Kal David: The Blue Guitar
This week our good friend and blues guitarist extraordinaire Kal David was playing a sold out show at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Connecticut. Infinity is owned by a close friend of ours and is the premier area venue.
A few days later Kal paid a visit to the shop. Like Hamer Guitars, Kal originally hails from Chicago, though he’s from the South Side, home of Chicago blues. Kal grew up playing the blues and hasn’t turned back.
General Manager Frank Untermyer, another Chicago native, greets Kal.
Kal graciously agreed to play a set for the crew. Our own Kim Keller and Allen Richardson accompanied Kal, backing him up on classics like Thrill is Gone and Johnny B Goode.
In addition to his long solo career, among many other gigs Kal played with the Illinois Speed Press. He later joined John Mayall and the Blues Breakers, picking up where Mick Taylor left off.
Many Hamer afficianados know Kim Keller, if not face to face then over the phone or through e-mail. Kim has been the Hamer Customer Service Manager since 1996, ushering through repairs large and small and giving our customers the time and respect that they deserve. Kim has also been integral to the various open houses that we have sponsored. Kim continues to play his laser pearl CruiseBass.
Perhaps less known to Hamer players is Allen Richardson, who started in 2000, working in our mill area. Allen even surprised some of our own team with his drumming skills. He’s been playing since 1974, with his first kit being a 1960 Gretsch 4-piece in black pearl. We thought that he’d feel right at home behind this newer piano black Gretsch U.S.A. custom set.
Al has studied with jazz drum greats such as Thierry Arpino (Jean Luc Ponty, Daniel Mille and many others). Locally, he played with Apricot Brandy and Whisky River.
Seeking a more inspiring environment, and no doubt tiring of Chicago winters, Kal relocated to Palm Springs California, where he continues to reside with his long time partner Lauri Bono. You can check out Lauri’s bluesy voice on songs like Another Blue Monday and Shadow Across The Land, which she co-wrote with Kal.
A surprise guest was Bill Kaman, former president of Kaman Music Corp. It was under Bill’s leadership that Hamer Guitars was acquired by KMC in 1988. Here, Bill is standing in with an Adamas guitar.
Kal is a long time Firebird fan. In 1996, when we set out to build Kal his first Hamer, he was looking for a T-51. He asked us if we could add a Duncan Firebird pickup in the neck position. Naturally, we obliged.
Here’s a closer look.
This T-51 has a gorgeous, and well played, bird’s-eye maple neck.
Kal’s a soulful individual who brings joy to those who he touches. We know that our crew experienced that joy when he touched them with his music. It’s performances like these that keep us in touch with our musical roots.