21: Zeke Schein

Zeke Schein’s  discovery of possibly the 3rd known photo of Robert Johnson sent the Blues community into a tailspin. In SLN Podcast #21 he lays out the story in a most thoughtful and intriguing manner.

jpeden171115_IMG_0411

“Portrait of a Phantom”,  Zeke’s book gives a detailed account of the acquisition of the photo and the story of it’s life altering effect.  It is a literary achievement that more than tells the story of the 3.25 X 4.25 tattered photo. His descriptions of life in NYC in the early 21st century are a delight.

jpeden171121_IMG_0451

Matt Umanov”s Guitar Shop has been a Greenwich Village landmark for 53 years. Zeke occupied sales “first chair” just inside the door. Chatting with Zeke on any given day was always a Great Hang. For one thing you’d probably be leaning on the counter elbow to elbow with John Hammond, Jack White, Steve Earl, Vince Gill  or John Sebastian. Here Zeke holds a period correct Gibson L 1 close to the make and model Robert Johnson holds in the Hooks Brothers photo used for the box set of his music.  Matt’s store will close in 2017. Umanov’s and 48th St. may be gone but NYC still has great guitar shops. Among them, Rudys in Soho where Zeke now works.

J.Peden-081112-IMG_1206

jpeden171121_IMG_0447

Tom Crandall with his E Bay skills helped Zeke get the photo. Here is Tom at the repair bench at Umanov’s a few years ago. Tom now runs T. R. Crandall Guitars on 3rd St. in NYC.

J.Peden-081112-IMG_1201

Most of us first were exposed to The Delta Blues through Sam Charters “The Country Blues” and the accompanying L P for RBF a division of Folkways.

jpeden171120_IMG_0430The hardcore blues collectors considered Charter’s selections too commercial and countered with OJL “Really the Country Blues” jpeden171120_IMG_0432

However the squabbling was put to rest by  CBS releasing “Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers” in 1961.

jpeden171121_IMG_0449

In 1970 CBS released Vol II of “Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers” containing reissues of 10 Vocalion 78s plus 6 additional tracks 0f alternates takes and unissued masters. Don Law produced all of Robert Johnson’s recordings.

jpeden171121_IMG_0450

If you like this podcast topic you’ll probably enjoy the following books that explore the fascination and history of American roots music and recordings of it. Keep the highlighter at hand. These are dense reads.

jpeden171121_IMG_0444

jpeden171121_IMG_0445

jpeden171121_IMG_0442

The writing of Peter Guralnick needs no explanation to music fans. His “Sweet Soul Music” is a top 5 books on music for sure. This a smaller book but he’s alway enjoyable.

jpeden171121_IMG_0443

Make up your own minds Here are Robert Johnson photos #1 Hooks Brothers photo, #2 photo booth cigarette photo, #3 Zeke’s photo. Use your own senses and tell me what you think in the “leave a comment” section at the beginning of the blog. hint: check the eyebrows and fingers.

jpeden171121_IMG_044709-lens-johnson-embed-blog480

jpeden061116_1Cover_Photo

©Courtesy of the Estate of Robert L. Johnson

Robert Johnson’s music finds a home in many places Here luthier Mark Simon creates a special resonator guitar that also has a pick up designed for this model,the Terraplane.

J.Peden-091016-_MG_2100-Edit

So that’s it for now. Take another look at the 3 images and make up your own mind. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Zeke’s book “Portrait of a Phantom” which lays out his odyssey.

jpeden171115_IMG_0402

20: Martin Kelly

Martin Kelly is best known to readers of this blog and listeners to the podcast as part of the team that created “Fender The Golden Age” along with his brother Paul the photographer and previous SLN podcast participant Terry Foster . Martin lives in Oxfordshire near London where he runs numerous businesses under the “Heavenly” banner. He manages bands, has a record label and produces films. You’ll have to get up very early to beat Martin to something Fender Vox or other music related items or ephemera.  Martin Kelly in his office

Sure you’ve got the book. You’ve read it cover to cover and drooled over Paul’s beautiful photos but have you got the CD?  If you haven’t you are missing a major piece of the puzzle, Full of great music played on Fenders by a very tasty selection of musicians but wait there’s more. Where did they find those vintage Fender radio ads? It’s on the ACE label out of the U K. Check their catalogue for some of the best Southern Soul compilations.

jpeden171106_IMG_0383

Here is your Spotify playlist for this episode, crazy varied just like we like them

This ’61 Vox Duo Tone was in a box by Martin’s door when he’d picked me up from the station. Maybe it wouldn’t win a beauty contest against a Strat but it sure is clean and ultra cool.

jpeden171013_IMG_9959

Here’s the custom colored Jazzmaster Martin discusses in the podcast not to shabby.

jpeden171013_IMG_0245

And here’s the “Ultra Rare” Rickenbacker 1965 Rose Morris model 1993 Martin found in Hamburg

jpeden171013_IMG_0249

That’s Sarah Cracknell lead singer for Saint Etienne and Martin’s wife. He found the Rickenbacker 12 string touring with the band.

Saint-Etienne-Joe-Dilworth-04

Here’s anther item you don’t stumble on every day. I think these promotion items were used on the amps at trade shows. If they were sent to dealers they would be available today. They aren’t.

jpeden171013_IMG_9981

Leo put a lot of design time into his 12 string bridge which is why many consider the Fender 12 the most playable electric 12.

jpeden171013_IMG_0250

jpeden171013_IMG_0252

Any K&F amp is worth celebrating but this is a rare one with a 10″ speaker.

jpeden171013_IMG_0253

Martin manages The Rails which consist of James Walbourne and Kami Thompson daughter of Richard and Linda Thompson. Seek them out!

THE RAILS, Kami Thompson & James Walbourne, London 13-2-17 © Jill Furmanovsky

We look forward to Martin completing his major book on the history of Vox. This was laying on his kitchen table so you can believe he’s up to the task.

jpeden171013_IMG_0272

#18 John Cohen Sidetrack Liner Notes

John Cohen has done almost everything worth doing, photographer, filming maker, musician, teacher. We went to his home in Putnam County N Y for a full afternoon’s conversation. This is the first of 2 podcast that resulted from our extremely pleasant visit.

John_CohenHere John Is shown on the right with his Old Time Music band The New Lost City Ramblers accompanying Maybelle Carter.cohen-carter

Cohen’s neighbor in first loft on the Lower East side was photographer Robert Frank who’s seminal work “The Americans ” was published while John Lived next door

jpeden171017_IMG_0313

As neighbors should Robert was kind enough to produce photos for John’s Old Time Music band The New Lost city Ramblers

jpeden171001_IMG_0113

 

jpeden171001_IMG_0101

It’s hard to over estimate the influence of Folkways Records especially “The Anthology of American Folk Music” However well know that is, I do believe the following 4 LPs from Folkways also deserve ” Rosetta Stone” status

jpeden171001_IMG_0122

If you only get one John Cohen book (not a good idea IMHO) “There is No Eye” is the one to get. This is his first monograph and contains photographs from his days in New Haven, New York’s East Side, Peru, Greenwich Village folk music scene0 and groundbreaking trips to the American South to seek out regional musicians, monumental.

jpeden171017_IMG_0316

This book results from a session that was supposed to be a dry run for a film sound synch experiment that failed. Both Cohen and Dylan had the good instinct to catch lighting in a bottle. These images capture Robert Zimmerman becoming Bob Dylan, fascinating.

jpeden171017_IMG_0315

As long as we’re on the subject of Bob don’t miss “John Cohen Here and Gone”, photos of Woody Guthrie, 60’s music festivals, The New Lost Ramblers, what I believe was a cover shoot for Dylan’s “Self Portrait” and a lengthy conversation with Bob that originally ran in “Sing Out”. This book was printed by Steidl

jpeden171017_IMG_0314

Another masterful printing job by Steidl. Pawn grandfather’s watch to buy this book. Close to time traveling back to the source, the resulting photos from John’s trips to the American South in search of what he called “old time music” and is now called “Americana”. He found it and more. 1963, The High and Lonesome Sound, photos, a CD of audio recordings and a DVD of his film made primarily featuring Roscoe Holcomb. Way too much to take in in one sitting.

jpeden171017_IMG_0317

“Pull My Daisy” 1959 is a silent black and white film shot by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie from a Jack Kerouac play featuring Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Larry Rivers and others. John Cohen worked on this groundbreaking film which provides a look at The Beat Generation from within

The importance of The Newport Folk Festivals was immense. It began in response to the successful annual Jazz Festivals in Newport, Rhode Island managed by George Wein who recruited Albert Grossman to run the Folk Festival. Careers were started there. Most of the “rediscovered ” country and blues musicians played there. John Cohen and The New Lost City Ramblers played the first Folk Festival. It began in 1959 in “The Casino” now the International  Tennis Hall of Fame. This is how it looks today.

 j_peden110815-IMG_1279
j_peden110815-IMG_1283

j_peden110819-IMG_1289

As the festival and the popularity of folk music grew the location moved to Freebody Park and the grounds of St Michaels school and for 1965 Festival Field now a housing site.

St Michael’s School today.

j_peden130726IMG_3140

Dylan using Joan Baez’s O 45 Martin guitar Performs “Mr Tamborine Man” on the grounds of St Michael’s School at a workshop at the Newport Folk Festival 1964

It’s time for a shout out to our mutual friend Ed Grazda (John Cohen’s friend and photographer of Mr Cohen’s portraits) on the occasion of the publication of his new book, “Mean Streets” photos of New York in the 1970s – 80s. More time traveling. 9781576878439-350x292

Much more to be added to this blog soon

Sidetrack Liner Notes Podcast #17 Geoff Muldaur pt. 2

Recorded in Kingston N.Y. Part 2 of our conversation with Geoff where he discusses his time in the steel business (go figure?) and return to music recording the wonderful personal C D, “The Secret Handshake” , his 8 year classical music project in Antwerp, “Private Astronomy, the C D that features his arrangements of classic Bix Beiderbecke tunes, The Roots of Geoff Muldaur a project that now numbers 8 C Ds of material (the actual source recordings) that have inspired Geoff. Let’s hope the notes for this project will become an autobiography and trips to Japan that result in The Martin Guitar Co. producing the Geoff Muldaur Model Martin Guitar. If you caught SLN podcast #16 we know you’ve been waiting for part 2.

Bix Beiderbecke has been a favorite of Geoff’s since Boyhood. Private Astronomy his arrangements of Bix’s original piano and other compositions that Bix recorded in his lifetime. In this podcast Geoff discusses Bix, the hand picked musicians and the recording process for this C D.

jpeden170816_IMG_9910

A wonderful C D personally recorded by Geoff an absolute must. I think he actually likes this one

MI0002759133

This really belongs in the blog for podcast #16 but I just came across this copy of the L P by Better Days Geoff spoke of in glowing terms in that podcast It includes their version of “Walking Blues” and “Highway 28”

jpeden171001_IMG_0102

Sidetrack Liner notes Podcast #16 Geoff Muldaur pt. 1

We sit down in Kingston, N Y with Geoff and have a far ranging conversation on all things musical. We get into his early fascination with Blues and Jazz recordings accompanied by his friend Joe Boyd and Joe’s brother Warwick. Geoff’s involvement with the Cambridge scene including his time with the famed Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Geoff and his wife of the time Maria’s  2 L Ps followed by his time in Woodstock as vocalist for Paul Butterfield’s band Better Days. Just too much to list here plus there will be a part 2 podcast #17.

Geoff with his Geoff Muldaur model Martin in Kingston Sept 2017
jpeden170914___000009

If you have fond memories of The Jim Kweskin Jug Band (most of us do) then Jim and Geoff’s newest C D release “Penny’s Farm” is an absolute delight. Jim and Geoff both vocalize and play guitar all tunes sometimes aided by Cindy Cashdollar on steel guitar, Suzy Thompson on Fiddle among others with Van Dyke Parks adding Accordion to Bobby Charles “Tennessee Blues”.

jpeden170927_IMG_0062

Geoff Disparages his first L P, “Sleepy Man Blues” for Prestige claiming “I wasn’t ready”. Don’t listen to him. As Richard Thompson says”There are 3 great white blues singers and Geoff Muldaur is 2 of them” He’s already doing it on these early recordings.

Sleepy man (1 of 1)Here’s the L P that started the ball rolling for Jim Kweskin and the rest of the Jug band. Geoff Muldaur’s arrangements and performances were a key to this L P’s lasting appeal

jpeden171001_IMG_0123

Another trip down memory lane. Albert Grossman saw fit to move The Jug Band from “Folkie” label Vanguard to Reprise the happening record company out of L.A. “Garden of Joy” was their first L P for the label.jpeden170927_IMG_0063

If you have a Spotify account you can play complete versions of all the tunes referenced in Geoff’s podcast. Click on any tune to play on your device.

Geoff and his wife Maria released 2 L Ps for Reprise “Pottery Pie” and ” Sweet Potatoes” seek them both out. Maria then hit with “Midnight at the Oasis” produced by Geoff’s long time friend Joe Boyd featuring Amos Garrett one of the great Telecaster players. The boys were then turned loose “In the musical candy store” for “Geoff Muldaur is Having a Wonderful Time” the participating musicians on this is L P is staggering

jpeden170927_IMG_0064

Throughout our interview reference is made to Geoff’s long time friend, Joe Boyd. We highly recommend Joe’s book , “White Bicycles” It’s a great read. He has lead an amazing life in music. That’s Geoff and Maria among others on the cover.

jpeden170928_IMG_0068

Sidetrack Liner Notes Podcast #15 Richard Alderson pt.2

In pt.#2 Alderson discusses building his own studio, RLA Sound on W. 65th St in NYC with backing from his friend Harry Belafonte. He produces ground breaking free jazz from the likes of Sun Ra and many others for the ESP label.

Heliocentric edit

Always on the cutting edge of audio technology Alderson uses A P I solid state amplifiers (precursor to Melcor Amplifiers), faders in his stand up board, speakers of his own design, sticks with the Altec 1567A for mixing and mic preamps and an early  Ampex 1″8 track tape machine.

He has a hit with Johnny Nash “Hold me Tight” recorded partially in his studio and partially in Jamaica.

nash

Alderson scores another hit L P with the Pearls Before Swine’s “One Nation Underground” which is about to be rereleased by Drag City on vinyl and other formats with the original Mono mix restored by Richard.

 jpeden150626_IMG_0200

The quality of Alderson’s recording of the 1966 Live tour is an acknowledged fact. Nevertheless CBS decides to send another recording team to record 3 of Dylan and the Band’s shows. When CBS finally releases as Bootleg Series #4, the “Judas” Manchester Free Trade Hall show, erroneously  known as The Royal Albert Hall Show for years, they choose Richard’s 2 track recordings from the P A microphones because they sound better than the 3 track tapes their recording team produced. You can hear the difference in “Visions of Johanna”. Ricard’s tape ran out on the phrase “my conscious explodes” the next line is “The harmonica’s play…”( at 20minutes 37 seconds running time in Podcast #15).  The difference in sound is obvious. The acoustic guitar becomes “boomy” and Dylan’s voice becomes distant. Once again, thank God for Richard and his recordings. jpeden170816_IMG_9908

We recommend Robbie Robertson’s book “Testimony.. a good read

jpeden170816_IMG_9906

Here is the 36 C D box set that Richard Alderson recorded in 1966 on tour with Bob and the Hawks. You need to get it while you can

jpeden170816_IMG_9909

We can’t go any further without acknowledging the many contributions of our recording engineer, Mike Crehore who has been present for all of the SLN podcast recordings. Mike is front and center on this podcast contributing his knowledge of audio recording to the discussion with Richard, much appreciated Mike. Mike Crehore.jpg-1

We do hope you have enjoyed our conversations with Richard Alderson. There is so much more to his story much of it yet  be written. We eagerly await listeningto his new projects and hope to get him back for more stories. jpeden170525__M3_2893

Sidetrack Liner Notes Podcast #14 Richard Alderson

For years mystery and rumors have surrounded the 1966 tour of Bob Dylan and The Hawks (soon to become The Band) bootlegs continually surfaced most often of the “Judas” concert mislabeled “The Albert Hall Concert” actually recorded at The Free Trade hall in Manchester England. Unknown to almost everyone Bob Dylan decided to have most of the concerts recorded by the audio engineer, Richard Alderson who Albert Grossman had commissioned to build a portable sound reinforcement system for the tour. Dylan had problems with the sound of electric accompaniment since his infamous concert at The Newport Folk Festival the previous  July of 1965. Richard Alderson recorded almost all of the concerts and delivered the tapes to Bob after the tour where they were placed in the Columbia Records vault and forgotten. In 2016 Sony Legacy woke up and realized what they had and released a 36 CD box set , “Bob Dylan The 1966 Live Recordings”.jpeden170525__M3_2846Sidetrack Liner Notes is pleased to explore the story of these recordings and much more of Robert Aldersons story to date.

Richard on the right. Not every science guy in high school went on to tour with Dylan.

jpeden170726_488E1B3D-78BD-4B24-B4D8-A84E96E9381A

                                          Spotify Playlist for #14

Richard lived in the heart of Greenwich Village at the height of the 50s-60s folk music scene as well as Jazz and comedy acts that were playing a proliferation of clubs at his doorstep

FullSizeRender

He was asked to install a sound system for The Gaslight one of the premier clubs on McDougal St. Gaslight photo

Richard used this sound system to record 2 nights of performances of Bob Dylan performing some of his original material for the first time now known as “The Gaslight Tapes”.

jpeden161203_Starbucks cover

Many bootlegs and copies of copies of these tapes have been released over the years but look forward to a new C D  this year of a proper release from the Richard’s original recordings.

    We fast forward to 1965 when Bob decides to add electric instruments to his act. The new “electric” recordings are well received but reaction to the live shows is mixed. Nevertheless Bob recruits a Canadian band, The Hawks plays some shows in the U. S. and prepares a “World Tour”. Albert Grossman, Bob’s manager commissions Richard Alderson to build a portable audio system and hires him for the entire tour. The following is a film put together by Sony Legacy to support the 2016 release of the 36 C D box set of the recordings Richard made of these shows  “Bob Dylan The 1966 Live Recordings.”

Brisbane Australia, early in the tour: L to R; Richard Alderson, Unknown, Robbie Robertson, Unknown ,  Bob, Richard Manuel

jpeden160224_BB1B6072-815C-462B-BA41-EDDC6FCC5885

Later in the tour below Mikey Jones, Bob, Robbie Robertson

jpeden080725_Dylan, Robbie, & Mickey

Stockholm

jpeden051019_Bob & Robbie Stockholm 66

You knew this was coming. Here is a rundown of the gear Richard used for the house sound (PA) and to make the recordings.

Microphones:  Sennheiser 405 for Bob’s Vocals, Electro Voice 666 for guitar & bass amps, Piano,Organ & Drums, Neumann U-47 for drum overhead (cymbals) no direct feeds, all acoustic

image004jpeden170727_IMG_0202Neumann-u67-1

Mixer: a pair of Altec 1567 A, Vocal Limiter: Teletronix LA-2A

jpeden120827_f0226226_658179Unknown-4

Amplifier; 3 McIntosh 275, Stage Monitors:  2 Altec 604

Unknown-2image2

House Speakers (PA): 4 Klipsch La Scalas, Recorder: Nagra III B

jpeden170727_image1vinNagraIIIa

       May 24, ’66,Bob sitting on a Fender speaker cabinet backstage at L’Olympia with Francoise Hardy holding a copy of James Brown’s LP “Think”. She I believe is sitting on one of the road cases made for Alderson’s audio equipment. A drum case for Mickey Jones can be seen as well as a stack of Fender guitar cases in the back.

dylan_Hardy

©Barry Feinstein MOJO 5/08

The Offending Instruments probably shot at the same time as the above shot.

offending_instruments

©The Bootleg Series Vol. 4, Sony Legacy

Sidetrack Liner Notes Podcast # 12 J.J. French, A real New Yorker

J.J. best known as the lead guitarist for Twisted Sister regales us with tales of his mis-spent you and musical journey to date. prepare to be entertained.

J. J. French

                             The Pinkburst Project ?

      Uveitis is an eye disease which  J.J.’s daughter Samantha suffered from. To raise awareness and money to fight the disease J.J. commissioned a unique collection of guitars and amps which were successfully  auctioned off. His passion for guitars and amps guided him in selecting the brands and models chosen for the project.

J.J. French & Samantha Pinkburst Projectr

A Gretsch 6120 and a Vox A C 30

6120 & A C 30 pinkburst Project

A Gibson Les Paul Standard

pinkburst Les Paul

48th St unfortunately is in the rear view mirror now but not too long ago it was lined with music stores a veritable “field of dreams” for musicians. J.J. remembers the Gretsch White Falcon at $600. as the most expensive guitar in the windows.

Spotify Playlist for this episode

                                                 Middle 1950’s model

Gretsch White Falcon 1950s

                                                 Early 60’s model

early 60s Gretsch White Falcon

In 1972 The Rolling Stones toured with Mick Taylor on guitar. Did they ever sound better live?

The Rolling Stones

J.J. recounts the seeing the 3 Madison Sq. Garden shows. Here are some shots from the same tour but in San Francisco at Winterland  June 6.Mick & Keith 1972 San Francisco

Rolling stones Winterland 6/72

Rolling Stones Winterland 6/72

Subscribe to Sidetrack Liner Notes on I Tunes to get the rest of J.J.’s podcast soon to be posted as episode #13. He doesn’t let up.

Sidetrack Liner Notes Podcast #11 Terry Foster, all things Fender

Author and Fender historian  Terry foster sits down to discuss some of his findings and a review of the early history of Leo Fender’s electric instruments.

                jpeden170401__M3_2753

Terry along with Martin and Paul Kelly authored this beautiful homage to Leo Fender’s company.

417hod6+FYL._SX371_BO1,204,203,200_

The Radio Shop guitar. Leo and Doc Kaufman’s first guitar

The Radio Shop Guitar

K & F amp. Note finger jointed cabinet. It is assumed that Doc got the tool for this process when he and Leo parted amicably

j_peden130815IMG_3226

                     Fender Electric Instrument Co’s first line.

L-R: Princeton Steel and Princeton Amp, Deluxe Steel and Model 26 Amp and Organ Button Steel with Pro amp

woodies_laps_fin

Direct String pick up description from a copy of 1947 catalogue 151-A

jpeden700101_direct string008

Young Mr Hayzlett seems justifiably pleased with this drying rack of Champion lap steels awaiting their MOTS pearloid covering at the original Fender plant Santa Fe Ave. in Fullerton. This photo indicates the level of Fender’s production before the introduction of the Broadcaster.

jpeden700101_champs in wood005

Leo Fender was a legit fan of Western Swing music. He supplied many of Southern California’s top bands with instruments and amplifiers. They in turn gave him valuable info concerning the function and reliability of his gear. Leo Fender did not play guitar so their feedback was crucial to improving his products.

unspecified

     Note “boxcar” pickup on Leon’s triple neck, same as K&F lap steels

unspecified-1

                Herb’s triple neck features the trapezoid pickup

unspecified-3

                                  Spotify playlist for this episode

The California Playboys were a local Southern California Western Swing band that Leo Fender supported with equipment and kind attention foreshadowing the importance of teenage musicians to The  Fender Co. Video produced in Fullerton 2012

Where would we be if Richard hadn’t written & published this book ?

jpeden700101_round the world004Smiling Richard

Bury yourself for a few weeks in Tom Wheeler’s most excellent “The Fender Archives”

jpeden170427_IMG_8881

Setting up up for a future SLN podcast where Terry will discuss Leo’s creation of the first commercially successful solid body electric guitar, The Broadcaster which will become the inimitable Fender Telecaster.  Several musicians will emerge as important: Merle Travis and Les Paul.

SpWestMerle

©photo courtesy Rockabilly Hall of Fame

Les Paul at home in Mahwah N.J early 80s with adolescent photo of himself as “Rhubarb Red” Same harmonica, rack and Gibson guitar.

Les Paul & Rubarb Red photo #C

Flip Scipio

Sidetrack Liner Notes Podcast #10 Flip Scipio pt.2

I know you enjoyed Pt. 1 of our conversation with guitar wizard Mr Scipio. Pt 2 may be even more entertaining so go to I Tunes and navigate to Sidetrack Liner Notes podcast #10.

_M3_2606

My first notice of Ry Cooder was the amazing film “Performance” staring Mick Jagger, James Fox and Anita Pallenberg with a sound track under the direction of Jack Nitzsche. One of the great soundtrack albums featuring Randy Newman, Mary Clayton, Jack’s future wife, Buffy St.Marie and Ry Cooder. His slashing slide guitar was all over this soundtrack but especially on “Memo From Turner” with Mick Jagger on lead vocal. 1b7488a6327d1fe40d746157833aa780aa6cd061

                         Ry Cooder live at The Ritz NYC early  80s.

Ry Cooder at the Ritz early 80s

Chicken Skin Music and the follow up album Showtime proved he was more than a studio slide guitar ace which of course he was.

afcff99989b3447e1935bf455d0f09eccac9a94d-1

1981 Lindley’s first of 3 albums with his band El Rayo-X sure to get the party started

45348440db3c558b8999a8f583933886cc8ccf79

David Lindley at NYC’s The Bottom Line

David Lindley at The Bottom  Line NYC

Gardern of Joy_cover

Do yourself a favor and get the DVD of Joni Mitchel “Shadows and Light”    81dd380003c00248e5ea33e6a4a87434df5b842f

Just how good is your sound system? Doesn’t matter the music is great Jaco is just outstanding on this.

eb213aad23cbdf4feb94e100b9eeef4baa3b22bb

  Flip produced Bigsby equipped Telecasters for Bruce to use on The Rising tour.

c3f7dff3d674ee26e8e19e73b954bfb7501adfa8

Robbie McIntosh with the results of guitar hunting while touring with the Pretenders in the USA. Studio shot NYC early 80s. He later toured with Paul McCartney when he contacted Flip for work on a Guild guitar which eventually led to Flip working on Paul’s original Honer bass.

Robbie McIntosh

Paul’s Hofner bass at a photo shoot in London for The Guitar Collection book with John HammelJ.Peden-100210-15

A Pauls’s eye view of his Hofner

Paul MaCarney's Hofner bass

This Hofner is just the kind of guitar that Flip loves to set up to play like the Strat of your dreams

_M3_2634

Don’t miss a visit to Flip’s website:  http://www.flipscipio.com/

Sidetrack Liner Notes Podcast #9 Flip Scipio pt.1

If you live or have come through New York and take your guitar playing seriously you probably know the name, Flip Scipio. Flip was born in Holland, studied lutherie in London and came to the U.S. in the middle 80s. His first 2 years were with The Guild Guitar Company then in Rhode Island. In 1988 he began a 7 year stint at Staten Island’s renowned vintage instrument dealer, Mandolin Brothers where he gained first hand knowledge of anything with frets that was worth maintaining. When you’ve handled everything you fear nothing. He currently works out of a magnificent industrial loft in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn which he shares with a wife, Mitzi who restores and binds rare books. We joined him here for Sidetrack Liner Notes Podcast #9 & #10. Flip is such an entertaining speaker that he could have a career in stand up. However, there would be a long line at his door in Bushwick in need of his guitar wizardry.  Imagine the following who’s guitars he’s worked on  lined up at his door: George Benson, Edie Brickell, Jeff Bridgers, Jackson Browne, Larry Campbell, Jim Campilongo, Rosanne Cash, Shawn Colvin, Ry Cooder, Bob Dylan, Tony Garner, Mary Halverson, Norah Jones, Patty Larkin, Will Lee, Adrian Legg, John Leventhal Paul MaCartney, Marc Ribot, Carly Simon, Paul Simon, Slash, Bruce Springston, Leni Stern Stephen Stills, Suzanne Vega, Tony Visconti, and Rufus Wainwright. You get the idea. So settle down for a very informative and entertaining listen.

_m3_2593

Paul Simon’s Guild F-30 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

               rr_psg_-10066

© The Guitar Collection Book

rr_psg_-10089

© The Guitar Collection Book

Spotify Playlist for SLN Episode #9

Vintage DeArmond pickups       T-B: RHC-B, 2000B Dynasonic, 1100_m3_2745-edit

Hawk Equalizer/distortion device of the type possibly used by Rory Gallagher_m3_2662

1952 Les Paul Standard with Trapez bridge (strings under)

_m3_2700

1954 Les Paul Standard all gold finish

_m3_2733-edit

1950s Les Paul Standards Neck angle compared

lp_timeline

©John Peden

Current Flip Scipio Steel string guitar modeled after Oliver Ditson

_m3_2568

_m3_2547

j-peden-091129-_mg_2469

Cindy Cashdollar on a Marc Simon Terraplane resonator guitar

Sidetrack Liner Notes Podcast #8 Dan Erlewine pt. 2

We continue our conversation with master guitar repairman, Dan Erlewine. He shares some tips on acoustic guitar buying and set up. He discusses some novel inventions of his own like “The Rocking Chair” a piece of furniture that holds your guitar while you sit on it, folk art for sure and capos that screw right into the neck of his guitars.

dans_rocking_chair

© photos courtesy Dan Erlewine

Great stories about musicians he knows and shows he’s

seen. Not to be missed.

clapton-fin

Eric Clapton with Cream, First appearance at The Fillmore San Francisco August 1967 playing his Gibson SG painted by “The Fool”. The Prime Movers, Dan Erlewine’s band opened one of Cream’s shows that week.

jpeden161130_img_8425

Jimmie Rodgers 00-18

jpeden091120_cmhof_jrodgers_-20105

©The Guitar Collection Book

Used on The Bristol Sessions with Ralph  Peer with the handwritten date 8-4-27 of his  session

jpeden091120_cmhof_jrodgers_-20116

©The Guitar Collection Book

Blind Blake

jpeden161130_img_8426

Junior Wells and Buddy Guy on Delmark Buy this record.

jpeden161130_img_8427

Magic Sam also on Delmark

jpeden161201_img_8430

Michael Bloomfield will take you to school for the Blues

jpeden161130_img_8428

Check out the current  Fretboard Journal # 37 for a very nice series of recollections of Michael by those that knew and played with him by John Kruth.

jpeden161027__m3_2230

L-R Tom Erlewine, Dan Erlewine , Tom Crandall at T R Crandall Guitars NYC 10/16

Sidetrack Liner Notes Podcast #7 Dan Erlewine

It is with pleasure that we welcome Dan Erlewine probably best known as the voice and face of Stewart MacDonald supplier of all things needed to keep our guitars happy. Dan’s roots are deep going back to the folk boom days of the late 50s through The Prime Movers Blues Band in San Francisco in ’67, editing a column for “Guitar Player” for 15 years and now editing “Dan’s Guitar Rx” for “Vintage Guitar Magazine” In his years on the guitar trail there isn’t much he hasn’t seen, played and probably fixed. His knowledge and love of guitars, music and musicians is front and center in podcast #7 & #8. jpeden161027__m3_2253

Like many of us The Kingston Trio were the entry point for Dan. He refinished his first guitar to make it resemble one of these Martinsjpeden161111_img_8371-edit

Freddie King’s LPs were a huge influence on guitarist on both sides of the Atlantic. jpeden161106_img_8370jpeden161106_img_8369

In 2015 Mike Bloomfield’s ’63 Telecaster surfaced in Dan’s shop which set off a scramble to authenticate it. See G.E. Smith’s reaction to this guitar in the previous blog about Bob Dylan. Here is Dan’s video about refretting this guitar.

Albert King with “Lucille” The Flying V Dan made for him.

aking-3©Paul Natkin Photo Reserve

Jerry Garcia playing the custom Strat Dan built for him.

09 jerry garcia.jpg

©Dan Erlewine

Dan’s home movie of Jerry receiving the Strat Dan built for him.

©Dan Erlewine

Sidetrack Liner Notes Bob Dylan

Sidetrack Liner Notes 

The Nobel Prize for literature was awarded to Bob Dylan in October 2016 for his entire body of work. His music and career having meant so much to a lot of us, a bit of review seems appropriate at this time.

Bob Dylan came to New York in the winter of 1961. To appreciate what he has accomplished to be worthy of the Nobel prize for literature this Fall it’s helpful to know how fast he moved and how much he evolved. I was first aware of Bob through the small publications emanating from New York covering the folk music scene. ” Broadside” and “Singout”began to write about Bob before he recorded his first album which was released in March of ’62.

wind

sing_out-62-10

Broadside #27 June ’63

broadside

N Y Times 4/13/’63

bob-1

It is interesting to note that Israel Young owner of Mcdougal Street’s Folklore Center and promoter of one of Dylan’s  first concerts commented in his “Frets and Frails ” column in the Dec-Jan. ’62 “Sing Out”: “Bruce Langhorne will accompany Bob Dylan on his new album. Other surprises will be a bass and a set of drums”

 By August of ’63, Bob had become such a fixture on the topical /folk song scene that he performed at the March on Washington along with Joan Baez and Peter Paul and Mary.

Bob Dylan Spring 1965 Raleigh, N.C.

bob-at-w-n-r-coliseumart-rodgers

Joan Baez together with Bob Dylan ’65

William Neal Reynolds Coliseum

joan-bob-wnr-coliseumph-art-rodgers

However he soon chaffed at the confines of topical/political songwriter and embraced more personal songwriting and a wider musical pallet only possible performing with a band.

Newport Folk Festival July 25, 1965. Bob goes Electric.

The ’65 Stratocaster the Bob played at the Newport Folkfsetival July of 65.

j_peden131126_mg_6150

The other Fender at Newport that year.. Mike Bloomfield’s ’63 Telecaster.

j_peden150612-_dsc7229

 While working on Photos of this Telecaster I was asked by the editor of Vintage Guitar Magazine, Ward Meeker To write an account of my recollections of Dylan’s appearance there.

Bob goes electric. What happened at Newport ’65

 So you want to know what happened at The Newport Folk Festival July 25th 1965. Well I was there and I’ll tell you what I know but I’m not sure it will answer your question.

First a bit of background. For a generation of music lovers raised on the first blush of Rock and Roll (Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Ray Charles etc.) the late 50s were a let down filled with manufactured sounds that engaged neither your body or mind. Folk music arose as the intelligent and engaging listening choice. It was enormously popular in the late 50s early 60s, guitar centric in the extreme.

Social activism was woven into the music and the audience providing a strong sense of community.

The Folk music boom (or Folk scare as Matt Umanov refers to it) was really a marketing conciet. Teenagers were not experiencing folk music first hand from their grandmothers or local communities but from their new stereos courtesy of 33 1/3 LPs.

Newport R.I. had had success with it’s annual summer Jazz festival and decided to add a Folk Music Festival starting in 1959. This became the annual gathering of the fans, performers, managers, scenesters and some actual FOLK.  By 1965 it had become a 4 day event of multiple small daytime workshops and evening concerts on a big stage like todays outdoor festivals.

Bob Dylan was without question the crown prince of the folkies. In his short career since arriving in Greenwich Village in January of ’61 he had mastered the traditional repertoire to be a throughly convincing and engaging solo performer. Not satisfied he added his own lyrics to traditional folk melodies to create timeless anthems but he wasn’t about to stop there. At an afternoon workshop at Newport ’64 he performed “Mr Tamborine Man” which indicated a deepening and more personal type of song from him.  In march of ’65 Dylan released “Bringing it all Back Home” his groundbreaking LP which featured electric instrument on half of the songs.

By July of ’65 the stage was set for a quantum leap. The Beatles had reinvigorated popular music co-oping classic rock and roll and infusing it with a wit and intelligence that had been missing. Folkies were starting to look seriously at the electric guitars and amps when they went to get strings for their D-28s, J-45s and long neck Vegas. Greenwich Village ex folkies, The Loving Spoonful released “Do you believe in Magic”. Blues master John Hammond’s coffee house set featured covers of Chuck Berry and Bo Didley along with his Robert Johnson covers and Dylan’s own “Like a Rolling Stone” was on AM radio and already in the charts. Couldn’t they see it coming ?

The Chambers Brothers and the Butterfield Blues band both performed at The Folk Festival in ’65 as full electric bands but were unknown to the majority of attendees who had come to see Peter Paul and Mary, Joan Baez and of course Dylan. At the Sunday afternoon Blues Workshop, Alan Lomax disrespectfully introduced the Butterfield Blues Band.  Albert Grossman, the Blues Band’s manager (and Dylan’s) objected and the two festival executives got into a scuffle rolling in the dirt in front of the small stage as Butterfield Band including  Mike Bloomfield played like they owned every club on Chicago’s south side. Dylan waited behind Butterfield draped over the fence in full Carnaby Street drag, Wayfarers and polka dot shirt.  Members of the Butterfield Band were in the pick up band for Dylan’s sound check and that evening’s concert. Yes things were starting to get interesting at Newport.

The crowd filling into the Sunday night concert was enormous impatient to get to their seats anxious the see their favorites with little interest or curiosity in acts like The Moving Star Hall Singers who’s images and music were unknown to them. Suddenly midway through the concert Bob Dylan was on stage black leather jacket, orange shirt, Beatle boots with a Stratocaster so new it was painful to look at except that it was SOOOOO COOL and Mike Bloomfield with that Tele, to put it simply WAS LOUD. Not just “no one at this point knew how to mix sound for a rock band” loud, Bloomfield was Blowing Down the Gates of Heaven LOUD. Dylan lead his band sharply through 3 song’s with imperious attitude, snarling and spiting his vocals inviting scorn. “Maggie’s Farm”, “Like a Rolling Stone” and “It Takes a Lot to Laugh. It Takes a Train to Cry” were the only tunes they had hastily rehearsed the night before in one of Newport’s “cottages” No soothing “Blowing in The Wind” or “Don’t Think Twice”  The tunes went by in a mad crush of volume and scrambled lyrics. People went nuts. Then suddenly the band left the stage with the audience “all shook up”. Peter Yarrow of PPM the Concert’s MC implored Dylan to return solo with an acoustic guitar borrowed backstage which he did. The first song was “Mr Tamborine Man” and finally,“It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” which might as well be the instruction manual for the cultural revolution about to break over the confused audience. He was in their faces for the entire performance challenging them to dig deeper, to not take the easy path. Personally I thought it was great.

Were they booing? I’d say baying was more like it. They wanted more or they wanted something else or they didn’t want to be dragged kicking and screaming into a more authentic and complicated future. The oil on troubled waters was Mel Lyman playing “Rock of Ages” or was it “Amazing Grace” repeatedly as everyone filled out from the Festival to face a new future full of unknowns but possibilities.

I was there and that’s what I saw and heard. You tell me if they booed?

                                                unknown-3

Bloomfield and Dylan Newport ’65 unknown photographer

I think I’ll have to end the narrative here. You could fill a very interesting bookshop with books about Dylan so there’s much more to this story as you probably know. In summation, I’ll quote singer songwriter Steve Earle who said to me last week when I asked him about the awarding of the Nobel prize to his friend. “Bob is responsible for raising the craft of songwriting to that of literature.”