred Greene and Tim Teel of Martin Guitars
This week, we travel all the way to Nazareth, Pennsylvania to interview Fred Greene (Vice President of Product Management at Martin Guitars) and Tim Teel (Martin's Director of Instrument Design). The decisions these two individuals make have a huge impact on Martin's current (and future) guitar offerings. We chat about the behind-the-scenes process of making new Martin models, how Martin prepares for big unveilings like the NAMM Show, the influence guitar forums have on their output, the guitar-building community in general and much more.
This insightful chat is easily one of our favorite conversations about the guitar industry we've had to date.
Order the new Fretboard Journal 44 by clicking here.
Jun 25 2019
Rank #10: Podcast 210: Reverb.com's Dan Orkin
This week, we talk to Reverb.com's Dan Orkin. Dan recounts the company's early days, its explosive growth, some current marketplace trends when it come to guitars (including what's hot right now and what isn't) and a lot more.
If you like the FJ Podcast, we hope you'll leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, iTunes or wherever you stream it.
Use the coupon code PODCAST when you check out at fretboardjournal.com and save an additional $5 off any order.
Jul 30 2018
Rank #11: Podcast 195: Chris Smither
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Chris Smither joins us on this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about his new double-album, Call Me Lucky. We chat about his unique interpretations of well-trodden covers such as “Sittin’ On Top of the World” and “Maybellene,” learn about his guitar of choice – a custom Collings 000 with a 12-fret, short scale neck, a cutaway and a solid peghead that he purchased from the Music Emporium - plus a lot more.
This episode is brought to you by Carter Vintage.
Apr 12 2018
Rank #12: Podcast 189: David Grisman and Del McCoury
On this week's podcast, we catch up with longtime friends and music collaborators David Grisman and Del McCoury at Wintergrass 2018. We talk about the early days of bluegrass festivals, some of the larger-than-life personalities they worked alongside (including Bill Keith, Jerry Garcia and Mac Wiseman), Grisman's amazing work at Acoustic Disc, McCoury's DelFest and much more.
The new Fretboard Journal #41 is out now, featuring David Rawlings, Jason Isbell, Red Diamond Mandolins and much more. Order it at fretboardjournal.com and use the coupon code PODCAST to save $5.
Mar 02 2018
Rank #13: Podcast 182: Steve Gunn
Today we're talking to Brooklyn-based guitarist and Matador recording artist Steve Gunn. Deeply inspired by John Fahey and the entire primitive folk movement, Gunn is equally talented as a singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and wild improviser. We talk about his background growing up in Philadelphia, the influence of Jack Rose and John Fahey on his music, his Gunn-Truscinski Duo recordings and, of course, gear.
For a limited time, subscribe and get three years (12 issues) of the Fretboard Journal for just $99. Click here.
Jan 12 2018
Rank #14: Podcast 218: Tyler Grant
National Flatpicking Champion and Grant Farm founder Tyler Grant joins us on the Fretboard Journal Podcast this week. We chat about the fascinating world of flatpicking guitar competitions and the strategies Tyler employed to win them, the formation of Grant Farm and his new duo record with Robin Kessinger, Kanawha County Flatpicking.
This episode is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars.
Sep 25 2018
Rank #15: Podcast 242: Remembering Dick Dale
On this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we celebrate the larger-than-life personality and music of Dick Dale, who passed away at the age of 81.
We begin by talking to Matt Warshaw, surf historian and the author of the Encyclopedia of Surfing. Then we talk to frequent FJ contributor Jim Washburn about the time he spent with Dick Dale over the years. Lastly, we talk to John Page of John Page Guitars, who worked with Dick during his time at the Fender Custom Shop.
Mar 21 2019
Rank #16: Podcast 261: Brent Mason
Brent Mason is one of the most prolific and successful session guitarists of all time. He joins us on this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about the life of a Nashville session musician, his guitars of choice, what he brings to the studio and much more. It's a fascinating chat about one of the lesser-known aspects of the music industry.
Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal magazine via this link.
Aug 21 2019
Rank #17: Podcast 238: Andy Powers (Taylor Guitars)
Andy Powers of Taylor Guitars stops by the Fretboard Journal offices to talk about the new Taylor Grand Pacific series of guitars, his influences and a lot more! Plus, NAMM updates, a great deal on Fretboard Journal subscriptions and a few surprises.
Feb 15 2019
Rank #18: Podcast 268: Skytop Guitars
The instruments that luthier Eric Weigeshoff (Skytop Guitars) crafts are striking. For starters, his acoustic guitars don’t even have a traditional top soundhole. On this week’s podcast, we talk to Eric about how his guitar designs have evolved over the years, the challenges of being a solo luthier, his love for side soundports and some of the offbeat tonewoods he's employed.
Follow Eric and Skytop here.
Oct 24 2019
Rank #19: Podcast 265: TJ Thompson Returns
Support the Fretboard Journal and our podcasts during our first-ever Subscription Drive: https://www.fretboardjournal.com/support
TJ Thompson is one of the most respected names in the world of vintage Martin guitars, a repairperson who can seemingly fix the impossible. Though he flies under the radar with no advertising and little publicity (aside from his occasional appearances in the Fretboard Journal), he has no shortage of work from collectors, high-end dealers and touring musicians. Occasionally, he even burns the midnight oil building Martin-inspired guitars under his own name. (As of this writing, he’s built 87 guitars from scratch.)
TJ returns to the FJ podcast in a conversation that covers a lot of ground: his background (the '70s Martin D-35 with intonation issues that got him started in lutherie, his stints with Dana Bourgeois and Elderly Instruments); the inspiration that he finds from people and problem solving; and a few of the complicated guitar repairs he has recently tackled. Though there are plenty of guitar geek revelations, more than anything this is a chat about following your passion and finding mastery in your craft. Because of that, it’s one of our favorite episodes to date.
Note: TJ also appeared in the Fretboard Journal #26 and has been on Fretboard Journal Podcast episodes 55, 97, 122 and 123.
Links: TJ's Pro Luthier Tools Shop
The 1947 Martin D-18 with a crushed side referenced during this conversation: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1rVQQvHVvD/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Sep 23 2019
Rank #20: Podcast 270: Jason Loughlin
On this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we’re talking to guitarist/instructor Jason Loughlin. Loughlin’s latest project is Sound on Sound, a rather unconventional TrueFire course dedicated to teaching the multi-track arranging of Les Paul. Over the course of the lesson, Loughlin walks students through a nine-guitar (!) arrangement of the jazz standard "After You’ve Gone." Though it sounds daunting, Loughlin is able to easily break down and demystify how recordings like this are made and reveal some of Les' favorite tone hacks, like emulating the sound of drums and bass via his six-string guitar.
We also talk to Loughlin about how to encapsulate those classic Les Paul sounds with modern gear, some of Loughlin's other loves – like early Sun Records recordings – and much more.
This week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast is sponsored by Mono and Retrofret Vintage Guitars. Don’t forget to also tune into the Truth About Vintage Amps podcast, which is about to celebrate its first birthday.
Sound on Sound with Jason Loughlin: https://truefire.com/les-paul-guitar-lessons/sound-on-sound/c1442
Nov 14 2019