I was at my regular Brooklyn wine bar tonight, Flying Lobster on Union Street @ Hicks in Cobble Hill, when in walks Joey Lauricella, owner and co-founder of Fodera Guitars. He's a friend of the bar's Croat owner and also the owner of the restaurant next door, Petite Crevette, where Joey had just had dinner with one of his Japanese distributors. Joey is a super-nice guy. He and I clicked on mutual friends, clubs and NYC history. He was especially interested in my circa-1985 Fodera short scale six. It earned me an artist's discount and an invitation to the shop next week to play some basses and to inspect my Fodera for resale, which I haven't played in mumble-mumble years. Five minutes later, Nick Epifani, another personable guy, walked in and Joey introduced us. It was a fascinating 90 minute roundtable on insider stories I'd never heard before, everything from Anthony Jackson's history to Matthew Garrison's unique technique to Fodera's endless battle with the government over its imported exotic woods to why Foderas are so g-d expensive. I felt like I was at a wine social at NAMM. I'm very sorry I didn't audition the Epifani before I bought the MarkBass because Nick made a compelling A-B case for it. I'll see next week because Joey has several at the factory. The conclave ended way too soon for me because Joey had a bar gig in South Slope. Yeah, he's still a working player. But I did get ten minutes with his personal bass, which is a "Standard", no-frills 5 string. It felt awesome. And almost affordable, used, if I had the money. I love Brooklyn.