It’s been a while since the guitarsophist blog has had an update. I have been busy with my other blog, Teaching Text Rhetorically. But I have a new/used guitar–an Epiphone Casino. Here it is in all its cherry red glory:
I also have a new amp, a Boss Katana 50. More on the new amp later. However, because of the new amp, I happened to tell my friend Craig that I might be looking for an archtop with humbucking pickups, maybe an ES 339. Well, Craig is retired and he loves looking for guitars, so unbeknownst to me, he went on a search. I was at a luncheon with some of my wife’s colleagues when he called me from the Guitar Center in Oxnard. He said he had found a guitar and had sent me a video. I said I was busy and I would look at it when I got home. He said, “Don’t you want me to put something down on it or something?” At that point I knew that he thought it was magical and didn’t want it to get away. Craig is really picky about guitars. If he thinks its magical, it is. So I told him to buy it. It turned out to be this Casino. I was really looking for a smaller guitar with humbuckers that was not a Les Paul. This is a big ES 335 style guitar with single coil P-90 pickups. But I fell in love with it the first time I played it. Craig was right.
Casinos are famous because all the Beatles except Ringo had one, and Ringo is a drummer. The Casino sound is all over Revolver and Sgt. Pepper.
Today we got together to jam. Craig is playing his Epiphone ES 175, a big box jazz guitar, through a Fender Pro Junior III. I am playing the Casino through the Katana 50. Craig is playing all the big jazz chords and the walking bass and all that good stuff. I am playing an improvised lead. Here is a version of “It’s Just My Imagination.” I am playing with both pickups and with a little boost on the clean model in the amp.
We didn’t have a vocal mic, so you have to just imagine some of the vocals. This next track is a quick improvisation just before we packed up. No rehearsal, everything made up on the fly:
This is the neck pickup with a little boost on the clean model. We were having fun. Everything is recorded in Reaper for Linux with two mismatched cheapo mics aimed vaguely in the direction of the amps.
Sweet jams. Cool tones and a great vibe.
Thanks, Brian. That is high praise coming from you. Jamming like this is a lot like life. You don’t know what’s coming so you have to make decisions in the moment, and it sounds a little tentative. But also great fun.