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  #1  
Old 07-18-2022, 05:26 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Default Gershwin on the Monteleone Rocket Convertible

Hi all,
Recently I had the distinct pleasure of playing John Monteleone's Rocket Convertible, the 18" archtop he made for Scott Chinery's Blue Guitar Collection way back. Many thanks to Paul Asbell for suggesting me to Ty Danco of the #blueguitars & #archtopfoundation!

Big thanks to Michael Watts for shooting the video! It was a great pleasure to finally meet you after all these years!



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Howard Emerson
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Last edited by Howard Emerson; 03-20-2023 at 05:32 AM. Reason: Dead link fixed
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Old 07-18-2022, 06:12 AM
Richard Mott Richard Mott is offline
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Howard, so great to hear this recording and congrats on getting to play such an iconic build. Huge sound and what a growl that guitar makes, like a hotrodded car back in the day. Probably my favorite out of the whole Chinery collection, save for the Blue Centura itself. óR.
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Old 07-18-2022, 12:28 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Hi Howard,

Well!!! That is good sounding guitar! Very, very nice! Of course, I know this piece well, Howard!

- Glenn
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Old 07-18-2022, 07:39 PM
Keith Lee Keith Lee is offline
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interesting...cool tune, definitely showed resonance and tone of guitar

Maybe more of a hybrid sound than pure traditional archtop tone ?

Maybe more of a modern tone, or you let notes resonate longer ?

Then again, once you mess with them awhile, archtops can do all sorts of things not traditionally associated with them...but still not sure my 46 Deluxe will do that
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Old 07-20-2022, 04:25 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Lee View Post
interesting...cool tune, definitely showed resonance and tone of guitar

Maybe more of a hybrid sound than pure traditional archtop tone ?

Maybe more of a modern tone, or you let notes resonate longer ?

Then again, once you mess with them awhile, archtops can do all sorts of things not traditionally associated with them...but still not sure my 46 Deluxe will do that
Hi Keith,
I am not sure what 'hybrid' archtop vs 'traditional' archtop sound is, or 'modern' tone for that matter.

I certainly don't play or write in a style commonly associated with archtop guitars; I just write & arrange the way I do.

Would you believe that this was recorded with an archtop guitar that's 16 years older than yours?



Regards,
Howard Emerson
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Last edited by Howard Emerson; 07-20-2022 at 04:30 AM.
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Old 07-20-2022, 04:37 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Hi Howard,

Well!!! That is good sounding guitar! Very, very nice! Of course, I know this piece well, Howard!

- Glenn
Hi Glenn,
Thanks for giving a listen!

I only wish I'd figured out how to play it this well when I recorded it on the CD, but whatever......

H
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Old 07-20-2022, 04:40 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Originally Posted by Richard Mott View Post
Howard, so great to hear this recording and congrats on getting to play such an iconic build. Huge sound and what a growl that guitar makes, like a hotrodded car back in the day. Probably my favorite out of the whole Chinery collection, save for the Blue Centura itself. óR.
Hi Richard,
We were running a little short on time when this was done, but Ty had the Blue Centura in the car that day, and I really had wanted to give it a some playing time.

It may happen, though, sooner than later...

H
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Old 07-20-2022, 05:09 AM
Richard Mott Richard Mott is offline
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Howard, the Blue Centura would be magnificent to hear so please let us know if/when you get to play it. The only Centura I’ve played, one of the last D’Aquisto built, was wonderfully open and airy sounding. One of my favorite records is the “Four Seasons” John Monteleone commissioned from the great Anthony Wilson, where all four guitars are played together and separately by four master players—so ear-opening to hear their different voices. Maybe Ty could get someone of Anthony’s or Julian Lage’s stature to make a recording showcasing each of the Blue Guitars. That would be an irreplaceable record of their voices.
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Old 07-20-2022, 11:38 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Hi Glenn,
Thanks for giving a listen!

I only wish I'd figured out how to play it this well when I recorded it on the CD, but whatever......

H
Yeah, but that often happens with time and a good player. If you keep playing a piece, 10 years later it almost always sounds like a better piece.

I heard Tommy Emmanuel say that he was often embarrassed about a 10-year-old recording of his compared to how he was currently playing the same piece.

If it's any consolation, I think both versions sound good.

- Glenn
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Old 07-23-2022, 12:50 PM
Keith Lee Keith Lee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
Hi Keith,
I am not sure what 'hybrid' archtop vs 'traditional' archtop sound is, or 'modern' tone for that matter.

I certainly don't play or write in a style commonly associated with archtop guitars; I just write & arrange the way I do.

Would you believe that this was recorded with an archtop guitar that's 16 years older than yours?



Regards,
Howard Emerson

Well Howard, I stand corrected

Listened to another youtube clip of the guitar and it does sound like a traditional archtop when played the traditional way - seemed like your tune relied more on sustain, which I associate with flat tops more than archtops

Definitely identify with "I just write and arrange the way I do"

I mainly use mine to play highly percussive original delta inspired bluesy gospel in Pentescostal churches, sometimes with slide, usually UNAMPLIFIED

Figured if it worked unamplified for big band jazz it would work for me and wife playing originals without guitar amplification in smaller churches

Know about slide on old archtops, and have heard you on that L-5 before > you two are a dangerous combo
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Old 07-23-2022, 05:22 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith Lee View Post
Well Howard, I stand corrected

Listened to another youtube clip of the guitar and it does sound like a traditional archtop when played the traditional way - seemed like your tune relied more on sustain, which I associate with flat tops more than archtops

Definitely identify with "I just write and arrange the way I do"

I mainly use mine to play highly percussive original delta inspired bluesy gospel in Pentescostal churches, sometimes with slide, usually UNAMPLIFIED

Figured if it worked unamplified for big band jazz it would work for me and wife playing originals without guitar amplification in smaller churches

Know about slide on old archtops, and have heard you on that L-5 before > you two are a dangerous combo
Hi Keith,
Thank you for the thoughtful answer!

Although flat tops & archtops were built for different jobs, they're still guitars that all have individual voices.

The biggest problem is so many players being stuck in boxes, thinking that you need a particular guitar to get a particular sound or play a particular style.

Nonsense.

The guitar, first and foremost, will tell any player who is willing to listen, what IT is capable of doing when in the hands of someone capable of using the guitars potential.

I could not, of course, get any more sustain from just any archtop, because that's generally not what they're known for. Luckily mine is, and many of John's are as well, so it figures into what I'm able to play on it.

I'll bet yours is perfect for the style you describe!

Here's my old L-5 being fingerpicked in open D on 'Dust Mop' from Crossing Crystal Lake:

https://soundcloud.com/user-62676645...social_sharing

HE
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Old 07-23-2022, 06:54 PM
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StringMeUp StringMeUp is offline
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That was beautifully done, Howard. I really enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 07-23-2022, 09:50 PM
Mr. Bill Mr. Bill is offline
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Lovely playing and tone Howard!
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Old 07-24-2022, 06:02 PM
Keith Lee Keith Lee is offline
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"Dust Mop" shows the inherent difficulty in coming up with names for instrumentals...and you definitely do "compose" - that was cool song

So now we know archtops work for classic jazz and and snazzy fingerpicked compositions

And Mississippi Fred McDowell played a Hofner Congress (Acoustic archtop) before getting his iconic Gibson Trini Lopez electric

What's next, folkie strumming ?
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Old 07-26-2022, 03:40 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Lee View Post
"Dust Mop" shows the inherent difficulty in coming up with names for instrumentals...and you definitely do "compose" - that was cool song

So now we know archtops work for classic jazz and and snazzy fingerpicked compositions

And Mississippi Fred McDowell played a Hofner Congress (Acoustic archtop) before getting his iconic Gibson Trini Lopez electric

What's next, folkie strumming ?
Keith,
Mother Maybelle Carter played a 1928 Gibson L-5 for most of her life, and Chet Atkins recorded this seminal track in 1949 on a Gibson L-10 with a Kaufman Vibrola (along with Homer Haynes & Jethro Burns & Anita Carter on bass)



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