November 2006 (Issue No. 167)

167 cover

Issue Highlights

Kelly Joe Phelps on slide guitar, rhythm, and tunings. T Bone Burnett on collaboration and songwriting. Report from the 2006 NAMM show in Austin, Texas. Six songs to play, including "Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell. Jazz guitar lesson with John Stowell. Sixth chord basics. Profile on José González. How to enter a jam session. All about pickguards.

Kelly Joe Phelps

Kelly Joe Phelps

NAMM 2006

NAMM 2006

Featured Songs

Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell

Red River Valley - Traditional, arr. by Rich Hinman

River of Love - T Bone Burnett

Plumb Line - Kelly Joe Phelps

Two Fives Won Dissenting - Jane Miller

Bourrée in E Minor - J.S. Bach

In This Issue

His deft slide work and songwriting earned Kelly Joe Phelps critical acclaim and legions of loyal fans. With the release of an ear-friendly new album featuring compelling songs and nimble fingerpicking, he discusses his inventive approach to rhythm, fingering, and tunings. By Adam Levy.

After a 14-year hiatus from recording, during which he produced albums by Counting Crows, Gillian Welch, Ralph Stanley, Cassandra Wilson, and others, and masterminded the soundtracks to O Brother Where Art Thou?, Cold Mountain, and Walk the Line, T Bone Burnett is back as a solo artist. He talks about how all that work with others influenced the shift from confessional singer-songwriter to dramatic storyteller on his new album, The True False IdentityBy Dan Ouellette.

Guitar fans always look for a midyear fix with the goodies introduced at the Summer NAMM show. Here are some of the coolest guitars and accessories we found at this year's show in Austin, Texas. By Teja Gerken.

Big Yellow Taxi. Words and Music by Joni Mitchell.

A Private Lesson with John Stowell. The jazz chord master talks about chord-melody arranging, accompanying others, and how he creates lush, pianistic-sounding chords. By Andrew DuBrock.

Takamine EG523SC Review. Matching classic jumbo tone and looks with the company's respected onboard electronics, Takamine has created a versatile and affordable cutaway flattop. By Michael Millham.
Gibson CJ-165 Review. A gorgeous, small-bodied jumbo guitar with balanced tones and lots of power. By Andrew DuBrock.
Kustom Sienna 30 Amp Review. The 1960s rock n' roll icon releases a simple acoustic amp that offers basic functionality, rich tone, and hard-to-beat affordability. By Teja Gerken.

José González. Drawing from from influences as wide-ranging as the Beatles, bossa nova, and cuban nueva trova, and using a variety of open tunings on his classical guitar, this Swedish singer-songwriter moves beyond the obvious chamber-folk of the late Nick Drake. By Buck Curran.
Slick Ballinger. Immediately after high school, this aspiring North Carolina bluesman apprenticed himself to a 94-year-old Mississippi sharecropper. Now he's one of the fastest-rising new stars on the blues scene. By Kenny Berkowitz.

Play Well With Others. Jam sessions offer great fun and collective creativity, but if you don't know how to approach them, they can be awkward or intimidating. Preparing well and adopting the jam spirit will help you maximize your musical growth—and your fun. By Stevie Coyle. 

Sixth Sense. Simple two-note chords, called sixths, can dress up a melody, add tasty accompaniment to a song, and generally add an appealing texture to your playing. By Rich Hinman.

Plastic Surgery. Although pickguards generally don't require much attention, occasionally they need to be replaced. Fortunately, on many guitars, you can do this job safely without having to take Lutherie 101. By Frank Ford.

Opening Act. How to succeed when you’re not the headliner. By David Gans.

R. Taylor Guitars. His manufacturing innovations have influenced the way acoustic guitars are built in virtually every other major factory. Now Bob Taylor is creating a line of small-production custom instruments. By Teja Gerken.

Rosa Passos, Rosa. By Danny Carnahan.
Tony Gilkyson, Goodbye Guitar. By Mike Thomas.
Various Artists, Six Strings North of the Border: Volume 3. By Ron Forbes-Roberts.
J.T. Gray, It's About Time. By Sue Thompson.
Various Artists, Imaginational Anthem, Volume Two/ Sean Smith, Adam Snider, Matt Baldwin,Berkeley Guitar 2006. By Derk Richardson.

Bossa Nova for Fingerpickers. Learn how to play bossa nova by adapting your fingerpicking patterns, adding a few new chord shapes, and applying these new techniques over a bossa nova groove. 

Bourree in E Minor. Music by Johann Sebastian Bach. By Teja Gerken.

1820s Stauffer Luigi Legnani Model. By Dick Boak. 

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