Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Rory Block has been one of the country’s preeminent blues artists for more than four decades and close to 30 albums now, but if you haven’t checked in with her in the past dozen years, you’ve missed out on some of the best music she’s ever made.
Wilco guitarist and master improviser Nels Cline is drawn to a guitar that’s lived a life and has a story. Each of his instruments seems to have a colorful background, and every time Cline cracks open another case, I get the full rundown on what’s inside.
Peter Ciluzzi plays music in his dreams. He tells me this as we’re standing outside The Evening Muse in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he has just played a transcendent set. As an unseasonably chilly wind rushes down the street, the guitarist and luthier, who built guitars out of his Provincetown,…
It goes without saying that bluegrass dobro titan Jerry Douglas is no stranger to the bandstand. Still, even Douglas had to admit that co-hosting a “Guitar Mash” at Nashville’s City Winery on April 7, 2018, alongside longtime Paul Simon musical director Mark Stewart, was a whole new way to approach…
On a Monday night in Syracuse, New York, guitar cases line the walls of a hotel meeting room. Around 70 players, many cradling their instruments, are listening to a presentation by singer-songwriter Tim Burns, leader of the local Americana band Two Hour Delay. Burns is sharing ideas on how to back up another guitarist, and to demonstrate, he’s invited to the stage John Cadley, a veteran of the bluegrass/country scene in upstate New York and beyond (Lou Reid & Carolina once topped the bluegrass charts with Cadley’s song “Time”).
Laurindo Almeida (1917–1995) was a “crossover” musician before the term was coined. He won five Grammy Awards for classical and jazz recordings, including Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 1961 for Discantus, which tied that year with a piece by Igor Stravinsky.
Anthony Russo wanted Petteway to visit his house and play his collection of luthier-built guitars, so that he could hear what they sound like from a listener’s perspective, and, more important, document them on a recording.
In 2015, singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier was sipping coffee inside the Carey Center for Global Good in upstate New York, watching one of the participants arrive for a weekend retreat led by an organization called SongwritingWith:Soldiers.
Classical guitarist and composer Brad Richter wasn’t expecting what he found when he stopped by the high school in Page, a small city in Northern Arizona’s Navajo country. On tour, Richter had been asked to lead a master class for guitarists in Page High School’s music program, and he had…
When you see the words “jazz guitar,” what pops into your mind’s ear first? Odds are that you hear the clean, smooth, rich sound of an electric archtop, possibly with its tone knob rolled down for extra low-mid emphasis, picking out chord melodies à la Joe Pass or octave lines in the manner of Wes Montgomery. Without a doubt, this is the stereotypical jazz guitar sound, but over more than 100 years of history, there have been many others. And a significant percentage of them were (and are) produced without the aid of a pickup, cable, or amplifier.
At 48, Sweeney is an in-demand collaborator and producer, with a long list of credits—for everyone from the Dixie Chicks to Johnny Cash to Neil Diamond—under his belt. Most recently he’s played guitar on records by the bands Chavez, Endless Boogie, and Soldiers of Fortune; toured with Iggy Pop and Josh Homme; and co-written songs for the John Legend album Darkness and Light. In between these gigs, Sweeney hosts his own instructional web series, Guitar Moves, on Noisey/Vice, in which guest guitarists break down their techniques.
If there’s one breed of customer that rankles guitar-store owners, it’s not the unreasonable haggler or the teenager who overworks a Nirvana riff for an afternoon. More than anything, it’s the shopper who comes to examine an item but fully intends to purchase it online elsewhere. “Showcasing,” as it’s known, is not new, but it’s increasingly in the open, and indicative of a fickle retail environment where buyers chase deals via the internet.