Three Lobed/WXDU Day Show
Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
02 On A Slow Passing In Ghost Town
03 Across White Oak Mountain
05 A Slender Thread/Dissevered
06 The Flying Spire Don’t Have No Mercy
The Surfdusters, Canada's primo west coast surf band, presents their CD 'Save The Waves' on Fireball 008. What you get here is reverbed up Fender guitars, drivin' Farfisa organ and piano, rumblin' bass, crashin' drums with grindin' sax added to the mix on 27 rockin' instrumentals written by the band - including all 11 tunes featured in the world's #1 cartoon 'Spongebob Squarepants'. Liner notes give you the story behind these tunes from The Surfdusters 'Raincoast Rumble' and 'Surf After Dark' CDs; out of print vinyl, cassette and compilation CDs, and unreleased cuts.
During the 1990s and into the 21st century, Vancouver, B.C.'s The Surfdusters played the west coast of North America - including sharing the stage with legendary Dick Dale and The Ventures - and were the only Canadian band featured on Rhino's 'Surf Box' compilation with their signature 'Save The Waves' instro included on this CD.
Q: Tell me about a record you still regret not picking up?
A: I don’t have any.Haha! That's fantastic. And that's an obsession, not a hobby.
In retrospect, I have no idea. We all feel things strongly when we're young and later on we ask "what was I thinking ?" It was an exciting prospect and I made the leap.
I credit Reb, Andy and Monte for motivating me to start building guitars. Aside from building great playing and beautiful instruments, they turned out to be great people. How could I not try to emulate them ? They did some different things on their guitars, so it never felt wrong to change things up on an instrument in pursuit of a better result. Other influences from that time were Max Krimmel and Pete Nightingale. I'll always credit Dave Goodrich for driving me to understand what quality means.
The obvious NBN influence on my steel string guitars is the staggered bridge pin configuration. The rationale is to reduce the chance of the bridge wood splitting between the pins. It has an interesting visual quality as well, but it's primarily functional. I redesigned the bridge shape long ago and it fit the pin configuration nicely, so I kept it. The other thing I do is carve the neck heel and peghead on the classier guitars. This came directly from the NBN Limited Edition series, which in turn came from high end banjos. Reb and Monte built banjos at ODE before becoming NBN and you can see some of that influence in those guitars.
I should mention that I am proud to be a part of Colorado's lineage of instrument building, which I've traced back to 1959. There have been some outstanding builders in this area and that continues to this day. The rosette I designed and use for my Classical and Flamenco guitars honors the Colorado connection.
Ultimately the hope would be that the repertoire of the acoustic and classical guitar would expand to include the greater range. It takes a while to get out of first position playing, but once you make that leap, you shouldn't be limited by the instrument your're playing. I'm removing the physical block to the upper notes. Actually using them is up to the players/composers.
I started looking at Chladni patterns in the 70s. At the time there was very little published research regarding how this related to guitars. It was primarily violins and even that was not in great depth. So it was completely guesswork. Over the decades various people started publishing on this subject. Alan Carruth's work published in American Lutherie in the 90s and Trevor Gore's recent design book are good examples.
My own approach changes all the time as I try to relate what I see in spectral analysis and chladni testing to what I hear. It's a very complex subject that is complicated by the fact that hearing is such a limited sense in humans. In the end it's all about how a guitar makes you feel as to whether you want to play it again and again.
I view building an instrument in the same category as composing a piece of music. Many builders make their guitars all the same, copying some well known pattern. But that's the same as playing the same piece of music over and over again. Aside from being boring to do, it's boring to everyone else. I'm improvising with the wood as I build. In the process I learn a lot that just copying a pattern can't teach me. The instrument is more interesting and has it's own identity because of this. That scares a lot of people who think that guitars should all be the same.
The way I see it, every "traditional" instrument was just someone's experiment that ended up being successfully marketed. The joy in building for me is in creating something that has it's own identity. Why would I want to make someone else's instruments? For that matter, why would I want to make two the same? I'm not a factory and my instruments aren't clones.
The upper bout sound hole was to be able to access the neck adjustment. The shape of the hole was entirely based on the shape of the area involved and the voicing port was based on my understanding of the properties of resonant air masses and my desire to adjust the sound of the instrument dynamically. It all does what it was designed to do. There are many variations on these themes and I'm exploring them in newer guitars.
|New design for the upper bout sound hole.|
That is a matter of definition and most people don't have a clear one. That's why companies get away with calling instruments that are obviously built on factory production lines "Handmade". So in commerce today, the term is meaningless.
However, to answer the spirit of the question, compared to how a guitar would be built in a factory, absolutely yes. Compared to how Antonio Torres built guitars in 1860, not so much. I've done it both ways and I lean towards the latter.
Employing is perhaps the wrong term to use. I'm attempting to combine the skills of a few experienced builders to create a new line of instruments based on some of my design principles. We will be going in together on these instruments and see if some of the variations we come up with speak to people enough to justify further efforts. The marketing strategy has not been fully vetted yet, so if anyone is interested they should probably just email me directly.
|Photo by Maria Dumlao|