Don L. weighs in 03-20-2020
Gus; I just got the Ultimate Thumb pick and a set of three Ultimate Finger Picks and wanted to give you my impression of them in the way of a review. I have pretty much [tried] every thumb and finger pick available. I saw a YouTube video on your product and thought I needed to add it to my collection. I was really pleased by what a great product this is. It far exceeded my expectations. Here are some unbiased pros and cons:
Ultimate Thumb Pick Pros: I inserted my favorite pick (Blue Chip TD 40) into the pick pouch of your Ultimate Thumb Pick and it fit perfectly. Your thumb pick sleeve fits snug but does not cut off blood circulation. I was able to strum chords and play lead with my fingers free–not holding the pick. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to strum chords with upstrokes without the pick twisting or loosening on my thumb. Up and down picking patterns for lead were a breeze as well. Of the dozens and dozens of different thumb picks I own, this is now my favorite. Cons – The thumb pick feels like it is a medium size and is a little snug. Not terrible, but I think the Large size will fit me better when it is available. I will be playing the one I have until the Large is available and then I will order several.
Ultimate Finger Pick Pros – I have the Large Clear ones that are first generation. They fit perfectly and are by far the most comfortable finger picks I have. They slide on, stay put, and then come off when gently pulled from the top – perfect fit. They do not cut off the blood supply to the fingers either. The nail design is genius! It is positioned exactly like a fingernail and is perfect for anyone used to playing with their nails. There is also the added benefit of being able to do a downward strum with them. Another pro is that you can shape them how you like, though the shape they come in is very usable (I may not change the shape of mine). I can change from an open hand finger picking to a closed hand, where I have a grip on the pick in the thumb pick. It is a very natural grip and I can feel the pick between my index finger and my thumb (unlike plastic or metal finger picks). It’s like holding my pick in a natural way while wearing thin rubber gloves – sounds funny, but it works great. I can get a lot of pick dynamics this way.
Cons – Seriously – None. My only complaint is that I like the next generation [nail] design, but it is not available yet in Large. When it is available, I will be ordering several sets.
As a final note in this review, Money doesn’t lie and these were so good that I immediately bought another set. I will be ordering several Ultimate Thumb Picks in Large as soon as they are available. I will also be ordering several sets of the second generation Ultimate Finger Picks in Large as soon as they are available. They were nice enough to include a 20 % discount in the package with my first order. I like this product and I want to support the development of them, so I chose not to use it on my second order. I want to support this product and hope to see them have the funds to continue to grow…
Don L. – USA
2nd-gen nail design!
Gathered TIPS for end-users:
An assortment of accumulated feedback follows:
First, the thumb pick:
***Remember, wetting your thumb and “pushing” the sleeve into place, works best. The water will dry, and the fit will be perfect.
***Exchange the flat pick with YOUR favorite flat pick, to get the action you prefer out of your thumb pick
***You can adjust the angle about 10 degrees either way, without having to cut into the ‘pick pocket’
***Left-handed player!? The pick pocket can be customized to allow the flat pick to be reversed! Yay!
Finger Pick tips:
***Make sure you take the time to shape, file, and buff the nails to fit your personal style.
***Wetting your fingers, or powder, will help the picks slip into place with ease…
***Some end-users have eliminated the curvature of the nail, by filing the underside of the nail, to create a flat pick. Others leave a smaller point instead of a whole nail, while still others shift the entire cot to one side or the other, to change the angle of attack.
***Guitar pickers, Banjo players and Autoharp players have been experimenting with these picks “upside down.” When you customize the nail, you can heat it and bend it so that it follows the contour of your finger tip, just like the metal ones do…
***Some folks take these to the nail salon and let the professionals shape them to their specifications, shortening the length, eliminating curvature, and buffing to a high-gloss smooth finish that glides nicely over the strings. Further modification might include the addition of the acrylic gel, or porcelain powder coating, while you’re at the nail salon, to help create the tonal quality you may be used to…
***Powders or string lubricants like Finger Ease work well to eliminate friction between the cots during finger-picking. [depending on your playing style, this is probably a ‘non-issue’]
***Give these picks a good test. We believe you can customize & adapt them so that they enhance your playing technique. Learning curve is different for everyone.
Int’l postage gone WILD!
USPS postage has gone up yet again, and we are forced to raise the international S/H to $14.95 + $1 for each additional package in the same envelope, which still barely covers the new costs. We held off as long as we could, and have been below costs for about a year now. Please don’t let this stop you from trying our new products, especially if you believe they can help your technique. Whether it be autoharp, acoustic guitar, pedal steel, resonator, mandolin, banjo, harp, classical guitar–any and all stringed-instruments–the ultimate finger picks [and now the thumb pick] just might be the answer you’ve been looking for.
The way around the high cost of shipping is to group your order with fellow pickers that might want to try these picks, too. Example:
- From Australia, you order two three packs of the large size, one three pack of mediums, and two thumb pick prototypes…
- Your shipping would be: $14.95 USD for the first pack, and then $1 each for the four additional packs within the same order, equaling $18.95 for five products.
- This breaks down to $3.79 per package.
Team Ultimate 🙂
Gus shifts his energies to Linden, Texas
100% Focused on the Finger & Thumb Picks!
Sorry to let the Crossroads website go stagnate, but since we don’t do any concerts now, all our focus has been on the inventions:
The Ultimate Finger Pick & Thumb Pick Website
One-minute Thumb pick video, with Verlon Thompson
In its TENTH year, Crossroads shifted the focus of its existence from concerts to developing the Ultimate Finger Pick invention. With Gus getting hired back in Winnsboro, and departing from his duties in Sulphur Springs, it was logical to continue supporting what the Winnsboro Center for the Arts [WCA] had going on the Bowery Stage [formerly the Crossroads Music Company & Listening Room Stage].
As of October 1, 2015, Gus’ full time responsibility as Winnsboro’s Main Street Manager also included overseeing all the wonderful things happening in the Cultural Arts District, which is the same overlay downtown, and boasts the WCA as its ANCHOR for everything happening in the Cultural Arts District! The Winnsboro Center for the Arts, with Jim Willis handling all the bookings for the Bowery Stage, is selling out performances right and left, and just hosted Judy Collins [Sweet (Suite) Judy Blue Eyes] on June 14th in little ol’ Winnsboro, Texas. That’s right, you heard right! Stay tuned for the next chapter as it unfolds, and help us keep live music ALIVE here in East Texas!
Matt Songbird Jones Concert
It was wonderful having Matt Songbird Jones on the Crossroads Music Stage!!
Adam Carroll @ Crossroads!
July 25, 2015, Adam will be coming to Sulphur Springs, Texas! Advanced Tickets
A Texas Songwriter born and raised, Adam Carroll takes the events of ordinary lives and turns them into deeply moving, often humorous songs.
With seven Indie CDs supporting regular tours across the USA, Canada and Europe as “one of the hippest songwriters on the Texas music landscape”, this engaging Americana guitar-picker has earned further critical acclaim with song placements in the Grammy nominated film, Country Strong and others.
“The core of what I do is songwriting; it’s the one thing I’m passionate about. It’s the most fulfilling and challenging job I can imagine.” explains Adam.
From his studio records produced by Grammy Award winner Lloyd Maines (South of Town, Lookin’ Out the Screen Door, Live at Cheatham Street, Far Away Blues) through to his latest releases (Old Town Rock N Roll, Hard Times with Michael O’Connor, Live at Flipnotics), the quality of his songwriting stands out.
Given a rare command of the English language and an amazing sense of melody, it’s little surprise Adam has earned enviable comparisons to Townes Van Zandt, Todd Snider, John Prine and Bob Dylan as well as being recognized as a creative influence on his songwriter peers.
Adam Carroll’s song credits include co-writes and CD or Film covers by Slaid Cleaves (Race Car Joe, Hard to Believe), Hayes Carll (Take Me Away, featured in the film Country Strong) and Band of Heathens (Medicine Man, Maple Tears).
“Among singer-songwriters, Adam Carroll is probably Austin’s best-kept secret. His tunes are marvels of economy; .. constantly inventive and decidedly offbeat .. Live at Flipnotics offers a typically low-key yet inviting overview of his career. With (Producer) Scrappy Jud Newcomb on guitar, he sparkles .. ” Jim Caligiuri, Austin Chronicle
“Influences ? .. Adam Carroll .. I used to skip my own gigs to go watch him .. by far my favorite, somebody whose writing style I emulated in some ways.” Hayes Carll, No Depression 2011
Robert Ellis in Concert; Thursday, May 7, 2015
ROBERT ELLIS [Tickets], The Musician’s Biography; Videos
The Lights From The Chemical Plant
“I want this record to be more about the Paul Simons and the Randy
Newmans and the other half of my upbringing,
which is very much rooted in pop.” – Ellis recently told Rolling Stone
Robert Ellis is the kind of songwriter who only comes along once in a great
while. With his first two albums, a promise was made. With his new
record, The Lights from the Chemical Plant, that promise has been delivered
and fully realized. The music, like the artist, refuses to accept the confines of a
box, and burns white-hot from the inside out. But what seems even more
striking about this record, this musician, even at a first glance, is that feeling
of unyielding authenticity.
With every remarkable cut, with every twist and turn, Robert’s life and his
experience, shine through. His days growing up in a small industrial town in
Texas, his move to Houston, and now as a 25-year-old man, when not on the
road performing around the world, living with his wife in Nashville.
The Lights from the Chemical Plant, produced with great care and precision by
Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings of Leon, Norah Jones), and recorded at Eric
Masse’s Casino studio in East Nashville for New West Records, is an album
that has a way of grabbing you by the hand and pulling you in so that it can
play with your soul. –Read More–
Terri Hendrix/Lloyd Maines–Concert & Songwriters Workshop!
Terri Hendrix, with Lloyd Maines: Saturday & Sunday, April 18/19, 2015
Terri Hendrix; Mini Bio
Terri Hendrix is an award-winning Texas songwriter who spins sorrow into joy and wrings wisdom from the blues with a poetic grace and uplifting melodic flair that has endeared her to three generations of loyal fans across the country and around the globe. As the San Antonio Express-News observed in a review of her 2010 album, Cry Till You Laugh, “Part of the beauty of Terri Hendrix’s music is she’s among the best at recognizing, writing about and celebrating resilience and common ground, the things we can all cry, and laugh, about.” The classically trained vocalist and deft multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin and harmonica) has released more than a dozen albums on her own Wilory Records label, dodging musical pigeonholes her entire career by weaving folk, pop, country, blues and swinging jazz into an eclectic style all her own. That playful mix of styles, buoyed by her energetic stage presence and the accompaniment of legendary producer/guitarist Lloyd Maines, makes for a highly energetic and spiritually uplifting live show in any setting, from intimate listening rooms and theaters to festival stages. In addition to touring and recording new music for four different album projects slated for release in 2015, Hendrix is currently writing her second book (her first being 2010’s Cry Till You Laugh — The Part That Ain’t Art, containing song lyrics and essays on life… [Read More @ Terri’s Website]
Lloyd Maines; Mini Bio
Lloyd Maines Few people are as important to the development of Texas music over the last 30 years as Lloyd Maines. As a Grammy award-winning producer and musician, the Lubbock-born Maines has played an instrumental role in the creation of some of the Lone Star State’s most famous and beloved albums. Maines began his recording and producing career in 1974. Over the past 40 years, Maines has worked on approximately four-thousand albums alongside some of the most significant figures in country, rock, and Texas music. In addition to his producing credits, Maines is an A-list steel guitar player and multi-instrumentalist. His work has been heard on countless recordings. Maines was inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame June 2014. He has made more appearances on the PBS show than anyone else in the history of the program. For an ongoing list of his accomplishments, please visit his website, lloydmaines.com
Crossroads Music Remaining Concerts – 2015
These are the shows that are on the books, as of March 7, 2015, for the balance of 2015. Join our email list, to stay connected for any changes that may come along, and for a heads-up when tickets go on sale for the different performances!
- March 14th: 2-Bit Palomino
- April 18h: Terri Hendrix/Lloyd Maines
- April 19th: Songwriters Workshop, w/Terri & Lloyd
- May 7th: Robert Ellis
- May 30th: Beppe Gambetta/Brad Davis
- July 25th: Adam Carroll
- Sept. 5th: Matt “Songbird” Jones
- Nov.12th: Jonathan Byrd Band
2-Bit Palomino Rides Again!
Saturday, March 14, 2015, at 7:30 PM; Advanced tickets, only $10!!
201 N. Davis Street; Sulphur Springs, TX 75482 903-342-1854
Yes, they’ve completed their latest musical works, and plan to bring it with them to Sulphur Springs, for a performance in the Chambers Listening Room–Historic City Hall.
About 2-Bit Palomino
2-Bit Palomino Awarded Texas Vocal Group of the Year for the Second Time!
2-Bit Palomino is a Trio of Houston Singer/Songwriters Andi Renfree, Ren Renfree and Bill Ward. Founded in March of 2010, 2BP (as their fans call them) have made huge strides and are quickly becoming a household name in Texas Music, and across the country. 2-Bit Palomino is the 2011 and 2013 recipient of the Vocal Group of the Year award from the Academy of Texas Music, and is currently on the US Americana Terrestrial and Internet Radio Charts with over 40 Stations across the country playing their music.
Each of the members brings their own flair and style to the group. Their music is a blend of all three coasts; West Coast, Gulf Coast and East Coast. This diversity lends to a very wide range of styles that somehow all come together to form a unified sound that is uniquely 2-Bit Palomino.