“Big Yellow Taxi” was the sole single from Joni Mitchell’s 1970 album, Ladies of the Canyon. Though it didn’t crack the Top 40 (it charted at No. 67 on the Billboard singles chart), that doesn’t accurately reflect its success.
Shortly after the May 2020 killing of George Floyd, Tom Prasada-Rao, a singer-songwriter based in Silver Spring, Maryland, was watching CNN footage of protests when in a fit of inspiration he penned a new song. In its aching and deeply felt contemplation, “$20 Bill (for George Floyd)” brilliantly captures the grief and rage coursing through the veins of so many in the wake of Floyd’s senseless murder, over cigarettes said to have been purchased with counterfeit currency.
“Oh Shenandoah,” sometimes called “Shenandoah” or “Across the Wide Missouri,” is an American folk heirloom which, ironically, was most likely written by French-Canadian fur traders in the 16th century.
To make things easier to play on the guitar, I placed the first two bars an octave lower than the strings on the original recording, with the second two bars in the original octave. Play this part kind of languorously, taking advantage of the breathing room afforded by the open strings.
It might seem incongruous to see “I Feel for You,” a song made popular by the R&B singer Chaka Khan in the mid-1980s, in this magazine. Sure, it’s a classic, but there’s nothing even faintly acoustic about Khan’s version of this Prince tune, with its dominant synth and drum programming.…
It’s been 50 years since James Taylor released what would prove to be one of the most enduring ballads in the folk-pop realm—and, according to recent surveys, an overwhelming favorite of AG readers. “Fire and Rain” is a rather heavy song. Its three verses refer obliquely to a friend who…
When AG recently surveyed readers about what songs they’d like to learn, the most requested selection was “Sultans of Swing.” This came as a surprise, as the track, which the British rock band Dire Straits released in 1978, has not a lick of acoustic guitar in it. But ask and you shall receive, as they say.
This classic murder ballad chronicles the 1866 death of one Laura Foster, in Wilkes County, North Carolina, and the capital punishment of her lover and assailant, Tom Dula—a story that received widespread national attention when it was published in newspapers such as The New York Times.