I’m often asked what kind of guitar I play. I find this is less because people are interested in my guitar than that it gives them an excuse to talk about their own instruments. Today, therefore, I’d like to turn the table and discuss a couple of my guitars.

My main guitar is my 1963 Gibson ES-120T. It’s the bottom of the line of Gibson’s ES series, but that’s like graduating last in your class at Harvard. It’s not terribly expensive for a vintage instrument – some used copies on Ebay are as low as $1300 – but it anything happens to it, they’re not making any more!

I used it when I played with Seann Clark and Brenna Bone at the “Nashville Next” competition at Doc Holliday’s back in September. It’s one of those smoky, “beer and a shot” places where you feel a fight might break out any minute. When I had to go to the bathroom, I took the guitar with me!

To prevent this sort of thing from happening again, I recently purchased an Epiphone Dot Studio. It plays and sounds beautifully… and if anything happens to it, I’m only out $200.

The Dot Studio made its debut last month when I sat in with Seann and Brenna’s other band Sonny’s Fugitives. Their lead guitarist Tony Kellogg and I have been friends for years, but this was the first time we’d ever played together onstage., unless you count open mic at the Villa (and I never count open mic at the Villa).

Brenna – who more or less swept the Rock Erie Music Awards a couple of years ago (Best New Artist, Best Country Artist, Best Original Song) – recently relocated to Nashville, but I’ll be playing with her and Seann at the Edinboro Hotel Bar on Thanksgiving Eve. If you’re in the area, you should check it out. If things go for Brenna the way I think they will, there won’t be many more opportunities to see her in a small venue.

Since I left my old Chicago band Childhood’s End in 1991, the other three guys have been recording under the name The Vinyl Goods. I played bass on their 1994 album Coming Home.

Earlier this year they revisited the master tapes for that album and made some tremendous sonic improvements. Don’t have Coming Home? Buy it at their website https://www.vinylgoods.com/store. Already own it? Buy it again. It’s that good.

It gave me the idea to go back to my 1999 album Foul Weather Friend to see what could be done to it. First off, I’d like to record new drums. The bass guitar parts are basically mud. There are also some out-of-tune guitars, and my singing throughout the disc is pretty poor.

So, I’d have to redo bass, guitars, vocals, and drums… Are you thinking what I’m thinking? If I’m going to do all that, I might as well record a new album from scratch.

Which is exactly what I’m going to do! This way, I wouldn’t be bound to any particular tracklist, and I’d be able to transpose the songs into keys I can actually sing them in.

Why do I want to do this? I’d like to have a decent sounding representation of the songs I wrote between 1991 and 1998 (something I don’t have at the moment).

So, in conclusion, thanks again for your support. If you’re driving anywhere for the holidays please be careful, and remember to always make time for music.

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