NAMM Visitors 2018

We didn’t go in to Anaheim for the NAMM show this year but we did have a number of friends visit the shop throughout the weekend.

It started out on Thursday with nineteen year old guitarist Bella Speelman. I’ve admired her playing for a while now so it was nice to meet her in person. And she’s into old cars too so we had a great afternoon in the shop. Jill and I can’t wait for her to come back.

TK Smith

Then on Saturday fellow builders Creston Lea of Creston Electric Instruments,  Adam Buchwald from Circle Strings and Mark Stutman, owner of Folkway Music in Canada, all made the trek out to the desert for the day. We hung out in the shop, had lunch at Pappy and Harriett’s and then went hiking in Joshua Tree National Park. What a great day!

TK Smith

To end the weekend, player Rodney Gene Jr. from Austin drove out to pick for a few hours at my house. I’ve known Rodney on line for a number of years. He’s done a few pickup demos and has written pickup descriptions for my Store so again, it was really great to finally meet him in person.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to drive out to the desert. Hope to see you all again soon!


Hi-Desert House Concert With Sean Mencher

TK Smith, Sean Mencher

We’re excited to host, along with Jim Austin, guitarist and friend Sean Mencher for a special house concert Tues. Feb. 27. Sean is traveling from Maine to California and playing house concerts across the country. This one will be held at Ranchjack Flats, Jim’s ranch in Pioneertown. If you would like to attend, please RSVP at to get on the list and for directions. Donations for the artist requested. Hope to see you there!

Three Recent TK Smith Pickup Demos

Rodney Gene Jr. posted this inspiring clip last week. He mounted a pair of my Summertone pickups on an Eastwood baritone. I love the results. Check out Rodney’s website here, lot’s of great gear videos and tutorials. He also gives lessons.

And here’s a couple from Travis picker extraordinaire Matt Codina. Matt get’s a great sound from his Tele with C.A.R. pickups. He makes it look so effortless.

In The Shop With: McKinley James

McKinley James flew out from Nashville a couple week ahead of his dad playing at Pappy and Harriet’s with JD McPherson on Oct. 12th. Besides doing his school work and helping out in the shop, we worked out a couple of twin guitar songs including this version of That’s a Plenty. We got most of it from Lenny Breau’s recording that he did when he was 15.

Jaun Hernandez “Estrelita”

I just got this great clip from Juan. He’s playing a beautiful version of “Estrelita” on his recently installed CCII pole piece pickup using Thomastik JS112s and plugged into a Vintage 47 Tonemaster amp with a 12” speaker. It sure works for me. I need to go practice now.

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