AACA, Fur Peace Ranch To Raffle Epiphone Bass Guitar

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His innovative, driving sound has rumbled through concert halls and club venues all over the world.

Now, one lucky ticket-holder will have the chance to bring home that same melodic bass tone from the legendary Jack Casady.

Epiphone Guitars, the Athens Area Citizens for the Arts and Meigs County’s music mecca Fur Peace Ranch are teaming up to raffle off an Epiphone Jack Casady Signature Bass Guitar, signed by the bassist himself.

A founding member of rock bands Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, Casady spent years searching for the holy grail of bass tone through a partnership with Epiphone.

"When I first started playing, I ran across a short scale semi-hollow bass," he told the guitar-maker. "Despite lacking some low end, I really enjoyed the semi-hollow nature of that bass and over the years, tried to capture that characteristic."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee worked closely with Epiphone’s luthiers, designing an instrument that could fulfill his dream. The hollow, maple body features a single Humbucker pickup that "packs a wallop," with classic machine heads, and a metallic gold and ebony finish.

Casady’s devotion to music and desire to encourage other players led to teaching bass guitar workshops at Fur Peace Ranch with his lifelong friend and bandmate, Jorma Kaukonen.

"He’s been here since the beginning," said Fur Peace Ranch Director Vanessa Kaukonen. "When I decided what I wanted for a bass class, he was the first person I went to. He set the bar for what should be the curriculum.

"He’s not only one of my dearest friends, he’s an integral part of the Fur Peace Ranch structure," she added. "He’s one of the greatest living bass guitar players today. Nobody plays like him and that’s a fact. Jack wrote the book on that style of playing."

Kaukonen, who is also an AACA board member, said raffling off the guitar is a great way to bring in money for events like the upcoming Athens Jazz Festival, April 11-13.

"The AACA shows the amount of money that the arts is bringing to this area. It’s staggering if you break down the economic impact," said Kaukonen. "I wanted to be a part of that. I have access to a host of artists looking for ways to help organizations. There are people out there who are looking to give back."

The drawing will be held Saturday, May 24 at 8 p.m. at Fur Peace Ranch, 39495 St. Clair Road in Pomeroy. Tickets are $20 each and may be purchased at furpeaceranch.com; athensareaarts.com; Blue Eagle Music, 40 N. Court St., Athens; ARTS/West, 132 W. State St., Athens; the Athens Community Center, 701 E. State St.; or through AACA board members or Athens Municipal Arts Commission commissioners.

Proceeds benefit the Athens Area Citizens for the Arts, a regional partner of the Ohio Citizens for the Arts.

Hot Tuna is currently on tour promoting their latest album, Steady As She Goes.