Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Contoocook Train Depot

Hey, here's a good place to visit if you're in the vicinity of Concord NH. On good days, there's live music! Check it out on 3-5 December for a Holiday Artisan's show. I have it on good authority, there might be some solid pottery there!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wild About Krivo Pickups!

I've been gigging with Jason Flores' invention, the Krivo pickup, for about a year. I was using a piezo under the bridge foot on the upright, which worked ok, but I had one really bad experience with subsonic wind noise playing outside. I usually play through a small Gallien Krueger for some on-state sound, then run a lineout through the main board. I could see the wind induced microphonics on the piezo driving the mains crazy. Later, I had a "fragility" problem and lost a lead on the piezo.

Time for a new pickup and I was tired of babying my tube preamp in the outdoor gigs where it rains just a little. Time for a magnetic pickup! Jason sells the Krivo on Ebay once in a while, and I was lucky enough to pick one up.

The sound is great - very high output so using a preamp is not required at all. This is a solid humbucking pickup - no noise problems as long as you follow the installation directions and ground the strings together down near the tailpiece.

I've had a minor retention problem with the jack (my big feet stepping on my own cord) which I usually resolve with gaffers tape to make sure I don't unplug during a set. I love this pickup and since it velcro's to your fingerboard, if you DO NOT love it, you're not looking at screw holes and other repairs to remove it. In fact, I have a single pickup which I switch back and forth between my 3/4 and 1/2 plywood Framus uprights. Check him out at http://myspace.com/krivopickupsj

Saturday, May 19, 2007

New CD Out! Bow Junction Bluegrass

Well I've got to take out a minute to share the excitement over our winter project results. All the members of Bow Junction worked hard all winter making this CD.

Among the interesting challenges of the project, our long standing banjo player Pete Odom took a new job and moved to Atlanta mid project. After a few sleepless weeks, music ace Marty Hayden filled the spot and helped us finish the project. He's now playing regularly with Bow Junction.

For more info, look us up on DIGSTATION.COM or CDBABY.COM. You can sample the tunes at www.bowjunction.com and order the CD or other merchandise.


Time out for Jazz

Took some time out from the bluegrass venture to join some friends doing a fund raiser for hurricane repair down in Biloxi Mississippi. This was a fun time with a group called Tall Granite Jazz. This was a great gig that cooked right from the beginning! The star of the show is woodwind ace, Dave Cook shown on soprano sax. Dave Dustin wailed on the trombone, Whit Symmes pounded out a mean jazz piano while Kurt Ekstrom's cool rhythms on drums rounded it all out. A great evening for all!
Peace in Music! Randy

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Make Room For the WAV

[Graphic from www.nedsteinberger.com.]
OK after over 30 years on the Precision, old habits die hard. I'm not selling the P-bass, but after two week's on Ned Steinberger's new WAV bass....WOW
Lots of fun. Action as fast as a bass guitar....sound - well at least strongly reminescent of the upright bass. I'm using it for a jazz gig in a couple weeks. Very smooth. Some don't like the pickup system (I don't use the pizz switch setting) but with a K&K preamp I can get the tone where I like it. Awesome instrument....

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ode to the P-Bass

Well, I guess I have to admit it's tuba that got me into bass clef. I was a happy trumpet player in Junior High, but got my growth spurt early. When the band director told me I'd been "selected" as a tuba player, I protested feebly, then went meekly about the business of dealing with a mouthpiece the size of Alaska. However, not all was lost. The tuba led to upright bass, the upright bass led to Bass Guitar and not too much later to Leo Fender's masterpiece, the Precision Bass.

Yes, the venerable P-Bass has been my faithful bass clef companion for aobut 35 years of my bass clef experience. The first one was purchased about 1971 at Manny's music in NYC. Set up at a nearby bass shop with Rotosounds, and I've been round wound ever since. Unfortunately this bass was sold in the late 70's when I 'got out of music' - a self delusive phase that lasted almost 5 years. Fortunately, I found the twin of the original instrument in Cambridge MA.

Happy New Years!

Monday, December 11, 2006


Well, since I promised musings, here they go:

Favorite Klezmer Piece: Miserlou
Favorite Artist: Hankus Netsky & Klezmer Conservatory Band

Most Hilarious Klezmer Piece: Miserlou by the Looney Tunes
(equal parts of surf rock and klezmer)

Civil Rights Vignette: Passing through a gas station, maybe Mississipi, perhaps Louisiana during the late 60's. My New York plates get me a police tail in Huntsville, but not here thankfully. I meet Charles Evers, a cousin of Medgar in the gas station, he's driving a classy but well used early 60's black Cadillac, but relates his frustration. Across town, there'd be an assumption there was some hard work, rewarded by some trappings of success. For him, its a never ending justification of his right to drive a car he worked to buy. I hear well meaning folks say they never encountered discrimination. I wonder high tightly shut they have to close their eyes and how completely they have to plug their ears. Ever stop at a Stuckey's in the South?