Fretboard Journal 13: What’s Inside


Issue 13 of the Fretboard Journal features another solid dose of the finest stories about fretted instruments and those who play and build them. For our cover story, journalist Geoffrey Himes pays tribute to the brothers Clarence and Roland White, delving into their legacy and influence. Other highlights include profiles of Ray Davies, Geoff Muldaur and Deke Dickerson, as well as a profile of the inventor and guitar maker Ned Steinberger, a closer look at the Martin D-18A and much more…







Ned Steinberger will forever be associated with his namesake, headstock-less guitar (as played by Lou Reed and others). But, as writer Martin Gibson discovers in his interview with the Maine-based inventor, that iconic guitar barely scratches the surface of Steinberger’s fascinating output. Capos, modern bowed instruments, unique guitar neck mounts and even a famed doctor’s chair are just some of the things Steinberger has created.


Clay Frohman interviews Geoff Muldaur about the twists and turns he’s taken as a guitarist (and sometime washboard player). From his early stints in the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and Paul Butterfield’s Better Days, up through his critically-acclaimed albums with his former wife Maria and now his solo and even chamber music projects, Muldaur has led an interesting musical life. Also, photographer Jennie Warren visits Muldaur at his Los Angeles home and showcases some of his instrument collection, including his signature edition Martin 00-18H and the original guitar that inspired it.


Though Clarence White left the world some thirty five years ago at the age of just 29, his impact on the world of bluegrass, country music and even guitar construction is still being felt today. In this lengthy tribute, journalist Geoffrey Himes sheds light on why brothers Clarence and Roland White are still so influential. He interviews Roland about both his late sibling and his own storied career as a mandolin player. Archival photos of the brothers in action abound and acclaimed photographer Robert Corwin shares some stunning close-ups of Clarence White’s heavily modified Telecaster, now owned by country superstar/music historian Marty Stuart.


In this lengthy interview, singer-songwriter Ray Davies talks to writer Jerry McCulley and traces the myriad of musical influences that inspired him right up to his success as frontman for the Kinks. From classical guitarist John Williams to Tal Farlow and Mose Allison, this is a different side to Davies than what many of his fans are used to reading about. “When we made ‘All Day and All of the Night,’” Davies admits, “I wanted a Buddy Holly drum break in it.” We also land new pictures of Davies and his acoustic guitars, along with peeks at the quiver of guitars he keeps back in the UK.


Deke Dickerson is not your average guitar collector. In Dickerson’s world, Fenders and Gibsons are passed up for vintage Hallmark guitars, Standel amps and oddball hillbilly-creations that may or may not electrocute you. The 1950s obsessed musician, writer and self-professed “guitar geek” discusses some of his favorite gear with writer Jim Washburn. Dickerson also walks us through his retro-fueled music career, from his early days with the Untamed Youth to his more recent recordings.

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