It’s hard to believe that another year has nearly passed, but it sure has been a good one. My new album “Sunnyland” has finally been released and I’m real pleased with the way it turned out. I’ve always loved the blues, and it was deeply touching and enlightening at the same time, digging into myself to write and play this music. I hope you’ll check it out. I started out the year with a trip to the NAMM show (huge musical instrument trade show) in Anaheim, CA to play a show for Breedlove at the Acoustic Cafe, an event hosted by Acoustic Guitar Magazine. Despite being in the grips of a feverish 24 hour flu. (Fifteen minutes before I went on I was outside the Anaheim Hilton communing with the bushes on a liquid level, shall we say.) I had a great time playing and was well cared for by the good folks at Acoustic Guitar. All in all, a memorable night.
I traveled back to Japan for the first time in a few years. Pete and Chris from Breedlove Guitars were there for a couple of the shows and it was nice connecting with some homeboys. Ate some weird food, drank some nice sho-chu and had some major laughs. Spent a nice afternoon visiting with my old friend Isato Nakagawa, Japan’s favorite son of the acoustic guitar. My trip to Seoul, South Korea was unbelievably cool. Sockgoo Choi arranged for some workshops and a concert at beautiful Baekam Hall. Choi was exceptionally good company and Kelli and I enjoyed ourselves immensely. Korean food is really amazing- really spicy and hot, the way I like it. Isato gently warned me “In Korea, all food is red.” He was right too and I dug it.
Back in the States
Can’t forget some more high times here in the States- reconnected with some friends in Kansas City this spring and had a real nice show out there. I was treated to the best barbecue I’ve ever had, at Arthur Bryant’s. I’m still dreaming about it. I’m planning on getting back there soon-check the tour dates on EdGerhard.com. Also had a mighty large time at the Fur Peace Ranch guitar camp in June, hanging with Jorma Kaukonen and my pal Sally Van Meter; she’s a wonderful dobro, lap steel and Weissenborn player. We all played a few songs together at an impromptu faculty concert. Great fun. Really nice bunch of guys in my classes this year. National Guitar Workshop in San Francisco was a lot of fun, too. My old friend John Knowles was back as an instructor and I really cherish the time I get to spend with him.
Breedlove Extraordinary Experience
In August I spent a few days in Oregon with my friends at Breedlove Guitars at their 2006 Extraordinary Experience (E2). Extraordinary it was, too. The night before the Experience began I played a benefit concert at the lovely Tower Theater in Bend and had the honor of Jeff Pevar’s company on a tune (“Shallow Brown”). Jeff is a monster player but never forgets what the song needs, he doesn’t try to kill it with fast licks. Truly a master. The Experience was huge fun, and I loved hanging out with my Breedlove buddies, visiting the shop and playing some really mind-blowing guitars. Wow. Really nice people in attendance, including my good friends from Germany, Anke and Juergen. Juergen brought a spectacular quilted mahogany guitar he had made and presented it to me- I was (and still am) floored. It’s a really great guitar, amazing to look at to boot. Can’t wait to record it.
Thanks to All at Breedlove Guitars, Bill and BJ Hardin at Bear Creek Guitars, Steven Tate, Chief Noda. Thanks to Joe Barbierei, Larry Dalton, Dave Fournier and all at Fishman, D’Addario Strings, Juergen and Anke Hanke (danke!), Jorma and Vanessa Kaukonen, Steve and Gayle Novacek, Matt Smith, James Jensen, Sockgoo Choi and all my new friends in Korea, Sebastian Song and Sol Wha Cho at Baekam Hall, Michael Nouri, Tim Sullivan and especially Kelli Bertram Thanks as always to all the good people who’ve come out to the shows and workshops, bought my books and CDs and supported my creative endeavors. Thanks for allowing me to do what I love. I hope to see you out there somewhere in the coming year.
Wishing you love and music,