Life on the Fretboard: Will Ackerman

Will Ackerman is a visionary composer, fingerstyle guitarist and producer. As the founder of Windham Hill Records, he achieved international success with his own music and that of artists such as Michael Hedges, George Winston, Alex De Grassi and others.

Windham Hill’s sumptuous, detailed sound is widely acknowledged to be a milestone in the evolution of the acoustic guitar. Let’s face it: When the first D-28 rolled off the Martin Guitar Company production line, they were hardly expecting Michael Hedges! In fact, no one was…least of all Will Ackerman. In this conversation, he shares some beautiful stories about meeting Michael for the first time and the recording sessions for Aerial Boundaries!

We also get some extraordinary insights about the early days of Will’s career, hanging out with the Kingston Trio, kayaking with Steve Jobs, the correct way to kick priceless digital mastering equipment, and much more.

Many of you doubtless know that Will Ackerman was touched by tragedy at an early age. He talks candidly about this when we discuss his beautiful piece, “The Impending Death of The Virgin Spirit.” Once again – this is REAL LIFE on the fretboard – but listener discretion is encouraged.

I caught up with Will Ackerman during his visit to the beautiful English town of Royal Tunbridge Wells. The hotel where he was staying had been a favorite of Queen Victoria and its staff continue to uphold fastidious levels of excellence…even at one point interrupting the recording with a session of vacuum cleaning right outside the room. While I dealt with this Ackerman was left with a hot mic;  I have kept the results for posterity.

To contribute directly to Life on The Fretboard please use this Tip Jar link: https://michaelwattsguitar.com/tip-jars/4745

This episode was brought to you by the kind sponsorship of Mirabella Guitars, Microtech Gefell Microphones, Fretboard Journal and, you, the listener.

To learn more about Will Ackerman visit https://williamackerman.com/

Join me next time where I will be spending time with the extraordinary talent that is Italian singer/songwriter Emma Tricca. You may have seen her on tour with Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets or Dinosaur Jr. It’s a fantastic conversation that I can’t wait to share with you.