Fretboard Journal 7: What’s Inside


The Fretboard Journal issue #7 (Fall 2007) features a dizzying array of stories from the world of fretted instruments and those who build and play them. Acclaimed music journalist Alanna Nash conducts a lengthy, rare interview with banjo legend Earl Scruggs. Brad Warren talks to Roger Bucknall about the beautiful and varied instruments Fylde Guitars is making. Other highlights include profiles of David Bromberg and Nato Lima, a look at Carr Amplifiers and much, much more…








Though largely unknown in the United States, Fylde Guitars are among the instruments of choice for a bevy of impressive players from the U.K.: Ian Anderson, Nic Jones, Eric Bibb and Gordon Giltrap, to name a few. In his interview with Fylde proprietor Roger Bucknall, writer Brad Warren investigates the work and philosophy behind this distinctly British guitar company.



The life of Nato Lima would make for a great Hollywood screenplay. As one half of the legendary Los Indios Tabajaras, Lima literally went from living in the jungles of Brazil with his Tabajara Indian family to landing appearances on the Ed Sullivan and Arthur Godfrey television shows in the United States. In this fascinating interview with journalist Andy Volk, Lima describes how he was discovered as a guitarist, his life as a musician in the States, the friendship he forged with Chet Atkins and much more.



Roots musician David Bromberg disappeared from the music spotlight around 1980. Where did he end up? At a violin making school, of course. Now one of the world’s foremost violin experts, Bromberg is playing the guitar again. In this 20-page long interview with Geoffrey Himes, Bromberg describes his various music stints (including working alongside Rosalie Sorrels, Bob Dylan and John Hartford), his acclaimed Matt Umanov-converted Martin F-7 and the priceless collection of violins he’s amassed over the years.



In a world of Fender and Marshall clones, the handmade (and totally original) guitar amplifiers made by Carr–the Vincent, Slant 6V, Rambler and Mercury, to name just four–really stand out. Bob Carlin interviews tube amp guru Steve Carr on the history of his critically-acclaimed amps and on the engineering that goes on behind-the-scenes. Photographer Matthew Spencer snaps shots of the Carr factory and of their latest creations.


When he was just a kid, the Guild of American Luthiers’ Tim Olsen was introduced to the universe of guitar making through Harvey Thomas, the eccentric electric guitar builder from Washington State. Thomas’s guitars were like no others, boasting oddball shapes, glitter-filled fret markers, handmade pickups and other, out-of-this-world appointments. In this moving tribute, Olsen describes the man behind these unusual creations. Photographer Maxwell Balmain takes close-up photos of a few rare Thomas guitar specimens.



Acclaimed music journalist Alanna Nash conducts a lengthy, rare interview with banjo legend Earl Scruggs. Scruggs describes his early days in North Carolina, his groundbreaking work with Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt, his contemporary recordings and the impact his late wife Louise had on his career. Included in this exhaustive piece are quotes from John McEuen, Marty Stuart and other country music luminaries. Nashville photographer Thomas Petillo takes all-new photographs of the banjo trailblazer at the legendary Ryman Auditorium.

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