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West Coast Blues Thread Version 19

Axis29

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,442
I haven't been around much recently but my Junior Barnyard pedal arrived a few weeks ago. The tone is lovely but I'm having trouble getting the grind I was expecting at Tavo's recommended settings. Can anybody think of what I might be doing wrong?
What pickups are you using? Might be the ones you have aren't as hot as the ones he used to come up with the settings?

I know I tend to favor lower gain tones and cooler wound single coils... So, when I grab one of my humbucker guitars, it can surprise me if I don't think about it.
 

Ferret

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,873
What pickups are you using? Might be the ones you have aren't as hot as the ones he used to come up with the settings?

I know I tend to favor lower gain tones and cooler wound single coils... So, when I grab one of my humbucker guitars, it can surprise me if I don't think about it.
Initially I used T.K. Smith CCs into small Swart which is basically a tweed amp. That result was surprising although it is intended to send good with a variety of backline amps so maybe the amps characteristics don't influence tone much. I then mucked around with a Strat into a blackface deluxe reverb and a Larrivee with Dave Stephens dirty Harry pups into the Fender as well. Have to watch my settings on the Larrivee since it is a trebbly guitar if you let it be, but the Dirty Harrys are modeled on vintage deArmonds and they usually grind beautifully. All my pups are single coil low winds so maybe that's it. But only a vintage guitar player would want to sound like Junior Barnard and we all use relatively low winds don't we? I've yet to try an arch top.
 

RickyKing

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,581
Initially I used T.K. Smith CCs into small Swart which is basically a tweed amp. That result was surprising although it is intended to send good with a variety of backline amps so maybe the amps characteristics don't influence tone much. I then mucked around with a Strat into a blackface deluxe reverb and a Larrivee with Dave Stephens dirty Harry pups into the Fender as well. Have to watch my settings on the Larrivee since it is a trebbly guitar if you let it be, but the Dirty Harrys are modeled on vintage deArmonds and they usually grind beautifully. All my pups are single coil low winds so maybe that's it. But only a vintage guitar player would want to sound like Junior Barnard and we all use relatively low winds don't we? I've yet to try an arch top.
Hi,
My winds vary, along with the guitar and settings..I have a couple of actually very hi winds that do certain things well..ymmv...and, fwif, I too have had a gallbladder removal, and felt better for it.
As far as business goes, communication is key, imho.
 

Ferret

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,873
Hi,
My winds vary, along with the guitar and settings..I have a couple of actually very hi winds that do certain things well..ymmv...and, fwif, I too have had a gallbladder removal, and felt better for it.
As far as business goes, communication is key, imho.
That's interesting Ricky. Of course I agree about the value of communication but there can be times when someone is too ill even for that. I think it's one of the perils of a one-person business.
 

Carmour

Member
Messages
1,273
Finally going to record an album of blues and jump tunes in late nov/early dec. I want to do 3-4 covers. Looking for any ideas! I have a big list but have wittled it down to Sidetracked (Freddie King), Hucklebuck & In The Open (Freddie King). Not overly interested in doing versions that other people have recorded to death. Might try Two Bones and a pick but hard to pull off, that original just KILLS and that would be a tall order...
 

JimR56

Member
Messages
722
Looking for any ideas!
How about...
Moanin' For Molasses (Jody Williams)
Matt's Guitar Boogie (Matt Murphy)
Narcolepsy (Ronnie Earl)
A little tangential to the usual suspects, but a tune that Freddie recorded that I always dug is Remington Ride
 

Carmour

Member
Messages
1,273
How about...
Moanin' For Molasses (Jody Williams)
Matt's Guitar Boogie (Matt Murphy)
Narcolepsy (Ronnie Earl)
A little tangential to the usual suspects, but a tune that Freddie recorded that I always dug is Remington Ride

need something to take my mind off this election, even sweating it from NZ here jesus

Nice suggestions though. Moanin' was a contender already for sure. Matt's guitar boogie, if im gonna do a tune like that I might aswell do my own one i figure? Narcolepsy. Cool tune!
 

t135

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
921
Here's our little ol' basement jam last weekend. Gary Smith was just... damn. He got us all working. Curious, do ya'll know who Gary Smith is? He had a band out of San Jose way back when in the 70s with some Mike Watson guy on guitar.

Cool photo. I'd think everybody here would know who he is but maybe not. Too bad he doesn't perform more these days.
 

ReddRanger

Member
Messages
3,060
need something to take my mind off this election, even sweating it from NZ here jesus

Nice suggestions though. Moanin' was a contender already for sure. Matt's guitar boogie, if im gonna do a tune like that I might aswell do my own one i figure? Narcolepsy. Cool tune!
I think this is an interesting topic. How many originals are you doing? If I had the opportunity to record a blues album, I would target 100% originals. I actually stopped buying gear this year and started working on my own songwriting. It's turned into one of the biggest and most rewarding challenges I've ever taken on musically.

Trying to come up with my own blues riffs, lyrics, and melodies isn't easy for me. It seems easy, but ideas that start at home always take on a life of their own on the bandstand. That's the fun part though. Seeing what works and making changes on the fly. A patient rhythms section helps :)

I have an even greater appreciation for songwriters now that I've taken it on, even if all my efforts flop in the end.
 

fretshop

Member
Messages
2,010
Here's our little ol' basement jam last weekend. Gary Smith was just... damn. He got us all working. Curious, do ya'll know who Gary Smith is? He had a band out of San Jose way back when in the 70s with some Mike Watson guy on guitar.

Yeah, I remember that guy, Mike. Met him at The Guitar Showcase on Bascomb Avenue when I was 17 years old. I believe he attended Willow Glenn H.S. if my memory is correct, and I attended both Lick and Lincoln H.S....and lived about 5-6 blocks from where you now live. Small world. BTW: Still loving those photos of my old house that you sent a few years back. Memories.

Let me jog my memory a bit here. Mike's mom was a singer, and she knew another female singer who's son, Arnie Bustamantes fronted my band. Mrs. Bustamantes sang at The Azteca Club on Saturday nights and at several other regional Latino and Portuguese clubs. Arnie B. was with me at Guitar Showcase, and somehow started chatting with Mike. Arnie said "Hey, I'll bet my mom knows your mom", and then introduced me...we started talking, you know, the usual...people we knew, etc. He was a good kid. Some time around 2005 maybe...I got a call from a guy asking if I lived in San Jose and Knew certain people. I said yes...and he introduced himself as junior Watson. I was a bit puzzled as to the former questions about my childhood, and then it all came together...I blurted out "You're young Mike Watson, it never dawned on me !!" He heard about me from maybe Nick Adams (?), and asked me if I could make him an archtop pickguard. Everything comes around full circle in this music business.

My fist paying gig :

Mrs. Bustamantes called my mom one evening and said she needed a bass player, and that she would give me $20. We needed the money badly, so mom said yes. That was my first real paying gig, doing El-Rancho, Latino and Portuguese torch songs, and Conjunto music. I had extra heavy Guild flat wounds on my Kay Value Leader guitar, so tuning down wasn't a problem. My amp was a modded Webster P.A. head...which I still have, and a home made ply wood cabinet with two used Jensen p-12 N's that we got at a Good Will store.
 
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JimR56

Member
Messages
722
Yeah, I remember that guy, Mike. Met him at The Guitar Showcase on Bascomb Avenue when I was 17 years old. I believe he attended Willow Glenn H.S. if my memory is correct, and I attended both Lick and Lincoln H.S....and lived about 5-6 blocks from where you now live. Small world.
Well, the San Jose roots are certainly strong here. Our kids both went to Willow Glen HS. I went to Del Mar (early 70's). Guitar Showcase is still there on Bascom (remodeled).

First time I saw Mike Watson, he was with Rod Piazza, playing a Gibson archtop (possibly an L5, but I seem to recall it was a Byrdland) at a little club in The Pruneyard circa 1977 (?). I think I had become aware of him via Tom Mazzolini's "Blues By The Bay Show" on KPFA. Probably tracks from the "Blue Bay" LP with High Tide Harris, et al.

Maybe ten or twelve years ago, I read an article somewhere online about the Ford Brothers living at Gary Smith's house for awhile back in the day. I used to go see Mark Ford's band at the Bodega, and Robben would be there on occasion. Also saw Albert King there, which was mind-blowing. I also remember the first time I saw Chris Cain, sitting in with the Fords at an outdoor stage in that failed shopping complex across the street from the Bodega. He wasn't even playing a 335 yet (had a sunburst L5CES).

Just some dated San Jose memories from a dated San Jose native...
 

fretshop

Member
Messages
2,010
Well, the San Jose roots are certainly strong here. Our kids both went to Willow Glen HS. I went to Del Mar (early 70's). Guitar Showcase is still there on Bascom (remodeled).

First time I saw Mike Watson, he was with Rod Piazza, playing a Gibson archtop (possibly an L5, but I seem to recall it was a Byrdland) at a little club in The Pruneyard circa 1977 (?). I think I had become aware of him via Tom Mazzolini's "Blues By The Bay Show" on KPFA. Probably tracks from the "Blue Bay" LP with High Tide Harris, et al.

Maybe ten or twelve years ago, I read an article somewhere online about the Ford Brothers living at Gary Smith's house for awhile back in the day. I used to go see Mark Ford's band at the Bodega, and Robben would be there on occasion. Also saw Albert King there, which was mind-blowing. I also remember the first time I saw Chris Cain, sitting in with the Fords at an outdoor stage in that failed shopping complex across the street from the Bodega. He wasn't even playing a 335 yet (had a sunburst L5CES).

Just some dated San Jose memories from a dated San Jose native...
San Jose was the hippest place back in the 60's. Sadly, all of my close friends have moved out of the area. We just had our 50th reunion at Lick H.S. but I couldn't make it. Scott was nice enough to photograph my former second home on Shasta Ave (near the Rose Gardens) right off W. San Carlos St. I still keep in contact with my best buds though. Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett lived in my neighborhood in the east foothills. Jim was in my home room at James Lick H.S. Author William Saroyan was a fixture in the neighborhood as well. I think he had friends or relatives there. He'd drop in to our English classes at the High school and chat with the students. Great memories.
 

RickyKing

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,581
Wow...those were the days..."two used Jensen p-12 N's that we got at a Good Will store"
By the way, for what it's worth, my harp player friend bought a 201 power block Quilter amp and promptly blew open a brand-new reconed P 15N Jensen. A very powerful amp, beware the transient spikes… No old speakers…
 
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Kingsley Fats

Member
Messages
956
I know he's not West Coast blues but...
I just got home from the Chris Cain gig. Hot Damn. He can sure channel BB King & thats only a small part of the total picture & the other stuff he does Wow.
He finished the night on the piano & he sure knew his way around the keys. He really shows his joy in playing from the stage.
He came and mingled with the (small) crowd afterwards so we got to speak with him. What a nice nice man.

I really think taht George (fretshop) should put out a book. I love reading his stories on this thread.
 

JimR56

Member
Messages
722
...my former second home on Shasta Ave (near the Rose Gardens) right off W. San Carlos St.
I know the area well. I grew up a few miles to the south, down near the Hamilton/Meridian intersection, and I've lived within a mile of there (three different houses) from 1959 to the present. When my wife and I were shopping for our first house in 1981, we came very close to buying a little place on Hester Ave (between Park and The Alameda).
 

fretshop

Member
Messages
2,010
I know the area well. I grew up a few miles to the south, down near the Hamilton/Meridian intersection, and I've lived within a mile of there (three different houses) from 1959 to the present. When my wife and I were shopping for our first house in 1981, we came very close to buying a little place on Hester Ave (between Park and The Alameda).
I could get to Hester by walking down to Dana Avenue and turning left. Hester is around the block from my house. I could probably have seen your house from my back yard. Spivey's restaurant was one of our hang outs. It was on the corner of W. San Carlos and Shasta. I saw the Stones and the Byrds at the S.J. Civic Auditorium in early '65.

Guitar Showcase was a really hip place. I used to go there to try out 335s and one particular Rick 360 12 in Fireglow that I dug. I was playing that guitar through an Echolette Tape echo into a showman amp when I first met The fellow "Mike" we were discussing. The Echolette was a challenge. The control plate was silk screened in the German language. That system sounded awesome, though. If you played with the controls enough, you could get a nice sweet over drive with a 335. I think that's when they told me "enough already", and I went outside and met "Mike" for the first time.
 




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