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Guth

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  1. Guth

    John Prine

    Jinder, I’ll apologize in advance to yourself and the others for the lengthiness this response is sure to reach, but you’ve struck a chord inside of me and I’m going to take this opportunity to “spell some things out” as much for my own benefit as anything else. Much like yourself, I often tend to process such emotions in a very inward way, although much more privately and far less productively in my case. I can say for a fact that when I was younger I never once took Stevie Ray Vaughan himself, his abilities or his music for granted. I say this despite the fact that I was able to watch him play many times in a venue smaller than the unassuming house that I now call home for only a few dollars each time. I still count being able to talk with him for a minute, shake his hand and thank him for sharing his music with myself and others to be a fairly significant moment in my life. (Later on, watching him overcome the demons that he happened to be battling back when I met him was something that I felt was every bit as worthy of celebration as his music itself was.) Another significant moment in my life would come on morning of August 28, 1990. When I arrived at work very early that day, the security guard at my workplace who shared a mutual love of blues music, asked me if I had heard the news. I had no idea what he was talking about. Then he handed me a copy of that day’s Dallas Morning News that he had obtained for me. Plastered on the cover was the news of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s death — a victim of a helicopter crash the night before. I was almost speechless, having a very hard time putting my thoughts together in a way that made any kind of sense. Later I was sent home early, still with the newspaper in my hand . I would need the remainder of the day to begin to recover from the impact this news had on me. I still have that very newspaper to this day, packed away with other items that serve as reminders of what my life has been. In many ways I took SRV’s death harder than that of my own father which also occurred around that time of my then relatively young life. That is in no way to say that my father was any less significant to me, as few things could be further from the truth. I have thought about this very topic previously. Other than the fact that I was truly in a deep state of shock when my father died, this is what I’ve come up with.,. No one has meant more to me in my life than my father, even though our time with each other was cut far too short. With that said I would point out that for many of us on this forum there likely exist few if any triggers that impact our memories more than music. In turn, the people who are responsible for creating the music that we each connect with have the potential to dig deeper into our souls by way of our attachment to not only the music they create but also to them as individuals as part of the process. So in my case when someone like Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away that left a really deep, complex hole inside of my psyche — the path of which was determined by a couple of things. The first was by the many different ways his music connected with me over the course of a few years. The other was the the intensity of that impact itself at various points in time. Such holes can not truly be examined until we are fully aware of their existence. In my case, when it came to facing the loss of Stevie Ray Vaughan, exploring such emptiness was both immediate and concrete. I felt that I had no choice but to face such things head on even though I had little clue as to how to proceed. In the case of the news regarding John Prine, the impacts that it might be having on yourself and others becomes a bit more complex. I feel this way because those connections that I’ve just mentioned are still being created, continuing to grow. Yet you find yourself peering into that potential void without any solid understanding of just how complex or just how deep that void might really be. In my case, I was dealing with events that were in the past, reaching up to and including the death of SRV. That was incredibly depressing in nature. In the case of trying to come to grips with John Prine’s situation, things are still developing, continuing to move forward (fortunately with some good news apparently now mixed in). The difference here is that your concerns regarding JP’s health involve looking forward in time and that generates anxiety. That anxiety might very well exist (and likely does) right on top of any depression you might be feeling as well. That is a lot to contend with. Add to this the mix of everything else going on in the world today (including that which impacted JP himself) and you have the perfect storm for a very emotional roller-coaster. The likes of which few of us have the necessary mental capacity to deal with head-on at this point in time. I find this to be one of life’s great ironies. To me this is what is meant by taking the bad with the good. Just as music has the capacity to take us to heights seemingly unimaginable, so it goes that the absence of such music (or those responsible for creating the music to begin with) similarly has the capacity to sink us to unimaginable depths. In my case, I found that listening to the very music that impacted me to begin with was the best way forward. Not so much for the relief it brought (it really didn’t at first), but more as a way of honoring the musical legacy that was left behind. One that I knew I would be able to tap into in more of a uplifting manner at some point in my future. I can’t imagine a better time to honor John Prine than right now while he is amongst us. I know that I’ll be spinning some of his music again this evening. I like to think that the act of doing so fills the world with a bit more positive energy, no matter how immeasurable it might be. So many of the truly best things in life are beyond measurement, it should not surprise me that this would be any different. Thanks all for letting me spill my emotions out all over the floor. Take care and be well.
  2. Actually Buc, when I speak of powdery as it relates to guitar tone, and to sharply strummed chords in particular, I wasn't referring to the angle of attack (the tonal impact of which I can hear separately on it's own). Instead "powdery" is a quality that I happen to love and one that I usually associate with some mahogany guitars. It's hard to describe, as you might expect, but a powdery sounding chord just sort of dissipates as if the sound coming from the guitar is made up of light fluffy snow (powder) or even dust. In other words, the sound of a chord starts out almost dense sounding but finishes incredibly dry & light. Powdery = good stuff. By the way, what exactly is that guitar you are playing I know that I've been out of the guitar loop for quite a while but that guitar is not like any I've seen before. A custom Gibson obviously. A variation on the Hummingbird? Texas pickguard = something from Fuller's maybe?
  3. My goodness Buc, just like so many of the other truly finer things in life, you only continue to get better with age. Your rendition of this tune has such a wonderful organic quality to it. As far as the "guitar angle" is concerned, I really love the powdery quality that the sound of the chords take on when forcefully strummed. Good stuff! When it comes to being locked up and passing time, such experiences are always better when they include your music videos. As always, thanks for sharing! All the best, Guth
  4. Oh man, that’s really unfortunate. I’ll let others who are more knowledgeable about damage such as this chime in with actual informed advice. In the meantime I literally just finished creating and posting a thought elsewhere on this forum regarding anyone who might find themselves unable to play guitar right now at a time when it would likely be most helpful. You have my sympathy.
  5. Heh, I wish I could too — the extended time away from playing has definitely taken its toll on my skills. Thanks for the kind words just the same. I fully understand that my situation was completely different than what many are going through at the moment. However, if any of you currently find yourselves in a situation where you are simply wanting to spend some time playing guitar but are unable to do so for whatever reason (at a time when it would likely have a needed calming effect), know that you have my sympathies.
  6. That’s cool, I’m good with washboards — very rootsy! Unfortunately the second tune that I posted also calls out for a washboard by the time I finished with it. In it’s tempo as conceived, tides caressing the sands of the beach would have been much more fitting. Maybe that second tune in it’s intended tempo would be another good project for me to focus on this year — provided that I can actually manage to recall how to play it once again that is.
  7. Thanks Red. I should be clear that I am doing good now — better than I've been in many years. I only really wanted to explain my absence from playing and the impact life can have on our creative outlets. All the best, Guth
  8. Here's another one. This is a tune written by the man who taught me how to fingerpick 3 1/2 decades ago. His name is Michael Brill and finding this recording caused me to do some searching to find that he is still making music and performing in the mountains of Colorado. I owe a lot of my guitar-related happiness to this man. I was playing this song by memory, the original much better than what I pulled off here. I also played this at a tempo much faster than intended (a result of my nervousness while playing and a constant battle for me). Anyway, this has turned out to be a nice way to pass some time and get my mind off of the heaviness of the world at this point in time. Mike Brill Tune
  9. Nice EA! I just watched Sal's recent contribution before this. Jeez, you guys are just going for it with the challenging tunes. Fortunately your delivery was able to meet the demands of the song. I truly admire those with the ability to sing and who are capable of delivering songs in their own way — that certainly includes you EA. Thanks for sharing!
  10. That's quite a gutsy move choosing to cover a Greg Brown tune given his incredibly unique vocal delivery but you did a really nice job of pulling it off. I also have to add that you are rock steady like a human metronome, nice! The iPad recording sounded great. I think that your audiences will be very pleased with your choice of gigging guitar. But what's this I see — a batwing pickguard? What started simply as the innocent thought of a simple tuner swap has now turned into a full-blown obsession perhaps? Thanks for sharing!
  11. Good enough that we can tell your guitar vanity got the better of you, lol. Enjoy! By the way Sal, I can at least understand the temptation. Years ago I found a Taylor 510 that kind of knocked my socks off at a price that was too good to pass up (this coming from someone that never considered myself to be a Taylor fan). I took this one down off of the wall because of the price tag and my whole "judge each and every guitar on it's own" approach. It was pretty much a practice what I preach moment. Anyway, the Taylor is still configured just as it left the factory, including (you likely guessed it) — the Grover tuners. I'll admit that the Grovers are a bit of a letdown (even the abalone rosette has even grown on me — a little), but otherwise I really like the way the guitar looks, plays, and sounds. If I'm being honest, I've thought more than once about switching the Grovers out for something else, but just as with the abalone rosette, I've come to accept them to be just as much of the guitars personality and history as the unbelievably high-grade Engelmann spruce and Honduras mahogany that Taylor had access to back in 1997 for their regular production guitars. All that said, I do prefer the look of your J-45 Studio "post-surgery". If the Taylor had more of a "Gibson-vibe" to it instead of the Taylor thing going on I likely would have gone the same route. Since the Taylor is the only one of my guitars that I will leave hanging up on the wall in our living room, it has become my "gigging guitar" of sorts. My comfort demands are such that it: must be comfortable to play to an audience of none while sitting on the couch.
  12. There are a number of wood species that fall into the category of restricted and endangered woods. The RED list breaks down such wood species by classifying them as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered. Many, if not most (in terms of volume) of the traditionally prized hardwoods for acoustic guitar building are on this list. Guitar manufacturers have been seeking out more sustainable wood choices for many years now. I am assuming Murph's comments had to do with walnut being considered to be a more sustainable choice, although there are multiple walnut species on the list as well. I've played a few walnut guitars over the years and liked them. I personally consider walnut to be one of the most attractive hardwoods to be found, if not the most attractive. With that in mind I sure wouldn't mind having a guitar made of walnut, but I already have more than enough guitars as it is so that won't be happening for me. If I am still around in another 10, 15 or 20 years from now it will be very interesting to see what all species of woods will be totally off-limits to guitar builders by then and what builders will be using instead.
  13. I went through some health related issues starting a few years ago, the impacts of which took a toll on both myself as well as those that I care for and who care for me. One of the less drastic, but still notable impacts of my experience was that I lost almost all interest in many of the things that I have been passionate about for most of my life, including playing guitar. Well I've been picking the guitar up more and more often recently as it has become somewhat therapeutic again for the first time in a long time. I even started working on creating a new tune for the first time in ages. The long layoff sure did not do my playing any favors, but I'm still having a good time with it. I tracked down my little Sony digital recorder that I used to record everything I did previously. Upon examining the recorder I realized that I had left the batteries in it before I put it away the last time, something that I've been very good at avoiding in the past. It was bad and I was really disappointed in myself, but what can you really do other than try to clean it up? It took me quite a while but I did finally to get everything cleaned up and working once again. That's when my second challenge hit me. I could not remember very much about how I actually used this device or how I got my tracks into my laptop and out to the Internet to share. Since I'm nowhere close to having anything ready to record yet at this point, I decided to see what I had left in the recorder's built-in memory (a lot it would appear). I'm going to delete most of what I saved. However, instead of waiting until I had something worth recording I figured that I would see if I could get one of these old recordings transferred to my macbook, converted to a compressed file format and posted up to my website. I ran into a few problems. Some due to the knowledge I'd long forgotten and some due to software discrepancies. But in the end I did manage to succeed. With that in mind, I'm just going to call this my Archive Project. Whether this is the only thing I find worth sharing or if there will be more I can't say. This particular recording was the very first one that I pulled up (folder 01, recording 01). To be honest I can't even remember how to play most of this tune any longer, just like so many other old tunes of my own creation it seems. I might be able to again some day, but I definitely fall into that class of person that if I don't use it, I lose it. As is often the case when recording myself, I couldn't make it all the way though without flubbing it. But what the heck, at this point I'll consider it to be documentary in nature and move on. I don't know if I'll find anything else that might be worth sharing. Hopefully I am able to finish up the new tune soon enough — again, the reason for digging the recorder out in the first place. But since I've been cooped up in the house for so long now I don't mind projects like this as it is helping me to pass the time, so I'll keep digging through the recorder's memory to see what all I can get rid of and what else might be worth sharing to help you all pass a bit more time yourselves. With that in mind, here is archive piece 1 (like most anything I do, this is short, but if you manage to make it all the way through it will help you pass another 2 minutes and 29 seconds of your day): J45TVarchives01
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