The Prismatic Artistry of Dave Hunter
True story. I was having dinner recently with a good friend and running down the list of guests on the Croude during IGM (International Guitar Month). My pal, an acoustic guitar player asked what Dave Hunter’s specialty was? I paused a second, then said everything! It sounds like hyperbole but when i spoke to the author/musician/editor by phone recently, I joke about how one man could amass so much guitar knowledge and still be under 200 years of age?
I first became acquainted with his columns and reviews in Guitar Player magazine. Most reviewers do have specialty areas... then I realized a pattern. I saw his name not only on amp /guitar/pedal reviews but articles on trem setups, woods, scale differential length re: Gibsons/Fenders and more... you name it, Dave wrote about it. That led me to his books on Amazon... each one is a veritable college-worthy course on Guitardom. I’ve spent tons of late night hours in bed pouring over his Tube Amp Handbook. While the books are works of art and another reason I’ll never get a Kindle--his depth of knowledge is like a bottomless pool. I’m still trying to digest all of it... tube nut that I am.
The reason for this blog’s title... I’ve never known a guitar player/journalist/tech who touches upon so many facets in the genre and is able to articulate in such an amicable manner. If that’s not enough, Dave has built 3 amps for himself--he shows you how in the above mentioned volume. Serendipitously, I bought that volume studying the nature of tone about the same time my collectible Sovtek 50MigH tube amp arrived. Its the first amp i've ever owned without reverb and I don't miss that extra a bit. During the interview we talk about the nature of tube tone, large vs. small rigs, Dave’s own guitars and a whole lot more. He’s an excellent player himself--you’ll hear that with his group The Molenes. In fact, I wanted the music this week to mirror a portion of Dave’s diversity so you’ll hear everything from new Anders Osborne to John Pisano--the noted jazz guitarist who was Herb Alpert’s right hand man/arranger when Herb put together a workable line up of the TJB. The Croude’s sonic rainbow this week also sparkles with Tele mistress Wanda Vick, Leslie West describing how he lost a radio contest to a tap dancer--you read that correctly--plus previously unreleased Big Brother & the Holding Company and more.
I do thank Mike Molenda for putting us in touch... earlier this month I was honored to have him on the show, too. As Editor in Chief of Guitar Player magazine--the periodical is at all time high. Check out the current issue on Jimi. Hard to believe he would have been 70.
In closing this week, let me also add that Dave is one of the most humble guys I’ve ever met. As he sparkles our airwaves with gems of guitar wisdom, even non players will find him intriguing. He also has a rapier wit as guardian of the The Great Secret... and WHY red and purple Tolex sound best. I could talk about it... but that would be telling. :)
The Electric Croude airs late Saturdays at midnight EDT on WCVE Public Radio. Our signal also simul streams at ideastations.org/radio. At 27 years young, the EC is central VA’s longest running ecelectic program. And, of course, 6 stringers always welcome.