Like a lot of relationships these days, Laurent Brondel and I began talking through the internet, and our first conversations were about guitar making. We initially agreed to meet at an open mic that my wife Shanti and I were hosting in Lewiston in 2006, and have been friends ever since. Laurent is an amazing musician, master craftsman, and supremely talented guitar maker. His instruments are gorgeous and inspirational, and his aesthetic and sound are uniquely his own. It was a pleasure to officially interview him for Work & Worry.
W&W : You are originally from France. Where did you grow up and in brief, what is your musical background?
I grew up in Paris and spent a lot of time with my grandparents in rural Picardie, 100 miles east of Paris. Nobody played or listened to music in my family, but when I was around 5 or 6, I insisted to get Beethoven 5th symphony, don’t ask me why. My Godmother bought me the 6th, the Pastorale, maybe the store was out of the 5th, who knows? I had to wait a year to get an old tube record player from the ’60s, the ones with the speaker in the cover. My father’s Godmother gave it to me. So the Godmothers were really active and involved in my family. Continue reading →
We are all one, In the Sun brings together a diverse range of artists from all over the world to celebrate and share in the spirit of the late six and twelve-string guitarist, Robbie Basho. I was thrilled to review this compilation for Work & Worry, as Robbie is a musician who has deeply touched my soul, gifting me with an influence I will carry with me for the rest of my days on this earth. Hearing a piece like “Dravidian Sunday” for the first time (from The Seal of the Blue Lotus) completely changed my outlook on not only the ragtime and blues guitar that I was learning at the time, but also my outlook on music in general. Robbie’s playing and singing seemed to evoke that longing for peace that all human beings dream of, and I knew that I had found something special. I remember thinking, and still do, that Robbie’s music exemplified a direction toward raw expression of the heart and soul that I also wanted to find in myself. Continue reading →