Rank #1: Podcast 260: Richard Walter, Curator at MIM
Richard Walter, curator for Phoenix, Arizona’s amazing Musical Instrument Museum, joins us on this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast. We talk about his background, his role at the museum and, most importantly, about MIM’s current exhibit, The Electric Guitar: Inventing an American Icon. The exhibit, which closes on September 15, 2019, gathers a wide array of historic and legendary instruments, including Speedy West’s Bigsby (profiled in a recent Fretboard Journal) and guitars from Alvino Rey, Bo Diddley and Les Paul.
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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.
Rank #3: Podcast 259: Trey Hensley, Chris Luquette & Gene Parsons
Most guitarists have seen a StringBender installed on a Telecaster at some point. But on an acoustic? That’s a pretty wild concept. On this week’s podcast, we talk to two of the finest flatpicking guitarists around - Trey Hensley & Chris Luquette – about the StringBenders that will soon be installed as an upgrade option on Preston Thompson Guitars. These two Thompson artists talk about the feel of a StringBender-equipped dreadnought, describe how it changes their playing and much more. Midway through the call, we patch in the one-and-only Gene Parsons, the device's storied inventor. He tells us how the StringBender was developed (thanks to Clarence White's inspiration) and even lets us know about a rather historic Martin D-18 that now has a StringBender installed in it.
Want to know more? Check out our video with Try and Chris here:
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This episode is sponsored by Roberto-Venn, Gibson, Carter Vintage and Martin guitars.
Rank #4: 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.
Rank #5: Podcast 176: Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars
Few guitarmakers travel the globe as much as Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars. On any given day, he may be at Taylor’s massive El Cajon factory, at his ebony mill in Cameroon, on Hawaii replanting koa trees or offroading in Baja. On this week’s podcast, we catch with Bob (who was thankfully at home in California) to get his thoughts on CITES and the state of the guitar industry as a whole. We also hear about a guitar he recently built entirely by hand, learn about the impact that Andy Powers continues to have on Taylor’s product offerings and much more.
Rank #6: Podcast 162: Zack Vex of Z.Vex Effects, Part One
On this week's podcast, we talk to Zack Vex of Z.Vex Effects. Over the last twenty-plus years, Zack has been at the forefront of the boutique pedal movement. But, as you'll hear during our lengthy interview, his love for electronics and science goes way beyond just guitar effects. Zack walks us through his childhood, his first guitar repairs and the early days of his now-flourishing company.
On next week's episode, we'll hear about Z.Vex today and some of Zack's most recent inventions including the Candelas Vibraphase and a brand new (and mind boggling) microphone.
Subscribe to the Fretboard Journal and use the discount code PODCAST to get $5 off your order.
Rank #7: Podcast 166: Billy Strings and an IBMA World of Bluegrass Preview
This week’s podcast is a bluegrass double-header. First, we talk to the one-and-only Billy Strings. He’s about to release his first solo album, Turmoil & Tinfoil and we talk about the making of the record, his guitars of choice (he recently switched from his Noble dreadnought to guitars made by Preston Thompson) and a lot more. Over on fretboardjournal.com, you can hear a stream of “Pyramid Country” from the new album right now.
Next up, we talk to the IBMA’s Paul Schiminger about the organization’s mission, it’s annual World of Bluegrass festival (happening later this month) and the future of bluegrass.
This episode is sponsored by Retrofret and Dying Breed Music. Check out their offerings and tell them the Fretboard Journal sent you.
Next week, we talk to fingerstyle guitar legend Michael Gulezian!
This week’s podcast is a bluegrass double-header: First, we talk to the one-and-only Billy Strings. He’s about to release his first solo album, Turmoil & Tinfoil and we talk about the making of the record, his guitars of choice (he recently switched from his Noble dreadnought to guitars made by Preston Thompson) and a lot more. Over on fretboardjournal.com, you can hear a stream of “Pyramid Country” from the new album right now.
Next up, we talk to the IBMA’s Paul Schiminger about the organization’s mission, its annual World of Bluegrass festival (happening later this month) and the future of bluegrass.
Next week, we talk to fingerstyle guitar legend Michael Gulezian!
Use the coupon code PODCAST when you subscribe to the Fretboard Journal print magazine and you'll save an extra $5. Click here.
Rank #8: Podcast 175: Lindy Fralin
Back in the 1980s, Lindy Fralin didn’t set out to be one of the world’s most-trusted pickup winders, he just wanted to earn a living as a guitarist. With a tight budget, he’d buy cheap guitars and fix them up for himself or do minor repair work for friends. Eventually, though, the pickups took over. Today, Fralin has seven employees, a growing product line of guitar and bass products and a bustling pickup repair shop. On this week’s podcast, we talk to Lindy about his early days, some of his latest creations, the intricacies of pickup winding and much more.
This week’s podcast is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars, who happen to have a brand new website. Check it out!
Rank #9: 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.
Rank #10: Podcast 179: Filmmaker Drew Roller of Acoustic Uprising
On this week’s podcast, we talk to filmmaker Drew Roller, the mastermind behind the new documentary ‘Acoustic Uprising.’ Roller tells us how, thanks to YouTube, he discovered the new guard of fingerstyle guitarists such as Andy McKee and Jon Gomm; what it was like to attend Thomas Leeb’s Austria Guitar Boot Camp; the enduring influence of Michael Hedges; and much more. He also recommends a handful of contemporary fingerstyle guitarists we all should check out.
This episode is brought to you by Retrofret Vintage Guitars.
https://www.acousticuprisingfilm.com (now available for purchase/download)
Need a gift this holiday season or just want to splurge on yourself? Don't forget to check out our webstore: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com
Rank #11: 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!
Rank #12: 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.
Rank #13: 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.
Rank #14: 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
Rank #15: Podcast: 232: Tommy Emmanuel and Jerry Douglas
Tommy Emmanuel and Jerry Douglas join us on this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about guitars, the art of collaboration and much more.
Rank #16: 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.
Rank #17: Podcast 169: Colin Hay
Singer-songwriter (and former Men at Work frontman) Colin Hay is addicted to guitars. “Once the bug hits… you keep finding guitars that you can’t seem to live without,” he says. On this week’s podcast, he talks about his growing guitar collection, which includes not only Martins and Gibson but numerous luthier-built guitars. We also talk about songwriting, the music industry today and much more.
Rank #18: Podcast 192: Caitlin Canty and Noam Pikelny
On today’s Fretboard Journal Podcast, we’re talking to singer-songwriter Caitlin Canty and banjo wizard-turned-producer Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers). We chat about the making of Cantry’s forthcoming album, Motel Bouquet (out 3/30), the great group of Nashville musicians that ended up on the finished record and more. We also cover their gear of choice – including Canty’s vintage Recording King acoustic guitar and Pikelny’s National Tricone plectrum guitar.
This episode is sponsored by Dying Breed Music.
Remember: Order a subscription to the Fretboard Journal and use the coupon code PODCAST and we’ll take $5 off your order.
Rank #19: 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.
Rank #20: Podcast 231: Kenneth Pattengale of the Milk Carton Kids
Kenneth Pattengale (Milk Carton Kids) joins us on this week’s Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about his new Martin Kenneth Pattengale Special guitar (available exclusively at Gruhn Guitars). This guitar has quite a backstory: Kenneth set out to make the ultimate American-made guitar for musicians on a budget, an homage to his '50s 0-15. After many twists and turns (and literally years of prototypes), Martin and Kenneth were able to design a unique guitar with a stained torrefied Adirondack spruce top, mahogany back and sides and dovetail neck joint for less than $2200. We also chat about Kenneth’s growing collection of vintage Martins, including his '55 0-15 and his shadetop 1932 0-17, music production and more.
This episode is sponsored by Retrofret, Lee Valley and Lowden Guitars.