A couple weeks ago, we had the opportunity to make guitar picks to help support a wonderful cause. One of our customers, Justin Jacobs, has a passion for guitars and has recently been working on a very special project…building a guitar that he has christened the 65 Roses Guitar. Jacobs himself was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of three, and he explains that kids that age have trouble saying “cystic fibrosis” and it ends up being pronounced like “sixty five roses.”
Because Cystic Fibrosis is still non-curable, Jacobs wanted to take action to help find a cure. He has combined his musical passion with his desire for change to come up with the unique idea of building this special guitar to auction off. In addition, he has gotten the signatures of many celebrities who support his cause, and he will be framing those and auctioning them off as well. He is also currently working on a musical line-up for a benefit concert where he’ll auction off the items and collect the funds to donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
To learn more about Justin Jacobs, his story, and the 65 Roses Guitar Project, visit
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Remember that any contribution helps, even something a simple as clicking “Like” on the 65 Rose Guitar facebook page will help to generate recognition for all of the hard work that Justin is doing to benefit others who have suffered from this terrible condition.
Most of you probably already know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What better way to help spread awareness than with custom guitar picks! We even offer a pink pick material, called pink delrin. These pink picks, with a custom ribbon design on them, are the perfect item to use as give-away’s at concerts, fundraisers, and events to support this ultra-important cause. They are also great to give as tokens to volunteers who participate in these events. Order today at www.claytoncustom.com!
After nearly five years, the highly anticipated Judd Hoos sophomore CD is now a reality. Rarely does a recording effort involve such a length of time and such a monumental effort to produce! The actual recording was accomplished in two separate commercial recording studios, one hunting lodge in rural South Dakota, numerous motel room/studios and a few sessions that occurred as the band was rolling down the road on the way to covering the nearly 40,000 miles they travel each year. Logistics aside, the CD is a labor of love for the guys in Judd Hoos. The process is also unique for another important reason. The band underwent a major line- up change a year into the initial songwriting and after the recording had started. Drew Lerdal, guitarist and a founding member of Judd Hoos left at the end of 2009 to pursue a career as a producer/studio engineer in Minneapolis. The decision was made to bring in two exceptionally talented guitarists, Andy Young & Zach Fronce in order to fill the void created by Drew’s departure. Although Lerdal was no longer on the road performing, his contributions to Judd Hoos were far from over. Lerdal continued to work as a producer on the project even contributing vocals and guitar on a few tracks. “Drew will always be a part of Judd Hoos in my mind” says bassist Chris Hornick. It’s clear that Lerdal’s experience as a member of Judd Hoos gave him the insight and trust from the band to wield the kind the creative control a producer needs to bring out the best qualities in the music. Judd Hoos “Two” contains 14 tracks covering a wide variety of musical territory. The heavy hard-rock groove of “Stand Up” and “The End” the up-tempo power-pop of “Mistakes” and “Again & Again” and the dramatic tension of songs like “Livin” and “Selfish”, all demonstrate the maturity and confidence that has developed within the group. “All the time we spend together on the road travelling, playing shows and basically living like a second family, made it possibly to come together creatively a lot quicker than I thought,” says guitarist Andy Young. The CD captures the intricate balance of two distinct guitar styles complimenting the soaring vocals, unique harmonies and powerful drive from the rhythm section. “It’s a fun trip through our collective influences, this CD shows you why Judd Hoos is hard to define in just one genre,” says drummer Shane Funk. After selling nearly 5,000 copies of “Better Intentions” the bands first album, the interest from fans for a follow album up has been constant. Bob Zwart, the bands frontman and vocalists says, “We’re excited to see how people react to this one!” The reaction from a number of radio stations in the Midwest has already been positive with the single “Stand Up” getting airplay in several markets including KDDX (XROCK) and KSQY (KSky) in Rapid City, SD. The calendar for 2013 is nearly full and will take Judd Hoos to at least 8 states performing 120-130 shows and cover a vast number of miles. “We love playing live and experiencing the crowds reaction to the new songs everywhere we go,” says guitarist Zach Fronce. Judd Hoos “Two” will also be available at Juddhoos.com and on iTunes, Amazon, Zune, CD Baby as well as dozens of other online sources in early June.
Spring 2012 the Swedish band La Fleur Fatale embarked on a journey to and through California. During two intense weeks they played with legendary psych musicians and met people who was part of making the 60’s into what it later became both musically and spiritually. And in the meantime connecting the past with the present. What is the difference between then and now? Is the Anonymous movement now what 60’s anti war movement was back then? May 3rd the documentary was released, for free, on YouTube. And May 3rd the band also released a new single, “How Long Is Too Long”, written by Duncan Faure of Bay City Rollers and Rabbitt who they met when filming. “They are really one of my favorite bands now along with Beatles plus a few others.” Duncan says.
During Easter they also recorded yet another single together with Ebbot Lundberg (The Soundtrack Of Our Lives) that will be released after the summer.
The documentary can be found right HERE (link to YouYube).
We just wanted to share a little bit about a great organization that we are honored to work with. Guitars Not Guns was founded by Ray and Louis Nelson. They became foster parents in 1992 and it was through
this experience that Ray decided to provide foster kids with guitars and lessons. He began asking friends and strangers for their used guitars to pass along to foster kids. This act of kindness became his passion and as a result there are classrooms across the USA and in Canada. GNG’s goal is to help stop violence in schools and on the streets by providing a music program for at-risk teens and other deserving children. They want to divert as many children as possible from the self-destructive behaviors of drugs, alcohol and crime connected to gang activity. By providing children and teens with guitars and lessons they hope to engage their creative potential. It’s all about helping underpriveleged kids a
nd teens. GNG is an all-volunteer organization and provides their programs at no cost to students! We recently just made the custom guitar pick shown here for them on our White Delrin picks. Photo by Caren Armstrong.
Jesus “Chuy” Michel is a Los Angeles based guitarist, composer, producer who is currently the lead guitarist for the Latin Alternative group Pastilla (Sony/BMG). He has also worked with some of Latin Americas top artist such as Carlos Baute (Warner), Vampiro (Sony/BMG), and Serralde (Universal). He has done countless national / international tours and played on various albums. Chuy is considered one of the top guitarist in the Latin Alternative/Pop community. Chuy was born June 29 !984 in Los Angeles California to Mexican immigrant parents. He is the oldest of three brothers (his younger brother Ivann is the drummer for Pastilla). His musical journey began at the tender age of 5 when his grandmother brought him an acoustic guitar from vacationing in Mexico. He quickly picked it up and continued to play vigorously. There was always music in the Michel household. Chuy grew up listening to music his parents where fond of such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Rod Stewart, and The Byrds. At the age of 16 Chuy started to perform with various groups throughout the Los Angeles music scene and quickly became recognized as one of the top guitarist in Los Angeles. Eventually he was invited to play with Pastilla(Sony/BMG). With Pastilla, Chuy has played countless concerts throughout the U.S., Latin America and Europe. And has headlined some of Latin Americas most important music festivals such as Vive Latino in Mexico City, Mexico, and The Coors Light Indie Music Fest in Aguadilla Puerto Rico. Chuys participation with Pastilla has resulted in some of the most commercially successful work group has produced including the hit album Amarte. While still a active member of Pastilla, Chuy has collaborated with several national and international touring acts such as Grammy Award winning artist Carlos Baute (Warner), Serralde (Universal), LILO (Universal), Mexican guitar hero and Jaguares/Mana guitarist Vampiro (Sony/BMG) just to name a few.
Caught In The Act: Live Track Listing:
Skull Fist will be going on their first tour in Brazil this week! Skull Fist is a Canadian heavy metal band that released their first album “Head of the Pack” in August 2011. They have been one of our endorsees for about a year now and having been using Clayton products for 4 years! Check out their tour dates below, and you can visit their Facebook for more on the band.
You may know that John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band is one of our endorsees…but did you know he recently released his own album “Daylight”. Daylight is backed up by award winning Bluegrass Band Balsam Range and an array of special guests, John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band releases his personal work in Daylight. My personal favorite song is “She Don’t Love Me” the lyrics are great, check it out!