Circle 'Round the Sun

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When people ask me what kind of music I play, I admit that I struggle a bit. I mean, how does one boil down so much experience into a few words? A few years ago I realized that I could say the most by replying “American folk music.” I mean, I am an American, and I am a regular person, so it must be American folk music, right? Not only that, but with influences as diverse as Bill Monroe, Charles Brown, Muddy Waters, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Sonic Youth, Jim Hall and Bill Frisell, how can I say anything else? Now, when people ask what kind of music I play, I can point them to this website.


I am not a guitar collector, I play all of my guitars and they all serve a purpose. In fact, each of my guitars has it's own repertoire. I have some solid body electrics, some flat top acoustics, a brass bodies resonator, but my total love and devotion is reserved for my archtop acoustics.

I play them for folk and country, for old acoustic swing, for jazz solos, and with my band. I have old ones and new ones.

Gibson L-5
          and Grimes MontreuxThe sunburst is a 1945 Gibson L-5, made in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The neck was replaced by the factory in the 50’s; the rest is original. I play it every day. The blond is a '97 Grimes Montreux. Steve Grimes makes about 25 guitars a year at his workshop on Maui, Hawaii.

Update: These two lovely instruments are no longer with me. The '45 L-5 has been replaced by a somewhat better preserved '46. My modern archtop needs are filled by beautiful instruments made by Bryant Trenier. I've posted some reviews on my YouTube channel.
These are heavenly guitars. They sing softly when played with a light touch, and they can overpower a room when played hard. They have punch, sustain, and blooming rich overtones.

For a great selection of new and old archtops, check out the great site MyJazzHome.

DIY Amps

I have been interested in tube amps for quite a while. Here are some notes on my own creations.


Musicians, especially loopers, love to talk gear. Here's some of the stuff I use.

Sound Samples, Fooling Around and YouTube

Here's some more music. Sometimes I just want to throw down some tracks just to see what they sound like. One of the little appreciated benefits of being an amateur is that you can do whatever you want. Lately I've been trying to keep up with the times and posting more of my work on my YouTube channel.

South Bay Folks

My latest pleasure has been participating in the open mic put on by South Bay Folks. This group has sponsored and run an open mic continuously since 1992. Some extraordinary talents participate, but the atmosphere and attitude is such that no one needs to be afraid to take part. On any given Thursday night you are likely to hear folk, jazz standards, acoustic Beatles covers, and blues played solo, as duets, or in  bigger ensembles. The open mic is smoothly organized, and the sound man is excellent. This is the most positive group of folks running the best open mic I've ever seen. Here is my occasional band, Sad But True, there:

Tom Morales

Just a little memory of my great friend.

Roots Standards
Looping More


Copyright 2003-2012 K. Khalsa. All rights reserved.

Last updated: March 29, 2014