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Luthier on Luthier with Michael Bashkin

Every month, luthier Michael Bashkin interviews his peers and guitar building heroes for the Luthier on Luthier podcast. Brought to you by the Fretboard Journal magazine.
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Nov 5, 2019
Legendary guitar maker Ken Parker is known worldwide for his innovative archtop guitars. For Episode 35 of the podcast, I caught up with Ken after the first-ever Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival. Ken shares how he blends his deep understanding of classical methods with modern techniques and materials to achieve his goal of making the ultimate acoustic instrument.  
 
Link: Ken Parker Archtops 
 
 

 

Sep 30, 2019
Archtop guitar maker Bill Comins started his career as an aspiring jazz musician. Thanks to that, he brings the player's viewpoint into his guitars. "If I go overboard on making things very resonant, I'm going to be fighting inconsistencies, and as player that is useless to me on the bandstand," he says. For our 34th episode, I sit down with Bill at the Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival, where he shares his player-led insights into archtop guitar design, voicing and amplification. Bill also tells us about his Guitar Craft series line and explains how he has successfully navigated the world of archtops for over 25 years.
 
In addition, I have a brief conversation with Peter Henriksen of Henriksen amplifiers, who is the the creator of the Rocky Moutain Archtop Festival. Peter tells us what it is like to put on a first year show, how the idea for it came about and his plans for the future.
 
Links:
https://www.cominsguitars.com/
https://www.henriksenamplifiers.com/
https://www.archtopfestival.com/
Sep 4, 2019
With encouragement from his friend Richard Hoover, Michael Hornick (Shanti Guitars) made his first guitar in 1985. He has not stopped building since. Michael also runs the instrument building workshop at the Bluegrass Academy, which started at the 1992 Telluride Bluegrass festival and is now held annually at RockyGrass.
 
For episode 33 of the podcast we catch up with Michael on a sunny afternoon during RockyGrass. Michael shares stories from building the spray booths at Santa Cruz Guitars to how he marketed his instruments largely through the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Even in his retirement, Michael has not slowed down a bit and is still in love with the craft. 
 
https://bluegrass.com/rga/classes/lutherie
http://shantiguitars.com/
https://santacruzguitar.com/ 
Aug 8, 2019
Trevor Gore has a goal to build better guitars. To that end, he has applied the full force of his expertise as a professional engineer to research and document the physics of how acoustic guitars work and develop the methods to control the sound. Trevor lays all this out in his two-part book, Contemporary Acoustic Guitar Design and Build, co-authored with Gerard Gilet. For episode 32 of the podcast, I sit down with Trevor after his modal tuning workshop and he gives us an overview of his approach to designing guitars. Trevor then tells us how he went from an engineering student racing sailboats in the UK to living in Australia and how his dissatisfaction with his own guitar started him on his quest to build a better one. 
 
Links
Trevor Gore Guitars
Roberto-Venn Guitars (this week's sponsor)

 

Jul 12, 2019
When you look at a Sean Kochel guitar you will notice the shotgun shell knobs, the bullet casing fret markers, and the 100 year-old woods from demolished buildings that are featured in all his guitars.  For episode 31 of the podcast, we visit Sean's remote shop in the mountains outside of Missoula, Montana. It takes us a little while to discuss to his cool guitars, because Sean has quite a history: from working in Alaska's oil fields, to snowboarding and bee keeping, all before starting his successful guitar business. Finally, Sean tell us about his Croatian grandfather's tamburtiza instruments and how these could be the inspiration of the original Fender headstock.
 
To learn more visit: http://www.kochelguitars.com/
 
This episode is sponsored by Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, Gibson Guitars, Martin Guitars and Carter Vintage

 

May 22, 2019
For our 30th episode of the podcast, we talk with Colorado-based instrument builder Jeff Bamburg. Jeff tells us about his multifaceted approach to the guitar business; including running a retail shop, his custom line of Bamburg guitars, his production line of Rocky Mountain guitars, as well as teaching lutherie and doing repairs. Jeff also explains why one of his goals is to build a business that he can sell,  and about his experiments with double-top and true-tempered guitars.  
 
Link:
https://www.bamburgguitars.com/
Apr 24, 2019
Roger Sadowsky makes guitars for many of today's top professional guitarists, and his instruments are in heavy rotation on stages and in studios across the world. For episode 29 of the podcast, we caught up with Roger at the 2019 winter NAMM Show.
 
Roger shares his thoughts on electric guitar tonewoods, neck design, and the story of how in 1972 he put down the scalpel and picked up a chisel. It would start him on the path to becoming one of the world's most highly respected guitar makers.  

https://www.sadowsky.com/

Mar 26, 2019
Michael Watts is a London-based guitarist deeply steeped in the custom guitar world. Michael knows how to have the "tone talk" both with guitar builders and players. For our 28th episode, Michael discusses his latest CD, gives advice on ordering a custom guitar, and shares his insights into the relationship between luthiers and musicians.  

https://michaelwattsguitar.com/home

 

Feb 25, 2019
For Episode 27 of Luthier on Luthier, we sit down with Farhad Soheili,  who was as self-described guitar-infatuated teenager playing and working on instruments 10 hours a day. More than 20 years later, Farhad now owns FSC guitars based in Brooklyn, New York, where he builds incredible vintage-inspired electric guitars and runs a full service repair shop. Farhad shares his insights into running a small business in a big city and how he keeps inspired. 
 
Links:
https://fscinstruments.com/
http://www.fslutherie.com/
Jan 17, 2019
For our 26th episode of Luthier on Luthier, we sit down with veteran guitarmaker Ric McCurdy of McCurdy Guitars. Ric takes us from building guitars barefoot in Santa Barbara, California to his busy NYC shop where he now makes some of finest archtop and electric guitars around. Ric also shares his insights into voicing archtop plates and changing the resonant frequency of a guitar neck.

At the end of the day, Ric sums it up like this: "If I can help a musician get their art out and play a little better, that's what I want."
Dec 26, 2018
Marc Beneteau has successfully navigated a career in building custom guitars since 1974. For our twenty fifth episode, Marc takes us back to his early years, talks to us about forging his own path and describes how he has remained focused and passionate about guitar building over all these years. 
 
Links:
http://www.beneteauguitars.com/
http://www.foxsearchlight.com/youngatheart/
 

 

Nov 26, 2018
Evan Gluck runs New York Guitar Repair and is often asked to lecture on aspects of running a small business. This is a bit ironic considering that Evan claims "my profession is not to work." In fact, there are many counter-intuitive things that Evan says and it is all part of his unique perspective on guitar repair and life. Also, according to google, Evan is the best guitar repair person in the world.  
 
 
https://www.newyorkguitarrepair.com/

 

Oct 23, 2018

John Kinnard has always been a part-time guitar builder while being a full-time high school science teacher. On this episode of Luthier on Luthier, John shares his perspectives on 40 years of building instruments. It's a fascinating talk with someone who makes guitars for a love of the craft. 

Sep 19, 2018
When you walk into Joe Glaser's Nashville shop, you get the sense that they can do any guitar job, or even make any guitar part, and do it at the highest caliber. Simply put, Glaser has one of the most respected repair shops in the world. For episode 22 of the podcast, Joe takes time out of his busy schedule to share his valuable insights into how he does it, from his problem solving to his people skills and how he runs his business. Glaser is a legend among Nashville's elite musicians and for good reason.
 
Links:
http://www.plek.com/en_US/home/
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/534655/the-feather-thief-by-kirk-wallace-johnson/9781101981610/
http://www.galloupguitars.com/northwoods-seminar.htm
https://www.theblackbirdacademy.com/
https://nashville.mi.edu/
Aug 30, 2018
For episode 21, I sit down with Jay Lichty and Corrie Woods, the creators of Lichty guitars. Jay was a  carpenter and general contractor  for 30 years when he took a guitar building course with Wayne Henderson. He has not looked back since. While Jay does the building, his wife Corrie handles the website and marketing for their growing enterprise. During our talk, the duo share their story, motivations and their unique approach to business.
 
Links
http://lichtyguitars.com/
http://www.waynehenderson.org/wayne-henderson/
https://www.luthiersforacause.org
http://www.theleaf.org/downtown/
https://theukc.org/
Jul 16, 2018
Harry Fleishman has been designing, building, teaching and repairing  guitars for over 45 years. His guitars always push the design envelope, from his numerous one-of-a-kind handmade guitars to the anti-gravity bass he designed for Jackson. In this episode, we cover a wide range of topics including tone, his favorite amp and pickups and the source of his creative inspiration. As Harry puts it, "I want to build something I have never seen, felt, heard or played before."
 
Links 
http://www.fleishmaninstruments.com/
https://www.gofundme.com/brad-nickerson-fire-relief
 

 

Jun 20, 2018
Jason Kostal has led a full life: He graduated from West Point, served in the Army, earned an MBA and spent time as an executive in the corporate world. When he was ready for a new challenge he took up guitarmaking and now his instruments are considered to be among the best being made today. On this month's show, Jason talks candidly about branding, customer relations and his path into lutherie.
 
Thanks to GLUBOOST for sponsoring this episode.  
 
Links
Kostalguitars.com
https://gluboost.com

 

May 22, 2018

Edward Victor Dick started his lutherie career over 40 years ago. Since then, he has owned music retail stores, burned out, flown a small plane around Canada, worked on a farm, returned to lutherie, studied traditional lute building, and taught guitar building and repair. Today, he runs Victor Guitars in Denver, Colorado, where he does a bit of all of the above. Edward is someone I greatly admire and I am honored to have him share his story on this month’s Luthier on Luthier podcast.

Apr 18, 2018

On episode 17 of the Luthier on Luthier Podcast, we talk to the collective of legendary builders who make up the Luthiers Beyond Limits group. These mini interviews were conducted at the 2018 NAMM show where the LBL showcased their forward-thinking guitars. During this podcast, we hear from Mario BeuregardJean-Yves Alquier, Steve Klein, Claudio and Claudia Pagelli, Michi Matsuda and John and Serge of Tao Guitars. We hear the story of how and why these six artisans formed Luthiers Beyond Limits and about the unique instruments that were on display.

Mar 30, 2018

Issac Jang spent almost ten years apprenticing and repairing guitars before he started making instruments under his own name. This slow and steady approach has worked well for Issac, who is now one of the most sought after young builders in the market today. On this week's podcast, we talk about his guitars, his apprenticeship with Kathy Wingert and much more. 

Links:

https://www.isaacjangguitars.com/

http://www.wingertguitars.com/

Feb 23, 2018
For Episode 15, we sit down with Geoff Luttrell, owner of SF Guitarworks and Sonoma County Guitarworks. Geoff started out as a welder in oil refineries and went through several other careers before owning and operating one of the top guitar repair shops in the United States. Geoff takes us through all the offerings of San Francisco Guitarworks including repairs and classes and we go in-depth into operation of his PLEK services. He also offers some sound entrepreneurial advice and some valuable life lessons.
 
Links:
http://sfguitarworks.com/
http://www.mjtagedfinishes.com/
http://www.plek.com/en_US/home/
Jan 23, 2018
Today, Robbie O'Brien is well-known for his growing catalog of online guitar making courses as well as his popular one-on-one guitar making classes. On Episode 14, he and his wife Adrianna tell us about his start building guitars in São Paulo, Brazil, his teaching philosophy and how the act of building a guitar can be transformative for many of his students. Robbie says, "I never planned a career like this." 
 
This episode is sponsored by Luthier Suppliers.
 
 
Links:
https://obrienguitars.com/
https://tessarin.com.br/antonio
lmii.com
Dec 13, 2017
For episode 13, we talk with acclaimed guitarmaker Rick Turner. Rick has made, designed and worked on instruments for some of the biggest names in music including the Lindsey Buckingham, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, David Crosby, David Lindley and Ry Cooder, just name a few. In addition to his own line of guitars,  Rick also was a founding partner of Highlander pickups, Alembic guitars, Duncan Turner Acoustic research and he holds the patent for the CF guitar neck. Over the course of our conversation, Rick takes us through some his current and past projects, while giving us insights into his thought process and how he takes design inspiration from outside of the guitar world. 
Nov 22, 2017
Jordan McConnell is both an accomplished guitar builder and professional musician who spent 10 years touring with The Duhks. On today's podcast, he tells us how he manages to successfully navigate both careers at the same time and about his current musical projects and guitars. Jordan has had quite the journey from "an aimless high school graduate who mostly cared about punk rock and skateboarding" to being a professional, top-tier luthier.
 
Links:
 
Oct 24, 2017
On episode 11, we sit down with Jeremy Jenkins, who builds Lame Horse Guitars alongside his father Chris. Jeremy tells us how he fell into guitarmaking through his father and how it ended up becoming a full-time career. He talks about his life in the music city of Austin and how the role of music has changed for him over time. We also learn about what makes a bad movie good, and about his many other interests outside of guitars.
 
Want to support Luthier on Luthier? We're auctioning off a Lame Horse Cowboy Ukulele to help support the show. Bid here
 
Links: 
http://www.lamehorse.net/
http://www.badbadnotgood.com/
https://www.facebook.com/WilkinsonsSwing/
 
PS: Don't forget to listen to episode 10 of Luthier on Luthier, where we interviewed Chris Jenkins. 
 
 
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