For our 328th podcast, we’re celebrating the music of Bahamian guitarist Joseph Spence (1910-1984) and the upcoming release of Encore: Unheard-of recordings of Bahamian guitar and vocals (from July 16, 2021 on Smithsonian Folkways). Sound engineer, musician and producer Peter K. Siegel talks to us about how he recorded these 13 tracks (both in NY and at Spence’s house in Nassau), the unusual guitar Spence used (it’s not that, what you think) and the musical traditions of Andros that resulted in Spence’s unique sound. We also get some advice on other Bahamian music to try, learn how a former member of the Baha Men (yes, the Who Let the Dogs Out band) tries to keep Spence’s music alive, and overhear Siegel’s recording session Doc Watson. It’s a great chat.
Listen to four songs from Encore Here. Pre-order the album here or through Bandcamp.
Don’t forget that FJ now hosts a whole family of podcasts on everything from guitar making to home recording: Luthier on Luthier; The Truth About Vintage Amps; The Truth About Inclusion And Mixing; Acoustic voices; and sweep the floor.
This episode is sponsored by Mono cases, Folkway music and Retrofret vintage guitars.
Photo above: Ralph Rinzler archivist