Pastor, Storyteller, Teacher, Activist
I'm afraid that I started a bit late. I didn't get serious about guitar until my early twenties. Still, that means that I've been playing guitar for a little over 30 years.
I certainly have been blessed to acquire a number of interesting instruments. It seems that currently my main guitar is a 1949 Epiphone FT-79 flat-top. This guitar is ladder braced, which gives it a lot of "mid-range honk". I think that a lot of the guitars that the early bluesmen played were cheaply made ladder braced guitars, however this Epiphone is built like a house, with an arched walnut back and maple sides. A few years ago I was able to find a DeArmond 210 soundhole pick-up (50's era I think), with adjustable polepieces. So this pick-up further enhances the "old blues" sound on those occasions when you have to plug in. I also have a great 12 fret, 000 size flat-top that was built by my friend and repair guru, Larry Stevens from Washington, MI. This guitar is very "Martin-like" and has a beautifully subdued sunburst body,
I also have 3 resonator guitars. My first resonator was a 1933/34 National Duolian that I bought from my good friend Rich DelGrosso. I have done literal thousands of gigs with that guitar. I also have a new ivory National NRP that I used as a "canvas" for a portrait of my wife, Bernice. Finally, I have a great resonator that was custom built by Ron Phillips for my friend, the late great John Cephas. This is a one of kind guitar and I treasure it for it's sound and playability, and for the fact that it once belonged to John.
I have a number of other cool pieces, among these is a "Leadbelly Stella" 12 string that was built for me by Larry Stevens, a 1924 Gibson "snakehead" mandolin, and pretty cool German "no name" fiddle from the 1860s..
I love songs that tell stories, so I am always on the lookout for a good story. I find that the late Kathryn Windham was right, she used to advise people to look around for family stories and history. I find that a lot of my songs and stories are inspired by people that I know or have known. Often too, I find that the Bible provides great poetic language and imagery for song writing and storytelling.
I will happily continue to answer any questions that come in. Please don't hesitate to ask!