Santa Claus Is Coming To Town: One Question with K. Russell

© Tomski

TheGourdsNews: Looked like you were rocking a different guitar at Threadgill's last night?

Kevin Russell: Oh, yes, the Silvertone. It's a 1964 Silvertone Bobkat S1476 given to me during the [Picket Line] Coyote years by Travis Garaffa. I used it on some recordings I did at Cedar Creek Studios with Jim Wilson, who has mastered most Gourds recordings. For some reason I stuck a bunch of Santa Claus stickers on it. I was into collage and found object stuff back then. I came across an unusual open tuning on this guitar that I called Santa Claus tuning (E,B,E,B,E,F#) maybe I shoulda called it BEEF# (laughs). There are a few great songs I can barely remember now, written in this drone tuning. That thought gives me a sort of panic feeling of all the songs I have abadoned along the way. I want to go back and get them but I may turn into a pillar of salt. Anyway, I abandoned the guitar for years because I could not solve a grounding problem. It cracked and popped at bad times while playing it. I ended up forgetting about it in my gardening shed, in its case of course, but it went through a couple of years worth of seasons out there. I think I dreamed about it one night, woke up, and went out to get it. I navigated some known yellow jacket nests in the dark to pull it out. The strings were completely rusted but the neck seemed in good shape. I gave it a good cleaning and took it to a guitar/amp guy to see if he could fix the grounding problem. Of course, it wouldn't make the sound for him. It still does, but I change the way I play to avoid it. It sounds real unique and woody because of the wooden bridge. Fun to play, too, like a toy guitar. I am just crushing on it a bit right now.


  1. I thought that Bobkat sounded really nice. Flavor on the Tongue, in particular, sounded like it had a little extra bite to it. I attributed that to the guitar, but maybe not.

    Now we need to get you a stand for that puppy.

    -- Tomski

  2. It was surely the guitar biting on that Flavor. I just can't have 3 guitars on stage. Probably I will give the Gibson 125 a rest for a while. It has limitations above the octave. Tuning is also an issue with that one. Can't beat the sound though.