Topic: Great music stores

USA Travels and Stories

I just returned from an amazing USA set of travels from Austin, Nashville and New York. These are three very different, but equally amazing cities. It also gave me and my wife a great chance to meet up with great friends and to see a whole world of great music. This was the first time I’ve seen Nashville and I can understand why Nashville is so renowned for music. The sheer concentration of musicians and the quality of the performance is quite amazing.

In Austin I picked up an amazing Waterloo guitar made by Collings Guitars. I had no intention of buying an acoustic, but this is one of the very best I have ever seen. Its already sparked some interesting comments. On the flight from Austin to Nashville one stewardess commented

“This guys got a HUGE guitar”

On the trip from NYC to UK for some reason I can’t fathom, I was called from the back of the line to board first on the plane. Maybe I was mistaken for a famous country star, I don’t know. Either way, this Waterloo seems to provoke all manner of curious interactions.

In NYC we saw Barry Harris at The Vanguard for a quite extraordinary gig. We also met up with an old friend and author of “Portrait of a Phantom” Zeke Schein. Zeke sold me my first uke and has become a great friend. He introduced me to the first ever 3D printed ukulele, which you see in this photo. His book is quite brilliant and highly recommended. This world is better for such amazing folks.

Hill Country Guitars Austin USA

I just got back from one of the best music stores on planet earth, Hill Country Guitars in Austin Texas. They are a premier Collings dealer and I have done great business with them over the years, buying a walking bass dulcimer and a Collings tenor guitar. The family is now joined by a superb Collings Waterloo guitar.

Hill Country Guitars has an amazing selection of terrific instruments which include some of the best Collings instruments I have ever seen. Its important that such stores are supported by musicians as they are increasingly rare these days.

The Waterloo guitar is really exceptional and it sounds and feels like an old acoustic. I don’t know how Bill Collings managed it, but he has really captured the essence of these classic instruments. This one is definitely going to be used in recordings in the future.

I travel around the world a lot and see all types of stores and I can say that this is definitely one of the very best as they only stock great instruments and the staff are really knowledgeable about what is in the store. Austin is of course an amazing place for music and I love to come and visit here.