Vikesh Kapoor – “Blue-Eyed Baby”

Vikesh Kapoor grew up in rural Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, a town of around 9,000 “mostly Catholics and Amish.” He immersed himself in punk music but he can still remember the fateful day when his musical switch was flipped. “The first thing that drew me to folk music was stumbling upon a Johnny Cash record at a church swap meet,” Kapoor says. “It was 25 cents and I just thought he had a funny name. But then I put it on my parent’s record player and listened to ‘Big River’ and it was a very strange feeling of being at home. As cliché as it sounds; it just spoke to me at the time. And I then discovered Dylan, Pete Seeger, John Jacob Niles, Odetta and Elizabeth Cotten and all of these people. It was very exciting for me when I found all of that stuff.”

Today, Kapoor is thoroughly steeped in the music of the old masters and well on his way to having his own fruitful career as a troubadour. A couple years ago, he relocated to Portland, Oregon to finish his haunting debut album, The Ballad of Willy Robbins. It was one of our favorite folk albums from 2013 at the FJ; we can’t stop playing tunes such as “I Never Knew What I Saw in You,” “Carry Me, Home” and this song, “Blue-Eyed Baby.”

Though he has played various acoustics over the years, for his Fretboard Journal session, he brought out his cherished 12-fret 1996 Martin Golden Era 000-28. “I needed to have a Martin,” he says of its purchase. “It’s from Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania means so much to me. This is my main guitar when I’m playing live.”