jim sergovic musician

Dunlop Ultex Picks

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Dunlop Primetone Sculpted Plectra

dunlop-primetone-on-collingsTHE SEARING HEAT OF molten lead.  Wintertime ditch digging with frigid blasts from Arctic Artie.  All SOP.  Decades of plumberly fun have shaped my hands.  The finger tips, they are hardened sheets of callus.

Lately, my biggest worry has been picks slipping out of my fingers when playing for popes and presidents.  These frequent occasions were marred by callused fingers which can’t seem to get decent pick grip.  Grumpy Biker customized a few .88mm Dunlop Tortex picks, but while working out the kinks, I discovered a new product – the Dunlop Primetone pick with raised grip surface.

Primetones are large, textured, and sculpted.  Yes, they sometimes rotate in my fingers like other picks, but with three picking surfaces, I’m good.  Dunlop’s Tortex is still a great choice.  But this larger pick with a grip surface?  Until a sticky pick comes out, I’m adding Ultex to my pocket full of Dunlop.

The American Road Trip • Part III

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salt missions trailWE BEGIN WHERE IT ENDS  The GMC Sierra rolls eastward.  A 4:40am start is fortuitous.  Choosing US-60E out of Phoenix, our sky offers a dazzling dome of stars and a planet or two one usually misses.

An hour later, the sky is nearly as black as when we start.  Directly overhead, dominating the heavens is one huge bright planet.  Later I learn it was probably Jupiter. Thus protected by the God of Travel, we set our destination to Amarillo, with a pit stop in Socorro NM.

US 60 is the right road to see the Southwest.  Through multiple National Forest – Tonto, Apache, Sitgreaves, Gila, Cibola, through Reservations, we travel some of the last undeveloped land in America. 

pinto creek bridge 1955Socorro has arrived.  At the corner of I-25 and US-60, this collection of artists is also a nifty college town, home of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Resting in a cavernous, bare coffee and sandwich shop, I notice no radio, CDs, or TV.  The exhaust fan hummed along with muted voices.  Excellent coffee.  A piano and guitar in the corner.  Balancing my mug on a couch arm, I retrieve the guitar and tried a few chords.  Wow, these folks are easy to please!  A few start dancing to the New Orleans funky butt strut I strum.  Hey, this is nice!

After a bit Foxcatcher is rescued from the truck, allowed to thaw, then given a try.  And who’d a thunk it!  A fiddle, penny whistle, and accordion join my mandolin within the hour.  I was in the thick of it, all right!  This is living in Socorro.  The road, however, beckons.  Celtic music follows me out the door, back to a 25˚ New Mexico winter.

East of Socorro, enormous views continue.  Near zero traffic.  A great place to reflect while enjoying beautiful country.  On one pull-over along a 15 mile straight-away, its absolute silence was profound.  Be sure to carry whatever you may need for 24 hours in case of break-down!  

We fold our map and succumb to I-40E as the sun nestles her head among pillows of distant hill.  We didn’t make it quite to Amarillo, despite an early start.  Slowed by slush in Arizona, music in New Mexico.  Next time we’ll do the trip in two days, and overnight in Socorro.  Right on the Old Town Square!