We are creatures of habit. Our lives, our jobs,
and even the places we dine
seem to fall into a routine. It’s
perfectly normal for us to sip
lattes at the same coffeehouse
on Wednesdays. It may make us
feel comfortable, and in turn,
hopefully make us “work” better. But what if, after a long
period of time, you realize the
coffee you’ve been drinking was
not exactly right for you—that
it’s just expensive and what you
thought you should drink? Even
worse, what if you knew what
kind of coffee you wanted, but
couldn’t find it anywhere? I’m
sure it happens all the time, and
late last year, it happened to me.
I hit a wall last year. Not
literally, but musically. My tone
and my touring basses were just
inexpensive so I wouldn’t be
out a fortune (just in case it got
used for a cricket match on the
tarmac at Heathrow).
When you’re at the mercy of local
stagehands or airline employees,
you simply have to forget that your
instrument could be a pile of splinters when you arrive at soundcheck.
Digging into my $600 Franken-bass—my new number one
instrument built up by Nashville
Fretworks around a body and
neck I scored on eBay.
not doing it for me anymore. I
woke up one day and I decided
to take control of the situation
by making a change.
Anyone who knows me
knows a couple of sure things.
First, I am an old soul who loves
tubes, WWII-era planes, and
would rather listen to the local
AM soul station than FM any
day. Second, I am a NAMM
junkie. I love just poking around
to see what is new and exciting,
and absorbing what I can from
new products. I don’t go to play
my “look-at-me” licks—I’m just
there to soak it all in.
With these thoughts in
mind, I started making a list of
what I really wanted in a bass.
I like a certain style, sound,
features, pickups, etc., and it
needed to remain relatively
screwdriver—with less than the
desired effect—and he was sell-
ing it dirt-cheap. One of the
requirements on my list was
that my bass needed to look 50
years old, so that was a win. I
could work with that.
has been fighting his rock-star frontman urges for
decades, holding down
the low end for such artists as Steve Cropper,
Sister Hazel, and Phil
Vassar. Join in his “touring therapy” on