Bob Lusk - Instruments and Equipment

Martin D35-S Guitar - This is my main performing instrument. I was inspired to get it by the sound of Annie Roland of the group "Barely Lace" who plays the 12 string version. I bought this one from Gryphon Music in California in 1999. It was made in 1990. The Martin "D35" style has a 3 piece rosewood back and bound ebony fretboard. The "S" designation refers to the body style, which is like the original Martin 12 string shape. It also has a 12 fret neck with slotted headstock. I had spent many years searching for just the right guitar and when they played this for me over the telephone I just had to take the chance. The fellow at Gryphon said I would like this if "I liked to be the loudest player at the jam session". Guess what? I do - and I am. Gene Autry, Johnny Cash, Paul Simon and Judy Collins all played "S" shaped guitars. The "S" shaped adds another inch of guitar body between the 12th and 14th frets, which seems to add a lot of high harmonics in comparison to the regular dreadnought shape. Marveltone Guitar - This mahogany guitar was made in 1920’s and is similar to a Martin 00-18 style. (Slightly narrower and longer.) I found it at a yard sale on Grand Street in Kingston, NY in the 1990's and bought it from Walter Brandt who was cleaning out his attic. The guitar originally belonged to Bob Van Kleek, from Phoenicia, who played it in the Army barracks back in the 30's. It was in pieces and it needed extensive rebuilding. A variety of luthiers have worked on it and I have spent much more money on it than the guitar can ever be worth. I love it though and doubt I will ever part with it. My latest work in progress is a Flamenco guitar with friction pegs. This is a rescue guitar that was badly abused by someone. It was made by the Japanese Maker K. Yairi. I have been using it in rehearsals and jams with a wide variety of different types of music and it should be ready for gig use sometime soon. Hindustani 24 string Martin Mohan Veena- Dan Einbender had this mahogany Martin D12-20 with a warped neck sitting around for many years. He sold it to me cheap and I experimented with it. I won't say that the experimentation is over, but I am using it as a Hindustani slide guitar (sometimes called a Mohan Veena). There are 5 courses of melody strings, 12 sympathetic "tarif"strings, 3 Chikari strings (like banjo 5th strings) and 4 helper strings. The gourd is mostly for decoration but seems to help the sound too. There is a piezo pickup and onboard volume and tone controls. Gakkia Yairi Classical Guitar- Not an Alvarez-Yairi, but hand made in Japan by another luthier Gakkia Yairi. Mahogany back and sides. It has several cracks in the face and is not a full size classical. Nevertheless, it has a suprising depth of tone and is a great "around the house" guitar. Regal Dobro slide guitar- I don't perform with this often, but will sometimes use it to back up other groups. It is always good to have a dobro around. Blonde Telecaster Guitar (Johnson imitation with upgraded parts)- My son Roberto has currently been using this in his heavy metal band, but I do plan on borrowing it back for some of my Johnny Cash tribute shows. 5 String banjo. Gibson RB-175. I added a tone ring to this and have been using it at most of my gigs. It is a very loud bano with a removable resonator . Gold Tone long neck Maple Mountain 5 string banjo (MM-150LN), - This was my regular giging banjo for a number of years, but is currently having a time out. I had added a removable (think velcro) resonator to it. Over the years I have tried playing old tymey and bluegrass music but always seem to fall back on Pete Seeger style (West Virginia up-picking). With the removable resonator, it is very versatile for general folk music and it is very loud at demonstrations, open air singing, etc. The removable resonator has Pete's picture on the back and in January of 2008 he autographed it for me! Vega tenor banjo - This is put together from Vega parts of 3 different banjos - White Laydie Pot assembly; neck; and resonator. I have it set up Irish style, tuned to "G" as opposed to American "C" tuning. I don't play it often, but it is very reliable when I do. The velcro on the heads of my banjos and other instruments is for a removable contact mike. "Krishna" Violin This has a short fingerboard and several repaired cracks in the butt end. Not the kind of instrument most people would go after. It was the fiddle that everyone was playing at the musical instrument exchange at the Altamont Old Songs Festival in 2006. I fell in love with it, prayed to Krishna about it and after enduring a day and 1/2 of anxiety that someone else would buy it, finally charged it to my credit card. The bow is another story - I saved for months and bought the best one I could find at my local music store - Barcones - very helpful people and a good selection. Blue Moon Mandolin - wonderful inlay and a great sound. Imported by Anthony Tatarino in Port Ewen, NY. It is unclear whether it is made in Vietnam, Korea or Taiwan. Jones 30 button C/G concertina Concertina's are small enough to always be handy. My grandmother was married to a Jones. Wiltmeister Button Accordion - C#DG - Used for sea chanteys and a few fiddle tunes. Originally it was a ADG 3 row. I had the A row changed to C# for Irish tunes. McSpaden Dulcimer - I usually play this when I am in costume for colonial performances. Oscar Schmidt Diatonic Autoharp - key of D. It's Diatonic, because I rebuilt it that way. I found the decals on the internet. Zimmerman "Dolgeville, NY Model 1" 3 bar, key of "C" autoharp from 1895. This is a piece of history and would of been found in the midwest where my grandmother grew up. It has a wonderful sound and came in the origional wooden box with origional tuner and fingerpick! Bina Harmonium - I am keyboard phobic. But I have a harmonium I use sometimes. It sounds like a church organ. Hohner Harmonica - I have tried to mess around with harmonicas over the years and am trying it again. I find that I prefer the sound of the Hohner Pro harmonica, but I also have a double reed in C that has a nice sound. Raganini Electronic Tampura - I am learning to use this. It creates a continuous drone, good for Hindu music. Electonic Tabla Also learning on this. ********************************** Sound Equipment Microphones - For vocals I use a Shure Beta 58A. To pick up my guitar and instruments I use an Audix CX111 condensor mike. This is basically a recording mike and most sound people are unfamiliar with using recording mikes for sound reinforcement. It is the only mike I have found that gives anything close to a faithful reproduction of the sound of my Martin D35-S guitar. I sometimes use an Audio Technica lapel mike with a Velcro attachment for extra reinforcement on banjos, dulcimer, etc. Fishmnan Soloamp - Just starting to use this. It seems to work well for smaller venues. Fender 8 Channel Mixer-Amplifier - it's heavy to lug around but does the job. Speakers - I have 2 old speakers that I built in 1980. The core of the speakers is 2 - 12" woofers that were from 1950 and were used by an Irish-American band from Far Rockaway, NY. They still have a great sound. Mighty Mouse Amp - Mouse Amplifiers were very big in the 70's for street musicians. They are battery operated, portable and come in handy when you least expect it. Pete Seeger has sang through mine and I have seen whole square dances done with nothing but mouse amps. It is great for emergencies when the power goes out.