Book Report June 2023 - "FROM THE ROAD"

Book Report June 2023 - "FROM THE ROAD"

Book Report June 2023 - "FROM THE ROAD"



Howdy Folks, Been on the road for the last 5 or 6 weeks now and there's plenty to report on.

Merle Fest celebrated it's 35th anniversary the last weekend in April and a large time was had by all!    We were all so happy to be back with the Friends & Fans that we have met over the last 3 decades in Wilkesboro.


I was honored to be interviewed  for the Doc & Merle Watson Documentary, a film being made by Joe Murphy & Kevin Balling.  I first met Doc & Merle, back in the very early 70's.  The concert  was at Wesleyan, University in Middletown, Ct.  I was very excited to be on the bill, and still have the poster hanging in my office!  We shared "The Green Room" and got to talk about guitars and music before and after the sold out performance. I do believe it was the largest crowd I had ever played for at the time and the memories of the beginning of our long friendship are forever etched in my mind.   Next time we worked together was in  Norfolk Virginia, at The Red Mule Theater, I showed up in a rented "Top Hat &Tails"..... They got a kick out of that, and Doc later told me, "You never looked better".


One great improvement this year at MF, was that the Red Roof Inn was totally rebuilt, right outside the festival grounds and "The Blues Performers" all were in adjoining rooms!  In past years they had to commute from up the mountain in Boone.   The Blues Guys this year were my old pals, Andy Cohen, Lightnin" Wells and Todd Albright and we had a large time hanging outside our rooms "Pickin'  & Grinnin'........ extra special was that newer pals, Jack Moore, from Providence  & John D'Agostino from Chicago were there with us as well.


This month, Tommy Emmanuel & Jorma Kaukonen's cut of my Full Go Round tune was released on Tommy's Accomplice Two album, and it was great to catch his set withy old friend, Jerry Douglas, who produced my Bookeroo! album back in 1988.  As I approach my 80th Birthday, I can't believe what a lucky guy I am...... and the journey continues on.


Nancy and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary this year as well...We're going to Iceland in December... "Yes Dear" says I.........  I really look forward to getting home to my Darling Wife & Best Friend in less then 2 weeks.....


On a sadder note, I just left Chesterton IN where we celebrated Tony Klassen's Life..... He was the greatest builder of vintage guitars.... New Era Guitars he called his company.... It was just Tony and the love of his life, Kelly.  I like to say, that Tony made me famous... it's a long story but he built me an exact replica of a guitar That Gibson built for Montgomery Wards in 1930, called The Recording King. It was a slight variation of Gibson's most expensive flat top guitar, The Nick Lucas Special.  I had been performing & recording with Vintage NL Gibson's from the 1930's for many years.


Nick Nick Lucas was an entertainer on Broadway, a crooner who played beautiful plectrum guitar....remembered for his hit songs, including Tip Toe Thru The Tulips! Made famous in later years by Tiny Tim!  Tiny made arrangements to have Nick on The Johnny Carson Show in 1969,,,, very well worth a google search!  Gibson guitars only guitar with a photo of the Artist visible on the label from the sound hole, was The Nick Lucas Special..... When Tony made The Roy Book Binder Special, He called The Recording photo is....on the label!!  Tony custom made over a dozen of The Roy BB Special and their owners are scattered throughout the USA.  Google New Era Guitars... 


Kelly and her family and friends did a great job of hosting The Memorial and The celebration was wonderful.  The shop was open and family & Friends got to see where these amazing instruments were created.  There was a stage with sound equipment and a stage manager. Nice surprise to see my old  friend, Chris Vallillo, and of course Andy Cohen who played a few breathtaking numbers!  Catfish Keith, Marty & Me played our New Era guitars, letting folks see how Tony's creations will keep spreading his legacy throughout the world. And of course, thanks to all the pickers that took the stage this most magical of days....



"Another Man Done A Full Go Round...... "Should Have Been Fuller".... 


The Book