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No blues this time of year for music lovers
Doug John shows one of the high-end Taylor guitars that he carries at Legend Music the Louise Avenue music store that offers sales, repairs and lessons. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

If you ask George Janis, there isn’t really a concrete “season” for music.

Surely some people prefer to stay indoors when the weather turns, tune their old guitar and spend some quality time with an instrument that they may neglect when the summer sunshine affords more traditional recreational opportunities.

Others just take the guitar – or more recently, the ukulele – to the beach with them.

“It’s hard to say whether the weather really makes a big difference,” he said. “Guitars are definitley popular this time of year, and during the summer it’s probably a 50/50 mix between the guitar and ukulele.

“It used to be that we’d see ukuleles get hot for three months or six months and then they’d fade away for a year or two. But it hasn’t slowed down for the last four or five years.”

Americans, however you slice it, have always had a love affair with their instruments.

Because of their low cost and mass-production the harmonica became the instrument for the masses during The Great Depression. The innovative ways that they were utilized in Southern blues music is still seen today.

But for Legend Music owner Doug John, a good, high-quality acoustic guitar lends not only credibility with serious musicians but gives those just starting off something to aspire to – the smooth lines and handcrafted touches that will one-day complement the collection of a true music aficionado.

For John it’s the guitars of Bob Taylor – played by artists such as Jewel, Jimmy LaFave and Taylor Swift – that plant the perfect finishing touch on his expansive stock.

“I believe that he creates the finest acoustic guitars in the world, and while the company uses aggressive marketing their quality is truly second to none,” said John – who just recently acquired Spitzer Sound and Stage in Fresno. “And we stocked up based on the numbers that we did last year during the holiday season.

“Unfortunately we didn’t see quite the same thing – a lot of lookers but most of what we did were accessories and stocking stuffers and things like that. But its tax refund time so I’m pretty sure that will carry us through early May.”

And when May finally rolls around GK Music gets into full-swing.

According to owner Gordon Kennedy, most of the performances that his lesson-based music business agrees to – at local markets and county fairs – start to dot the calendar.

 That sort of exposure, he said, only drives up business.

“We get the chance to play for a whole lot of people,” he said. “And they come out in droves to those things – to the festivals and street fairs. That’s where my involvement is – with the kids.

“We see a lot more people signing up for lessons during the summer, and that’s probably why.”