A conversation, Closing Time Melodies, with the band, Buddy Damen and the Last Call, here in Chicago, 9/21/18.
My annual trip to Nashville includes a stop at Gruhn Guitars. George Gruhn founded Gruhn guitars way back in 1970. This place is more than just a guitar shop. It is full of classic instruments that each have a fascinating history.
Musicians from all genres of music buy, sell and have their prized possessions repaired at Gruhn Guitars. Artists such as Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Cash, George Harrison and Vince Gill come to Gruhn. Collections from Earl Scruggs, Eric Clapton and Vince Gill have been sold here. We were able to inspect the remaining guitars from the Vince GIll collection.
My family and I were lucky to take a tour of his private collection and talk with George about his life and his love of guitars and animals. George is originally from the Chicago area. He told us about his snakes and exotic cats that are his passion aside from guitars.
His private collection was amazing and priceless. The wall in his collections were lined with rare and unusual string instruments. There were several prototype guitars that never made it into production and many production instruments with six figure valuations.
George picked out a couple of guitars for me to play. I didn’t buy a guitar on this day but I do have my eye on that pre-war Martin acoustic guitar that was selling for $30,000.
Another great day in Nashville. Many thanks to George Gruhn and his staff at Gruhn Guitars. Pay Gruhn Guitars a visit at http://guitars.com
~ Mark “Duke” Nikolich
Every year I make a trip to Nashville. To me it’s more than just a vacation, it is how I refresh my soul, my love for music and re-connect with my family.
Like other years we made our visit to the Grand Ole Opry. If you haven’t had the opportunity I can guarantee you that if you spend an evening at the Opry, you will feel the spirit. Performances by many generations of musicians, a few good laughs and heart warming stories are shared.
Tonight we had the honor of watching a band called Wild Blue Country. The band is made up of members of the Air Force. In the audience was a group of vets from the Vietnam era holding their annual reunion.
Connie Smith, Bill Anderson and Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers hosted this nights Opry. Mike Snider provided some comic relief and some down home pickin’. Wade Hayes sang a song about his dog Jack that had everyone in the house tearing up.
Whispering Bill Anderson sang an old country song called Deck of Cards. A truly inspirational song about a soldier who was without his bible. You won’t hear songs like this on today’s country radio.
Shelly Fairchild, Adam Craig and William Michael Morgan provided a taste of modern country music. All talented and entertaining. The future of country music is in good hands.
The mix of old and new music in a historic venue brings the generations together for the common love of music. I can’t wait to get back to playing with Buddy Damen and the Last Call. My soul has been re-charged!
~Mark “Duke” Nikolich
Howdy folks! Welcome to the Buddy Damen & The Last Call blog. We got lots to chew on! This is a great place to chat with us about your love of music.
We look forward to chattin’ with y’all.
Come pay us a visit at https://www.buddydamen.com/blog
~ Duke Kostner