Five for Friday, October 4, 2019

The Fretboard Journal is happy to be announce Five For Friday, a new column where we recap what went down in the guitar world this week…

Gryphon Turns 50

Beloved Bay Area acoustic mecca Gryphon Stringed Instruments turned 50 this week with a blowout party on Sunday, September 29. Among the live music performances at the Palo Alto institution was a surprise set by Molly Tuttle, whose father, Jack, has taught at Gryphon for many years. Gryphon was founded by two of the most well-respected authorities in fretted instruments: Frank Ford (whose Frets.com site has taught and inspired thousands of aspiring luthiers) and author/Martin historian/Antiques Roadshow appraiser Richard Johnston. Here’s to their next fifty… (Photograph of Tuttle performing at the party courtesy Gryphon’s Kate Martin.)

Passings: Kim Shattuck of the Muffs, Vincent Bell

Kim Shattuck, the singer/guitarist/songwriter behind influential ‘90s punk/pop band the Muffs, has passed away at the age of 56 after a two-year fight with ALS. We also just learned of the passing of Vincent “Vinnie” Bell, the legendary session guitarist who played on innumerable hit records of the ’60s and ’70s and forever shaped the sound of rock & roll through his work for Danelectro (he developed their electric 12-string and the Coral Electric Sitar.)


Finding Yourself on Ken Burns’ Country Music Documentary

There has been a ton of social media banter (and musical instrument trainspotting) regarding Ken Burns’ excellent Country Music series for PBS. And, while it’s easy to debate unintentional omissions in the show, we loved reading about the flipside on the Texas Monthly site: An unsuspecting musician who found himself on the show (sort of), via a still photograph.

Chicago’s Hidden Indie Rock Archive

WBEZ in Chicago took a deep dive into the life of a local music fan who has been religiously taping concerts for over three decades, just as a hobby. Though the long-term fate of Aadam Jacobs’ tape archives is up in the air, we loved hearing his story and getting glimpses of the monumental archive he’s amassed.

Vulfpeck at MSG 

The internet is good for something: Billboard writes about how Vulfpeck, without the backing of a manager or a major record label, was able to sell 13,000 tickets to their recent Madison Square Garden gig. Clearly, the kids love the funk. Special guests included a bouncing Chris Thile and Dave Koz.

And some new albums for you…  Wilco, Bill Frisell, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley & more

You don’t have to look at the leaves to know it’s Fall, because –like clockwork – there are suddenly a bunch of great albums being released. Today is the release date for Wilco’s Ode to Joy, Bill Frisell’s Harmony, as well as Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley’s World Full of Blues. (If you’re reading this, you should probably also check out Billy Strings’ Home and the new collaboration between Adam Levy & Mason Stoops, Kibi Dango! Both are a couple of weeks old and well-worth your time.) Find all of the above on Spotify, Apple Music and everywhere else you listen to music.

PS: The Fretboard Journal is still in the middle of our Fall Subscription Drive. If you love our writing, we hope you’ll support us.

PPS: Bluegrass pickers: Consider this your gentle reminder that Bryan Sutton’s Blue Ridge Guitar Camp is now accepting applications. Good luck.