The 1943 Kay M-1

My very first bass was a 1943 Kay M-1 that we named MollyKay in honor of the widow that sold the bass to us.  It belonged to her late husband who played Polka music in upstate New York.  The bass was in excellent condition and needed very little repair work.  It received the typical Bass Monkey treatment which is a new adjustable end pin, Hi Tech tail gut, new Thomastik S42W strings, new hand carved bridge, fingerboard dressing and a little seam gluing.  

I played this bass for nearly two years and I thought we would never part with our first bass, until Dave from California came along.  He posted on a local bluegrass association website that he was traveling to visit family in Pennsylvania and was looking to buy a Kay bass.  Through a friend of a friend we found Dave and we discussed what type of bass he was in pursuit of…Molly fit his desire to a tee.  Once we met Dave in person and found out how involved he was in the Bluegrass Association of California we knew he could take Molly in a musical direction I never could.  We agreed to sell the bass with no reservations.  Dave visited our workshop, played Molly, fell in love and as they say…the rest is history.  

Dave has been outstanding at keeping us in the loop about Molly’s musical voyage.  This has been one of the more satisfying relationships we have made during our bass journey.  We feel this bass was destine to be in the hands of a real performing musician to make wonderful music again…even if it was Bluegrass and not Polka music.  I will share a few e-mails we have received from Dave and his amazing travels with Molly.



8/17/2007

Hello Wendy and Lonnie,

I just want to tell you what a wonderful experience it was to visit your shop.  There isn't anywhere else that I know of with your outstanding inventory of high quality American Basses.  You two also made the visit very special, your knowledge of your basses and especially your warmth and kindness.  I could tell you guys are part of the "bluegrass family". I'll be spreading the word about you guys to all my bass cronies.  (Wait till they see and hear her play).  When your famous and catering to the big BG pros, I'll be proud to say I knew you when.

I wish you great success in the future; I wish ALL my business dealings
were with people like you.

Dave 


10/29/2007

Hello Wendy and Lonnie,

I want to apologize for not writing sooner.  Molly arrived in perfect shape.  I AM A HAPPY BASS PLAYER!!!!!  She's everything I thought she would be and so much more.

Lonnie, you are the set up king.  She's setup exactly how I wanted.  Action is the perfect height for me, so easy to play.  Her tone is so even up and down the fingerboard and especially across the strings.  There are no "hot" strings, as is so common among so many ply basses.  Thanks for an outstanding job.  The volume is exceptional. She plays soft or LOUD, but keeps such a beautiful tone.

I have received so many compliments from everyone I've jammed with and from everyone who has played her.  (The Bass players are soooo jealous)

I guess I'm not telling you anything you didn't already know,  I'm just rambling...I have taken her to a few jams,  This weekend will be my first gigs with Molly.  I promise to send pics.

Thanks for making my dreams come true,

Dave

PS I have added "Handsome Molly" to my song list!



9/26/2008

Victor LOVED Molly!!  He was asking if I knew about anymore of these great Kay Basses.  
I told him I would send your info (if that's ok)  This has been a great year, playing a great bass........

Dave

 PS: Molly and I are off to Nashville and the IBMA in the morning



6/22/2009

Just a little update on your old gal.  I just returned from our Biggie, Fathers Day Festival.   
I was without family this year, so Molly and I went up five days early.  EPIC jamming of biblical proportions.....The Festival started Thursday.  As we are on the west coast, a LOT of bands are not traveling with their Basses, borrowing when they arrive.  Well Victor Dowdy had contacted me earlier and of course I told him it would be ok.  Well, when the other bands got backstage, they all seemed to LOVE Molly!  SO to make a long story short; 

Victor Dowdy, Bluegrass Brothers
Tim Massey,  Jr. Sisk and Ramblers Choice
Mike Fleming,  Steeldrivers
Mike Paisley, Dan Paisley and the Southern Grass

They all played her on the stage and LOVED her.  But who wouldn't.  

I always give all the credit to The Bass Monkey, for the best set up you can get!!!

Thanks, Dave



The 1953 Kay TV-1 project

This very rare Kay bass refinishing project came to us through a contact at a company sponsored training seminar.  Greg was the presenter and he and I were discussing music during a break, which lead to basses only to find out he had a Kay bass…but not just any Kay bass.  He had a 1953 Kay TV-1 gold model…I was intrigued, this is one of the rarest of all the Kay basses.  

He went on to lovingly describe his bass as wonderful sounding, but a bit of an ugly duckling.  After several months of e-mail discussions (and trying to talk him out of refinishing this rare bass) we agreed to take on refinishing (I know…you never strip the original finish) of this unique bass.  

Greg was wonderful to work with.  I kept in touch with him during the transformation of his bass with e-mails and pictures…all most daily.  The bass came out beautifully and the original Kay double black pin stripes were the crowning touch…just a beautiful transformation.  Greg too has stayed in touch and had some very wonderful things to say about Lonnie’s refinishing skill…so we will share.


1/21/2008

Hi Wendy,

This is really something...The pics are fascinating....I can't believe all of that horrible gold top and primer and old stain is really gone! And I'm thrilled to hear that "Mona" is in good shape.

Now I know that I'm the one that mentioned blonde....but in giving it some more thought....and taking a survey (girlfriend, brother, cousin, and female vocalist).....I have decided to go with the dark brown flat finish....I've reattached the pics, I'm aiming at just in case...I know it won't be exact....but dark, flat and subtle in any way like this would be very cool...and I hope that Mona's smooth wood grain will help out

I realize now that flat dark brown with respect to tone and jazz. is what I really want....etc... so...I guess we're ready to forge ahead  Thanks Wendy....and my thanks and appreciation to Lonnie as well!

Greg


2/11/2008

Dear Wendy & Lonnie,

My thanks to you....Mona is beautiful....her "coming out" party is Sunday Feb 24 at Shanghai Jazz in Madison NJ.  Lonnie, you are an artist. I'm proud to have had you work on my bass...and I will be very proud everytime I make an appearance with her!
Wendy, your bass playing is wonderful....right in the pocket! (with a song you never heard!).  I know my stuff is not bluegrass...but it does have a strong country feel and I like acoustic music as well (maybe with one electric slide or lead guitar here and there...ala John Prine sound).   I will be in touch.....very happy to have met you folks. Thanks for everything.

Sincerely, Greg


3/10/2008

Hey guys....Mona sure is beautiful (and good soundin')....and Jay and I are going into the "wine tasting" recital business soon....something I planned with upscale (no pun intended) Italian Wines and Ristoranti!
More pics soon...

I hope all is very well.

Greg


The 1951 Epiphone B-5

This is a pristine Epiphone B-5 bass with a great family history, both past and present. It has some of the most gorgeous and highly flamed wood I have even seen in an Epiphone.  It plays like butter and will make you week in the knees when you admire its beauty.  Tom and Amy are the lovely new owners that truly appreciate this New York made Epiphone…Tom’s hometown city and state. We just recently had dinner at their home and took in a Steep Canyon Rangers show together.  Lonnie and I can truly say they are friends and fans in our bluegrass circle.   


2/19/2008

Wendy & Lonnie,

Thank you so much for your time and hospitality. I deeply appreciate you taking the time and allowing me to test drive the "children". I am really interested in Harlan. I was impressed with the tone on Reds. That open D string really made my spine quiver, but I am so very impressed with the look and feel of the blonde. I would like to play them again if possible, but my heart is pretty much set on Harlan. I think I need your advice on strings, etc. As I said, I did like the tone and feel of Red, but I am unsure of the set-up details at this point. All of the basses both played and sounded great. I tip my hat to Lonnie, he does such wonderful work. Harlan may be way beyond my meager talents at this point in time, but I am hoping that practice will enable me to do him justice. 

Thank you again for opening up your home to us. Amy really did enjoy the trip. Even though lunch was a little late, she was impressed, and I had the time of my life.

Regards,

Tom


3/2/2008

Wendy & Lonnie,

I want to thank you and Lonnie for guiding me through this process. You two are truly amazing, and a wonderful couple to boot. I cannot thank you enough. I came into this knowing next to nothing about basses, with only a yearning to learn music and have some fun.  I do appreciate the opportunity you provided to acquire such an instrument.

Thanks again, and I will be in touch. 

Regards,

Tom


6/10/2008

Wendy & Lonnie, 

Thank you for your note and the photo. Amy liked the picture, and when she saw it said "look at you two". I must say the new bass has been very popular with everyone who has seen it. Amy's brother, an electric bass player, spent quite a bit of time playing when they came out and was very impressed. My guitar playing buddy also was amazed, and played the riff to "Satisfaction" for about 20 minutes. Everyone is awed by the condition and beauty of the instrument.

On the down side, I have not had a lot of quality time with my new bass. My weekends have been consumed by one thing or another, and I am sad to say that I have not even begun my instructional DVD. I have been able to fool around here and there, so (hopefully) I am getting acclimated with the fingering somewhat. I can say that I love every minute I do get to play, and that some real practice time will start shortly.

I will stay in touch. I hope you folks are doing well and have the camper gassed up and ready for another adventure.

Again I thank you and Lonnie for all your help, and I am a happy camper. I'll be even happier once I am able to really get started with the new bass.

Regards,

Tom & Amy


F O B M – Friends Of Bass Monkey

This is going to be my obscure little corner to the website.  
It will be dedicated to F-O-B-M…a silly acronym for 
Friends OBass Monkey (I had to call it something).   

In bluegrass there is a tradition of inviting friends young and old into the circle of music.  I would like to share personal comments and stories from the friends we have made over the past few years.


The 1950 American Standard 

11/24/09

Dear Wendy & Lonnie,

Wow!! What can I say... What an amazing experience I had visiting you. I am almost speechless upon witnessing the level of craftmanship and love you guys have for these instruments. I'm still pinching myself to make sure I didn't dream bringing Wendell home with me. Your appreciation of my situation and willingness to help me find my perfect instrument is unparalleled amongst your peers. 

I've been in the market for my "partner" for quite some time, and have had interactions with luthiers, dealers, and personal owners of all shapes and sizes. Never have I found a more accomodating and helpful pair! Wendell and I have a long journey together ahead of us, and I assure you I'll treasure your hard work and love with the utmost care and appreciation. You can rest assured I will keep you both updated on our journeys around the country and the world together as I embark on my touring career. 

Please continue to foster your passion for these amazing instruments, your work will make many more like me very happy!! 

Thanks again!
-Sav 
12/31/09

Lonnie & Wendy,

Thought I'd give y'all an update... The move went off without a hitch, and I hit the ground running musically. My 1950 A-S, "Wendell", has been re-christened as "Ophelia"... Naming aside, (s)he has already performed in 6 different states, and next Saturday, your handiwork will be on display on the Crooked Road, as Ophelia will appear with me as I take the stage at the Carter Family Fold with The Dixie Bee-Liners! Shortly after, Ophelia and I will jump in the tour van with the Bee-Liners and be on our way up north for a short northeastern tour, with stops in Boston, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg in mid-January. If all goes according to plan, before 2010 is over, Ophelia and I will have traversed to the other side of the pond as I will most likely be going with DBL's on an UK tour during the summer. We've become totally inseparable, the bass indistinguishable from the bassist. 

I'm having some promo shots taken with the DBL's sometime soon in which I'll be playing Ophelia, I'll be sure to email you guys copies. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and have a safe and happy New Year!

-Sav

The tale of the Epiphone named Jethro… 

7/16/10

Earlier this year we sold a nice Epiphone bass that Lonnie had super-tuned with some of his custom modifications of a hollow bridge and tail piece.  We didn’t plan on selling a bass on that cold January day, we just happen to find an appreciative new owner for a great Epiphone bass.   

Dave came to our workshop to discuss a new set up for his current bass and while he was here he fell in love with the Epiphone bass we named Jethro.  We knew he had an itch for an Epiphone bass and on that day he found “the bass” to scratch that itch.  It was fun to listen to him test drive every bass in the workshop while saving the Epiphone for last…the best for last.  He touched it; a smile came to his face as he melted into a puddle of butter.  The conversation quickly turned from set up on his bass, to trade in and purchase of the Epi.  He had a bass workshop in Ohio coming up soon and wanted the Epiphone to be his dancing partner.  With a match made in heaven we sent him home that day with the big blonde Epiphone…a happy, happy man (his wife was happy too). 

The Epiphone was a big hit at the January workshop in Ohio with a few offers from his fellow bassist to take the bass home.  The custom Bass Monkey hollow bridge and tail piece always bring curious questions and players wanting a test drive.  To quote one attendee who asks if the custom bridge and tail piece made the bass louder…another said…it sure doesn’t hurt it.   

Fast forward to summer of 2010 and Dave is at a week long workshop for music called “On Common Ground”.  This week long camp offers up close and personal workshops, jams and performances with some of the best in bluegrass.   

We are happy to share some of Dave’s comments: 

I'm having the best music week ever at the DC Bluegrass Union camp. Not only am I taking a bass class with Mark Schatz but I'm sharing an apartment with him for the week.  I brought the Epi and everybody wants it! In class today, Mark Schatz said my bass had "a great E string." Another player, who bought another bass from me a few years back, said he was taking the bass home with him. All the thumpers here are intrigued with the Bass Monkey bridge! 

We are happy that Dave found a musical partner in his vintage Epiphone bass and we are appreciative to share in his delight and joy.  We like to make people happy, happy, happy…Enjoy

The Epiphone from the west...

8/16/10

This bass traveled all the way from California for a complete Bass Monkey makeover.  The owner of the bass, Matt Malley had this to say upon receiving his bass after a 10 month restoration…

Thank you Wendy and thank you and Lonnie so much for this awesome instrument.  I'm amazed to have found you and discovered you and Lonnie's passion for fixing up these old basses.  I feel like I made a couple of new friends in life - I'll keep you updated on any gigs when I take her out!

I don't know if I ever told you that I was Counting Crows' bassist and co-founding member - I don't know if you know much about them, (we weren't U2 or anything) but we did pretty good in the mid 90's.  I wish I had this bass during my Counting Crows years - we would have sounded better with her!

Anyways great to know you Wendy and also please give Lonnie my best - he's a true artist and I'm now a fan of his work.

All the best and let's please stay in touch - Matt

If you would like to read the full stories visit our blog. Also we have an in depth slideshow that captures the difficulty and complexity of the repairs.  

Matt was an awesome person to work with.  He was very patient and gave us his unwavering support during the restoration process…and yeah we knew of his musical prowess...he is an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe nominated songwriter who is most recognized for being a founding member and long time bassist for the rock group Counting Crows.  It was very cool he picked us to restore his beloved Epiphone bass.  
9/16/10

A follow up e-mail from Matt...

Hey Wendy and Lonnie!

I can't tell you how much I love this bass.  I'm actually thinking seriously of taking up a Jazz Upright class at a local college - just to learn how to properly play it.  
THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

Btw do you know what year it comes from?  Is it 1940's?  PLEASE SEND PICS OF YOUR NEW ONE WENDY!!  It sounds AWESOME!!    Also please feel free to "use my name" any way you want - I'm not one of those, "I'm too important to mention" people...if it'll help your business please list Counting Crows bassist as one of your happy clients.

Thanks for writing and it really is the most beautiful and coolest instrument in my collection - Matt


2/1/11

And the story of Matt’s bass continues.  Out of the blue Matt contacted me to see if I could help him sell his bass.  After a good effort he has decided that the upright bass "was not his cup of tea".  With a few contacts we sold the bass in less than 24 hours.  And here are the new owner’s comments...

Hi Wendy,

Thanks so much for everything! It's such a pleasure to talk with someone who has such passion and love for what to the uninitiated is just a "beat up old plywood bass." I have to tell you, the main reason I am willing to pay top dollar for this particular Epi -- aside from the fact that it sounds and plays great -- is the fact that you and Lonnie restored it, and so beautifully documented the process. In Antiques Roadshow terms, this bass has "provenance"!

I'm hoping to pick "Annie" up this afternoon, and she and I will have a first date at Sunday's big old-time jam. Can hardly wait!  And shy, me? Heck, I play the banjo!

Thanks again and I'll definitely be posting about this on Talk Bass.

Larry
2/5/11

Hi Wendy,

We picked her up last night. My wife and daughter went with me, and he had a great timetslking to Matt. He's a fascinating guy. Turns out his kids go to the same school as ours.  I kind of like "Annie." Annie Oakley is even better. Fits her.

We got home rather late, so I didn't get in a lot of playing time, but the weichs do feel better than I expected. I'll have to see if I end up with blisters on Sunday. Sound wise, they have that spirocore bwaaa, which can be an asset or not, depending. They're plenty loud, too. The A and E are huge; the weak A/E on my Eastman are one of the main reasons why I wanted to get a new bass. I'll give the weichs the old college try, but you know that guts sing an irresistible siren song.

I was surprised to discover that the body of the Epi is almost a full inch small smaller in every direction compared to my Eastman, which I never considered particularly big. But as the Epi is WAY louder, a smaller body can only be an advantage. The string length is virtually identical, though. Is an Epi roughly comparable to a Kay, dimensionally? Have modern basses really grown that much bigger over the decades?  I think I'm going to love the neck profile and overstand - really comfortable.

Tell Lonnie his work on the bridge is just remarkable. I hadn't noticed that he hollowed out the underside on my first short audition. All I can say is, Wow! Oh, where has this great end pin been my whole life. I'm really picky about having the bass at exactly the right height, and I love that this endpin doesn't rely on dimples spaced too coarse for comfort.

It's another beautiful day here, so I'll take Annie outside and have the wife shoot some pictures. If it's okay with you, I'll edit this a bit and post something on Talk Bass, too.

One last question: you don't find the round silver wire on the Gamuts to be rough? The copper is polished flat.

Talk to you soon,

Larry

2/21/11

Wendy:

You'll like this: At the jam yesterday, a lady who has been playing bass for years asked if she could try Annie for a tune. She did NOT want to give her back! 

"I love everything about this bass," she gushed. "Want to trade for my Kay?"

Uh, no thanks! Can I have my bass back now?

"Just one more tune, puhleeze!?"

I had pity, and played banjo for a while. Was fun to see her wearing that same foolish grin.

Larry


8/3/11

The 1935 King Bass, named Dolly has a new home. This bass has landed in the hands of an accomplish bass player from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. This is a lovely and talented young couple of Zach playing bass and Amanda’s amazing voice; they have a bright future ahead of them.  

Dolly is in good hands…

Hello Wendy,

Thank you on our behalf as well. It really comes through how passionate both you and Lonnie are about what you do, and I have the utmost respect for anybody with that amount of dedication. All things considered I couldn't be happier with Dolly, this bass will see a lot of playing time in the future. I am also positive that Harvey will be outstanding as well. Who knows, an American Standard may still be in my future...Please do let me know when you restore Harvey and specially Junior. I had a gut feeling when I saw Junior in person that that bass will have exceptional character (both in tone and in its own unique appearance) once restored.

I'm glad that Nathan is still interested and I am certain he will find a great match, it really came through how much you and Lonnie wanted the be best for everybody. For my tastes, Martha Kay is another bass that stood out, I would recommend anybody in the market take a serious look at that bass in addition to all the great basses you have.

Like I said, if you ever need a recommendation or anybody ever wants feedback I would be happy to tell them about how nice it was working with you and on my perception of the basses. Probably in the next week or so I could write a small bit on Talkbass about my good experience with you guys, not that my name means much on the boards since nobody really knows who I am but I figure any little bit helps.

About the computer, honestly don't hesitate to ask any time you need help, Amanda really is good at that sort of thing. Hope Lonnie enjoys it!

Best,
Zach

10/4/11

The tale of the 1945 Epiphone #811 and its rattle snake tail...

Epiphone #811 a beautiful, 1945 B-5 bass that has a new owner in Hawaii…
yes Hawaii.


I lusted after this bass for almost three years and finally convinced the previous owner to let me take ownership of this fine Epiphone bass in 2009. The bass came with a “special” added bonus. A rattle snake rattler in the belly of the bass.  

This bass was made in New York right after WW2 and is the lowest documented post WW2 bass that I know of. The bass is in excellent condition and showed little sign of wear and tare…a real collector’s treasure. In the three years that it took to acquire it and the additional year to restore it I acquired another pristine B-5, so I was willing to let this bass go if I found a REALLY appreciative new owner. And we have! Mid restoration a nice gentleman from Hawaii contacted me to inquire about an Epiphone bass. He had been looking for many years as his mentor Tommy Lake had played an Epiphone bass.  

The traditional Hawaiian music made by the old masters favored the vintage Epiphone instruments including the upright bass. After a few e-mails back and forth I let Keola know the bass was nearing completion and since he expressed an interest, I would offer the bass to him first. His decision took less then a day…he wanted this fine looking Epiphone. Little did we know that Keola and his lovely wife Kealoha would fly into Washington DC on Keola’s 36 birthday to pick up the bass. What an honor to have someone come so far to appreciate our efforts.  

Their visit was delightful and we look forward to spending time with them in the future. Keola is committed to preserving the traditional Hawaii music and traditions. He wanted an authentic instrument for that exact vintage sound…and boy, has he landed a monster bass to get the job done. This Epiphone bass is big, beautiful and punchy, just the way his music needs to be played and preserved. His enthusiasm and excitement was so joyous their brief visit flew by all to fast. We are anxious for him to get the bass home safe and secure where they plan a large traditional Hawaiian style welcome for his new bass named Kaneikoha. We look forward to many photos, stories and videos from Keola and Kealoha. If the rattle snake tail is good mojo, this bass has hit the big time for a life in paradise.

Here is a brief e-mail before they left today to return to Hawaii...


Aloha Wendy & Lonnie!

We are packing to fly home but wanted to extend our sincerest gratitude to you both for breathing new life into #811 and opening your home to us yesterday. After our wonderful drive back Keola played us a mini solo concert and taught me my first Hawaiian song "He Aloha Kuuipo" using chords F, C, B, G, D :) I'm sure our neighbors were thrilled when he woke up to play around 2am this morning!

We raved the whole drive back about your shop and the dualism of you both as a team. It was so great to see your work space and private collection. Hearing the stories and histories were so great! All of the musicians back home will be in awe...

Please do enjoy the Hawaii treats! We look forward to keeping in touch and letting you know about Kaneikoha and the melodies it will inspire in our home land. Please continue your great work for others to experience such great renew. We will be sure to have exciting news to add to your FOBM online in the coming months!

Again, just thanking you both so much, Me ka haahaa, Keola & Kealoha
11/14/11

Aloha from Hawai`i Lonnie and Wendy!

Attached is a photo of Keolas first gig with his Epiphone Bass. He played a lot over the past 2 weeks due to the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that was held here with the foreign dignitaries. Local entertainers have tried to rename it "the Canon" because they say it is the loudest bass in Hawai`i. That makes us laugh! It really is a hit and he is quite proud to play it. 

Wishing you both warmth through the coming holiday season! Thanks again for all of your continued help, 

Kealoha & Keola

12/2011

The Divine Miss Martha

This 1942 Kay S-9 that underwent a Bass Monkey restoration in 2009 ended up traveling the entire way across the USA to make her new home in wine country…California. The bass now belongs to Joseph and is being put to great use making music once again. Shortly after Joseph acquired the bass he found a new gig with the Golden State Revue bluegrass band. Just what we like to see, a vintage bass back in service making some good old time bluegrass music. Wonderful!

5/26/2012

Harvey the 1939 American Standard #875, living the dream

This 1939 American Standard took a flight to Nashville in December 2011 to live with one of the, if not THEE best bluegrass bass player on the bluegrass circuit today.  Alan Bartram of the Del McCoury Band looks very much at home on his vintage American Standard bass.

These pictures were taken at Delfest 2012, Memorial Day weekend in Cumberland, MD. It gives us great pleasure to know this bass is performing on stage with some of the nicest and most talented modern bluegrass musicians. These gentlemen appreciate the authentic sound of vintage instruments.

Right down to Jerry McCoury (Del’s younger brother) and his pre-war, cut label American Standard Bass that his been his musical partner for many, many years. We have seen Jerry’s bass wearing duct tape on stage and still sounding good.

First picture: Jason Carter, Rob McCoury, Ronnie McCoury, Alan Bartram with his 1939 American Standard Bass and the one and only Del McCoury at Delfest 2012.

Second picture: Bela Fleck, Jason Carter, Ronnie McCoury, Alan Bartram and Danny Paisley at Delfest 2012.

Third picture: G.C. McCoury, Jerry McCoury with his American Standard bass and Del McCoury at Delfest 2012.

This YouTube video taken 9/25/12 live from Robert's Western World the week of IBMA in Nashville.  You can hear Alan walking the bass so sweetly on this song and of course Del's high tenor backed with Jason's fiddle break...just brings the house down!!!

Photo's copied from facebook and Milo Farineau posting at Bluegrass Today
10/14/2012

Harvey the 1939 American Standard adventures continue...

Last evening we went to see Del McCoury in concert…great show…after the show we visited with Alan. He was telling us about the new ABC TV show “Nashville” and how the band was in a cameo scene filmed back stage at the Opry.  

It get’s even better…in the scene of this pilot episode that aired Wednesday, 10/10/12 was the entire Del McCoury band, you can clearly see Alan and his 1939 American Standard bass. 

Recently Alan loaned his bass to Jerry McCoury during IBMA week and the Masters of Bluegrass show. Who would ever think a little ole bass from our humble workshop would be performing in Nashville with a stage full of bluegrass elders and on a TV show that 9 million people watched.  

A star is born!
4/22/2013

It is truly a small low end world. Here is a picture from a bluegrass festival this weekend that show’s Katya with her 1937 Kay M-4 bass named Little Maggie and Dave with his bass a 1943 Kay M-1 named Molly Kay.  Both of these basses traveled from Pennsylvania to California from The Bass Monkey Workshop to be with their new owners. What are the chances these two folks would have met each other and purchased their basses from the same place all the away across the country?

Here is what Katya had to say...

I am completely head over heels about the bass. I went to a bluegrass festival this weekend and took her with me. She sounds great. Thumps like no other. 

Dave played her, and he was very happy that I bought the bass :) I've attached a picture of us, five beers after!

I'm getting comfortable with little Maggie and I can't wait for my bass instructor to see her. I have a lesson next week. 

I really like the sound that I am getting out of her. I think that I'll need gut strings though :) well, the first two strings!!! I think it would sound phenomenal. 

Katya

7/3/2013

The bucket list 1944 Kay M-1

If you have been following The Bass Monkey Workshop blog you know all about the story behind the relocation of Miss Penelope the 1944 Kay M-1 that now lives in Australia with Greg. After nearly a year of working with Greg he flew to the USA to visit us at The Bass Monkey Workshop.  

His story unfolds with his persistence and success in exporting his new Kay bass safely and legally back to Sydney. Greg followed all the red tape put in place by the Lacey Act, CITES, FWS and the USDA. His trip was a journey of a life time; we have many fond memories of meeting and helping Greg full fill his dream of playing a fine vintage Kay bass back home with his band the Midnight Drifters.  

As Greg says…dreams are for free. Good stuff happens to good people everyday…dream big!


10/26/2013

Alan Bartram and his 1939 American Standard are still going strong.  

On Saturday, October 26th 2013 Del McCoury had a five mile stretch of North Carolina, Highway 261 in Mitchell County named after him. Del McCoury was born in York, PA, we are happy to be in his neighborhood.

A ceremony to celebrate the occasion took place at Lavonia Crest, north of Bakersville, North Carolina. That was followed by a musical performance by the Del McCoury Band. This picture of the band shows Alan playing his American Standard Bass.   It’s all good!