Posted by: kubiakl | April 4, 2011

Grit ‘n’ Groove

Joe Walsh.

Ray Wylie Hubbard.

Gurf Morlix.

Together on stage.

How was your Saturday?  If you spent it in New Braunfels, probably as kickass as mine.  Ray Wylie Hubbard held his Grit ‘n’ Groove festival at the Whitewater Amphitheater (beautiful place for a music venue, by the way) and had some amazing guests.  Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights played an amazing acoustic set, as did Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes.  I think I enjoyed Jonathan Tyler more this time than when they opened for ZZ Top.

The highlight was Joe Walsh though.  I love his guitar playing and this was my first chance seeing him live.  The guy just has a complete mastery of his instrument, and his playing is so tasteful – it’s not a random series of notes, every solo moves the song along and adds to it.

And on a gear note, I experienced a moment of extreme envy when he pulled on a surf green Stratocaster with a rosewood neck.  Pretty sure that’s going to be my next project now, screw the double bound sunburst Tele.  I wish Fender would introduce that color on a lower priced model – the only surf green production Strat is the ’57 reissue, but that only comes with a maple neck.  The signature Jeff Beck model has a rosewood neck, but is $1000 more and has some features I’m not big on (the LSR roller nut being the main sticking point).

Oddly enough, Married Man’s dream guitar was on stage as well.  He’s a huge fan of The Beatles and Ray Wylie Hubbard had a Gretsch Country Gentleman.

He’s considering eventually (pretty far in the future – he is married, after all) buying the lower priced Gretsch 5122 and upgrading the pickups.  Most of the other features were the same, except for the fingerboard woods.  Country Gentlemans have an ebony fingerboard, 5122s have rosewood.

As for me, I’m still debating the proper course.  GAS (gear acquisition syndrome, a common affliction amongst guitarists) has made me really want a surf green Strat, and my experience with the Partsocaster makes me kind of want to build one.  The only problem is that I’m not finding any great deals on a quality surf green Strat body (the Tele body was a random Craigslist find) and I don’t have a spare neck lying around.  So if I give it a run it will be from the ground up.  We’ll see what the future holds.  Since I’m in no big hurry I can trawl around until I find something too good to pass up.

Back to my original topic though: It was nice to see a music show outside of Austin.  I forgot how much Texans truly enjoy music.  Don’t get me wrong, I love this town, but lately I’ve noticed that music shows seem to be less about the music from a crowd standpoint.  It wasn’t always this way.  I can’t be sure but I’m going to blame them anyway – it has to be all the transplants.  The crowd in New Braunfels was just there to enjoy some great music, they seemed to have more respect for it.  I like that.

Except for the dude who was practically molesting his date while wearing stained sweat shorts.  That’s just creepy.

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