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Everything posted by tpbiii

  1. That particular batch is not documented, but it looks like 1944. Nice guitar.
  2. Give my best to cousin Larry! -Tom (Barnwell)
  3. Well .... a question in one of the most confused area of vintage guitars -- maybe in history. I have had a serious interest in this question ever since I learned years ago that my late wife and I owned the only Trojan documented by FON -- 960-12. Here she is. The name emerged when Lynn Wheelright publish an article that found the name mentioned 39 times in the Gibson shipping ledgers in late 1936. What the name actually was was the internal project name for the Jumbo35 -- ie, the first J-35s. The early J-35s -- the ones referred to internally as TROJANS -- were really dumbed down Jumbos -- mostly the same with less decoration. At the same time, Gibson introduced the Advanced Jumbo -- which had the more modern "advanced" body. Over time, the features of the J-35 evolved -- with a variety of decoration changes and eventually in the mid 1937 time frame even adopting the "advanced" body shape. So what is a Trojan? 1. There is only one -- ours. (Not a lot of people buy that.) 2. J-35s from the first few batches in 1936 with identical features to ours (a small number of batches). 3. All J-35s with the Jumbo body dimensions (pretty common). So since the market is polluted by historic hyperbole, there probably is no real answer to your question. The market peak IMO was maybe 2007 -- fairly soft sense. EXC all original asking price might be $12K+. A good average sale price would be $10K+ Since I am neither buying selling, these are just guesses. Best, -Tom
  4. That looks a lot like the guitars made by United Guitar Company from Jersey City NJ. They never used their own name, but built guitars for catalog sales for lots of catalog companies in the heyday of catalog sales under many names. It also looks a lot like a Harmony H-162 -- made from the early 40s to the early 70s. Those too were rebranded a lot. Best, -Tom
  5. Thank you all so much for the kind replies. Her memorial was at the Armuchee Bluegrass Festival -- a place we both loved. Here are the videos of the musical part of the celebration. https://vimeo.com/showcase/6034122 There is a 32 RB-3 Gibson banjo and our 35 Jumbo Gibson guitar there, as well as an old Kay bass, a 46 D-28, and up front Aina Jo's 39 S-51 five string Kay bass and her late 50 MWard (Kay) guitar she learned on and played for me the night I met her in 1967. [For those who like such trivia, that bass was the main instrument of Mike Fuller (Fuller's Vintage Guitars) for many years. Aina Jo liked it better than the near identical one she already had, so she left her older one in Texas and brought this one back to Georgia.] I love all the odd threads of our musical lives. Best, -Tom
  6. It is with a heavy heart I would like to announce the passing of my wife of 50 years, Aina Jo Barnwell. She passed away suddenly and unexpectedly one month ago. I know many of you already know this, and I thank for your sympathy. You may have noticed what when I talked about old instruments, I always said WE and OUR. That was because in our 50+ years of making music together and maybe 45+ years of acquiring old instruments, we always did it together. Our rule of thumb was to never play instruments that were younger than us. Since she would have been 75 today and I already am, we had to be into golden era stuff. As a team, we were really good I think. I am very aural -- and a profession sound science geek as well -- and she was no-filters visual. We only wanted excellent sounding instruments -- that was much easier to do earlier than today -- and the details of condition were of major import since our rational was that we were doing a retirement investment and we needed to correctly assess market value. She could find every flaw, every repair, every bit of refinish or over-spray. We never bought duplicates -- we wanted to cover the pre 1970 sound palette of acoustic guitars and banjos. We loved to mix it up acoustically -- songs, harmonies, instruments, and voices. We had 200+ instruments. We did her memorial last Sunday at the Armuchee Music Park, where we probably played 200+ shows. More importantly, we also played in the parking lot for maybe 10 hours a day for every show -- one of our musical homes. Her friends -- Louisa Branscomb and Kathy Reed -- spontaneously wrote a song in her honor when they heard she had passed called AINA JO. Our current band was called the SPRUNG CHICKENS, and Louisa and Kathy came and performed the song on a SPRUNG CHICKENS tribute set in the actual festival and in the memorial on Sunday. It was a fine send off I think. Here is my FB post about the memorial -- it includes a version of the song. FB Link Best, -Tom
  7. Congratulations! We always believed in balance. Good/evil, right/wrong/ sweet/salty, Ford/Chevrolet, Evinrude/Mercury, Gibson/Martin ... We always had both in our lives. Last year I did a set of posts on the Vintage Martin Facebook page based on our guitars. These were guitars of the same era that competed in their day and subsequently changed the musical world. This was the one from 1935/36 -- in the worst depression in US history, two of the most consequential guitar models ever. They still are. Let's pick, -Tom
  8. I would guess 50s or 60s J-50. That is just based on the top finish, the shape, and the bridge.
  9. I don't really have much substantive to add -- which has never stopped me of course. We have no LG from those years -- we have a 46 LG-2. The two Gibsons we have from that period -- we have them dated as 1948 (3772-28, ES-150) and 1950 (4919-10, CF-100). Historically it has been hard to date (for me) in that late 40s-early 50s period, so this is at best an informed guess. Arguably the CF-100 features might be relevant -- many consider it to be a pimped out LG-2. We are away from both instruments right now, so I can't look inside and see the sides. What I can do is show the braces, the tuners, and the FON. Best, -Tom
  10. Wow, that is a big topic. Playing with other people for us (wife and I) is pretty much all we do anymore ne. That is why we have such a big fascination with bluegrass -- at its core, it is all jamming, often combined with a lot of improvisation or at least unrehearsed elements. At this point in our lives, we have little interest in solo performers or even well rehearsed acts. When this form of presentation attracts you (collaborations), then the interaction on the fly of the performing musicians adds another -- and for us hugely compelling -- element to the music. Some people find it a lot easier than others, but it is certainly not like playing alone. The skill sets are certainly related, but they are often not the same. Here are a few suggestions. Keep it simple. This is a relative suggestion depending on your skill set and who you are playing with, but I think it is always good advice. Here is a picture of a guitar case. It came with I guess the most famous instrument we own I guess -- a Martin 00-40H played extensively by super famous flatpicker, Norman Blake. He is one of those amazing flat pickers who changed the world. This is the advice to himself that he always took on stage. Know how you are going to communicate non verbally How you do this is up to you. For example here is an article I wrote for Bluegrass Unlimited 20 years about how it is done in bluegrass. JAMMING Rehearsing is good. Every case is different, but knowing your holes is good even when working without a net is very compelling. Tell your audience what is going on It is all part of the show, and generally they will love it. Just a few random thoughts. If you ever come to see us, we will make you jam .Like I always say Let's pick, -Tom
  11. LG-1 or LG-2. The logo and pickguard would date it from late 1947 to 1955. Because of no letter in the FON, then before 1951.
  12. As part of my vintage guitar demos I did maybe 10 years ago, I did a finger style rendition of the old gospel song NEARER MY GOD TO THEE. I got a message to decease from youtube from a copyright claim from a German company. I don't speak German, but even so it was clear that the song title in German was NEARER MY GOD TO THEE. Well the song was copyrighted in the 18th century and thus clearly in the public domain. I wrote them back, gave them the data, and said they could be liable for attacking the public domain stuff. They went away and did not come back. Our main repository is vimeo -- never had any issues there. Best, -Tom
  13. A short poem written by my sister. "Sometime I Miss Him." Last night I ran into my ex. Then I backed up and ran into him again. Sometime I miss him.
  14. Looks like my attach failed -- try this link. My link\ We are doing a show with my daughter's band -- DEAD GIRL SONGS -- at the bay Area Bluegrass Association on Saturday. Mike Fuller says he will be there. Maybe I can ask him about colors. Best, -Tom
  15. So I guess this would not be you idea of heaven? Maybe the other place. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFYTsnK_9u4 Best,-Tom
  16. I can't quite make it happen. I can flat pick using the bumblebee if I leave the index free -- I have to hold it with the thumb and index to feel right. Then I can do 1 finger style with thumb with middle -- a lot of famous players did that. Both styles are ok -- but nether is as good as if the other wasn't there. Maybe later. Best, -Tom
  17. We have a similar story, but for more than 60 years. Lord knows how many different styles I have tried -- I use them on guitar and banjo both. I started out in the early 60s strumming with a flat pick and finger picking bare handed. Later we went over entirely to totally acoustic music, and for many such applications bare fingers were not good enough. I started using banjo style finger picks on the guitar. I never gave up bare finger style -- we have a lot of pre war jewels that fit that approach. But for strong traditional stuff, that style gets buried. You can always plug in or play into a mic -- but that styles has no interest for us. It is not the same music. Here is what I mostly use now. You can get cheap acceptable versions of this from China if you can wait a week or two. Let's pick, -Tom
  18. tpbiii

    Adi Braz

    Here are some examples of Martin BRW. 35, 38, 44, 21, 35, 39, 48, 66. Here are some late 60s BWR -- while the supply was dwindling. 1969 1968 Most of the time, it is pretty easy to tell. Best, -Tom
  19. tpbiii

    Adi Braz

    Some guitars between 1925 and 1934 used Brazilian rosewood. The L2 model from 1932 which mostly had trapeze bridge but some have (a few) pin bridges were built that way. Also 1930 through about 1934 Roy smeck radio Grande had a few with Brazilian rosewood back and side parts. Also the rw Nick Lucas from the late 20s. After that it was all East Indian rosewood back and sides. Gibson did you use Brazilian rosewood parts on bridges and fingerboards quite a lot to all those years. Some of the 1990s AJs were built with BRW -- at that time it was thought it was original. If you have and play (say) 30s AJs (and converted RSRGs) and 30s Martin D-28s, you quickly learn it is the age and not the materials that makes (both) superior. Between our 36 AJ and 35 D-28, people prefer them about equally -- but the AJ is preferred a bit more often. Let's pick, -Tom Tom
  20. So we used a different set of instruments -- less natural power more matched to the room. For this the Hummingbird excels. The other elements are a 1/4 sized 48 Kay bass and a 1924 Gibson RB-4 trapdoor banjo -- both lovely tone but without the power of their later and larger sisters. We also used a 1930 Larson -- lots of RW picking projection for our (light picking) lead guitar player. Here are a couple of examples. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNB4XWp25QE&feature=youtu.be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hkqr7hV9nao&feature=youtu.be Best, -Tom
  21. As many of you know I guess, we have a 62 with the plastic bridge. It sounds great IMO as it is, so I have never been tempted to change it. As many of you also know I guess, we have been collecting old guitars for a long time -- and we have a lot. Since we now play a lot of bluegrass, there has been a lot of emphasis in our lives on 30s Gibsons and Martins -- particularly our AJ and D-28s. They deserve all the accolades they get -- they are incredible tools for making strong acoustic music like traditional bluegrass. And true enough those guitars come from a whole different world than 60s Gibsons, particularly for strength -- 60s are not a good match to the louder, higher, faster creed of traditionasl bluegrass. But before we went over to the dark side in the early 70s, we were folkies -- I married a folk singer. So we still love that genre, and we play both style still -- folk circles and bluegrass jams. Those are very different things -- even totally powered up, we are only marginally adequate for bluegrass but we way overpower a folk circle -- think bull in a China shop. Because of our early love of folk revival music, we have collected 60s guitars with as much enthusiasm as 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and earlier. To me, like Nick says, the hummingbird was a quintessential folk strummer -- full and warm and loud-but-not-too-loud. As many of you also know, we put together a system for demoing vintage guitar tone and used it to demo 100+ instruments. Our setup is a bit like the one used here, but it uses two large diaphragm condenser mic backed off about four feet. This is the advantage of removing proximity effects, but it does include room effects. Here is my demo of the 62 Hummingbird. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGisgSqe38Y&feature=youtu.be Here is us doing folk materials we learned in the 60s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8Y05tFm0AE&feature=youtu.be Our recording system is about perfect for its intended purpose IMO -- single guitar demos -- but it does not really work for full up bluegrass bands. The room effects are dramatic and bad -- the environment is muddied up by the old 7/8 Kay bass, prewar herringbone and mastertones. They over excite the room. But of course we would like to record some of our bluegrass materials anyway. CONTINUED IN NEXT POST Let's pick,-Tom
  22. Well if I really love a guitar -- and it works really well for me -- I would not necessarily call it a great guitar. For me to call it great, it would need to have a couple of more (sound related) properties -- it should be historically important such that its tone fits, and drives, a whole genre. And when I bring friends in to play they say "that is the best guitar I have ever played." We have a few where that is true. The two Gibsons where it happens most are our 1936 Advanced Jumbo and our 1931 L-2. But the players who say this don't usually play the same kind of music -- bluegrass and folk revival respectively. Context matters IMO. Best, Tom
  23. Here is a early 43 J-45. Best, -Tom
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