So, yes it’s been a while - how have you all been? Many changes have occurred since we last spoke (via this blog, anyway), I want to get you caught up, share updates, and share a little about some of the music that has kept us going in this long dry spell between posts. Happy to be back.
I took a brief Hiatus from G-E beginning June 2018, with Jaya holding down the fort in the interim period. It was prompted by getting a new day job, and sorting through how this exciting change would impact my family life. During this time, my wife and I took trip out to North Carolina, and met Jack Briggs face to face for the first time. Jack is as fine of a Gentleman and an Artist one would want to meet. I’ll speak more about him later, but this meeting played a big role in bringing the hiatus to a close, and re-joined the fold Jan. 1.
Ordered a bunch of gear from the esteemed artists we represent, as well as reselling some creations they had in stock, off to a great start, right? In Feb., my wife was diagnosed with a health issue that would be significantly helped by a move to a warmer climate with a stable barometric pressure, which started us on an adventure to relocate from Seattle. Although we’ve firmly landed in Thousand Oaks, CA some 6 months later, I feel like the adventure is just beginning. The trip down was an adventure in itself, where I got to connect with good friends on the way down (Thanks, Jim & Susie & Shane!) , and got into some serious guitar geekage, as well as bunch of time on the road with Luna our Pug as my sole companion. A little time for contemplation really helped ease the exit and support and validate the move away from my adopted home and where my wife has spent the majority of her life.
So…the rumor is true, Guitars Electric Seattle, our West Coast location, is changing to a flavor more SoCal oriented, and I’m excited to see how this develops. It’s nice down here. Music is everywhere. Here’s to making a go in a new Latitude.
BRIGGS GUITARS, YEP!
Here’s some more long time coming info. We are a Briggs Guitars dealer! I don’t think I ever made a formal announcement along those lines here, so here you go.
I have always been a huge fan of Jack’s work. I remember when I was giving my OCD permission to go nuts digging into the Small Builder world back in 2011-12, and I was perusing Cliff’s Destroy All Guitars site comparing, contrasting, trying on guitars in my mind. Jack had built this Semi-hollow Apollo, which I thought was as perfect of a guitar as I had seen. His work looked immaculate, with excellent design sense and what looked to be flawless finish work. I had to get my hands on one of his guitars.
I was lucky enough to meet a Reserve Stock Program Classic with Korina body and neck, with Wolfetone legends in August of 2016. It was something to behold. The neck had Jack’s Colossal carve, over 1” at the first fret. The sound was explosive, just very dynamic and touch sensitive. Reminded me of playing a Trainwreck style amp for the first time, very dynamic with a ton of clean sustain. “Piano Like” is an adjective that always seems to be associated with Jack’s guitars, and they all have it to some degree or another. This had it more than any Gibson Les Paul that I have played.
Back in July 2017, Jack was looking for dealer support, and as fans we were super excited to hear he was considering working with us. We agreed immediately that it would be a great fit, and have been super happy representing his amazing work since.
The stand out guitars? Well, they are all stand out guitars. I have my personal favorites, but they all have their own strong personality, while all also sharing unique qualities which I’ve come to identify as Jack’s sonic signature. My guess about the personality of each instrument comes from the selection of woods and Jack’s choice of pickups to match to each build, whether hand wound personally by Jack, or through his partnerships with the good folk at Wolfetone, Throbak, Dom Ramos, & Lollar to name a few.
And the sonic signature and the playing feel they share? Jacks guitars that I have played have exceptionally comfortable necks, from the Colossal on down to the Medium Carve. My favorite has been his 56 V Carve, which I’ve had on 4 of his instruments for resale. All share a very smooth playing experience, effortless bends, while also retaining ideal string tension for bell or piano like tones. They all seem to have a soft attack, which encourages one to get expressive on the leading part of each note, with very long sustain and bloom depending upon the gain structure of your amp setting. In an attempt to clarify that experience, I would liken it to the sag you experience on a good Marshall head, it’s a really satisfying ‘thunk’ which you can alter with your playing and muting style which then blooms into this sustain that is just lovely. It’s a playing experience worth searching out, whether via our offerings, via the used market, or from Jack directly.
Finally, Jack is one of the rare luthiers that can hit the ball out of the park with bolt-on Fender scale instruments as well as his more well known Gibson and PRS scale creations. The Venturas I’ve played are exceptional musical instruments, and are an incredible accomplishment. Out of the gate, his bolt-on’s hang with the best I’ve played. Ask anyone who has got their hands on these unique creatures.
To answer my original question posed in the title of this post, Jack’s choice of woods, his composition skills, the handwound or extensively auditioned matched pickup sets, hand carved necks and bodies, finish work that is off the charts, flawless build quality using tried and true construction, love and soul. I think this is what makes a guitar stick around for the long haul. What goes in to each of Jack’s builds is apparent when you first take the guitar out of the case. And they get better with age. Jack executes on his formula, and creates guitars to provide a lifetime of musical inspiration.
Please hit us up with more questions, or your orders for these handmade masterworks!
Ok, what other music has been floating our boat between these long stretches between posts? Here’s a few.
Andy Shauf writes amazing songs in the Orchestral Pop / Indie vein, and man this record has been hard to pull off over the past year when I picked it up. Here are a couple tunes from “The Party” on Anti. Well worth checking out if you find the charm in his vocal delivery.
“Alexander All Alone”
“Early to the Party”
Additionally, the new 75 Dollar Bill slab “I Was Real” slays.
Finally, we have some Amazing Taos, Bensons and Probetts on their way in a variety of states close to finish. So, please stay on the lookout.
Thank you for spending some time with us. XO from Thousand Oaks, CA & Chatham, NJ, August, 2019 . G-E Dudes