Go J-Hi!

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The amazing Johnny Hiland is back after taking time out to refresh his creative spirit. Here he’s fronting his trio at Nashville’s Douglas Corner on 10-02-15.


Sounds of Marin come to Nashville

Lowell Levinger & Sam Grisman 1 - Carter Vintage 091915Lowell Levinger (aka Banana) of the Youngbloods brought his music and stories to Carter Vintage Guitars on 09-19-15. He’s accompanied here by Sam Grisman, who learned his craft from his father, the legendary mandolinist David Grisman. It was an evening of intimate music performed in a very special space. The amps aren’t Lowell’s backline, but rather drool-worthy vintage heads and combos that are for sale.

Lowell Levinger & Sam Grisman 2 - Carter Vintage 091915

Lowell Levinger & Sam Grisman 3 - Carter Vintage 091915

Layla lands in Nashy

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CoCo Carmel and Bobby Whitlock at the City Winery 09-12-15.

Hearing the magical songs from 1970’s Layla—Whitlock cowrote  five of them with Eric Clapton, and also composed “Thorn Tree in the Garden”—swept me back to 1970, when I was 19 and Layla was the soundtrack to my life. (Okay, American Beauty played a big role too.) Whitlock’s songs hold up so well. Will today’s popular tracks endure this way?

Let It Roll …

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Adam Gorman lets his Les Paul ring loud and proud at the Mercy Lounge 09-06-15. He was one of six stellar guitarists performing the Allman Brothers’ classic Live at the Fillmore from start to finish to a capacity crowd. An epic night of wicked Les Paul!

Dynamic Duos

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I love watching musicians interact. Here Cindy Cashdollar and Albert Lee share a musical moment at Nashville’s City Winery on 07-23-15. You can tell Lee is being swept away by the crying sound of Cashdollar’s doubleneck steel. In the zone!

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Also from the same City Winery show: Teresa Williams and Larry Campbell bring their rootsy Woodstock sound to Nashville. The couple had a long association with the late Levon Helm, and his spirit still resonates in their music.

My second magazine cover


What a thrill—my photo on the cover of Premier Guitar! This is my second PG cover and it’s an honor to be given the gig.

Tube freaks may recognize some vintage and new-old-stock glass here: a Mullard EL34 (Great Britain), Westinghouse 6V6 (USA), and National 6L6 (Soviet Union). I use a wonderful THD Univalve head to audition these and other “orphan” tubes. Unlike most amps, the low-watt Univalve operates on a single power tube, so I don’t have to create pairs or quartets for tone tests. This means if I come across one working vintage or NOS specimen, I can use it to make music. As experienced guitarists will tell you, different tube types. brands, and even countries of manufacture can yield dramatically different tones in guitar amps. It’s nerdy, but fun to explore some of the many sonic variations power tubes offer. Factor in different guitars and speaker cabinets, and it becomes an endless journey.