The Winter 2009 issue of The Fretboard Journal arrived in my mailbox yesterday, which means that I’ve been reading cover-to-cover for the last 24 hours. As always there are articles about some of my favorite people in the music business. But in every issue I’m also introduced to new musicians and new guitars. What a great magazine!
This issue has articles on several terrific players, including jazz legend Jim Hall and a tribute to the late country pioneer Jerry Reed. There’s an extended article celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, where you can learn how dobro god Jerry Douglas got one of his nicknames (and its not “Flux”).
But the articles on two luthiers – John Monteleone and Wayne Henderson – are my favorites in the current issue. I was taken by the beauty of Monteleone’s instruments many years ago after David Grisman featured a Monteleone mandolin on the album cover of Quintet ’80. John Monteleone’s archtop guitars are beautiful and innovative. (The Fretboard Journal is known for publishing beautiful pictures of guitar eye candy!) Monteleone’s use of Art Deco stylings on his instruments – detailed in the article – adds to their beauty in my eyes.
Wayne Henderson is a guitar player and luthier from Rugby, Virginia and is a recipient of a National Heritage Award. I’ve seen him a couple of times in concert and had the chance to meet him at his last IMT performance. Wayne’s talented and funny (he says Rugby is so small that residents have to take turns being the mayor, preacher, and the town drunk). The Fretboard Journal article was written by Allen St. John who wrote the great read Clapton’s Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument. In that book, he covers Henderson’s meandering path to completing a new guitar for Eric Clapton – along with a matching mate that was auctioned off at Christie’s for $31,200, with the proceeds going to Wayne’s charity that teaches area kids about mountain music. Thanks to my good friend Stephen Lash, I was at Christie’s in New York for that auction but didn’t join the bidding.
This new article includes a section on building a Henderson guitar for Doc Watson. While Doc has a long-time allegiance to Gallagher guitars, he owns others…and as the video below shows, he now owns a new Wayne Henderson guitar.
The Fretboard Journal – highly recommended!
More to come…