Get free shipping on orders over $35! (applies to domestic shipping in the united states only)

No. 168, December 2006

The Soul of the Song
At the age of 70, after a quiet decade or two of family life in Hawaii, Kris Kristofferson is riding high on a spate of awards, tribute albums, and his first CD of new songs in more than ten years. We spoke to the composer of "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Help Me Make It Through the Night" about his simple approach and lifelong commitment to songwriting. By Derk Richardson.

Equipment Picks: The guitars and gear of Kris Kristofferson.

Mojo Master
After four decades of expressing universal human emotions though the blues and a cornucopia of other genres, Taj Mahal is still fusing musical traditions, delighting audiences all around the world, and "happy to be just like I am." In this exclusive interview, he discusses his early influences, his lifelong musical loves, and the enduring power and relevance of the blues. By Pete Madsen.

Equipment Picks: The guitars and gear of Taj Majal.

Making History
Gibson guitars are among the most highly regarded instruments in the history of American music, and the company's Bozeman, Montana-based acoustic division is now building some of the company's best guitars ever. We recently toured the factory to shed light on Gibson's history, its people, and its acoustic offerings. By Teja Gerken.

ACOUSTIC CLASSIC
Yesterday. By Andrew DuBrock.

PRIVATE LESSON
A Private Lesson with Woody Mann. The eclectic fingerstyle-blues maven talks about separating bass lines from melodies and how to create melodies from chords. By Ian Zack.
Equipment Picks: The guitars and gear of Woody Mann.

NEW GEAR 1
Parker P8E. After stirring up the electric guitar world with its radical design ideas a decade ago, Parker has now introduced a postmodern flattop with custom electronics to entice acoustic pickers. By Michael Millham.
Samick ASDR Dreadnought. A handsome, all-solid-wood flattop with exceptional attention to detail, great playability, and versatile tones. By Shawn Hammond.
Marshall RF-1 Reflector Reverb Pedal. The renowned British amp gurus serve up a tough-as-nails stompbox full of clever features and spacious, pristine tones. By Shawn Hammond.
In the Stores. Short profiles of Lace LD-350SE, Bird of Paradise Greenbird Capo, Martin OMCXK2E, Levy's Jimi Hendrix Strap, Boss RC-2.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

Songcraft
Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin. Inspired by the indelible Appalachian groove of an old Bascomb Lamar Lunsford tune, three Nashville veterans fashioned an exuberant acoustic-roots album that topped the Americana radio charts. Spotlight on Keiran Kane, Kevin Welch, and Fats Kaplin. By Celine Keating.
Equipment Picks: The guitars and gear of Kane, Welch, and Kaplin.

In Memory
Micheal O' Domhnaill 1952-2006. Through the rhythm and grace of his playing, and his creative exploitation of DADGAD tuning's lush potentials, the Irish-born, world-traveling guitarist changed the sound of Celtic music. By Paul Kotapish.
Equipment Picks: The guitars and gear of Micheal O' Domhnaill.

HERE'S HOW
Copyright Your Songs. Protect ownership of your creative work by registering your copyright. By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.

THE BASICS
Cook Up Some Chord Melody. Use your guitar as a one-man band, playing the melody, bass, and chordal harmony all at once. By David Hodge.

SHOPTALK
Changing Gears. If your guitar is difficult to tune, it may have faulty tuning machines. Here's what you need to know to replace them yourself—after first making sure that doing so is really necessary. By Charlie Hoffman.

STAGE AND STUDIO
Musical Matchmakers. Microphone preamps are an important part of every studio's signal chain. Here are the most essential features for recording acoustic guitars. By Mitch Gallagher.
Reader's Rig. Busker Matthew TeRonde strums a "bullet-riddled" Epiphone and 60's Martin six- and 12-strings at his farmer's market gigs throughout central Iowa.

LUTHIER'S WORKBENCH
Golden Age Goodies. Boutique guitar makers showed better-than-ever stringed beauties at the second Newport Guitar Festival in Rhode Island. By Simone Solondz.

G.A.S. STATION
Double-Oh Love. As an accomplished fingerstylist, Larry Pattis has always been very discriminating about the guitars he plays. After going through dozens of small-shop and factory guitars, he found relief for his G.A.S. by calling up the C.F. Martin and Co.'s Custom Shop. By Michael John Simmons.

PLAYLIST
Bernard Fanning, Tea and Sympathy. By Drew Pearce.
Kaki King, until we felt red. By Celine Keating.
The Duhks, Migrations. By Celine Keating.
Tommy Emmanuel, The Mystery. By Doug Young.
William Lee Ellis, God's Tattoos. By Ian Zack.
Anouar Brahem, Le Voyage de Sahar. By Danny Carnahan.

WOODSHED
CGDGBE Tuning. Alternate tunings don't need to be intimidating. CGDGBE tuning can enhance huge-sounding chords and bass lines you can't play in standard tuning. By Sean McGowan.

SONGBOOK
A-Soalin'. Traditional, adapted and arranged by Noel Paul Stookey, Elena Mezzetti, and Tracy Batteast. By Andrew DuBrock.

GREAT ACOUSTICS
1975 Jean Larrivee Cutaway. By David Wren.