November 2018


It's now been 10 years (how time flies!) since I released my last CD, Guitar Pieces. What was originally intended to be a brief hiatus from performing and recording music has now stretched out to more than a decade.

At this point, I think it's safe to say that I'm no longer an "active" musician—I have no current plans to resume writing, recording, or performing. But who can ever really say what the future holds?

I'll leave this website up for reference. If nothing else, I find it handy to look at the list of tunings I used when I try to re-learn some of my old songs.

Yes, I'm still playing—just much more casually and much less frequently than in the past. After going a couple of years without even owning a guitar, I recently picked up a trio of Seagull Concert Hall guitars. I've always enjoyed having multiple (but similar) guitars so i can leave each one in a different tuning. The Seagulls are perfect for that, since they're very affordable and they play and sound great. Even when I was mostly using custom boutique (and fairly expensive) guitars, I usually had a Seagull Folk model lying around the house as a "couch guitar." As a result, I've probably written more songs on a Seagull than any other guitar.

Speaking of custom guitars... I was recently reunited with a very special instrument: a 2005 cedar/mahogany SJ (small jumbo) guitar that was custom-built for me by luthier Kent Hamblin. It was one of two custom Hamblin SJ's that Kent built for me (the other one was cedar/rosewood)—they featured a longer scale length to accomodate the dropped tunings I used so often, and also had my signature inlaid (by inly artist Bill Nichols) on the back of the headstock. I sold both guitars during some lean times, and although I tried to keep tabs on where they were, I never expected to see either of them again.

But on my 48th birthday, my son Owen surprised me with an incredible gift. He managed to track down the current owner of the cedar/mahogany SJ and arranged to bring it back "home." I was literally speechless when I opened the guitar case he presented to me and saw this guitar inside. I'm not an easy person to surprise, and I'm even harder to shock—but I'll admit that the first few seconds after seeing this guitar again were as surprised as I've ever been in my life.

I also bought a Fender Telecaster this past summer, since it's still fun for me to play electric guitar from time to time.

So between the Seagulls, the Hamblin, and the Tele, I've got all my musical bases covered— in truth, these guitars are far more than I need given my current status as a "retired" musician... but I'm having a lot of fun with them, and that's the reason we start playing guitar in the first place, right?

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