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John Williams poses with his guitar

John Williams Travels Beyond the Classical Guitar’s European Roots

In the pantheon of classical guitar greats, Australia-born John Williams stands as a most imposing figure. For decades he has been the archetype for recitalists of the post-Segovia era. His singular technical abilities and thoroughgoing approach to the music he plays have set very high standards for those seeking to…

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Happy Traum, Stefan Grossman, Rory Block, and Steve James

Out of the Blues: Reflections on the 1960s Folk Revival

In the late 1950s and early ’60s, prewar acoustic blues guitarists such as Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, and Reverend Gary Davis earned late-in-life fame as new audiences eagerly devoured their music through performances at events like the Newport Folk Festival and LP reissues and compilations on labels like Folkways…

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bob dylan playing harmonica and guitar next to a microphone

Bob Dylan’s Acoustic Guitars

Throughout his career Bob Dylan has played a lot of acoustic guitars, mostly Gibsons and Martins, with some exceptions. Here, we take a close look at the guitars of Bob Dylan.

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black and white photo of Django Reinhardt playing his guitar

Django Reinhardt Still Inspires Guitarists Six Decades After His Death

John Jorgenson thought he’d heard every possible description of Django Reinhardt’s guitar style—until he was asked to play the Gypsy-jazz guitarist’s music for the 2004 film Head in the Clouds. “The British director [John Duigan] said, ‘Django Reinhardt makes a particular sort of a racket on guitar. Can you make…

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illustration of acoustic guitar being cut out with scissors like fabric

DIY Folk: What It Takes to Survive and Thrive in the Streaming Era

At the 2019 Folk Alliance International conference, held in Montréal in February, evidence of the vitality and diversity of the contemporary folk scene was everywhere, as nearly 3,000 attendees representing 47 countries crammed the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel with acoustic guitars, banjos, mandolins, fiddles, and upright basses. Alongside legends like…

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