Whatís that bass you play?

My main axe, “Frank,” started as a mid-seventies Fender Precision, which I bought from my dadís bassist. Around 1990 my father and I stripped it down and made it into a one-of-a-kind Frankenstein that really plays like a Fender Jazz. The changes consist of putting on a Warmouth jazz neck, installing P&J EMG pickups, as well as a Bad Ass Bridge. What really makes this instrument personal, is artist Gail Chapple’s beautiful carving of a figure into the horn. The downside of this axe is that it is really heavy. I’m currently on the prowl for a vintage jazz that is less than 9 pounds. Got one?

I also have an incredible ’63 Precision, “Sparky,” that I never had any intention of owning, but it somehow captured me one day while browsing at Mandolin Brothers. That one doesn’t leave the house that much, except for record dates, or really special occasions.

The last bass in my collection worth talking about is a Fender Jazz American Standard 5 string, hitherto nameless. It’s a very nice instrument, completely stock, and it only comes out to play when requested.

What’s your rig?

I’m a big fan, and endorser, of Mesa/Boogie and currently only use their amps and cabs. My gear consists of a a Carbine M6 head, a Walkabout head, a couple of 1x15 cabs, a 2x10 cab, and their cute but killing Scout 1x12 combo. I’m currently in transition with strings. For years I used DR Hi-Beams exclusively, but when I got Sparky, I put D’Addario Chromes on it (flats). I currently have an endorsement deal with D’Addario. I change my strings about three times a year, and honestly don’t remember the last time I snapped one on a gig. All of my beautiful straps are made by Moody Leather Straps. I have a pedal board that I use mostly on Papa Mali’s gig, and sometimes with Debbie Davies. It’s small, but I am a bass player after all! The board has a Moogerfooger low pass filter that I really love, a distortion pedal that Robert Keeley graciously gifted me, an Ernie Ball volume pedal, a very low-fi octave pedal, and a tuner. I own a chorus pedal, but it hasn’t been used in ages.

What name do you prefer to be called by?

Casandra Licia (pronounced Leecha) Faulconer is my full name and has many variations, all of which I answer by. Growing up I was called Cassi, and still to this day, family, dear old, and new, friends use it. More commonly, people call me Cass and in the last few years, I’ve been also known as 2 Funky. I allow my friends to choose whatever they’re comfortable with, although I don’t respond to Sandy or Sandra. I also don’t like being compared to the size of my basses.

Who are your influences?

My first influence is guitar player and father Wayne Faulconer. The presence of music around the house was undeniable while growing up. He helped direct me in my early development and is still a huge supporter of my playing. As bass players go, Jaco really threw a curve ball at me. Knowing that I could never be a innovator like him, I felt his playing taught me that beyond all his wizardry, most important was sound and feel, which unmistakably, he made both his own. Chuck Rainey has been on so many of my favorite albums from Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan and the Crusaders. He has created some of the most grooving and creative bass lines ever. There are so many bassists that I love and admire, but to keep a short list I’d have to include, James Jamerson, Willie Weeks, Aston “Family Man” Barrett, George Porter, Jr., Donald “Duck” Dunn, and the legendary upright players Paul Chambers and Ray Brown.

Where’s Thunder Bay?

Located on the coast of lake Superior in North Western Ontario, T-Bay lies about 200 miles North on Hwy. 61 from Duluth MN.

Where do you live?

Since Hurricane Katrina, I set up shop in New York City, but New Orleans is still my home. I spend about half the year on the road.

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