Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen
So last year early in the FPR season one of our students came down from Toronto and he had this J-35 looking thing built by a guy out in Iowa named David Flammang. I picked this guitar up and started to play and in a bizarre way it was like being twenty years old again. It had the same feel my ’58 J-50 had when I got it in 1960. The way it played, the way it responded to my right hand and the way it felt perfect with .013’s. Tom Feldmann was on board for that class and he knew David… of course. He had used one of David’s L-00’s for a Robert Johnson instructional. He put me in touch with David and I ordered one immediately. He made two which he brought to a Tuna gig in St. Paul and I chose the one with the torrified top.
Now, I’ve already been asked, ‘Is it better than your M-30,’ and the liked. These are ridiculous questions. It’s apples and oranges. Martins sound like Martins, Gibsons and Gibson-like guitars have characteristics all their own. For that bass string sound so evident on the first Hot Tuna LP and Quah, you need a J-50 or something like it. That’s the deal. The M-30 is a long scale guitar and as such there is a certain sonorous quality short scales don’t have. But they have something else. Now, on the final FPR workshop of last year I had my old J-50 in the room, and it is still a really great guitar. She’s an old girl though and I would never take her on the road.
Is the Flammang better?
The Flammang is different… and in an interesting way hearkens back to another time. My Martins are magnificent and I’m not getting rid of any of them. I’m a lucky guy. I’ve got it all.
And speaking of having it all, the LSU/Clemson game last night was more that awesome. Joe Burrow, the QB that Ohio State overlooked, went to the high school where my daughter goes. Athens High School. Go Bulldogs!
Joe is awesome. All of us Southeast Ohio folk are so proud of him.
Life is darned OK!