Folk

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A Sense of Purpose: Trampled by Turtles guitarist Dave Simonett reflects on his migration from rock ‘n’ roll to string-band music


When a group of young musicians got together in the early 2000s up in Duluth, Minnesota, to form a side project called Trampled By Turtles, they were unlikely candidates for an acoustic string band. 


News. Bluegrass. Flatpicking. Folk. Rock.

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2015 Grammy Nominations Unveiled


The 2015 Grammy nominations have been announced, and there are a number of Acoustic Guitar favorites on the list. Here are the nominations in the American Roots Music categories:


News. Bluegrass. Blues. Country. Fingerstyle. Flatpicking. Folk. Songwriting.

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Guitar Workshop Plus Announces U.S. Sessions


Guitar Workshop Plus, recipient of a 2014 Acoustic Guitar Player's Choice Award for Instruction, has announced its first-ever U.S.-based workshop for 2015. GWP has chosen San Diego as its newest location, and the inaugural San Diego workshop will be held on June 21-26, 2015 at the campus of California State University, San Marcos.


News. Bluegrass. Blues. Country. Fingerstyle. Flatpicking. Folk. Guitar Care. Jazz. Rock. Songwriting. Technique and Theory. Advanced. Beginner. Early Intermediate. Intermediate.

Listen to the January Issue of 'Acoustic Guitar'


This week we offer some of the musical highlights from the January issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.


Video. Sessions. Bluegrass. Blues. Country. Fingerstyle. Folk. Jazz. Rock. Songwriting.

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High End, Low Budget: Even with $600 (or less) to spend, guitarists can still find a great instrument


It wasn’t that long ago that budget guitars had the worst reputation: inferior instruments made from laminated woods, with poor playability and even worse tone. But things have changed. CNC (computer numeric control) machinery now allows guitar components to be accurately and efficiently cut into shape with astonishing speed, making high-quality guitars cheaper to produce. And thanks to technological advances, onboard electronics have become both more natural sounding and less expensive.


News. Bluegrass. Blues. Classical. Country. Fingerstyle. Flatpicking. Folk. Guitar Care.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Yusuf, Tell 'Em I'm Gone


Singer-songwriter Yusuf releases the best album Cat Stevens could never make.


Sessions. Blues. Fingerstyle. Folk. Recording. Rock. Songwriting.

EXCLUSIVE: Jim White vs. the Packway Handle Band Premiere New Song, "Sorrow's Shine"


Listen to a brand new song from Jim White vs. the Packway Handle Band's upcoming album Take it Like a Man.


Video. Sessions. Bluegrass. Blues. Country. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

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Wayfaring Stranger No More: In less than five years, pop singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has become a household name


When the lights go down and a lone silhouette appears onstage under four towering LED screens inside the gargantuan SAP Center in San Jose, California, the place erupts into deafening screams. Ed Sheeran, who walked away from the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles the week before with a Moon Man statue for Best Male Video, launches into the sweet sorrow of “I’m a Mess,” from his new album, X, and nearly every one of the 8,000 mostly young, mostly female fans mouths the words, as if they, too, have suffered the relationship turmoil the song describes.


News. Fingerstyle. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

Emmylou Harris All-Star Tribute Set for January


A who’s who of folk and country artists will be on hand January 10 in Washington D.C. to toast the career and legacy of Emmylou Harris.


Video. News. Bluegrass. Country. Folk.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Laurie Lewis & Kathy Kallick, Laurie & Kathy Sing the Songs of Vern & Ray


On Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick’s first new set of duets since 1991’s Together, the California newgrass masters pay tribute to a pioneering duo. It’s no accident that both Together and this collection draw on the legacy of Arkansas-bred Vern Williams and Ray Park. The original Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Vern & Ray’s full-blooded, crystal-sharp approach to standards and hill country originals exerted a seismic shift on a generation of 1970s West Coast players, Lewis and Kallick included.


News. Bluegrass. Country. Folk. Recording.

'New Basement Tapes' Videos Released


The New Basement Tapes are reaching the ground floor a little sooner than expected, as several music videos from the all-star project were released this week in anticipation of the upcoming album Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, slated to hit the shelves November 10.


Video. News. Folk. Rock.

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Dark Star: Forty years after his death, the songs of Nick Drake—flush with melancholy and mystique—continue to inspire guitarists


Nick Drake died in the dark. Not just in the literal shadow of nighttime—although he did apparently pass away before dawn on November 25, 1974 from an overdose of antidepressants—but also at a moment when the reclusive British singer-songwriter could have no way of gleaning the influence he would exert on generations of guitarists and songwriters.


News. Fingerstyle. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

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NYC’s Third Annual Guitar Mash Set for November 16


Acoustic-guitar luminaries from across the musical spectrum will be performing at the third annual Guitar Mash benefit show, to be held at New York’s City Winery on November 16. David Bromberg, Punch Brothers’ Chris Eldridge, Valerie June, and Chilean folk-rock wizard Nano Stern are among the top-notch musicians scheduled to appear.


News. Bluegrass. Blues. Country. Fingerstyle. Flatpicking. Folk. Jazz. Songwriting. Technique and Theory.

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Free Spirits: Hot Rize reunion results in a tour and first studio album in 24 years


Back in 1989, Hot Rize took the stage at a festival in North Carolina. The quartet, founded in Colorado just over ten years earlier, was one of the top bands on the bluegrass circuit, winning over traditionalists and newgrass fans alike with a fresh mix of old tunes and originals, sweet circle-around-the-mic vocal harmonies, and tight instrumental interplay. The guys did comedy too: for a portion of their festival set, Hot Rize transformed into the tackily dressed, wisecracking country-western group Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers. 


News. Bluegrass. Country. Flatpicking. Folk.

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Neil Young, Kinks, Morricone Among Record Store Day Vinyl Highlights


Those Thanksgiving leftovers are going to be served with a heaping helping of vinyl reissues this year, as acoustic-tinged releases by the likes of Neil Young, the Kinks, and the Dave Matthews Band have been tapped to hit the shelves for next month’s Black Friday Record Store Day.


News. Country. Folk. Rock.

Late Cream Bassist Jack Bruce Also Played Acoustic Guitar; Eric Clapton Pens Song In Bruce's Memory


Jack Bruce, the legendary bass player who died Saturday at 71, was much more than just the guy who played and sang on classic Cream songs such as "White Room" and "Sunshine of Your Love."


Video. Sessions. Blues. Folk. Jazz. Rock.

VIDEO: Johnny Winter Plays Son House


Johnny Winter’s final studio recording took place on February 4, 2013: a reading of Son House’s “Death Letter,” done in a single take on resonator guitar. The above video, directed, produced, and shot by Greg Olliver, offers a stunning look at Winter in full glory.


Video. News. Blues. Folk. Recording.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Luke Winslow-King, Everlasting Arms


Don’t let Luke Winslow-King’s clean-cut looks fool you. Hidden inside his preppy, Clark Kent exterior is the soul of a New Orleans bluesman.


News. Blues. Folk. Jazz. Songwriting.

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Neil Young to Exhibit Vintage Car Watercolors


Neil Young—songwriter, guitarist, author, and, er… painter?


Sessions. Folk. Rock.

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Rory Block Releases Latest in Her Mentor Series


In 1996, accomplished blueswoman Rory Block released a fine tribute to Robert Johnson, The Lady and Mr. Johnson, and the success of that release spawned her Mentor Series, a collection of tribute albums celebrating her most significant influences. The latest in that series, Hard Luck Child: A Tribute to Skip James, was released today on Stony Plain Records.


News. Blues. Fingerstyle. Folk. Recording.

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O Sister: Alynda Lee Segarra reimagines roots music in Hurray for the Riff Raff


Alynda Lee Segarra was a high schooler in New York City when she first heard Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Emmylou Harris, and Alison Krauss in the 2000 blockbuster, O Brother, Where Art Thou? At that point, Segarra, like so many others her age, became part of the O Brother generation—one of the young musicians whose exposure to American roots music through the film would help to energize the latest folk revival.


News. Bluegrass. Blues. Country. Fingerstyle. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

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CD Review: 'A Passage to Rhodesia' by Rome


The dark-folk outfit Rome has built a reputation for blowing past genre boundaries and defying expectations. A Passage to Rhodesia is no exception, its mix of crisp acoustic guitars with electronics and industrial sounds marking a new evolution in the Luxembourg artist’s crooning neofolk sound.


News. Folk. Rock.

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Tony Rice Tribute Guitar to be Auctioned by Bourgeois


Tony Rice’s 1935 Martin D-28 herringbone (serial number: 58957) is, quite simply, one of the most famous guitars in the world. Once belonging to Clarence White, one of Rice’s heroes, the modified dreadnought has achieved mythic status for its clarity and projection.


News. Bluegrass. Country. Flatpicking. Folk.

Damien Rice cover image

ALBUM REVIEW: Damien Rice, My Favourite Faded Fantasy


In the eight years since Damien Rice released his second album, 9, a cottage industry of sensitive, Starbucks-approved indie singer-songwriters emerged and then exploded into the teen-pop mainstream with the arrival of Rice-acolyte Ed Sheeran, who graces this issue’s cover. You can almost imagine Rice hovering in the wings with a furrowed brow, sullenly wringing his hands, thinking, “Please, please, relieve me of this writer’s block.”


News. Fingerstyle. Folk. Rock. Songwriting.

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Berlin Wall (of Guitars)


If you happen to find yourself in Berlin this November and consider yourself a guitar enthusiast, you ought to make your way over to the Holy Grail Guitar Show. The inaugural event will be held on November 15 and 16 at the Estrel Hotel and Convention Center, and it will feature more than 100 of the world’s top guitar makers.


News. Bluegrass. Blues. Classical. Fingerstyle. Flatpicking. Folk. Guitar Care. Jazz. Rock.

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