369 episodes

The Fretboard Journal magazine's weekly podcast, where we interview legendary guitarists, luthiers, and much more.

The Fretboard Journal Guitar Podcast Fretboard Journal

    • Music
    • 4.7 • 283 Ratings

The Fretboard Journal magazine's weekly podcast, where we interview legendary guitarists, luthiers, and much more.

    John Shults of True Vintage Guitar

    John Shults of True Vintage Guitar

    This week, we talk to one of the young guns of vintage instrument dealing, 33-year-old John Shults of True Vintage Guitar.

    John is based out of Birmingham, Alabama and has a unique business model. As his Instagram account reveals, he's seemingly on an endless guitar safari, traveling around the world and acquiring closet-find Fenders and Gibsons, often from the instrument's original owners or their family members. His sales strategy is unique, too. John not only has a knack for finding rare instruments, he also knows how to tell a great guitar story. 
     
    During our chat, John tells us about his decision to become a vintage instrument dealer and some of the many tricks of the trade he's picked up over the years. We learn about the perils of traveling with large amounts of cash, how he puts anxious sellers at ease, and the trends he's noticed in today's vintage electric market. We also learn about why, after a decade of being an online-only retailer, John is about to open his first brick & mortar showroom. 
     
    https://truevintageguitar.com

    https://www.instagram.com/truevintageguitar/?hl=en
    The Fretboard Journal is launching a Substack where we'll be sharing even more content, including photo outtakes, essays, and special podcasts. Be an early supporter here: https://fretboardjournal.substack.com
    And don't forget to get a gift subscription to the Fretboard Journal this holiday season: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/collections/all/products/fretboard-journal-gift-subscription
    Our podcast is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars, Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); and Calton Cases.

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Kristina R. Gaddy, Author of 'Well of Souls'

    Kristina R. Gaddy, Author of 'Well of Souls'

    Author Kristina R. Gaddy joins us this week to talk about her new book, 'Well of Souls: Uncovering the Banjo's Hidden History.'
    This is unlike any instrument history book you've ever read... and we can't recommend it enough.

    Though it's widely known that the banjo was brought to the Americas via enslaved Black people, there's so much we still don't know about this instrument's earliest period. Through journal entries, books, art, surviving instruments, and some amazing detective work, Gaddy reveals that the banjo wasn't just a musical instrument for slaves... it was also a deeply important spiritual tool.

    During our chat, we ask Gaddy about the making of the book, the unlikely places she found her evidence, and the construction of those earliest instruments. We also talk about the banjo's growing popularity with a new generation of Black musicians.

    More on the book: https://wwnorton.com/books/9780393866803
    More on Kristina R. Gaddy (plus some cool bonus photos of early banjos): www.kristinagaddy.com/wellofsouls
    Pete Ross (Gaddy's partner / old-time banjo maker): https://www.banjopete.com

    The Fretboard Journal is launching a Substack where we'll be sharing even more content, including photo outtakes, essays, and special podcasts. Be an early supporter here: https://fretboardjournal.substack.com
    And don't forget to get a gift subscription to the Fretboard Journal this holiday season: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/collections/all/products/fretboard-journal-gift-subscription
    Our podcast is sponsored by Retrofret Vintage Guitars, Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); and Calton Cases.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Sam Bush

    Sam Bush

    The one-and-only Sam Bush joins us this week for an enlightening talk about John Hartford and so much more.

    Sam has just released 'Radio John: Songs of John Hartford,' a tribute album to his old friend/mentor where he plays every instrument (acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass, and fiddle). We talk about the inspiration behind the album, the Hartford tracks he chose, and his recording process.

    Sam also talks to us about some of the unique gear he employed. In addition to his tried-and-true 1937 Gibson F-5 mandolin (dubbed "Hoss"), he used a Silvertone bass with 40-year-old strings; a low-tuned banjo on loan from Bela Fleck, and a Cat's Eyes / Tokai copy of a Martin D-42.

    It's a great chat with a true bluegrass music legend. We hope you enjoy it.

    Get Sam Bush's 'Radio John' here: https://folkways.si.edu/sam-bush/radio-john-songs-of-john-hartford

    Get a digital subscription to the Fretboard Journal here: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/collections/downloads/products/fretboard-journal-digital-subscription-offer
    Pre-order An Instrument Maker’s Guide to Insanity and Redemption: Behind-the-Scenes Stories from the Instrument Making and Repair Community here.

    Our podcast is sponsored by Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); and Calton Cases.

    • 1 hr
    Uberfrank Guitars and Daniel Marcus Clark

    Uberfrank Guitars and Daniel Marcus Clark

    A little over a month ago, UK guitarmaker Richard Waddell (Uberfrank Guitars) shared photos of his latest creation to Instagram: an electric baritone guitar built for musician and friend Daniel Marcus Clark. This wild instrument - featuring a unique offset body, a Charlie Christian pickup in the neck, a three-pole bass pickup, dual outputs, a built-in capo system, and even a secret compartment in the pickguard - made guitarists around the world take notice.

    On this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast, we talk to Richard and Daniel about their collaboration. We discuss the original inspiration for the body's shape (a vintage Coral Hornet), Daniel's unique live rig, the unlikely hinge that made the secret compartment work, the ideas that didn't make it in to the finished guitar, plus a lot more.

    Daniel Marcus Clark's new album, 'I've been thinking,' is available now on Bandcamp if you want to hear this guitar (and musician) in action. https://danielmarcusclark.bandcamp.com 
    https://www.uberfrankguitars.com
    Love the show and want to support the Fretboard Journal Podcast? Pick up a digital subscription to our magazine: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/collections/downloads/products/fretboard-journal-digital-subscription-offer
    (It's just $30 annually and it goes a long way towards supporting the show...and you get to read the Fretboard Journal!) 
    Pre-order An Instrument Maker’s Guide to Insanity and Redemption: Behind-the-Scenes Stories from the Instrument Making and Repair Community here.

    Our podcast is sponsored by Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); and Calton Cases.

    • 42 min
    Frank Solivan

    Frank Solivan

    Grammy-nominated bluegrass musician Frank Solivan has led a fascinating life. On this week's podcast, we talk to the frontman of Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen about a bit of everything: the band's new album, 'Hold On;' his side hobbies of lutherie, pick making, and leather tooling; his songwriting process on the mandolin; and more. 
    Frank is a true renaissance man. This is a great chat; we think you'll love it. 
    http://dirtykitchenband.com
    https://toneslabs.com
    https://thesolworks.com
    Love the show and want to support the Fretboard Journal Podcast? Pick up a digital subscription to our magazine: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/collections/downloads/products/fretboard-journal-digital-subscription-offer
    (It's just $30 annually and it goes a long way towards supporting the show...and you get to read the Fretboard Journal!) 

    Our podcast is sponsored by Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); Retrofret Vintage Guitars; and Calton Cases.

    • 54 min
    TJ Thompson at the 2022 Fretboard Summit

    TJ Thompson at the 2022 Fretboard Summit

    Our Chicago Fretboard Summit was filled with highlights. Among them was TJ Thompson's return to the stage for another mind-blowing talk about following your heart, vintage guitar restoration, and so much more. 
    During this 90-minute session, the acclaimed pre-war Martin guitar expert offered a bit of everything: Sage advice for new instrument makers; insights on how to protect the value of your acoustic guitars; life hacks that we can all learn from; and even a little beer koozie philosophy lesson. Toward the end of his session, TJ had some quick tips for fellow luthiers. A few benefited from a visual reference so we posted the video excerpts on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/xc02s7rp-bM
    It's an unfiltered and candid talk from one of the guitar world's best.

    For his talk, Thompson invited friends and clients David Ziegele and Al Drewes onstage. You'll hear them occasionally interject and offer their own personal experiences with vintage guitars. Apologies for the lav mic noise; we did our best to reduce it. Recorded live on August 27, 2022 at Old Town's Maurer Hall. 

    The Fretboard Summit will return to Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music on August 24-26, 2023. We'll share ticketing information soon.

    TJ's lutherie tool shop: https://proluthiertools.com

    Donate to Linda Manzer's Sunflower Guitar for Ukraine: https://sunflowerguitar.com
    Love the show and want to support the Fretboard Journal Podcast? Pick up a digital subscription to our magazine: https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/collections/downloads/products/fretboard-journal-digital-subscription-offer
    (It's just $30 annually and it goes a long way towards supporting the show...and you get to read the Fretboard Journal!) 

    Our podcast is sponsored by Peghead Nation (use the promo code FRETBOARD and get your first month free or $20 off any annual subscription); Izotope (use the coupon code FRET10 to save 10% off their plug-ins); Retrofret Vintage Guitars; and Calton Cases.
    Special thanks to our 2022 Fretboard Summit sponsors: C.F. Martin & Co., Collings Guitars, Santa Cruz Guitar Company,  Henriksen Amplifiers, Yamaha Guitars, Reverb,  RØDE Microphones,  Galloup School of Lutherie, Acoustic Coffee and Calton Cases!

    • 1 hr 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
283 Ratings

283 Ratings

georgeogoodman ,

A wonderful and varied exploration of the world of fretted instruments

As I’ve found with other podcasts from Fretboard Journal, this is well done and always has interesting guests. I always learn something new about the instruments, performance, and more.

CD2011 ,

Listen already! Bigsby episode is excellent!

II’ve been listening for years, and the episode on the recently ‘found’ late Bigsby guitar was awesome- so many stories, Jason, the always excellent host, just let them run- thank you, it was so good. I could have listened for another 2 hours. Thanks!

Zdtyzxcvplo ,

Great podcasts.

Always a good listen for guitar nerds. Love it.

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