Fab's Music Café Interview with Kirk Fletcher

Fab's Music Café Interview with Kirk Fletcher

Kirk Fletcher has a reputation as a bonafide can’t-miss performer. His soulful playing and singing never fails to elicit chills, and his unique approach to Rhythm & Blues music is both refreshingly modern and completely authentic. Widely considered one of the best blues guitarists in the world, he has commanded the respect and acclaim of critics, peers and fans across the globe. He is a four-time Blues Music Award and a 2015 British Blues Award nominee and has played with a variety of popular artists, including Joe Bonamassa and a three-year role as lead guitarist of The Fabulous Thunderbirds. He released three studio albums and a live album. EARLY YEARS Kirk first picked up a guitar at age eight, playing alongside his older brother Walter in their father’s church. One day with his older brother, Kirk visited a small L.A. guitar shop, Music Works, which ultimately became his second home after meeting Jeff Rivera, Robben Ford’s guitar tech. “We started hanging out and I would help load gear, change strings and just be a fly on the wall to some of the most amazing music I’ve ever heard,” Kirk remembers. KIRK’S BLUES It was in the next few years that Kirk’s full introduction to traditional blues occurred. He started seeking out other musicians who shared this same understanding – enter Al Blake, lead singer and harp player for the Hollywood Fats Band. After hosting dinner every Sunday, Al would offer Kirk early 20th Century blues records as dessert. He also helped establish connections to other famous West Coast blues artists like Junior Watson and Richard “Lynwood Slim” Duran. So followed Kirk’s first gigs as a blues guitarist and eventually the recording of his first album I’m Here & I’m Gone for the JSP label out of England. Al Blake would also introduce Kirk to Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Wilson brought Fletcher further into the blues family from California to Texas and then out touring the world. One highlight during this time was at Antone’s Night Club 25th Anniversary Week in Austin, Texas, which gave Kirk the opportunity to perform with his blues heroes Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton and Hubert Sumlin. Wilson also tapped Kirk to play on his Grammy-nominated Smokin’ Joint live album. Shortly thereafter a call to collaborate came from blues legend Charlie Musselwhite, confirming that Kirk was becoming one of the most in-demand blues guitarists on the scene. HIS TURN So began three years on the road with the Thunderbirds. Kirk contributed to the Thunderbirds’ Paint It On album and time spent with many famous blues artists along the way, including a brief stint with the late Doyle Bramhall Sr. and a few guest appearances playing for Cindi Lauper, Michelle Branch and a world tour with Italian mega-star Eros Ramazzotti. Kirk more recently has been part of two projects with close friend Joe Bonamassa, Muddy Wolf at Redrocks and the Grammy nominated Live at the Greek Theatre.
Duration: 16:54

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Update: Jan 21, 2021: Gibson just announced new Kirk Douglas SG signature model

News out of NASHVILLE, that Gibson has just announced the new Kirk Douglas SG signature model marking the second instrument collaboration between GIBSON and Captain Kirk Douglas, guitarist for the legendary, multiple GRAMMY-Award winning hip-hop group The Roots. Kirk’s newest Gibson signature guitar illustrates Kirk’s own modern take on the SG. Today.   Said Kirk Douglas, “What I love about the Gibson SG is I am able to get my Les Paul tones and I’m able to get the single coil pickup tones, this guitar is extremely versatile, and by utilizing the pull up feature on each volume knob you can get a lot of tones,”. “I find with the SG you are able to get a lot of different musical colors, all out of this one guitar.”   said Cesar Gueikian of Gibson. “Captain Kirk Douglas is a talented vocalist, guitarist, all-around musician, and Gibson Alliance member who has taken a classic design such as the Gibson SG, and modified it with modern concepts that fit his playing style,” “It’s been an incredible journey for us and this guitar is a perfect example of how we put the Gibson Innovation Lab to work in service of our artists and the outcome in this case is pretty epic; we are all in love with this new signature SG.” As the guitarist for The Roots, the beloved house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC, Captain Kirk Douglas has developed a well-earned reputation as a stellar player. His guitar collection includes several Gibson models, but arguably the best is his three-pickup Gibson™ SG™ Custom, which is now commemorated in the new Kirk Douglas signature SG. The guitar features non-locking Keystone tuners, a mahogany neck and body, rosewood fretboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and large block acrylic inlays, a Graph Tech® nut, ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic™ bridge and Kirk Douglas signature "Captain" Lyre Tail Vibrola tailpiece, black Top Hat knobs with metal inserts, and three BurstBucker™ humbucking pickups. Like the Captain himself, the pickups and controls on his SG are incredibly versatile. On a basic level, they operate somewhat similarly to a two-pickup SG, but with significant added capabilities. The three-way toggle switch selects the bridge pickup, neck pickup, or both. Each of these pickups has its own volume control, and each is equipped with a push/pull pot that switches from humbucker to single coil when the switch is pulled out. A single master tone knob located in the usual lead tone control position, is provided, and where you’d normally expect to find the second tone control, an additional volume control (again, with a push/pull switch for coil tapping) is installed. This controls the middle pickup and can be used to blend its signal in with the other (one or two) pickups, regardless of how the three-way pickup selector switch is positioned. This means you can run the neck and/or bridge pickups alone or together, the neck and middle, bridge and middle, or all three pickups simultaneously, and at any relative volume amounts desired. Even better--once you have dialed up the exact balance you want, you can adjust the overall output level of the entire guitar with the pickguard-mounted master volume control. For more, click the info button now.....
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News out of NASHVILLE, TN that Epiphone has unveiled their new Prophecy Collection. Featuring a modern take on classic Gibson blueprints including the Les Paul, Flying V, SG and Extura, they're available worldwide now at Authorized Epiphone Dealers. Across the Prophecy Collection, each Les Paul, Flying V, SG, and Extura features standard specs including custom-voiced active Fishman Fluence® pickups that deliver three distinct tones--a warm vintage humbucker, a hot modern humbucker, and a shimmering optimized single-coil--all accessed by push/pull volume and tone pots. Additionally, attention-grabbing color finishes with specially designed inlays, 24 frets for reaching new octaves, fast-playing necks, and high-end appointments round out every guitar. explains Aljon Go, Product Manager of Epiphone. “The proprietary Fishman Fluence pickups deliver tones that modern guitarists love, all of which are extremely usable,” “The ability to change from modern punch or warm vintage Gibson humbucker tone to the glassy shimmer of a single coil at your fingertips, gives players the versatility to capture the widest array of sounds. Married to modern Inspired by Gibson body styles, it is a force to be reckoned with.” The newly reimagined Flying V™ Prophecy collection features the above standard specs, as well as Grover® locking Rotomatic® tuners, Epiphone's LockTone™ Tune-O-Matic™ bridge and tailpiece for added sustain, a Graph Tech® NuBone® nut that boosts harmonic content and increases tuning stability, custom binding, ebony fretboard, jumbo frets, and an asymmetrical SlimTaper™ neck for comfort and speed. Available in a AAA figured maple top in Yellow Tiger Aged Gloss or plain top in Black Aged Gloss. The newly reimagined Epiphone Les Paul™ Prophecy collection features the same standard specs, and is Available with a AAA figured maple top in Red Tiger Aged Gloss, and Olive Tiger Aged Gloss, or plain top in Black Aged Gloss. The Epiphone SG™ Prophecy brings high-performance features to the classic SG™ design. The mahogany body is topped with a 1/2" maple cap and beautiful AAA frame maple veneer, along with a thinner Aged Vintage Gloss finish. The SlimTaper™ asymmetrical mahogany neck features a 24-fret ebony fingerboard with jumbo frets, Block and Triangle pearloid/abalone inlays with abalone selected to complement the body color, brushed nickel Grover® Locking Rotomatic® tuners, and a black Graph Tech® NuBone® nut. The Epiphone Prophecy SG comes with brushed nickel hardware and is equipped with a pair of proprietary Fishman Fluence® pickups with three voicing options that are selected with the push/pull master volume and tone controls – high gain, modern active high-output humbucker™ with both controls pushed in, classic “Patent Applied For”-style humbucker when the tone control is pulled out, and shimmering, optimized single-coil tones when the volume control is pulled out. Epiphone Prophecy SG colors include a Red Tiger Aged Gloss, Blue Tiger Aged Gloss, and Black Aged Gloss; an optional hardshell case, EpiLite™ case, and premium gig bag are available.
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