Saturday, July 30, 2011

Just a guy and his new sitar

 So,maybe you  see this kind of thing all the time but this was a first for me. I saw a guy picking up his brand new sitar he had special ordered. Truth be told,I believe this was the first time I've seen a sitar in person. Like many guitar players,my first time hearing a sitar that wasn't on a 1960's psychedelic pop record was from John McLaughlin and Shakti. Over the years I've built up a small collection of both crossover and genuine Indian classical music. I enjoy the sounds but I knew nothing of the workings of a sitar. Seeing this hardly makes me an expert but I was happy to put a tiny dent in my ignorance.

More sitar photos...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Best Guitar Cds of the Week - Week of 07/26/2011

Reissue Week...again!
   Gather 'round as we watch the record industry slide into oblivion. Yet another week where not a single new Cd attracts my interest. Sure,there were a couple of pretty good albums. The new Jimmy Vaughan is alright,for someone with such an awful tone.(I know,I know he's supposed to get a pass,right?) Chuck Loeb takes a break from producing audio wallpaper for dentist offices and puts out a genuine "real" jazz album,but that just shows he should know better. So,enough with the snarky dismissals of guitarists who play better than I do,on to the good stuff. Luckily for the record industry,there's always plenty of wonderful music to reissue,allowing it to wheeze on for awhile yet. Here are the great guitar Cd's being reissued this week:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fun Photos From Around the Guitar Shop #3

   Hey,did you know that this type of sign is held on by two wimpy little bolts? Neither did I.

         THIS is why we don't let the warehouse guys fix stuff.

Kirk Hammett's METAL FAIL...

   I want my guitar to have oujia board stuff on it,cuz that's like METAL and stuff!
   Um...Ouija is a trademark of  Hasbro toy company. Nice try Kirk,you badass,you.

 This Hohner guitar was either owned by Beavis or perhaps Butthead.

 So,what's the favorite tomato around the guitar repair shop? Sunbursts,of course. Now,if for some bizarre reason I was making a salad involving a Gibson SG,I would prefer CHERRY RED tomatoes.
If you enjoyed these,be sure to check out the prior installments here and here.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Adam Clark Band at the Glendale Jazz and Blues Festival

   So,we're letting drummers bands in here? We are when they're as good as the Adam Clark Trio. After all,he has the good taste to round out his trio with guitar and bass. Also in his favor,although we're not related,we share the same last name. Adam appears throughout the Phoenix area,both with his own group and with others. If you're in town,check him out,you won't be disappointed.

More photos of the Adam Clark Trio at the Glendale Jazz and Blues Festival below...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Installing a new 5th string peg on a 5 string banjo.

  Here we have a humble Westbrook banjo. Obviously,it's not the most expensive banjo around,but it plays and sounds pretty good. More importantly,the banjo owner likes it,but would like it a whole lot more if it would stay in tune! Read on to find out how we solved this problem...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Best Guitar Cds of the Week - Week of 07/19/2011

Rodrigo y Gabriella - Live in France
  It's no coincidence that the discography of Rodrigo y Gabriella contains so many live albums. As fantastic as their studio albums are (and they are fantastic),these two were just meant to get in front of people and BURN. Rodrigo's intense lead work and Gabriella's rhythmic gymnastics are each impressive in their own right,but really,what makes these two into world class musicians are the incredible interaction between the two. Those subtle changes in volume or the emphasis on a particular phrase or note can only come when musician are both very skilled and,wonder of wonders,actually LISTENING to the other musician. They've hopefully long ago surpassed any suspicions that they are merely a flavor of the month that snuck in with a novelty Metallica cover.
  "Live In France",recorded on the world tour for the 11:11 album,starts of with a blistering version of "Tamacun" (the only track that is also on 2008's "Live in Japan") and also features my 11:11 favorite,"Buster Voodoo". Each song manages to top it's studio version in intensity. Whether you are a long time fan or a newcomer to these former buskers turned Irish/Mexican bossa nova metalheads,"Live in France" won't disappoint.

Loads more Cd reviews below...Some top notch jazz fusion,a great week for metal and I publicly admit to a guilt free love of REO Speedwagon...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Steely Dan - Jon Herington and Wayne Shorter

Jon HeringtonImage by podbay via Flickr
  I don't normally link to other articles here at Guitar Omnivore. It feels a bit lazy to just provide a link with a sentence that says "'s a cool link!" and call that a blog. This week,however,I came across two great articles about Steely Dan. One is about Jon Herington,the current Steely Dan guitar man who has the unenviable job of playing solos in songs originally played by the likes of Denny Dias,Jeff Baxter,Elliot Randall,Larry Carlton and Steve Khan, among others. The other is from the great Jazz Wax blog and tells the tale of how Wayne Shorter came to play on the Aja album. As a Steely Dan fanatic,I couldn't resist sharing,so here's my lazy Saturday article. Enjoy!

Steely Dan's Jon Herington The Fretboard Journal: Keepsake magazine for guitar collectors

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dyer Harp Guitar

  Recently,I got to see my friend D.C. Williams perform. I thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures of his Dyer harp guitar. Harp guitars are guitars that have extra open strings that lie off the fretboard and are plucked individually.Players like Andy McKee and Pat Metheny have brought a bit of well deserved attention to the harp guitar. As for THIS harp guitar,it was made by the Larson Brothers and it's a Style 4,No. 779. My friend thinks it was made in 1915,but it's hard to be exact with guitars from this era. If you want some great information on the Larson Brothers,be sure to hunt down a copy of Robert C. Hartman's book Guitars and Mandolins in America. You can also find tons of great information about harp guitars at including information about Dyer harp guitars on this page:
Lastly,if you want to see some absolutely inspiring instruments,including harp guitars,check out Arizona luthier/musician William Eaton:

Plenty more harp guitar photos below...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Best Guitar Cds of the Week - Week of 07/12/2011

Yes - Fly From Here
   By now,everyone but the most casual Yes fan knows that vocalist Jon Anderson is no longer in the group. When health problems plagued Anderson with a Yes tour already booked,the rest of the band chose not to wait and carried on with new vocalist Benoit David. The amount of grumbling from some Yes fans strikes me as a bit odd. It's not as if replacing members is some sort of new idea for the lads. After all,if one counts the Anderson/Bruford/Wakeman/Howe album as a Yes product (and really,why wouldn't you?),every single position in the band has been replaced at some point. Worrying more about who is in the band and less about whether or not the music is any good seems a tad naive at this point in the bands history.
   So,what of "Fly From Here"? How does it stack up,both on it's own merits and compared to classic era Yes? I think it does rather well on both accounts.  What we have here is essentially the "Drama" era band,with new vocalist David strengthening the one weak link in that chain.  I think this compares favorably with not only the "Drama" album but more recent hardcore fan favorites like "The Ladder".  From a guitar perspective,Steve Howe is strong throughout. His playing is a touch less nimble and his tone is a bit more processed than I might like but we're talking small degrees. Howe at 95% is better than many of today's over produced newbies. Chris Squire also makes his presence known. His trademark sound seems to have returned in full force. Geoff Downes  keyboard sounds are tasteful and appropriate,taking on a more supportive role. Is "Fly From Here" as good as "Close to the Edge"? Hardly. Is it a worthy and enjoyable addition to the long history of Yes? Absolutely. Also available in the now obligatory "Deluxe Edition" with a DVD and for the true Yes fanatic, a "Deluxe Collectors Edition Box Set" with the CD,the DVD,the album on vinyl,a T-shirt and a poster. Yikes.

Plenty more Guitar Cd reviews below...
After a few slow weeks,jazz comes back in force,some classic thrash sees it's 25th anniversary and Mr. Bad to the Bone makes his best album in years.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Luthier Greg Robinson's wild new prototype guitar.

  Here's a sneak peek at a wild new guitar that's not even in production yet. Scottsdale, Arizona based luthier Greg Robinson stopped by the shop to get some feedback on his latest prototype.Everyone here,myself included,was very impressed. As you can see,it's Greg's own design,not a copy of anything. For all it's radical looks,the guitar was very comfortable to play. Ergonomics were spot on. His finish work was perfect,as was his fret work. I'm also a fan of his choice of parts,including the Seymour Duncan pickups and the Earvana nut. Greg hopes to start producing these in 2011,so I'll update with contact information as things progress.

Each pickup gets it's own concentric knob for volume and tone control,something Greg said might not make it past the prototype stage. The two mini-switches allow for series/parallel/split for each pickup.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Gibson Donzi Les Paul

   Here's a unique guitar that came through the shop for a reason I haven't seen before and may not see again. There was nothing wrong with the guitar but it's custom display case was having some minor trouble. I know what you must be thinking, "Boy,they sure don't make custom guitar display cases like they used to."  Tell me about it. This is one of a handful of Les Paul guitars that Gibson made for Donzi Marine,the maker of super speedy watercraft.

                      What? You've never seen a guy gluing and clamping his guitar display case?

                                           That will look cool hanging in the music room for sure.

                                                      That is some nice looking inlay work.

                                                  Yes,that's a lion riding a dolphin. So?

   This guitar is currently for sale at the store where I work. If motorboats and guitars are your thing,contact one of the guitar guys with the phone number on the "Contact Me" page. Don't worry,this blog won't become an advertisement for stuff at the store but due to the unique nature of this guitar I thought it was worth mentioning that it's available. Be sure to ask for a discount for that repaired display case!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Guitar Omnivore Hits The Wall

So here's a peek at my new "brick wall" I just "installed" here at the guitar repair shop. You should start seeing it behind the guitar photos starting soon. I had been pondering a way to make the photos look a bit nicer when I discovered a bit of leftover display from the fine folks at Epiphone guitars. Thanks ,Epiphone!

    Here's the old wall,seen here in an even less flattering angle than usual! My broom and dustpan,my poster board,the AC controls. Lavish!

             These are my "bricks",prior to installation. The have peel and stick adhesive on the back.

                                                   Now we're getting somewhere.

  This ESP Mk. II Deluxe looks cool.Thanks to my "mason",Patrick Schwab for helping with the brick work.

                                                   This is the real display,out in the store.

Top 10 phrases I didn't use in the title:
  1. Another Brick in the Wall
  2. Hit the Bricks
  3. Brick House
  4. Brick by Brick
  5. Off the Wall
  6. Wall to Wall
  7. Wall of Sound
  8. Yellow Brick Road
  9. Brick and Mortar Store
  10. Like Hitting a Brick Wall

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Best Guitar Cds of the Week - Week of 07/05/2011

  For the second time since starting this column,I'm absolutely unimpressed with this weeks batch of new music. Instead of taking the day off,let's take a look at some of the cool reissue stuff. I try to avoid reissues,particularly the especially obvious stuff. I would hope if Led Zeppelin II were reissued you wouldn't need me to tell you it's good. The current trend,however,is for "deluxe" or "expanded" editions. The record industry loves nothing more than selling you stuff you already own,with a couple of "bonus" tracks,tacked on. Are these allegedly deluxe versions worth it? Here are three that pass the test:

The Thin Lizzy Reissues:
Starting in February 2011,with "Jailbreak","Johnny the Fox" and "Live and Dangerous", Thin Lizzy gets the two disc deluxe treatment. The latest batch includes "Chinatown" and the Gary Moore fan favorite "Black Rose".

The Paul McCartney Reissues.
  Fan favorites "McCartney","McCartney II" and "Band On The Run" each get a two disc version and an alternate multi disc version. Arguably more interesting are the more recent albums that call for artistic reevaluation,like "Run,Devil Run" and "Driving Rain".

The Kinks Reissues.
   The latest batch in the well deserved deluxe reissue campaign for The Kinks include  "Face To Face","Something Else" and "Arthur". All I can say is GET THEM ALL.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July...and Happy Birthday Guitar Omnivore!

  Happy 4th of July everyone. I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing day. Equally important in this household,is the one year anniversary of Guitar Omnivore! It was June 28th,2010 when I rolled out the carpet for my little dog and pony show. One week later on July 5th, a person who wasn't me actually looked at this site.Four "persons" discovered me here that day and it limped along,gradually averaging about 100 readers a day through the rest of 2010. It wasn't until February of 2011 that Guitar Omnivore scored it's first day with over 1000 readers,thanks to a combination of bored Superbowl viewers and StumbleUpon. Since then the numbers have grown quite a bit. It would apear that Guitar Omnivore is finding it's readers,so please help out and spread the word to our fellow guitar fanatics. Thanks for reading! Phil

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns at the Glendale Jazz and Blues Festival

   Yeah! A little Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns! They're so good,they even let horn players in there with the musicians,just like they were guitar players or something. These guys never fail to please with blues and a generous doses of funk and soul. You can check video of them at Glendale Jazz and Blues Festival and more at their website

Plenty more pictures of Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns at the Glendale Jazz and Blues Festival below...