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December 2020 Triple E Suite

This month’s track is John Dodge’s Triple-E Suite, performed by him at a demo concert for my guitars at the Northwest Handmade Musical Instrument Exhibit, which I attend yearly, mostly to recharge my batteries staying with friends Jeff Elliott and Cyndy Burton, two of the event’s organizers. A little over a decade ago they arranged for their friend Peter Zisa to play for me. (Peter was later to charm the audience at the inaugural of my series of shop concerts). When Peter showed up the day of the demo, noticing I also made steel strings, he said that, since he didn’t normally play steel, perhaps his friend John could help us out. Summoning him on his cell phone since he was in another part of the hall, Peter called out, and got as far as “John, would you be willing to…”, before John interjected “Sure!”. They took the guitars away for half an hour before proceeding to play the mini- concert, individually and as a duo, as if they’d been familiar with my instruments for years. I recorded John the following year on an early version of my “recording studio on a stick” , two high quality condenser microphones, phantom powered with a battery pack, feeding a small Olympus portable recorder. I put the whole thing on a 1 ft. mic stand, and plunk it down on the stage floor about 6 ft. from the player(s). That day I managed to plop it down felicitously, so you’re listening to pretty much what I and the rest of the audience heard. While I surely appreciate a finely honed studio recording, I’m most fulfilled when a dynamic player just picks up one of my axes and intuitively mines its gifts at the service of his or her music. John is also a fine singer/songwriter. Explore his work here: He’ll be playing a shop concert when it’s again safe to gather.


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