Everyone comes to Rick's

Lately I've been writing my memoirs. I'm not under the illusion that there would be any general interest beyond my own circle of friends, but it's been fun to do, and it's approaching book length now.

With the recent, unfortunate passing of Earl Crabb, many of our mutual friends have stirred up memories of Humbead's Map of the World. Here is the chapter from my memoirs in which I recall Earl and myself creating the map:
Humbead (pdf, 4 pages)

I went up to Seattle to record a couple of tracks with fiddler Hank Bradley. I had a wonderful time, and the two fiddle tunes - Bradley originals - came out great. More on the release of his CD soon...

The Black Mountain Boys reunion at Ashkenaz in Berkeley was a lot of fun, and the music was pretty good, too. Thanks to Eric Thompson and David Nelson for inviting me to fill Jerry Garcia's banjo spot in the band. It was an honor. There are rumors of doing some more gigs with this band.

• A video interview of me talking about the beginning of Shubb Capos. Taped in June 2010 as part of NAMM's oral history project.

• For an article about me from the January 1996 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited, written by Sandy Rothman, CLICK HERE

A couple of friends have asked for an example of me playing in a more traditional bluegrass style. I reached pretty far back in time for these three tunes with Vern and Ray:

Lonesome Road Blues | Prisoner's Song | Train 45

think different

• I've played the same instrument for almost all the years I've been playing. My banjo...

• My old friend George Jansen is a writer, and recently had his second novel published. It's about amateur baseball in 1900. I read it, and loved it. More...

• I was featured in Business 2.0 magazine. This was just a one-page piece, which is essentially accurate, but kind of truncates the development of Shubb Capos just a bit for the sake of brevity. You can see it or download it here (pdf)

The same article ran in FORTUNE magazine, as well.




Here I am with Saga's Tora Bora Boys
at the Music China show, Shanghai. Oct. 19, 2006


millionth martin
Me at the 2005 NAMM show, with the two millionth Shubb capo on the neck of the millionth Martin guitar.


Me and Bob Wilson, 1998 during the recording of our CD
Bodega Sessions


John Pearse and me in Amsterdam,
circa 1990

rhythm brothers
at the NAMM show with the Rhythm Brothers
Paul Shelasky, Charlie Warren, Doug Mattocks, yours truly, Raul Reynoso
circa 1989


vern and ray
Rick Shubb, Vern Williams, Ray Park
circa 1971


smokey grass boys
David Grisman, Rick Shubb, Herb Pedersen
circa 1967


Ebenezer Flu, Miss Crapidula Crookshank,
Honest Willie Cheatham, Dr. Avery P. Snootfull
circa 1976


me circa 1964




previous articles from Rick's Cafe:
The Michael Richards thing
The Rudeness Epidemic
• Do You Play Requests?

In memory of Chip Dunbar...

I am proud to have been granted a lifetime membership in the California Bluegrass Association.


Some of you may be familiar with my work years ago as a graphic artist. I did posters, some work in comic books, and various other illustrations, including work for the Carousel Ballroom and the Grateful Dead.carousel poster

Three of my posters were reproduced in the book "the Art of Rock," the definitive reference work on rock poster art.

All four Carousel posters are now available: digitally restored, and printed on high quality photo paper with archival ink. Check them out here...

One of my best known posters was Humbead's Revised Map of the World (with List of Population). Humbead was Earl Crabb, who collaborated on the project with me. I believe that he still has copies of this poster, if you want to check his website.

Here are more samples of my early art. Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

click image for PDF


Smokey Grass Boys poster 1
poster circa 1966
click image for PDF


brain fantasy
click image for PDF


drawing, circa 1965
click for PDF




I did this festival poster in 1974. (click for PDF, 877kb)
Besides the poster, I played in the festival, too.


golden state bluegrass festival