Instrumental Musings…Fender Telecaster Bass Guitar 1975


Fender Telecaster Bass photo by JOtwell (click to buy)
Fender Telecaster Bass photo by JOtwell (click to buy)

This model was actually a re-issue of the earliest Broadcaster/Precision era bass guitar design. One assumes that the huge popularity of the Telecaster guitar at the time, and the resemblance of the bass head stock to that of the Tele prompted the re-naming. A beautiful instrument all the way round, it can growl and bite with the best of them, but also has an attractive softer side, especially when plucked with the thumb.

Louis Armstrong Never Got It Wrong … Part 4 of 4

A couple of years ago I found myself writing a song called “Louis Armstrong.” Despite the title, it’s not about Louis Armstrong per se, but it seemed to have a life of its own straight out of the box, so much so that I assembled a large cast of acoustic players to record it at my old stomping ground, Creative Workshop, where I’d been recording and stock-piling various “live in the studio” performances over the previous five years for my Skelly Trilogy project. I used the same core band as before, augmenting the ensemble considerably, and with the invaluable assistance of the great engineer and my close cohort, Joe Funderburk, the result was most pleasing (to me, anyway). This led me to listen to the various acoustic pieces we’d made in this unique musical space, including some songs that had not yet seen the light of day, and the result is “Berry Hill Buzz,” named for the area of town where Creative Workshop has existed since the early seventies, but also as a tip of the hat to its originator and owner, my dear old friend, Buzz Cason, who roared up one afternoon in his sports car to make it to a photo shoot for the album that’s finally going to be released. If it hadn’t been for “Louis Armstrong,” this material might continue to gather dust.

The conclusion to the Louis Armstrong Never Got It Wrong series! If you missed the first three installments you can find them here:

Part 1 of 4-

Part 2 of 4-

Part 3 of 4-

Louis Armstrong can be found on Michael’s upcoming cd release Berry Hill Buzz. 

The Skelly Suggests…Ladies of Steel

Letritia Kandle, Letar virtuoso and Steel Guitar innovator
Letritia Kandle, Letar virtuoso and Steel Guitar innovator. by JOtwell (click to buy)

It would have been amazing to be able to post a playlist today that included some of Letritia’s work BUT there are very few recordings that exist and none of them are available on the standard music sites. Here is a link to one of her songs that I got from The Steel Guitar ForumLetritia on Steel. If you click on the Steel Guitar Form link you will find more samples at the bottom of the thread. My next idea was to do a playlist of Female Steel Guitar Players. I had some successes and some failures. Please be aware that this list is a paltry example of the depth of players out there. It was made from what was available on the web. PLEASE feel free to make any additions you feel were left out. I welcome the input. This first entry is actually a YouTube video of Barbara Mandrell. It shows footage of her playing as a child and then leads into her playing today. Great video- 

Ladies of Steel

Summer Romance – Maggie Bjorklund

Montreal – Kaki King

Locust Grove – Cindy Cashdollar

Living in the Moment – Sally Van Meter

Weary Lonesome Blues – Sally Van Meter

Bone Chaos in the Castle – Kaki King

Spanish Fandango – Steve James and Cindy Cashdollar

Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers – Kaki King

Frost – Maggie Bjorklund

Speeding West – Lucky Ocean, Redd Volkaert, Cindy Cashdollar

2 O’clock – Kaki King

From the Archives…Fort Knox

Don't ask about the suits...
Fort Knox- Don’t ask about the suits…
L to R. Taylor Rhodes-drums/vocals, Gypsy Carns-guitar/harmonica/vocals, Michael Snow-bass/vocals, B.Lee Inman- keyboards, trumpet, sax, vocals.
Don’t ask about the suits….hey, it was the early ’70’s, not a high water mark for sartorial splendor, or good hair, for that matter!


Wish me luck at my Reading/Signing @ East Side Story today!

Hope to see you there.

Instrumental Musings…Ukulele by Rob Baldwin

Ukulele photo by JOtwell
photos by JOtwell

Rob Baldwin (my daughter’s father-in-law ) worked on the Gibson mandolin and ukulele assembly line in Kalamazoo through the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. He made this sweet, unique little darling as a “ lunchtime project”, utilizing scrap woods discarded at the line, hence the unusual single F-hole and high-waisted body. The neck is an intact Gibson piece with mother-of-pearl fret dots. Rob re-carved the Gibson head-stock into it’s current shape, and the tuners are standard Gibson uke pegs.

Rob gifted this to me in 2011, after it served as a wall ornament for many years. Restoration to playing condition was done by Joe Hinchcliffe at Corner Music, Nashville.

This is a total one of a kind.