Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: Weekend in Nashville with Joe Glaser, Andy Timmons and Robbie Calvo

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend in Nashville with Joe Glaser, Andy Timmons and Robbie Calvo

I love going to Nashville. My wife and I always have the best time there meeting and hanging with interesting, inspiring people and catching the live performances of some of our favorite artists. Nashville is a very musically diverse city dripping with raw talent that can be experienced even in such places as the hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant where we stopped to have beers with friends our first night. The guitarist in that band was laying down some serious fusion licks with flawless, effortless technique... in a Mexican restaurant! Oh yes, Nashville is definitely my kind of town.

First up on the list of things to do for the weekend was to visit Joe Glaser at his shop, Glaser Instruments, to drop off a guitar for a refret. Joe has been building, setting up and repairing instruments for the who's who of Nashville for over 30 years. He and his team of experts do everything from salvaging disasters (i.e. acoustics smashed by jealous girlfriends) to basic tweaks and everything in between. The guitar I dropped off is one I recently bought at my local Memphis Guitar Center... an awesome '88 Japanese lefty Fender Strat. In addition to the refret, I am having the guys flatten the neck radius from 7.25" to a compound 10" - 12". Can't wait to get it back, and I know it will be perfect when I do. While there, we were given a tour of the shop by the man himself and I was able to ask him a lot of interesting questions along the way. Joe is such a great guy and wickedly smart. Hanging with Joe Glaser for an afternoon ranks awfully high on my list of coolest life experiences... don't forget to look for a complete write up and my interview with Joe soon!

After leaving Joe's shop we rushed over to meet up with my friend Robbie Calvo (a Nashville session player and recording artist) and model/actress Annie Anderson at World Music Nashville to catch a clinic performance by renown guitar player, Andy Timmons. I've been a huge fan of Andy's for years now and have his albums in regular rotation on my iPod. His playing, compositions and note choices are fantastic and his tone is easily the best of all the instrumental guitarists I listen to. Unfortunately, we missed the first 20 minutes of the show, but I was thrilled with the songs he played after we got there... Deliver Us, Gone (09/11/2001) and Helipad from the "Resolution" album and Falling Down, Cry for You and Electric Gypsy (my all time fav!) from the "That was Then, This is Now" album, among others. Being the witty and funny guy that he is, he had everyone laughing and having a great time with his jokes and humorous stories in between songs. What a character! Andy Timmons fans will be delighted to know that he plans on releasing two new albums soon, one an instrumental guitar remake of the Beetles "St. Pepper" album and the other a new offering of original tunes coming out shortly after that. Can't wait to get them both! If you haven't bought one of Andy's albums yet, head on over to his online store and grab one... this guy can really play.

After a fun night of dinner and drinks with Robbie and Annie, I awoke the next day to be treated to an amazing guitar lesson by Robbie at his beautiful home studio. This is ultimately what I had come for and I was really looking forward to it... I was not disappointed. Robbie is one of those kind souls that is clearly meant to teach others. Through his patience and uncanny ability to assess exactly what I didn't know and explain it all so clearly I was able to grasp material, in a matter of a couple of hours, that had been alluding me for years. I was inspired so much that the very next day I spent over 7 hours in my own home studio practicing the material Robbie was helping me with, and to great effect. I cannot recommend Robbie enough if you are a guitarist looking to improve your technique, knowledge of music, compositional skills, improvisation, etc. Look this guy up if you are a local (or if you plan to pass through Nashville) and book a lesson. And, of course, you can always order his Sweet Notes instructional DVD if coming to Nashville is not an option. You will not regret it.

My wife and I look forward to many more fun weekends in Nashville in the near future. There is always good music, great friends and incredibly interesting people to enjoy and experience. Nashville rocks!

1 comment:

  1. I COMPLETELY missed this one. I've been at school in Nashville since mid-August, so I guess I've been distracted with the whole college life thing. Hit me up if you're in the area again. I'm sure we'll probably be at some of the same shows soon.