COUNTING THE WAYS IS FINALLY OUT!!
After technical mishaps of every conceivable kind, my new love songs album “Counting the Ways” was released in July. After mixing ninety percent of the album in a local studio I realized that I hated the results, and decided to remix the entire thing.
This left me with two options; fly to California to work with Daniel Thomas at Solo Sound in Santa Cruz (great engineer, great studio) or just buy the equipment and turn my home into a gear-choked mixing facility. Anyone who knows me could predict the outcome of this little dilemma.
ED BOUGHT MORE TOYS! I re-mixed the entire album right here, and am very pleased with the results. The album is a collection of some of my favorite love songs. Some are old traditional love ballads, some are more contemporary pop tunes. There are songs from other parts of the world, like Africa and Hawaii. All of them possess beautiful, classic melodies. “Counting the Ways” is similar to my “Christmas” album in the sense that there are often several guitar parts multi-tracked. There are some solo tunes and sparse arrangements as well. I hope you’ll enjoy this decidedly romantic album. (No, I haven’t gone Roger Whittaker on you.)
BREEDLOVE GUITARS TO UNVEIL GERHARD SIGNATURE MODEL GUITAR
Sometime last year I was asked by my good friend Steve Henderson at Breedlove if I’d be interested in co designing a signature model guitar. I really love what the guys at Breedlove are doing, and I was flattered beyond words to have been asked. Naturally I said yes! We’ve had many discussions about the project and have two prototypes so far. Two more will be arriving here within a month and I can’t wait. I don’t want to say too much about the details just yet, but trust me – this guitar is going to be really exceptional. We’ve really worked from the inside out on my signature model guitar, and are focusing on the sound quality first and foremost. I feel confident in saying that this guitar will have the deepest, clearest bass response you’re likely to hear in an acoustic guitar, without the low midrange buildup that blurs the highs and makes the guitar sound “boomy.” Plus, this thing looks like a million bucks, really projects and has that sweetness of tone that Breedlove is known for. We’ll be introducing the Ed Gerhard Signature Model guitar at the January NAMM show in Anaheim, CA, and it will be appearing at Breedlove dealers everywhere very soon. I hope all you players will check one out!
Made my first trip to Italy this year, invited by the Atkins-Dadi Guitar Players Association to appear at their annual convention. This year’s wingding was held in Soave, a beautiful little town in the foothills of the Italian Alps. Kelli and I were squired around in style by our wonderful new friend Massimo. The concerts were a total pleasure, and I got to hear some really fine players from all over Europe. The Atkins/Dadi Society treated us very well, and we were fed like royalty. The food in Italy was unbelievable, as I’m sure some of you already know. We made many great friends there, including Marcel Dadi, a wonderful French guitarist, Also did some workshops for Breedlove in some breath-taking little Italian towns – thanks to my friends Italo and Gianni for their wonderful company. Marcel, sadly, was killed while onboard TWA flight 800. He was returning from Nashville where he had attended the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society convention. Marcel was also inducted into the County Music Hall of Fame during that visit. I saw him briefly in Nashville during the convention, and he warmly invited me to come back to Europe for the German and French A/D conventions. I am deeply sorry that I won’t see him again. The guitar has many devotees but few Ambassadors.. Marcel will truly be missed by guitar fans all over the world.
TABLATURE AND TRANSCRIPTIONS
In addition to my songbook, other transcriptions of my pieces are popping up in recent and future publications. My arrangement of “The Water is Wide” from “Counting the Ways” appeared in the October ’96 issue of Acoustic Guitar. Look for a complete transcription of “Blue Highway” from “Luna” in an upcoming issue of “How to Play Guitar,” a very fine instruction oriented magazine. “O Holy Night” from my “Christmas” album is featured in a new all-Christmas music guitar book from John August Music. The book is called “Portraits of Christmas.”
THE YEAR IN REVIEW EIGHTH NOTES
EQ Magazine, an excellent recording and pro audio magazine ran a feature on Yours Truly in the Feb ’96 issue. The audio quality of my last album “Luna” made some waves in audio circles, and I was asked to describe my recording techniques. I really love good audio, and I’m flattered by the interest I’ve received from EQ and From audio buffs. If you’re interested in recording I highly recommend this magazine. Write them at PO Box 0532, Baldwin, NY 11510-9938.
Played at Muriel Anderson’s All-Star Guitar Night in Nashville this summer, along with such great players as Peppino D’Agostino, Laurence Juber, Preston Reed, Phil Keaggy, Alex de Grassi (also playing a Breedlove), Muriel, of course, and Chet Atkins. Got to stand next to Chet as he played- nobody looks as smooth or relaxed. Happy Traum and the folks from Home-spun Tapes videotaped the show for an upcoming concert video due out in January.
Jazzbud Productions has released a new documentary video called “Modern Luthier,” which features Will Ackerman (founder of Windham Hill Records and a fine player/composer) interviewing four different guitar makers, including Steve Henderson of Breedlove Guitar Co. There are musical segments as well, with Bill Cooley, Rob Young and me playing some wonderful instruments. I’m playing a version of “The Water is Wide” recorded especially for this project on my outstanding Breedlove.
No, I haven’t recovered my stolen Dobro steel-bodied guitar yet… It’s a chrome plated model 33H with palm trees on the front. I still miss it very much. Thanks to all of you who’ve expressed your concern. I’ve been coping by getting into lap steel guitars- man, I love these things! I got a great little Oahu Tonemaster (check out the photo on the back of “Counting the Ways”) and a National. They’re very cool. Also got an acoustic lap steel, which is a copy of the old Weissenborn Hawaiian guitars that were popular in the 1920’s. Mine was made by K&S Guitars in Berkeley, CA and it sounds great. I play it on two tracks on the new album and have been playing it in concert as well. I’m always looking for cool little guitars like these acoustic or electric Hawaiian/lap steel guitars. Any tips-PLEASE get in touch!
Was invited to be an instructor at the National Guitar Summer Workshop in New Milford, CT in late July and had an outstanding time. Fellow instructors were Pierre Bensusan, Martin Simpson, Preston Reed and Seth Austen. The staff and students worked me to death at this five day guitar orgy; I loved every single minute of it. As a player who is almost entirely self-taught and who shuns musical “rules,” I found it a little frightening and more than a little amusing to be referred to as “Faculty.” I met some really wonderful folks here and hope to come back again. If you are a player and are seeking a really intensive, personal way to get some meaningful instruction from some of today’s very best players, this is definitely the place. Get more information about the 1997 National Guitar Summer Workshop by calling them at (800) 234-6479. Martin, Preston and I did two concerts together after the Workshop was over and had a riotously good time. Hope we can do more together!
1996 has been a very busy year for me. Got out to some of my favorite places and, as always, some new ones as well. Just rolled over 300,000 miles on the Toyota! Traveling and playing music is a great way to make a living. It can also be a little scary. Sometimes I feel like I’m tempting fate a little- nothing brought this home like Marcel Dadi’s tragic and untimely death. It really got me thinking about the risks we take by simply being alive every day, and wondering if it’s worth it to continue down the same road. I soon realized that for me nothing will replace the act of going out on the road and playing. Maybe a little risk heightens my enjoyment of it. I love to see you at the shows, and I’m very grateful for you most profound moments in my life have come while playing music for you. Thank you.
Wishing you love and music, Ed
©1996 Ed Gerhard