Bob Wood

My son had passed me a link to a video of Bob Wood playing in a guitar shop somewhere in Nashville. My son knows that I am struggling a little bit with turning 60 and he knows that I am a bit concerned as to how much longer I will be able to play guitar with a decent level of skill.

Here is the video of Bob Wood that went viral:

Another friend found a different video of Bob Wood, one that has a much better sound and vibe. He passed it along with this comment:

You seem to mention feeling old now and again, and I thought this guy might provide some good perspective for those times!

Here is that video:

So, I am gradually getting the message about becoming an aging guitarist which was best said by Bob himself:

“God willing, I’ll be pickin’ and grinnin’ until they pat me in the face with a spade,” says Bob.

Shoplifting a Fender

Caught this video in my YouTube feed. A person walked into a Guitar Center on January 18th in Fort Worth, Texas and lifted a Fender by sliding the guitar, neck first, down his pants.

I hope they catch this shoplifter.

TreeHouse Guitars

This is one of Zach Lefebvre’s guitars, the Tree of Life. A stunning instrument.

I’ve decided that I need to learn a bit more about Canadian luthiers. And TreeHouse Guitars is certainly one to consider if you are looking for something that is truly Canadian and truly unique.

Zach is delivering only a few custom orders each year so the waiting list could be long, possibly two or three years. He does have a couple of guitars available on his website.

The artistic elements he puts into his guitars is extraordinary. The Cooper Dust guitar, which is currently available, has delightful touches like this maple leaf inset into the headstock.

From his website:

TreeHouse guitars have an ever-growing reputation as instruments with wonderful tone and masterly construction. Every guitar is built with meticulous attention to detail and a focus on craftsmanship and superior sound. TreeHouse Guitars are designed to respond to the needs and the goals of the player. Further making each instrument truly unique and outstanding, Treehouse guitars are embellished with astonishing custom pyrographic wood burnings whose artistry and design add a rich and distinctive element. The resulting guitars are exceptional, singular instruments fulfilling to both the ear and eye — a pleasure to play, to hear, and to see.

Check out his guitar gallery here.

Pete Thorn on NAMM 2017

Pete Thorn is one of my guitar heroes. I started following him on his YouTube Channel primarily because of his pedal demos. Pete is an awesome player and he can make pretty much anything sound great through his fingers.

I’ve been following NAMM 2017 from a distance. Lots of interesting announcements for guitarists this year. Pete was there and he posted a video on his experience at the show. A way of seeing NAMM 2017 without actually being there to see NAMM 2017. If you see what I mean.

Helix Native

Lots of announcements coming from NAMM 2017.

I had posted about my renewed interest in looking at pedalboard modellers like the recently announced Headrush as well as existing modellers like the Line 6 Helix.

Helix Native is a software plugin that is powered by Line 6’s HX modelling engine which means that the patches you create in the studio can go directly to the physical Helix pedalboard and back again.

Helix Native will be released in the spring for around $400 USD.

Studio to stage presets would open up some interesting workflows for a guitarist.

Collings CL Jazz

My friends at Collings Guitars gave me a heads up on a special CL Jazz guitar that they had prepped for the 2017 NAMM show.

It is similar to the one pictured above although the guitar is described this way:

This special CL Jazz features some of the most beautiful and richly figured mahogany we have ever used on a guitar. Created for the 2017 NAMM show this CL Jazz illustrates the pinnacle of materials and craftsmanship available in a Collings electric archtop.

Here it is:

When it comes time for me to focus on just jazz, which I intend to do in a few years time, this would be my choice of guitar.

Without a doubt, Collings makes an incredible guitar. And this one really shines.

Fender Guitar Lessons

I caught this little tidbit on Fender’s future plans from a recent Forbes article:

Most ambitious, perhaps, is Fender’s plan to launch a subscription-based guitar learning system in late spring which will include 500 hours of theory and guitar practice content for any device, priced at $19.99 per month. Says Mooney: “When we looked at the overall market, what’s interesting is the lessons side of the business is roughly double the size of the sale of new instrument business. You couple that with the fact that 90% of guitarists abandon the instrument in the first few months, if not the first year at the latest. We felt there was a commercial opportunity to develop the brand in the digital learning space because clearly the trends in learning are heading towards digital, as are many other parts of life.”

Mooney? Oh, yes. I remember now. Fender hired Andy Mooney as CEO back in 2015.

He had spent 20 years with Nike where he ultimately rose to the senior ranks as chief marketing officer and head of Nike’s global apparel organization. In 2000, he was made chairman of Disney Consumer Products. He left Disney in 2011 and had a bit of a mixed experience with Quiksilver. Well, to put it in clearer language, he was fired from Quiksilver. Something about the stock falling from $9 to $2 under his leadership.

And now, he is the CEO of Fender. I think the Edge sits on the board of the company as well. Fender is privately owned so it is a bit hard to peer into the corporate side of the business.

I love my Fender guitars. I hope Mooney takes good care of the company. He has about 50 Fender guitars so he must like the brand.

 

Headrush

Headrush

HeadRush Pedalboard promises “the most versatile, realistic-sounding and responsive” models ever found in a multi-effects pedal.

Funny thing. I have been taking a bit of a closer look at some modelling units like the Kemper Profiling Amp, the Fractal AX8 and the Line 6 Helix.

I love the tones that Troy over at Guitar For His Glory gets out of his Kemper rig. He fronts it with a big pedalboard and goes out from the Kemper to the PA.

For most of the playing that I do, I would love to be able to open up an amp without overwhelming the room. I currently run a small, 5-watt Swart amp for these dates and I still find it difficult to really open up that amp without becoming too loud. A modeller would go a long way to getting a full sound without overpowering a stage or a hall.

The Kemper is the most expensive unit of the ones I have been looking at. The Fractal AX8 looks interesting to me and it seems more like an amp and effects rig for live work — perhaps an all in one unit which could reduce the amount of gear I currently move around.

The Line 6 Helix came out a bit buggy with the Black Screen of Death and freezing issues. I’ve never been a fan of the Line 6 units from the past but the Line 6 Helix seems to be a big step up from their older products.

And then I came across the Headrush pedalboard announcement. Headrush was developed by the same team that did Avid’s Eleven, a rack that I have used over the years on Pro Tools.

It was way back in 2008 when I did my first quick and dirty demo on Eleven. I still have that recording.

Eleven Demo

I am looking forward to hearing more about the Headrush. Availability is in the next few months.

This video gives a bit of a glimpse into the pedal itself.