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A Musical Life: Jack Chase

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courtesy: Jack Chase
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Jack Chase is a carpenter, luthier, guitarist, mandolinist, budding vibraphonist and public radio enthusiast who lives in Wichita, Kansas.

“I always wanted to tear stuff apart, when I was a kid, and try to make it better. I rarely made it better but I did tear a lot of stuff apart. At some point, I started thinking, ‘Maybe I should learn how to build a guitar.’

The first sound you get out of a guitar when you string it up, after all this building and finishing, usually sounds really bad. You look at that thing and think, ‘I can’t believe I spent all this time. This thing sounds like a brick.’ You sit and strum on it, hit it harder and harder to try and get sound out of it and after, really, a short period of time, things will start to loosen up and start to sound good. You come back and play it a couple hours later go, ‘Whew! Got lucky there.’

If somebody comes to me and wants me to build a guitar it’s because they know me and they like the way I do things. If it’s a bit off the beaten path, that’s what they’re after anyway.”

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.