Five to Follow: Our Favorite Instagrammers, August 2016 Edition

Are you on Instagram yet? It’s become a sanctuary for some of us: no political rants, no news to digest – just an endless stream of like-minded fretted instrument fanatics showcasing their skills or their wares.

And the guitar community on Instagram continues to grow by leaps and bounds (do a search for #luthier, #gearybusey or just #vintageguitar and you’ll get lost for hours). Builders, collectors, players and dealers all seem keen to share their latest guitar projects, point out repairs they’re attempting or just show off how little glue runout they have. We’ve been turned on to plenty of new (and old) builders thanks to the network and we post a fair amount of our own behind-the-scenes footage on the FJ’s page. We hope you’ve been following and enjoying the folks in our July edition; if we haven’t featured one of your favorite feeds yet, just let us know and maybe we’ll include them next month.

Here’s your August Five to Follow…

TK Smith

Just because a choice is obvious doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make it. TK is undeniably one of the Fretboard Journal’s “usual suspects” – he has appeared in the magazine (issue #32), at the Fretboard Summit (where he performed a surprise set with Julian Lage) and we’ve been known to repost from his Instagram feed now and again. Naturally, we love the shots of the beautiful instruments he builds, the snaps of his custom-made hardware and pickups in various states, not to mention the occasional rare find he might stumble upon, but what keeps us coming back are TK’s amazing videos – almost always just TK and a guitar, recently abetted by a loop pedal, swingin’ hard. As a bonus, every once in a while you get a glimpse of his pooches, or Bill Frisell

Retrofret Vintage Guitars

We’ve always been a Retrofret fan – they’ve got a great vibe, stellar vintage gear and a top-notch repair department. And while their website may need an overhaul, we’ve got nothing but love for their Instagram feed. There’s nothing fancy about it, really – we’re talking guitar porn here, almost exclusively (though they’ll throw in a video or a peek behind the scenes now and again) delivered in a simple, no-nonsense style – but they know what they do and they do it well. Like any Instagram account worth its salt, they’ll also come through with a bonus glimpse of Bill (Kirchen) once in a while…

The Loft

Speaking of no frills guitar porn… The Loft, Wilco’s recording studio in Chicago, has an Instagram feed composed almost entirely of carefully-composed shot after carefully-composed shot of gear, gear, and more gear. Yeah, sometimes they sneak in a drum post, or – shudder – keyboards, but mostly we’re talking about astounding guitars, weird vintage effects (including the occasional one-knob wonder… see above), amps, mics and recording gear, broken up with occasional shots of Wilco and/or visitors. The account hasn’t been around long, and we’d love it if they posted a little more often, but what they do post is choice indeed, and, as a bonus, you might get a glimpse of Richard Thompson

Jim Campilongo

#roypenney #bossguitar

A photo posted by Jim Campilongo (@jimcampilongo) on

Y’all already know Jim Campilongo, right? He’s one of the Modern Masters of the Telecaster, and yet if you’re expecting #EveryDayIsTeleTuesday from his Instagram feed, you’ll be disappointed. His Instagram feed features exactly three pictures of his Tele. Instead, Jim posts LP covers. Lots of ’em, clearly from his own collection. Some of them are what you might expect – Chet Atkins, Joe Maphis, Mickey Baker, 20 Great Truck Drivin’ Songs etc. – but his tastes run the gamut, from AC/DC to Atomic Basie, Liberace to Cypress Hill, Joni Mitchell’s Blue to PiL’s album, with Julian Bream and John Williams in between. Every once in a great while there’ll be a picture of Jim (on the stage or in the studio), his cat or his niece, and, as a bonus, you might get a glimpse of Patrick Stewart in a Stetson…

Deering Banjo Co.

The Deering Banjo Co.’s Instagram feed is pretty much everything you’d want in a banjo-builder’s social media presence. You got a banjo in pretty much every post, of course, in just about every state imaginable. You got your build ‘grams, your glamor ‘grams, your player ‘grams, your videos, Steve Martin, Steve Martin, Steve Martin and even the occasional questionable banjo joke. We’re in it for the banjos, of course, and, like we said, with 651 posts and counting, there’s a whole lot of ’em. Plus, as a bonus and thanks to the magic of the re-gram, you might even catch a glimpse of Spock with his banjo…