Jump to content
Hamer Fan Club Message Center
Steve Haynie

Saw Bill Kirchen and Redd Volkaert Last Night

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I NEED a Telecaster! 

Bill Kirchen is to the Telecaster what Robin Trower is to the Stratocaster.  Bill Kirchen gets a Tele to sound unmistakably like a Telecaster.  Redd Volkaert was Merle Haggard's guitar player.  He should be considered to have a PHD in Tele tones.  Both of these guys have jammed with great players who make other musicians woodshed really hard.  Last night's show at The Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC was their third show together. 

Two guys.  Two Teles.  Two stools.  Two amps.  Two microphones.  It was great! 

Bill Kirchen started off the show with one of his better known songs.  Although Kirchen and Volkaert took turns on whose song or song choice was played there may have been times that one of them got a couple of songs in a row.  It did not matter because both of them played multiple solos during each song.  They were joking around a lot, too.  Redd Volkaert not only is sharp witted, he can make jokes with music passages, too. 

Bill's rig was his Rick Kelly Telecaster copy through a Fender Princeton.  There was a pedal on top of the amp, but I never found out what it was.  He used a tremelo effect on one song, so that was probably what kind of pedal it was.  Redd played a Tele that said Aronson on the headstock through a Sho-Bud combo.  

One could expect too much tinny twang in the tone from two Teles, but tain't so.  These guys had their tones dialed in where nothing was too bright.  Both played with their pickup selector switches a lot, especially during solos.  Their Teles did not sound the same, either. 

There are definitely differences in their playing styles which was obvious when I heard them doing their soundcheck.  While both do some cool chord shapes, Redd will do chord melodies or change chords on every quarter note beat.  He also throws in a lot of harmony notes on his solos.  Redd also starts licks from a bent note or bent chord and has the notes descend to a lower tone.  There were some mind blowing licks that sounded like he was sliding back and forth on notes within a lick.  Imagine someone using a whammy bar to drop each note as it is played.  Redd did that sort of thing, but he did it really fast and within runs.  There are some sound samples of licks on his web site.

Bill does volume knob swells often.  Something else he does is play with the tone knob in a similar way to volume swells, and it gives him an effect similar to wah pedal.  His control plate is reversed with the switch toward the back of the body.  His tone knob is in the middle, and his volume knob is closest to the center of the body.  He missed some notes.  He took a lot of chances, too.  When it was time for the last couple of songs in the encore he told Redd that he wanted to go first because he did not want to have to follow him. 

These guys have a master class coming up in Austin on June 23.  The price is not for the mildly interested.  Bill also mentioned upcoming reunion shows  with five original members of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen the last week of June in California. 

I really need a Telecaster! 

Edited by Steve Haynie
  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have three Tele-style partscasters, and they're my only solid-body six-stringers.  All three have ash bodies, but different maker pickups and parts...one's my bound P-90 Cabronita in Daphne Blue, another has a one-piece lightweight ash body, and my third is a Benford with a Mighty Mite neck.  All three sound distinctly different from each other.  They aren't going anywhere anytime soon.  Good luck finding your perfect Tele!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Steve Haynie said:

These guys have a master class coming up in Austin on June 23.  The price is not for the mildly interested. 

 

The Master Class is hosted by none other than HFC member Matt Smith and Bill Kaman at their teaching studio called 6 String Ranch near downtown Austin. Great place for an intimate learning session with some great players. Bill and Redd have done a couple of classes there as well as Robben Ford and Dave Grissom. Not inexpensive to attend but, given the setting, you can learn a lot. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill Kirchen has been mentioned here on the HFC a few times, with videos too.  In case y'all aren't familiar with Redd Volkaert, here's a video of him alongside Cindy Cashdollar on her '50's Fender Stringmaster D-8.  Damn, I wanna play just as good as both of them!

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I have a cd from about 15 years ago with these guys- The Twangbangers, or something. It’s highlights include amalgamations of Kirchen’s signature of being on the brink of running off the rails and then landing on his feet (creating some great pickin’) and Volkert’s just being ridiculously great.

Edited by PFunk
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Separated at birth… 

redd_cover2.jpg

 

and

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, specialk said:

 

THAT, is some funny shit!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/17/2019 at 12:23 PM, Steve Haynie said:

These guys have a master class coming up in Austin on June 23.  The price is not for the mildly interested.  Bill also mentioned upcoming reunion shows  with five original members of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen the last week of June in California. 

The $280 price tag might seem intimidating at first, but for anyone who pays attention there is many times more value to be gleaned from these two guys.

Bill played a couple free outdoor shows a few years ago at the Minnesota State Fair. Something like 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM shows. In the time between the two shows the place completely emptied out except for me. Bill walked up to the edge of the stage and said “you’re either tired or another crazy guitar player. Which is it?” I said “right on both counts but mostly the second.” He invited me up on stage and we messed with a couple of his guitars and amps. Very nice, humble guy.

He did another couple shows at the fair a few years later accompanied by Cindy Cashdollar and Johnny Nicholas. When I stopped to say hi during their break, he remembered me right away.

I’ve seen Redd a few times in Austin, always at the Continental Club. When my daughter was a toddler, she couldn’t get to sleep at night without hearing a certain set of songs, one of which was “She Loves Anything That Swings” off his “Telewacker” album. He laughed his tail off when I told him about that.

If I wasn’t 1,200 miles away from Austin, I would have been there in a heartbeat!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on a Bill Kirchen YouTube video kick a year or two ago. It influenced me to try reversing my T51's control-knob panel around so that the volume knob was up close and the pup-selector was in back. Unfortunately, Hamer's wiring was so precise and tight that there wasn't enough loose wiring to swing the whole thing around and I broke a solder connection trying to stretch it. Never ended up reversing the panel, but at least I learned to solder to fix that broken connection (I actually learned back in high school electronics class, but it's been 30 years so I had to relearn). But I digress... Bill is an inspiring player, especially seeing him as enthusiastic about playing as anyone half his age. And his pine guitar looks so cool, makes me want to ditch my T51 and build a partscaster out of an old piece of furniture or something...but I'd never do that because my T51 sounds perfect. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool!  Are brown Teles in fashion nowadays?  B)

Here's mine, with a one-piece ash body, lightly flamed roasted Musikraft maple neck, and Cavalier Fat Lion/Fat Lion King PUs, with a Tru-Oil finish:

RDQica7.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went down a Red V wormhole yesterday for a few hours, fantastic player. Bill K too

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...