Archive for the Fender guitars Category

Musicians Can Give Life

Posted in Clyde Blosl, Donor, Fender guitars, Giving Thanks, Life, Life Center Northwest, Lifesaving, save a life, Talent, Tribute with tags , , , , , on April 22, 2013 by damngoodtunes

Clyde Blosl modified

You may recall the story we did a couple years back about a man named Clyde Blosl, a name you would be hard pressed to find many of in many places of this world, let alone western Washington. Clyde was an exceptional musician and good friend to this writer since an early age. This story continues now, as we learn that Clyde Blosl was an organ donor and, in a way Clyde continues to live on. This report has so inspired me that I can only think of the breadth of applications should musicians throughout the USA, Canada and the rest of the world were to become as caring and giving as was our friend Clyde. And now, as Paul Harvey used to say – is the rest of the story;

On April 15th 2013 this editor-owner was invited to meet with the Governor of Washington State on behalf of the
Blosl family to receive an award acknowledging that Clyde Blosl had donated his organs in order that others might have a better chance at life. In particular, Clyde’s liver was donated to a Mr. Paul Brown, a youth Pastor near Tacoma Washington. On this day, Mr. Brown and his wife met with the Blosl family for the very first time. Tears and hugs were exchanged as much emotion and love filled the room .

Paul Brown - Recipient

Paul Brown – Recipient

Governor Jay Inslee has stepped forward to make Washington state number 1 for designated organ donor endorsements on driver’s licenses – having seen a 22% increase in just a little over a year, ranking the state as number three in the nation to 69 per cent willing to donate and possibly save other lives. Governor Inslee went on to tell us that his own son’s eyesight was restored due to his receiving a corneal implant.

The Incredible team leaders from LifeCenter Northwest work selflessly 24-7 to facilitate all phases and dimensions from logistics to consolation of family members – both donor and recipient. Please visit their website by clicking the Life Center Northwest Logo in this feature

Local regional newspaper, The Daily Chronicle with reporter Lisa Broadt had contacted me the week prior to the event and arranged a pre-meeting between Clyde Blosl’s brother Richard, Lisa and myself. We were all together for the entire day at the Capitol building and later over at Providence St. Peter’s Hospital in Lacey for more of the ceremony and the meetings of the Brown and Blosl families. Ms. Broadt’s coverage of the story encompassed two full-paged articles in the Daily Chronicle, providing excellent advertisement for the Life Center Northwest and the importance of organ donation at large.

We sincerely appreciate the cooperation with Lisa Broadt, The Daily Chronicle – and mutual concerns shared with and about my dear friend Clyde Blosl

Life Center Northwest

Life Center Northwest

Richard Blosl - Clyde's brother with Paul Brown

Richard Blosl – Clyde’s brother with Paul Brown

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee and writer Bruce Maier

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee and writer Bruce Maier


Jim Ritchey’s road to success in Nashville

Posted in Big Machine Label Group, Fender guitars, Greg Bates, Jake Owen, Mark Chesnutt, Nashville, Publisher's Row, Republic Nashville Records, Telecaster, Tommy Shane Steiner with tags , , , , , , on December 18, 2012 by damngoodtunes
Jim "Jimmy " Ritchey

Jim “Jimmy ” Ritchey

Jimmy Ritchey, co-writer for Jake Owen’s “The One That Got Away” which reached Number 1 on Country Music Radio just days ago is no stranger to the airwaves. He has collaborated with and composed songs for George Strait, Mark Chesnutt, Tommy Shane Steiner and recently as producer for Greg Bates who also has the skyrocketing hit song ” I Did It For The Girl ” to his credit. 

A consummate professional musician, Jim Ritchey can play several instruments and sing quite well of course, but it is the guitar that is his first love. Playing since just a young boy Jim Ritchey was in high demand as a concert lead guitarist for countless Country acts who toured the Pacific Northwest where he spent his youth. Making a decision nearly two decades ago to pursue his dreams of Country Music, Jimmy realized there was no better place to call home than Nashville Tennessee. Since his arrival all those years ago Jimmy has traveled a hard road up to the top – wearing many hats as musician, singer, writer,  engineer and producer. He is comfortable being the type of artist who can change with every day and each opprtunity that may come his way. His clients are now becoming the ” who’s who ” of  Country Music and his services are in high demand.

But with all this success, Jim has not allowed pressure or fame to change him at the core level. I know this because this writer was fortunate to have watched Jim Ritchey grow up and become the local phenomenon who the folks in my home state, my home of Lewis County Washington came to know and admire. He was always a nice kid who got along with everyone and talked to others, especially older players with respect. He would ask how a song or guitar riff would go, say thank you and then just play it correctly the first time. Yes, he was just that good! It was really no wonder that Jimmy should go off to Music City and make it big. We all knew and expected he would do that someday but as our own James Dean Fisher of DGT who is also a resident of Nashville has pointed out, the hopes and dreams arrive daily, and many leave discouraged. It takes old fashioned determination and hard work to stick it out and get  where Jimmy is today. Anything he may own, and any status  achieved was done so with blisters on the fingers and oftentimes a lack of sleep!

When he comes home to see his family and friends you can always find him at the local Jam or benefit concert just sitting in, being one of the boys. There is never any trace of ego with Jim Ritchey on stage. He plays from the heart and damn…does he play! It can be Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country or Acoustic Folk;  he does it all tastefully as the skilled master he has become. What more of a compliment would an artist in the recording studio want than a man of Jim Ritchey’s experience into their song or album?  He’s been there out in the trenches paying his dues and learning his craft, yet Jim Ritchey never forgets the long hard road leading him to where he is today. His ability to put himself in the shoes of the singer, band or songwriter gives him an edge. An edge only someone who has actually done it all, not studied it as a science or theory from a textbook would be able to provide. And you know, the best is yet to come!

Clyde Blosl:The Kid We All Knew

Posted in Centralia, Centralia High School, Clyde Blosl, Fender guitars, Uncategorized, Washington guitar players with tags , , on April 9, 2011 by damngoodtunes

Clyde with his wonderful smile

Clyde with his wonderful smile

Everyone who grows up being a musician can remember people who influenced them or was a big part of their childhood. From the first time you plugged in an electric guitar to the first time you got up on a stage with your buddies, there were always those special people who stood out and today, forty-some years later they’re still in your head. Much so was the young man who I have decided to tell the world about via the web. The following short story first appeared this week in another column I produce and I have had so many compliments that I think I should spread the article around a little bit more. Even though you never met my friend Clyde, you did know him. He was every kid you ever knew that played an instrument really well and who learned seemingly faster than anyone else. But it’s not just the music we remember, it’s the laughter and the smiles. Your friend never left you heart, even after all these years.
We say goodbye this week to a very good friend who, in his early years was just about the best guitar player for a thousand miles in any direction. Clyde Blosl was the first lead guitar player I ever had and one of my best freinds ever back in those days. He inspired all of us budding musicians because he was real good long before the rest of us knew what the hell we were doing.

I remember the first time I saw Clyde take that Red 67 Fender Mustang out of the case and plug it into a bigger amp than I had ever seen outside of a music store. At fourteen years of age, Clyde, Harold, Mike and I started a rock band. I couldn’t even play the guitar yet but the let me be the lead singer. WE started gigging right away at PTA and school ” Fun Night ” parties, wherever they would let us plug in. When Clyde started to play, everyone stopped to listen because he had this Blues-Rock British Invasion thing gong on and it was something none of us in our little town had ever witnessed.

There were times when our band experienced changes in personell like with my brother Bob, who went on to start his own group, but this little garage band even had our own Go-Go Girls, Cindy and Rochelle who were incidently the hottest two girls in our school! And they both loved Clyde. In fact, Clyde was the ladies’ favorite wherever we would go. He was handsome in a boyish sort of way, had a great smile and was funnier than hell! But it was his guitar playing that really made him stand out above the rest.

Then, there was his hair. Clyde started growing his hair long before anyone in our school. By the time we made it to Senior High there was trouble on the horizon, for the ” gang ugly ” didn’t like ” hippies ” so they held Clyde down on the ground and cut his hair with scissors and made a real mess of him. Clyde never held a grudge or sought vengence. He wasn’t that sort of kid. He just got up, brushed himself off in front of a crown of about two hundred spectators- smiled and walked away. Those boys never touched Clyde again. They got what they wanted, then what they didn’t want – hated by the entire school for what they did to such a great kid. His hair grew to be about 18 inches long in just a few short months and that was how he wore it for many years. Long, black and shiney. Girls envied his perfect hair!

As High school rolled by we all evolved in our little group of musicians and Clyde kept playing that guitar until he graduated to a Strat or a Tele or sometimes a Gibson. He played in a number of local bands and had a great reputation as being punctual. I guess that’s because he loved to play music so much he couldn’t wait to get to rehearsals!
Clyde was an extended member of my family so much that he was never required to knock on the back door. He just walked in in the mornings or afternoons and I think it was Clyde who first coined the phrase – ” GOT MILK?” Yeah, he couldn’t get enough of it and he also loved my folks’ cooking! So there was always an extra plate at the table for Clyde, Harold or John or any of the boys in the garage bands. But Clyde, well, he could even sit in my dad’s chair when he wanted!

Over the years we all grew up and started to drift apart. I remember though when Clyde got married and his daughter was first born, Happiest man in the world! I started having a big family and was also on the road a lot playing music. Clyde continued to forge out his own unique Blues-Rock style and played in other bands who for the most part, I didn’t get to see because I was busy playing too. But I heard about Clyde all the time. His reputation grew almost like this stealthy Robin-Hood sort of guy. An entire counter culture of Clyde Blosl music fans were all across Western Washington and speaking his name in the clubs. Quite an acheivement considering the fact there are no known record releases by this amazing gifted musician and I think that is a terrible shame. Fortunately though, we have his memories firmly loaded into our memory banks. Every kid who ever went to Centralia High School in the 68-72 period of time remembers the Blues Rocker who was way ahead of his time. Clyde could make that guitar sing so good it would put chills down your spine. Sometimes that was just before the cops came to the door to tell him to turn it down! Oh yes, you could hear Clyde play but it wasn’t for the joy of unbridled noise, no, Like one of his greatest heroes Jimi Hendrix, Clyde could make these incredible sounds and feedback from his amp into musical tones that were no less as great as the finest violin imaginable. He had tone!

His mom and pop, his brother and sister, daughter and all his extended family were always proud of Clyde, They, as we, knew he had that special gift. The something else that not everyone in the arts ever achieves. Thousands of people in our little section of this big blue marble will always remember Clyde for his amazing guitar magic. I and a few of our friends like the Go-Go Girls who are now Go-Go Grandmas -will never forget a sweet boy who always had a joke to tell, the coolest, fastest 56 Chevy in town and the loudest amp we ever heard. Most of all we will never forget the boy who grew to be a man that loved everyone and loved music as much as he loved life. I will remember my friend and I will see him opening the case to that Red Fender Mustang over and over again in my head.

I think now I will celebrate such memories by pouring myself a big cold glass of milk and, with guitar in hand I will try to remember that “John Lee Hooker” Blues song that Clyde, as a fourteen year old white kid from small town America knew- like the back of his hand. J Maier