Line of Despair

I am pleased to announce the release of my ambient/progressive guitar album – “Line of Despair”. You can listen to and purchase the album in these ways:

  1. My BandCamp Site
  2. iTunes – Search on “Bill Vencil” or use this link:
  3. Spotify – Search on “Bill Vencil” or use this link:

The album was a long time coming and is very different from “In the Wilderness”. For those of you who are curious about the title, please check out Francis Schaeffer’s book “Escape from Reason”.  Here’s a good blog on the concept:

Why Francis Schaeffer Matters

I wish you happy listening!

Lowden O35

I had a wonderful Martin Custom 15 as my main acoustic guitar for a number of years.  Incredible classic dread tone, expecially with its forward x-bracing.  Over time though, I found that the guitar just wasn’t going where I was going.  In particular, I was finding its 1 11/16″ neck cramping my style, literally.  I also found myself looking for a different tone.  One that rang a little more and had a little less of the dreadnaught thing.

Since the Sobell guitars I lusted after were way out of my league pricewise, I began to cast about for other options.  Being a long time ogler of DreamGuitars, I soon found out about Lowden.  After doing some additional research, and listening to soundclips, I decided to try one or 2.  I found a dealer in the area that had a few in stock, schlepped on over, and spent a few hours with them.  I was very impressed.

Being the thrifty music equipment shopper that I am, I soon found some out of state dealers willing to ship me one for an audition period.  I pulled the trigger on a O23, gorgeoously built, cedar top/walnut sides and back.  It played like a dream, but the top end was way too harsh.  Strike 1!  I sent it back, and called Paul at DreamGuitars.  He then sent me a McIlroy A30, a very nice ax, built in the Lowden tradition.  It had some setup issues, so I had to send it back.  Strike 2!

I spoke with Paul again, and we decided that a Lowden O35 with spruce top/koa sides and back might fill the bill for me.  I decided to try one last mail order round (I get nervous sending expensive guitars through the mail!).  The O35 arrived, and it has not left!  It plays like a dream and sounds like one.