Each month in 2021, we will be featuring a member of the worldwide Gretsch community as our spotlight “featured player” of the month!
The featured guitarist for April is Stefan Jadefjord . . .
Stefan Jadefjord lives in Sweden and works as a grade school music teacher teaching children from the ages of 10 to 16. He has also studied to be and has worked as a sound engineer in television, movies, and music recordings. Stefan started playing the guitar at the age of 12 after buying his first record with his own money . . . an Alice Cooper record. He didn’t know what it would sound like but knew his 17-year-older brother liked him, so it must be good. Stefan was bitten by the rock bug at that point and decided he wanted an electric guitar.
Stefan grew up on classic country music, however, since that’s what his parents played at home. He heard Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, and a lot of other great artists growing up. Those sounds made him a “country boy” at heart even though he didn’t realize it until his early teens. Stefan’s dad was very supportive in his interest in music. In the 60s he used to work on repairing amps and guitars and he got Stefan his first electric guitar. His father helped him a lot through the years getting new amps and equipment.
Shortly after his hard rock and heavy metal phase was over, Stefan discovered Chuck Berry and the blues. At age 15, he discovered Elvis and he became a big hero of his. Stefan started collecting his music and discovered rockabilly, rock & roll, and country music. He loved the REAL old school country music. As he grew older, his interest in the earlier country sounds grew bigger such as the music of Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, etc.
These days Stefan collects country and rockabilly music from the 30s up until the early 60s.
Stefan has played bluegrass acoustic guitar in a band called Heavenly Mountain Band, and rockabilly in Penny & The Pickups and The Stirmakers. These days he plays rockabilly lead guitar in The Snapshots.
We asked Stefan . . .
How old were you when you knew you were interested in becoming a musician?
Probably 13 years old.
Why did you choose Gretsch?
Early on I loved how they looked. It wasn’t until my mid 30s though I decided to get one. I’ve played many different guitars through the years but my current Gretsch is my favorite. Best guitar ever made! I love the company and its history. The craftmanship these days is second to none; the tone is perfect for me. I love those T-Armond pups by TV Jones.
What Gretsch gear do you currently use?
I play a 6120 55VS.
Which musicians were the biggest influence on you and why?
Chuck Berry was my first guitar hero. I learned a lot from him. James Burton was a huge inspiration to me. I got to meet him twice back in the early 2000s. Scotty Moore is also a huge inspiration as well as Roy Nichols in Merle Haggard’s first band. I listen a lot to jazz players, western swing, and early rockabilly guitar players to find inspiration and to learn new licks and stuff. I like the obscure stuff. Finding old, rare rockabilly and country recordings from the 50s and 60s is my biggest inspiration these days.
How did you adjust and stay musical during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Working as a music teacher in school I get to work with music on a daily basis. The Snapshots haven taken a break rehearsing and booking gigs. We’ll stay put until the pandemic is over. My father passed away in November last year so my family sees my mother a lot. I try to stay away from other people as much as I can so my mother won’t get the virus.
You could be featured in 2021 just like Stefan. Click to find out how!