Chris Buono is a good personal friend as well as one of my best test pilots. For the last decade he has fearlessly played anything I’ve built — often sight unseen…and before a live audience. The only exception I can think of is the Harp Guitar (but we are also in the midst of a pandemic).
With the possible exception of Steve Sjuggerud, Chris has certainly played the greatest range of instruments I’ve built, which makes him uniquely qualified to make comparisons and discuss preferences. If you ever want an objective opinion about my work from a working professional…contact Chris.
I’ve never (ever) asked any of my artists to be exclusive to the guitars I’ve gifted or sold them. I believe in free markets and free association. If an instrument is a good match, it will naturally become an honest favorite. Chris owns a Goshawk™ which seems to appear on a high percentage of his work since it arrived to him.
A good sign.
Chris is a master teacher. Hit him up to take your playing to next level.
Michael Ross of Guitar Moderne published a piece on Magnets & Wire album. He does a nice write-up plus excellent compilation of videos featuring some of my builds in the hands of these exceptional artists.
Guitar Modern is:
Guitar Moderne offers extensive coverage of the world-wide explosion of avant, experimental, and unusual players, as they discuss their approach to this classic combination of metal and wood. Here too, you will find articles and reviews covering combining computer with guitar and the world of plugins that this opens up, as well as news about the more extreme pedals available. Guitar Moderne is not genre specific; it covers forward-thinking players of any musical style: jazz, experimental, classical, blues, rock, metal, etc. Guitarists and fans from every continent can converge here to learn about the many directions this versatile instrument is taking and the gear being used for the journey.
“Hey!” I asked, “Would you guys be interested in recording an album? I have an idea in mind.”
A flood of yesses flowed in before I had a chance to explain…
I had developed independent friendships with each of them as individuals, but most had never met one another in person, just basic awareness as fellow artists via my website. All of them have been loyal long-time supporters of my craft. I knew this mix of personalities would be synergistic and supportive.
Even working professional musicians find it difficult to gain enough time and space to be able to record an album. The pressures of touring, teaching, writing, and performing are intense. And so many of my clients are passionate amateurs — in the purest sense — they make a living unrelated to music, yet dedicate their free time to playing. Many are highly skilled but have no outlet to record.
I want to change that.
To keep our focus tight and set logistically achievable goals, we established several criteria. Each participant will be featured on at least one song. Choose someone(s) to collaborate with or perform solo if you wish. Most importantly, recordings will be first or second take…looking to capture spontaneous magic.
Steve Sjuggerud contributed his time and resources with incredible generosity. He hosted us at his location Sugar Pointe, surprised everyone with custom t-shirts and a coastal waters sunset cruise, plus brought in supremely talented photographer Adam King (check out those photos!) and drummer Dan Ostrowski to add depth to our mix. Thank you, Steve. Thank you also to Steve’s wife Kassy, and his business partners Chris & Kelly Manus.
Killick Hinds generously contributed his audio recording and production skills, first in tandem with me on location, then in his studio mixing and mastering. His deft touch transformed the raw audio into a coherent whole — a difficult task because each song was an entirely different arrangement of room, mics, musicians.
I gratefully thank Chris Buono, Todd Haug, Ken Kinter, Gabriel Levi, and Ede Wright for flying or driving to Florida to contribute their beautiful art.
PS: This album is dedicated to SB. You have inspired many more lives than you could ever know.
Screen on my phone illuminated. Incoming call: Bob Bakert. Bob is editor of Jazz Guitar Today based in Atlanta, GA. The magazine features jazz scene and instruments more traditional than avant-garde, so it was a pleasant surprise when they decided to do a feature on Goshawk™ 6-string guitar. Ede Wright and Bob Bakert had connected locally, and Bob fell in love with Goshawk’s design.
Bob was calling to tell me the article had just been published.
He’s an interesting person, athletic, fit, intelligent, actively playing (and pursuing) all things guitar since the late 1960’s. Our conversation drifted — as it quickly does — into music tangents. He was still aglow from a recent compliment where a well-respected industry insider told Bob he is an excellent musician. What was especially interesting was the follow-up comment: “Musician, not guitar player. Those are two different things.”
Many of us who play tend to bring a set of patterns (musical or thought) to the guitar, then attempt to fit those into the current context, possibly contextually appropriate. Approaching guitar as a musician, instead of as a player, happens when we lead with our ear instead of our skill set.
This is something I have noticed as well, and mentioned recently in the video interview with Mike Dawes. The difference seems based on the ability to listen. Really listen.
Mind still, and present in the moment, as Buddha would say.