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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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Now displaying: 2019
Dec 26, 2019
Award winning guitarist Al Petteway has been performing since the age over 12 across a variety of musical styles. These days, he is best known as a Celtic fingerstyle guitarist and for the gorgeous soundtracks he composes for documentary films. Over his 50 year career, Al also worked as a photo editor for National Geographic. For Episode 37 of the podcast, Al traces the path of his musical history, and shares several great stories along the way. He also gives advice to musicians and guitar builders about how to make better music and instruments.  
 
Links
http://www.alandamy.com/bio.html
https://www.pearlworks.com/
http://kenburns.com/
http://www.tippinguitars.com/
http://www.circaguitars.com/
Dec 4, 2019

Sam Guidry not only teaches at the Galloup School of Guitar Building, he also makes world-class acoustic guitars. For Episode 36 of Luthier on Luthier, Sam tells us the unexpected way he started at the Galloup School and what he enjoys about teaching. Sam also runs us through some his guitar's unique design features, and how he uses a top rating measurement system to achieve consistency and get the sound that he wants. We also hear about his time as a touring musician and his latest project, Caseadillo Case Covers.

Links: 
http://www.samguidryguitars.com/welcome.html
https://www.galloupguitars.com/schools-of-lutherie-luthier.htm
http://www.annarborguitars.com/

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."
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