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Luthier Spotlight… Harvey S. Citron

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Hi everyone in the bass community,

Let me introduce myself…. My name is Harvey Citron, I started playing guitar at age 11, and was always passionate about guitar and music. I played my first gig at age 12, and was playing a weekly dance with a band at a local school.

I began my career as a luthier by wiring an electric guitar a friend of mine had that I met in Architectural School, Joe Veillette. Lucky for me I had some friends that were working at Danny Armstrong’s shop on LaGuardia Place in NYC. Bob Castaldo, showed me how to wire the guitar and Sal Palazolla, who worked with Bill Lawrence at the time taught me how to wind pickups. I then helped complete the instrument—it needed a fingerboard, bridge, tailpiece, fretwork, tuning machines, etc. When we strung this instrument up and plugged it in, I felt like I had experienced a birth. My mind was blown, and I knew I had to build a guitar myself. I bought some neck wood and a fingerboard from Joe and began to build a neck. All of this happened in a 3-day weekend (I took Monday off from my job as an assistant architect).

In the year that followed my first guitar was completed, and I began winding my own pickups, experimenting with building my own coil forms, wire gauges, number of turns, etc. Some friends liked what I was doing, and I began building custom pickups, then customizing guitars with additional switching, bridges, etc. Joe and I decided to prototype a 32” scale electric bass, and electric guitar that through our association with Tom Vinci permitted our showing these two prototypes at a NAMM show in Chicago at Tom’s booth. These axes were very well received, and Joe and I decided to start building Veillette-Citron guitars and basses. From 1975- 1983 Joe and I built about 450-500 instruments (guitars, basses, and baritone guitars).

I realized that running a guitar company with employees was not nurturing me. I’m a designer first, craftsman second. I build to see my ideas come to fruition. I felt like a factory worker in my own business, and there was no time to experiment—we had to pay the bills. Our partnership ended, and I designed and built a guitar that was later produced by “Guild”. It was called the Guild/Citron X92 Breakaway Guitar. In the years that followed I built furniture, played gigs like crazy, and began to write product reviews for Guitar Player, later for Bass Player, and Guitar World magazines.

Michael Tobias moved to my area (we had known each other for years), and he started building MTD basses in his shop on his own. We became friends, and I realized that I had completely lost sight of how much fun it was to design and build instruments on my own. I had gotten into the head space that the only way to build instruments was by having a factory. I built one instrument with parts from Warmoth, experimenting on a “tele” bridge I had thought of. Then I built two guitars of my own design—loved it. I was hooked again. This occurred in 1994. Michael Tobias was an amazing help to me starting over. He was kind enough to show me construction techniques he was using, as well as help me move machines into my new shop. I’m very grateful for his help.

I built three prototypes, and brought them to NAMM 1995 in Anaheim—a 3-pickup electric guitar, a neck-through 5-string bass, and my first hollow bass.

While going to NAMM shows as a product reviewer I was thinking about the possibility of a bass that could balance like a Fender, have the sonic character of both a solid body and acoustic so that one bass would do the trick for a very wide variety of situations. That experiment was successful, and in the years that followed that bass concept has evolved, as well as spinoffs to guitars, experimenting with different woods, degrees and techniques of hollow, pickup design, electronics, etc.

Coming soon… Part 2 / Setup

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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Bass Videos

Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Malcolm-Jamal Warner…

I am pretty sure that everyone is aware of Malcom-Jamal Warner’s work as an actor. What may be less known is his work as a director, poet, musician, and most importantly for us, a bass player. With four albums of his own, Grammy nominations and wins, as well as a sizable amount of ongoing live gigs, Malcolm is dedicating a serious amount of his attention to his music.

Join me as we hear about Malcom’s musical journey, projects, his gear choices, and plans for the future.

Here is Malcom-Jamal Warner!

Photos: Dwain Govan @dwain_go / Conrad Montgomery Mckethan @eyeconimages

Visit Online:

malcolmjamalwarner.com
IG @malcolmjamalwar
Twitter @malcolmjamalwar 
Facebook: Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Bass Videos

Interview With The Labex Funk Project

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Interview With The Labex Funk Project

Interview With The Labex Funk Project…

Time really flies when you are having fun! Just over a decade ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michel “Labex” Labaki for our July 2013 cover.

At that time, much of our conversation concerned his personal approach to bass playing and his techniques. Fast forward to now and I am pleased to discover Michel’s new endeavor, the Labex Funk Project.

Join me as we meet the band:
Kynion Lanier on vocals
Pablo Batista on percussion
Jake Brightman on Guitar
Daniel Gonzalez on Drums
And Michel “Labex”Labaki on bass

As a bonus, we have the band’s producer Phillippe Dib in on this video chat as well.

Here is the Labex Funk Project!

Visit online:

michellabaki.com
www.facebook.com/MichelLabexLabaki/
www.instagram.com/michellabaki
www.youtube.com/c/MichelLabaki
FB @LabexFunkProject
IG @ Labex Funk Project

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

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Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

Bassist Tony Newton…

I am always learning new details about Bass history when I get the opportunity to talk with seasoned players like Tony Newton. Tony, a Detroit native, came up in the golden years of Motown and laid down the low end for countless performers and studio sessions; he has performed on over 25 gold and platinum hit recordings.

As time went by, and the whole Detroit scene dwindled, Tony relocated to LA where he worked a busy schedule, even going back to school to learn about music theory and composition.

Over the years he performed on many historic hit recordings and tours with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson(music Director), the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, The Funk Brothers and more, as well as working with veteran rock guitarist, Gary Moore in the British group G-Force.

Presently, Tony is super busy and on the verge of releasing a movie titled “Mars Quest” among his numerous other projects.

Join me as we get to enjoy all the history and knowledge that Tony has to share along with the details about his new Signature bass from BITE Guitars named “The  Punchtown Bass”.

Here is Tony Newton…

Photos: Mary K. Brand, Mitch Snyder, Haneefa Karrim, Hans Adamsen

Visit Online:

tonynewtonmusic.com/
FB @ TonyNewtonMusic Artist
YTB @ antoniotonynewtonmusic

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