January 2006 (Issue No. 157)

AG 157 January 2006 Cover

Issue Highlights

Blues lesson with John Hammond. Guide to buying a classical guitar. John Prine on songwriting. Six songs to play, including "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day. Bluegrass lesson with Jim Hurst. Gear reviews for the Durango B-46, Ovation, C2078 LX Custom Elite Contour, and Ultrasound CP-100 amplifier. Spotlights on Eliza Gilkyson and Old Blind Dogs. Find out how to conquer stage fright. Sustained-note chords lesson. How to decide what type of guitar strap to buy. DI box basics. Healdsburg Guitar Festival 2005 report. And more!

Featured Songs

Angel from Montgomery - John Prine

Wheel Hoss - Jim Hurst and Bill Monroe

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) - Green Day

Come to Find Out - John Hammond

Back in the Groove - Doug Young

Gymnopédie No. 1 - Erik Satie

In This Issue

A LIFE IN THE BLUES
Blues guitarist John Hammond keeps his music fresh by writing songs and covering contemporary songwriters like Tom Waits and Bob Dylan. But he still finds inspiration in the music he learned from blues legends like Blind Willie McTell and Son House. In this exclusive lesson, he illustrates some of his favorite slide licks, many of which were inspired by blues greats like Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson, and Lightnin' Hopkins. By Julia Crowe.

WHAT KIND OF CLASSICAL GUITAR DO YOU NEED?
There are many factors to consider when shopping for a classical guitar. By Ron Forbes-Roberts.

BIG OL' GOOFY WORLD
After overnight success in the early '70s and writing enough classic songs to ensure membership in anyone's Songwriting Hall of Fame, John Prine spent much of the past decade recovering from cancer and raising his children. Last year's Fair and Square is the first CD of new songs he's recorded in ten years. He talks about waiting for inspiration to come, co-writing with friends, and finding melodies in the sounds of words and guitars. By Derk Richardson.

ACOUSTIC CLASSIC
Angel from Montgomery. Words and music by John Prine.

PRIVATE LESSON
A Private Lesson with Jim Hurst. Learn the two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Guitarist of the Year's hybrid fingerpicking approach to Bill Monroe's fiddle tune "Wheel Hoss." By Craig Havighurst.

NEW GEAR
Durango B-46 Slope-shoulder Dreadnought. An unbelievably great-sounding flattop with authentic vintage vibe and a price tag that'll make you flip. By Teja Gerken.
Ovation C2078 LX Custom Elite Contour. A killer-looking modern ax that's perfectly at home on a loud stage but also sports tones to impress traditionalists. By Drew Pearce.
Ultrasound CP-100 Amplifier. A rugged, feature-laden amp that brings active-pickup guitars to life with power, clarity, and definition. By Shawn Hammond.

IN THE STORES

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

Songcraft
Eliza Gilkyson. The Texas Music Hall of Fame folk-rocker channels inspiration from a Revolutionary War ancestor, the visceral passion of her songwriting father, and her own sense of social outrage into songs that balance the personal and the political. By Mike Thomas.

Roots
Old Blind Dogs. The veteran Scots band keeps its modern grooves authentic by following Robert Burns' 200-year-old model of applying original arrangements to traditional forms. By Danny Carnahan.

HERE'S HOW
Conquer Stage Fright. Is your fear of the bright lights keeping you from sharing your music with the world? Remember that people really aren't that scary, you can never be too prepared, and most importantly, it's not about you, it's about the music. By Stevie Coyle.

THE BASICS
Sustained-Note Chords. Create exciting new chords by simply holding onto a note or two when you change from one chord to another. By David Hodge.

SHOPTALK
All Strapped In. Confused about what kind of guitar strap to buy? Decide how you'll attach it to your guitar, try some out in the shop, and make sure nothing on the strap is likely to damage your instrument. By Frank Ford.

STAGE AND STUDIO
All About DI Boxes. If you're going to run your guitar into a PA, you need to know about DIs. By Teja Gerken.

Reader's Rig
Matthew Fox slides from rootsy fingerstyle blues to singer-songwriter fare with his Langejans grand concert and National Style O.

LUTHIER'S WORKBENCH
Guitar Bazaar. Bigger than ever, the 2005 Healdsburg Guitar Festival presented hundreds of dream guitars, concerts by master guitarists, and workshops for amateurs and future virtuosos alike. By Teja Gerken.

PLAYLIST
Bruce Cockburn, Speechless. By Ron Forbes-Roberts.
Marty Stuart, Badlands and Soul's Chapel. By Kenny Berkowitz.
Paul McCartney, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. By Drew Pearce.
Various Artists, Tone Poets. By Celine Keating.
Benjamin Verdery, Start Now. By Mark Small.
Joan Baez, Bowery Songs. By Mike Thomas.
Rachel Ries, For You Only. By Judith Edelman.
Steep Canyon Rangers, One Dime at a Time. By Kenny Berkowitz.
James McMurtry, Childish Things. By Mike Thomas.

WOODSHED
Percussive Fingerstyle. Add driving backbeats to your arrangements with these percussive slapping and strumming techniques. By Doug Young.

SONGBOOK
Gymnopedie No. 1. Music by Erik Satie, arranged by Teja Gerken.

GREAT ACOUSTICS
1959 Hermann Hauser II. A specimen from the German master that looks humdrum but sounds absolutely incredible. By Eric Schoenberg.