Joseph Joseph

by Jake Schepps

subscriber exclusive


When I bought a 1928 Nation plectrum steel guitar (which I tune like a banjo minus the 5th string), I immediately wanted to gather this unique combination of instruments. First thought was Justin Hoffenberg, an incredible Boulder-based bluegrass fiddler, who owns a 1928 National tenor guitar. Andy Hall of the Infamous Stringdusters is one of the best dobro players on the scene, and he happens to live here in Colorado. And as always, the indomitable Eric Thorin (playing a regular old wooden bass) holding it all down.

The May 2016 session at eTown Studio was incredibly fun, and I am excited to share the first track with you. "Joseph Joseph" is a classic manouche (Gypsy jazz) tune, and really fun to play. I actually believe this is likely unique, this combination of vintage and modern steel guitar-based instruments playing this style of music.

Regarding the sheet music this month: I have chosen to attach two lead-sheets for the piece instead of the tablature. One is from "The Django Fakebook" (though transposed to Am from Bm), and a bit of a different melody than our recording. The second is closer to what I actually played for the melody. It is typical for swing and jazz charts to notate very sparse melodies, enabling lots of room for melodic and rhythmic embellishment.


released August 4, 2016

Jake Schepps: National plectrum guitar (1928, and triple cone)
Justin Hoffenberg: National tenor guitar (1928, and single cone)
Andy Hall: resophonic guitar (dobro)
Eric Thorin: bass

Recorded at eTown Studio, Boulder, Colorado, May 17, 2016
Produced by Jake Schepps
Engineered by James Tuttle
Mixed by Justin Peacock

Composed by Casman & Steinberg

Special thanks to James, Andy, Justin, Eric, Matt Cantor (for teaching me the tune), and the incredible subscribers at Round Window Radio.



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Jake Schepps Boulder, Colorado

Jake Schepps has made a name for himself as a banjo renaissance man, an artist with not only an adroit touch on his instrument but an intrepid, imaginative vision for contemporary stringband music. Based in Boulder, Colorado, he leads the Jake Schepps Quintet, playing longform classical works written for string band, music by Bela Bartok, and of course some good ol' bluegrass. ... more

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