Archive for the Stuff Category

Jazzmasters in Country…

Posted in Music, Stuff with tags , , , , , on October 16, 2012 by bigsmokey

Jazzmasters in country! It suprises me that there are not more Jazzmaster players in classic country. To me it seems a natural. Spanky bridge pickup tones, stratty middle, fat bell-like neck pickup… And the dark jazzy rhythm circuit….

There are a few though. Willie Nelson played one for a while in the sixties. Luther Perkins switched over from a telecaster in the early sixties. Country/Jazz badass Roy Lanham played one throughout his career. Wayne Moss cut a ton of records in Nashville on a Jazzmaster, most notably the uber-twangy signature lick on Waylon Jennings’s “Only Daddy that Will Walk the Line”.

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Here is an early video of my boss, the great Bobby Bare doing his huge hit “500 Miles”, featuring a Jazzmaster played by the lead guitarist. (I am carrying on this tradition as I am using my new Jazzmaster for my main guitar on tour with Bobby Bare!)

Here is a video of Roy Lanham ripping some country/jazz on a Jazzmaster.

The Jake Bradley Jazzmaster So Far….

Posted in Music, Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2012 by bigsmokey

I have owned many great guitars in my life, but I have never owned a Fender Jazzmaster… Being a fan of Pops Staples, The Ventures, Luther Perkins, J Mascis, Willie Nelson (!) and Nils Cline I have always been drawn to their modernistic look and versatility….

Willie rocking a Jazzmaster during his swinging 1960’s era…

I sold a couple guitars this year and I decided to have a Jazzmaster built for me.   I am a huge neck junkie and no stock Fender Jazzmaster has a large enough neck, so I started  with a Musikraft neck built to their largest stock specs which I love.  It is a big 1″ deep C shape with a 1 3/4 inch nut…

My East Nashville buddy Jake Bradley has started building solidbody electric guitars from scratch. Jake is a great picker and woodworker.  He has great way of building the body to suit the neck, making the neck pocket route off of the neck itself rather than a stock route from a template.  This insures a great neck to body fit, a very important aspect of making a great solidbody guitar.   I love how he builds, and assembles the guitar to make sure its a good one one, before the painting process.  I had the unpainted version at my house for about a week and could not put it down!  Its back to Jake for painting (mid 60’s Fender Shoreline Gold Metallic), finishing, and a few tweaks.   For now, here a few pics of the unpainted Jazzmaster…  (Guitar photos by Kathryn Johnson)

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Knut Bell – En tidløs stemme.

Posted in Music, Stuff on May 29, 2011 by bigsmokey

As far as I am concerned there is one great voice of traditional country music in the Pacific Northwest.  That voice belongs to Knut Bell.   I first met Knut in 2003 and was struck by how much we had in common:  Both of us are very proud of our Northwest Scandinavian heritage. Both us  grew up learning the folk songs of the region. Both of us have a high regard for real country music as played by Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Horton and Johnny Cash.  Both of us have a deep love for a Pacific Northwest that barely exists anymore; an area that belonged to the hard working people who shaped the region.  I have always considered Knut to be a kindred spirit.

Knut grew up in Skagit County, easily one of the most beautiful places in Western Washington.  It has shaped his songs and stories.  Knut has a thunderous deep voice and writes great songs that resonate with anyone who takes the time to listen.    He has just released a new record, “Wicked, Ornery, Mean, and Nasty.”  It is his best yet.  I never had the pleasure of playing lead guitar for him back in Seattle…   The timing was never right.

This year Knut and I got back in touch and arranged for him to come to Nashville, play a couple shows and conduct some business.  Knut brought his excellent drummer, Lewis Warren, who has drummed with me on many projects back in Seattle and is  a great friend.  Knut and Lew stayed for a week back in early April and the trip was successful to the point that he is coming back for a another show and a couple of sessions and business meetings this week.   So!  If you missed Knut last time through, you can see him at Derek Hoke‘s Two Dollar Tuesday at The 5 Spot, May 31st.

Knut Bell is completely worthy of any hype praised on him.   I cannot express to y’all what a pleasure it is to play with him and his huge voice.   I hope that y’all will come out to the 5 Spot this Tuesday Night.  Here is a some footage of his last visit:

(Thanks to Kathryn M. Johnson for the fine photos and video!)


Posted in Music, Stuff on May 9, 2011 by bigsmokey

I love me some Derek Hoke!  In fact one would have to be a real jerk not to love his jaunty blend of old school countrypolitan and indie pop goodness.  Call it Americana if you wish.  I call it super awesome!

In Nashville this week you have three chances to witness the musical majesty of Derek Hoke and his group (Steve Latanation- Drums, Ed Adkins – Bass, Big Smokey -Guitar (yours truly)).

Tuesday Night May 10th –  5-Spot -East Nashville.

Wednesday Night May 11th -Foobar -East Nashville.

Friday Night May 13th -Foobar -East Nashville.

Your ears will thank you!!

New Derek Hoke Video & Live on WSM 650 AM

Posted in Music, Stuff on January 12, 2011 by bigsmokey

Cool stuff from the Derek Hoke camp this week.  First is the release of his new video for “The Finer Things”.   Directed by the very talented James Weems.

Also, we are going to appear on The Americana Carnival live show on WSM 650AM (home of The Grand Old Opry) this Sunday Evening January 16th at 6pm-8pm.  Please tune in, or if you are in Nashville come on downtown as it is taped live from Roberts Western World (my favorite Honky Tonk!).  And as an added bonus we will be playing Derek’s originals and many classic country covers from 8-10pm.  Its no charge to get in the door but please be nice when we pass the tip bucket around!



Two Dollar Christmas ! ! !

Posted in Music, Stuff on December 2, 2010 by bigsmokey

I love Christmas parties!  There I said it.  Especially if they are full of good music.  On Tuesday December 21st we are having the Christmas edition of Derek Hoke’s Two Dollar Tuesdays at The 5 Spot in East Nashville.  Derek’s group, The Christmas Carol Channings will be backing most of the guests and playing Christmas Instrumentals.  There will be many great musical guests to ring in the Holidays such as Paul Burch, Jacob Jones, Melissa Mathes, Bradford Lee Folk, Scott Simontacchi, and Alex Caress.  As always it is a Two Dollar cover, Two Dollar Yazoo Beers and Two Dollar Hot Dogs.

Music Gear For Sale

Posted in Music, Stuff on October 2, 2010 by bigsmokey

For Sale:
I need to buy a pedal steel for a new musical project.  Sorry, I am not interested in trades at the moment unless it is toward a Pedal Steel.    For local pickups I am happy to negotiate the price.

Fender Banjo FB-58 Very Good Condition. Recent set up from Big Al’s Guitarworks in Nashville.  New Schaller Scruggs Tuners on Strings 2&3 (95$).  Only issue is that some one put a strap pin hole in the heel of the neck.  This can easily be filled.  New hardshell case (75$).  String 5 is spiked at 7, 9, 10 frets.
Comes with extra strings, wrench, Sliding 5th string capo (I took it off as I like the spikes better.),
and capo.   These list at $775 with a street price of $600.
$400 obo  Shipped and Paypal’d in the CONUS.

Michael Kelly F-Style Mandolin Legacy Plus
Very good Condition.  K&K Pickup. Gig Bag. Extra Strings.   Great Sounding Mando.  Lists at $900 street price $600.  Note:  There is a dark streak in the grain that runs the length of the neck which is only that.  It is not a crack.  48 hour inspection period to buyer for their satisfaction.
$400 obo Shipped and Paypal’d in the CONUS.

Danelectro 63 RI Baritone
Shoreline Gold. Excellent condition.  Never gigged. With Gig Bag and spare strings.
$300 obo Shipped and Paypal’d in the CONUS.

If you are interested in any of these please contact me:  bigsmokey AT bigsmokey DOT com …      Thanks!

September Schedule

Posted in Music, Stuff on September 2, 2010 by bigsmokey

Ohhh lotsa music!

  • Sept 2nd Thursday 9pm: 5spot with Derek Hoke.
  • Sept 3rd Friday 2-6pm: Robert’s Western World with DB Harris.
  • Sept 5th Sunday 9pm: Basement with Derek Hoke.
  • Sept 6th Monday 9pm: Mercy Lounge with Derek Hoke.
  • Sept 8th Wednesday 9pm: Family Wash with Derek Hoke.
  • Sept 9th Thursday 11pm: Basement with Jon Langford
  • Sept 10th Friday 5pm: AMA – BMI Showcase with Derek Hoke
  • Sept 11th Saturday 9pm: Smiths Olde Bar, Atlanta, GA with Derek Hoke
  • Sept 12th Sunday 9pm: Work/Play, Birmingham, AL with Derek Hoke
  • Sept 14th Tuesday 9pm: 5spot with Derek Hoke.
  • Sept 17th Friday 2-6pm: Robert’s Western World with DB Harris.
  • Sept 18th Saturday: Rhythm & Roots Festival, Bristol TN with Derek Hoke
  • Sept 19th Sunday: Rhythm & Roots Festival, Bristol TN with Derek Hoke
  • Sept 21st Tuesday 9pm: 5spot with Derek Hoke
  • Sept 24th Friday 2-6pm: Robert’s Western World with DB Harris
  • Sept 25th Saturday 9pm: Private Party-East Nashville with Derek Hoke
  • Sept 26th Sunday 9pm: The Basement with Derek Hoke
  • Sept 28th Tuesday 9pm: 5spot with Derek Hoke

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Here are a few pictures of Derek and I playing a great gig up in Chicago with some of the blokes from one of our favorite bands, The Waco Brothers.

OK September, I smell awesomeness in the air…..

August Giggage:

Posted in Music, Stuff on August 6, 2010 by bigsmokey

Thursday August 5th: Roberts Western World, Nashville TN. 2-6pm with DB Harris
Friday August 6th: Roberts Western World, Nashville TN. 2-6pm with DB Harris
Sunday August 8th: Red Barn Round-Up, Nashville, TN. 5pm with Derek Hoke
Tuesday August 10th: 5 Spot, Nashville, TN. 9pm with Derek Hoke
Friday August 13th: Roberts Western World, Nashville TN. 2-6pm with DB Harris
Tuesday August 17th: 5 Spot, Nashville, TN. 9pm with Derek Hoke
Friday August 20th: Roberts Western World, Nashville TN. 2-6pm with DB Harris
Tuesday August 24th: 5 Spot, Nashville, TN. 9pm with Derek Hoke
Wednesday August 25th: Music City Roots, Nashville TN. 7pm with Derek Hoke. Tune in at 650AM WSM
Saturday August 28th: Bucktown Arts Festival, Chicago Il. 4pm with Derek Hoke
Tuesday August 31st: 5 Spot, Nashville, TN. 9pm with Derek Hoke

Nocturne Pre-Amp Pedals

Posted in Music, Stuff on August 6, 2010 by bigsmokey

I am proud to have an endorsement with Nocturne Pedals. Tavo Vego is making great handbuilt pre-amp pedals. I use his Dyno-Brain pre-amp and it is awesome. Its one of those pedals that you never want to turn off (and I never do!). Check out Nocturne pedals. It works especially great with my Gretsch 6120DS. It sparkles up the sound just a bit and adds a little punch, clarity and compression while remaining very transparent. It is also great with the telecaster.

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