In The Shop – Matt Codina

Matt Codina stopped by the shop one last time before he heads off to Chicago as part of the cast of the musical Heartbreak Hotel.

We ran through a few songs including this Chet Atkins version of Mountain melody. Matts using his pine tele with my CAR pickups and a Texotica Presidio with a 15” speaker.

Good luck in Chicago Matt!

Weekend Inspiration

Posted this a while back, but I sure like the playing on this. Jaun’s using a CCII pole piece pickup, Thomastik JS112s and a Vintage 47 Tonemaster amp with a 12” speaker.

Nick Rossi

TK Smith Newsletter

For years Jill and I have tried to create a consistent Newsletter but have never been able to keep up. Even though we’ve wanted to share whats going on in the shop, talk about new guitars, pickups, who’s visiting and processes that we’re working on, sitting down in front of the computer to get it out monthly just seemed impossible. But the idea has always been there.

We needed someone else to take over the task so when thinking about who knows me, who knows the kind of music and sound I’m into and who can actually write, Nick Rossi was the first person who came to mind.

We first met Nick when he came out to write the story about the shop in Fretboard Journal #32. We couldn’t believe how well he communicated what I wanted to say.  And at the same time, we gained a new friend. So starting this month, Nick is taking over the reigns of the “In The Shop” newsletter. I wanted to take a minute and introduce Nick and let you know who’s actually taking the time to let everyone know what we’re up to on a monthly basis.

Nick’s a guitarist, bandleader, writer and historian. He has devoted much of his life to the study and practice of traditional jazz and American music. Born in San Diego, he now lives in his adopted town of San Francisco. Nicks also a performer both here in the USA and abroad. Besides writing for publications like the Fretboard Journal, he’s also done essays in release by Ace and RPM records among others. Like us, Nick is into art, architecture and design of the 20th century. So we have a lot in common.

Now that there’s a new face and name behind “In The Shop”, you’ll be hearing from us on a more consistent basis. Please reach out if you have any questions or comments that you would like to see in upcoming months.

And if you are not currently on our mailing list, you can sign up at the top of the sidebar on the right for my “In The Shop” newsletter.

Welcome Nick! We’re glad you’re here.

Next two out the door

Smith Special by TK Smith

Here’s a progress picture of the next two Specials. A sunburst ready for clear, that’s getting engraved hardware, and a black lacquered Special that’s waiting for gold hardware will be heading to France.


I’m about a month into making the transition from a flatpick to a thumbpick for Travis picking. Breaking thirty years of hybrid picking habits has been a challenge to say the least. I join the 55+ club in 7 months and hope to be a thumb picker when I get there. Haha I’m using a Fred Kelly Slick Pick with the tip sanded a little thinner, Thomastik JS-112s, CAR neck pickup and a Magnatone 213 with the vibrato on slightly.

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