Show with Brandyn Burnette at the Grove

  • July 17, 2014 23:38

I had a great time opening up for LP at the Grove in LA with Brandyn Burnette.
I’m definitely looking forward to the next couple of shows with him and his band!

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Curt Mangan Strings

  • July 10, 2014 11:57

I’ve recently started using Curt Mangan strings on all my guitars.
The stay in tune nicely, last a bit longer than most other strings I’ve tried, have a good feel to them and sound like good strings should, all for a fair price…

If you feel like giving them a shot, for an even better deal, use coupon code “NILS20” for a 20% discount on your order.
They apparently have a warehouse in Vienna as well, so when ordering from Europe the shipping is fast and you avoid customs/import issues.

Check them out at curtmangan.com.

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Birthday update…

  • July 3, 2014 20:44

Celebrated my birthday this year with pizza, Guinness and chocolate cake.
Spent most of the day rehearsing and learning a ton of songs for all these new gigs.
Busy month ahead, life is good.

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Album Release concert with Sharon Bautista

  • June 30, 2014 15:04

Another gig this month, it looks like I’ll be playing with singer/songwriter Sharon Bautista at the release party of her new album, entitled ‘Songs From a Hollywood Loft’. More details TBA.

In the meantime though, I’ll better start working on those songs…

Hotel Café residency with Brandyn Burnette

  • June 28, 2014 17:11

I will be doing some acoustic shows at the Hotel Café in Hollywood with LA based pop singer/songwriter Brandyn Burnette. It’s a great sounding venue with a nice vibe, and I’m very much looking forward to playing there.
Confirmed dates (so far) are July 15 and July 22nd…

More info about Brandyn and his music can be found at
brandynburnette.com

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Gig at the Mint with Talia Paul

  • June 22, 2014 17:27

On Saturday July 12th I’ll be playing the Mint again, with Talia Paul, a folk/pop singer and actress originally from NYC. Show starts at 7pm, other acts TBA.
You can check out Talia and her music at taliapaulmusic.com

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Stevie Ray Vaughan exhibit at the Grammy Museum

  • June 17, 2014 00:40

I took a day off today and went to check out the Grammy Museum in Downtown Los Angeles, where they had Jimmie Vaughan’s private collection of his brother’s gear and memorabilia on display.
I got the chance of a lifetime to see his No. 1 Stratocaster, Vibroverb #5 (I think), his Dumble SSS and many more guitars, amps and personal items up close.
To most people it would probably be a bunch of old rubbish, but it’s the closest I’ll ever come to experiencing the legend (besides watching Live at the El Mocambo for the billionth time).
I urge any SRV fans to pay the place a visit, as No. 1 is worth the price of admission alone.
(although not strictly enforced, photography officially isn’t allowed, so leave your camera at home…)

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Free outdoor show with Mia Koo

  • June 12, 2014 17:29

I’ll be accompanying LA/NYC based pop singer Mia Koo for a free outdoor show on August 3rd as part of the KROQ’s annual ROQ N’ Surf Concert Series in Tustin, CA together with bunch of other local acts.
Looking forward to meet the rest of the band and start rehearsing soon.

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New DIY tremolo build

  • May 18, 2014 00:43

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Being a fairly decent DIYer, and with none of the tremolo pedals currently on the market suiting my needs, I decided to take on the task of building one myself.
It’s a 1590a version of the modified EA tremolo, with boost functionality (LFO bypass).
The only modifications I made myself were to change the width of the depth knob as well as making the status LED blink in sync with the LFO rate.
The beautifully made PCB came from ‘pickdropper’ over at the Madbean Forum, and the rest of the parts were sourced from the usual places (Mouser, Smallbear).
It’s a fairly straight forward build, only tricky part is getting it all into the enclosure.
Sound wise it does exactly what I was looking for, a nice Fender amp style tremolo, and the boost functionality is pretty handy as well. A video demo of the complete board should follow soon.

Farewell to my beloved ’69 Bandmaster Reverb

  • May 3, 2014 19:19

I recently had to let go to of my beloved recently restored 1969 Fender Bandmaster head and 2×12 cabinet.
It was an early, more desirable, SilverFace ‘drip edge’ model, which had carefully been brought back to original spec by Roy Blankenship and it sounded really sweet through it’s matching 2×12 loaded with RI Jensen C12N’s.
I’m sad to see it go, but I wasn’t using it enough since it’s too similar to my other Fender amps, and I’m pretty sure it’ll go on to make some great guitar sounds for years to come.

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Some recent gear that passed through…

  • April 18, 2014 12:11

I am lucky enough to get to babysit some very unique instruments from time to time.
Here’s a snapshot of some recent stuf: From L-R

60’s Harmony Stratotone Jupiter and Harmony Silhouette
1974 Fender Stratocaster
Catalinbread Belle Epoch
1967 Fender Bassman
vintage Univox Hi-Flier
DeArmond Tremolo Model 60b
1953 Guild X-175

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Ron Armstrong’s roots rock project

  • March 16, 2014 18:07

I’ve recently started working with an old (yet young spirited) roots rocker named Ron Armstrong.
The music will be a soulful blend of Country & Blues, and I’m very excited to see where it goes from here.
Besides electric and acoustic guitars I will also be playing backup vocals, mandolin and blues harmonica.
More updates and hopefully some gigs will be announced soon…

In the meantime check out Ron’s band from back in the 70’s, Jamul, here:
 

TakeLessons.com

  • February 28, 2014 18:18

I was recently approached by the people at TakeLessons.com to create a profile on their site, and I’m happy to say I have already found some new students through here. The company is still young but the concept seems to work quite well.
Their strong point is that they provide safety towards the clients and stability towards the teachers.
Although I don’t work through them exclusively (I can always be approached directly or through my ad on Craigslist) it does help me connect to potential students that I would otherwise not reach.

Check them out at TakeLessons.com

Besides teaching I’m mainly busy working with a couple of different artists as well as the UMCTO, and obviously working on my equipment a lot…

NAMM 2014

  • January 28, 2014 00:25

Had a great time at NAMM this year, some of the many highlights included the new pedals from Catalinbread and Earthquaker Devices, new synths from Moog and Elektron, running into a couple of my heroes (as usual) as well as my friends from Thunderplugs, and witnessing some great music being made during the actual show and at the after parties.
Many thanks also to the good folks at Catalinbread for getting me a badge.
Looking forward to NAMM 2015!

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Holiday update

  • January 19, 2014 00:14

I spent the first couple weeks of 2014 traveling through Colombia. Very inspiring place, will visit again pretty soon.
For now it’s back to LA, just in time for NAMM…
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The Replicas at Harry’s in Pismo Beach

  • September 15, 2013 18:02

Had a great time playing again with the Replicas at Harry’s Beach Bar & Night Club. They’re great to work with and it’s always nice to get out of LA for a bit.

On a related note, I’ve also recently been hired as part of the band that will be accompanying the sunday morning services at the United Methodist Church of Thousand Oaks.
Besides all that I’m obviously always available for lessons as well, just shoot me an email!

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New 2×12 Speaker Cabinet from StageCraft

  • September 12, 2013 18:33

After a couple of recommendations and reading several positive online reviews I ordered a custom spec’d Dumble style 2×12 speaker cabinet from StageCraft out of St. Louis.
Anthony was a pleasure to deal with, especially considering the fact that I changed my mind a couple of times.

Once I received the cab I loaded it with a pair of Electro Voice Series II 12L’s with Jay Mitchell foam donuts in front, and wired it up with heavy 13AWG speaker cable.
It pairs up nicely with both my JCM800 and my Bassman, great workmanship for a fair price and of course it sounds huge!
Due to the EV’s it weighs a ton though…

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Short progress update

  • May 6, 2013 21:27

While I’ve been busy lately gigging and doing some teaching, I’ve also been hard at work getting all my equipment in top shape and I found the time to build some pedals, as well as obviously doing a ton of practicing. Basically just getting life in LA rolling again.

I will be posting some real updates, demo vids and lessons soon, but for in the meantime, here’s my latest acquisition:
A 60’s Lafayette 99-9141WX, single 8″ speaker, 6 watts, 1xEL84 and 2x12AX7 with Tremolo & Spring Reverb.
Sounds really sweet as it is, but I’ll do a more in depth review after I get it in top shape…

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In Memoriam: Ross Bolton 1958-2013

  • April 8, 2013 21:33

Ross Bolton (missing)

Legendary funk/jazz guitarist Ross Bolton passed away quite suddenly, after a brief battle with cancer, on March 30th.
Besides being a great player, he was also an amazing and inspiring teacher, and I feel very grateful that I had the honor of studying with him for 6 months during my time at the Musician’s Institute.
Ross has had a huge influence on my playing and interpretation of rhythm guitar, something which I benefit from each and every time I pick up my guitar, and many others with me.

To help with paying for the costs of his treatment a charity was set up, and although Ross has unfortunately passed on, a lot of money has been raised, which will hopefully provide at least some financial relief to the young family he left behind

More info about Ross can be found on:
http://www.rossbolton.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/rossboltonofficial

Furthermore, his instructional video from the 90’s, is available on youtube, and although I would definitely advice anyone interested in learning funk guitar to check it out, please consider making a donation if you find it useful:

Upcoming shows with coverband the Replica’s

  • March 20, 2013 17:47

I’ll be playing some shows with a coverband called the Replicas, they’re a great bunch of people, as well as extremely professional, and I’m very much looking forward to playing with them.
Dates are April 5/6 and September 13/14 at Harry’s Night Club & Beach Bar in Pismo Beach, CA.
We’ll be playing pretty much all night, 5 sets in total, starting at 8pm. More shows TBA.

More info about The Replicas can be found at: thereplicasmusic.com