2018 Historic Collection 1959 Les Paul Standard

I love a Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul guitar. The heavy guitar feels right in my hands. The strings vibration is nothing like any other guitar I’ve played. For the past decade, or so, I’ve collected four Les Pauls, and I reviewed two of them for you here: My valued ’57 Les Paul VOS and my beloved 56′ Goldtop.

In the image below, you can see all four of my Les Pauls, and the newest one, on the front left, is my 2018 Historic Collection 1959 Les Paul Standard “Dark Bourbon Fade” just purchased from Wildwood Guitars in Louisville, Colorado — and on the front right, is the first Les Paul Standard “Iced Tea Burst” I purchased back in 2008.

I find it wildly fascinating that the two guitars, built a decade apart from each other, so closely resemble each other, while also being alarmingly different in distinctive, yet charming, ways. 2008 was the first wacky year for “The New” Les Paul Standard that included “weight relief” holes carved out of the body, an asymmetrical neck and locking tuners. My new Les Paul is part of the Gibson Custom Shop Historic Collection, and it arrived yesterday, fresh from Wildwood.

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Best Bedroom Amp Review: Orange Rocker 15 and Henriksen Bud

It’s been awhile since I posted a “Boles Blues” review of guitars, guitar amps and other musical gear. Two things were conspiring against me over that time. One, I injured my left wrist. That’s my “fretting” hand, so playing was difficult. The second conspiracy came in two parts, a couple of years apart: Floods! The first flood that hit my apartment came from three flights above and ruined half of my guitar collection. The second flood, two years later, arrived from the same burst pipe in the same apartment on the third floor, and ruined every single guitar amp I owned. The water damage ruined my musical collection and — because I pay for my own gear — I knew it was going to take awhile to get musically re-established.


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On Branding, Own the Generic: Why I Became “David Boles” on the Internet

If you spend any time doing business on the internet — “Branding Yourself” — is an important part of the process even if it seems shameful and unseemly and selfish: Enjoy it! It’s what you’ve become by being here!

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David Boles Blogs Album of the Year: Neil Young’s Storytone

For most of 2014, since June, the album I played every day to help keep me awake and inspired as I worked — was Jack White’s Lazaretto — that album had great verve and energy that fit any writing mood.

However, that all changed a month ago when Neil Young‘s latest masterpiece — Storytone — appeared on my musical horizon.

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When Sunny Gets Blue and Sunshine Blows Through the Blues

“When Sunny Gets Blue” is one of the greatest Blues/Jazz songs ever written. You can sing it slow and creeping with an oozing loss, or you can snap it up and make the song fast and raspy.  The lyric is especially keen — you can take it as a comment on a personality, or a conundrum of living in the sunshine when the world is dark around you:

When Sunny gets blue, her eyes get gray and cloudy,
Then the rain begins to fall, pitter-patter, pitter-patter,
Love is gone, so what can matter,
Ain’t no new lover man come to call.

Many of us probably have a Sunny or two in our lives — some versions gloomier than others, but today, I want to share a 10-second memory of a ray of sun.  Her friends and co-workers call her “Sunshine” and the name fits her without a fog.

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R.I.P Pete Seeger: So Much More than a Musician

The passing of Pete Seeger at the remarkable age of 94 is one that will be felt deeply by many of my generation across the world.

I was born in the late 1950’s, a year after “If I had a Hammer” was first released, I learnt nursery rhymes and Christmas carols as a child.

My first “grown up” songs were “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” shortly followed by “We Shall Overcome” — the words of which I still know by heart.

These, of course, became part and parcel of any and all peace marches, Vietnam Protests and civil resistance.

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J’attendrai: Melodic Beauty and Grace in Performance

J’attendrai is one of those songs that, when you first hear it, you want to play it on the guitar and sing it in performance.  The melody is perfect.  I have yet to see a performance of the song that didn’t glide with a gracious humanity.

Translated from French as — “I Will Wait” — J’attendrai was first made popular in 1938 by Rina Ketty and was written by Dino Olivier and Nino Rastelli.  J’attendrai is the hallmark song for the start of World War II as people all over the world prepared for an uncertain and dramatic future:

I will wait night and day,
I will wait forever,
For you to come back, I will wait, [I will wait]
For the bird flying away
Comes to seek oblivion in its nest.
Time flies and runs,
Beating sadly in my oh so heavy heart
And yet I will wait for you to come back

The most resonant, historic, performance of J’attendrai belongs to magnificent Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and expert violinist Stéphane Grappelli.

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