Lovely views of the St. Lawrence River from our coach. We are here for the week.
What’s this? A new custom shop guitar from Fender?
From its humble beginnings as a makeshift stage to its now-legendary status as one of the best concert venues in Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is part of the rich tapestry of Hollywood history. This natural outdoor amphitheater has hosted performances by some of the most well-known and respected artists of every musical genre; from Frank Sinatra to Jimi Hendrix and everyone in-between, the Hollywood Bowl has been bathed in pure musical magic for decades. Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov captured and distilled that mojo, adding a healthy infusion of Fender’s timeless style and history with the incredible Front Row Legend Esquire. This guitar is crafted from 100-year-old Alaskan yellow cedar reclaimed from the original bench boards that have been resonating with the sounds emanating from “The Bowl” since 1919.
Launched last month, only two have been built so far. Available for a mere $12,000 USD.
Gator has added something useful to their guitar cases.
It turns on when the case is opened. It turns off when the case is closed.
Funny how something like this seems so obvious in a certain context, like opening a car door, and seems so utterly out of context for a guitar case. And yet, it makes perfect sense. There are many times I have opened a guitar case in a dark room wishing I had a light source to find an accessory. In my case, if you can pardon the pun, I have Strats where the tremolo bar is tucked away each time the guitar is returned to its case. Finding them can be a bit of a nuisance in a dark room.
Having a light source is a useful improvement. I like that. Particularly in my old age.
There it is. The Klon Centaur. Revered as the overdrive pedal for a guitarist. There aren’t many of them, fewer than 10,000 were built and they have become collector’s items.
One is up for sale in Canada. The asking price? A mere $3,537.
If you play guitar and are chasing the holy grail of guitar tone then you have an overdrive. If you have seriously chased tone then you have many overdrives. I really cannot think of another pedal that gets changed out as often as an overdrive. Unless, I suppose, you spend several thousand dollars on a Klon. At that point, you will undoubtedly convince yourself that it is the best sounding overdrive period. Your quest for the perfection of guitar tone will have ended.
Until Gibson came out with this product innovation: the Gibson Custom Burstdriver.
A Custom Shop Les Paul Standard exhibits the finest in materials, construction and historical accuracy, making it one of the best sounding and playing electric guitars on the planet. Additionally, the innovative new Gibson Custom Burstdriver provides players built-in sonic expansion capabilities. Essentially a high-end analog overdrive pedal built into the backplate of the guitar, the Burstdriver is engaged with a quick tap of the push/push tone knob. A simple twist can transform the dry signal into anything from a fat clean boost to a warm, thick overdrive all the way to a snarling distortion. The effect is entirely true bypass and the level, tone, and gain controls can be adjusted using a guitar pick. The Gibson Custom Burstdriver Les Paul Standard is your new secret sonic weapon!
I have no idea why Gibson would do something like this. I am not alone in this opinion.
Josef Rauschecker talks about the science behind tinnitus and treatment options. I have been fighting tinnitus for about ten years now. For the most part, I have adapted. There are times when it becomes very pronounced. It can lead to a very negative state of being when that happens.
If you suffer from tinnitus, Josef offers some excellent insight into this awful condition.
I received an email from my good friends at Collings Guitars. They included an update on a new signature model that Bill Collings had worked on until his passing:
When Bill Collings first met the brilliant young jazz musician Julian Lage, in 2014, the two began a series of in-depth conversations about their respective crafts. Lage’s profound insights as a guitarist would play a key role in the creation of Collings’ T (Traditional) Series guitars. This rare collaboration, which continued right up until Bill’s passing, in July, 2017, has yielded another exceptional new guitar with an old soul. We are proud to present a highly personal extension of the T Series: the Julian Lage Signature OM1.
You can find out more about this beautiful instrument here.
We lost our dear friend and mentor Bill Collings on Friday. He was the amazingly creative force behind Collings Guitars for over 40 years. Through his unique and innate understanding of how things work, and how to make things work better, he set the bar in our industry and touched many lives in the process. His skill and incredible sense of design were not just limited to working with wood, but were also obvious in his passion for building hot rods. To Bill, the design and execution of elegant form and function were what mattered most. Perhaps even more exceptional than his ability to craft some of the finest instruments in the world, was his ability to teach and inspire. He created a quality-centered culture that will carry on to honor his life’s work and legacy. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed. Our hearts are with his family.
I have two of his guitars: a 2012 Collings D2H #20672, one of the best sounding acoustics I have ever played, and a 2010 Collings CL Deluxe #9408, one of the most beautifully made electric guitars I have ever played.
So sad to see such a master pass away too soon in life.
Lorraine and I were out to Upper Canada Village on Saturday. Perfect summer day. Took my Leica M10 along for the practice and caught some great frames. The shot of the blacksmith above is one of my favourites from the day.
Lots of other characters though. The Asselstine Woolen Mill is powered by water and by steam.
This poor fellow had the joy of tending the flames of the Asselstine Mill’s steam engine during a hot summer day.
The carpenter took great pains to remind us that he worked primarily on fine furniture, not the coarse stuff. Looks like a fairly big axe on his workbench for working on fine furniture.
Then we bumped into the gardener tending the plants at the Crysler Hall. Quite the hat.
The seamstress was getting herself all setup. “Wool,” she told me, “is full of microscopic scales.” I guess that was how she could get her machine going without tying down the wool. Wool just wants to stick to things.
Off to the village printer. Every letter selected by hand and set by hand. A surprising number of font choices and sizes given the manual process of producing a newspaper back then.
Despite all of the wonderful, historic characters at Upper Canada Village, I was thrilled to spend the day with my very favourite person.