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No. 150, June 2005

Going the Distance
Twenty years into her career, pop singer-songwriter Aimee Mann is still fighting the good fight. By Drew Pearce.

Equipment Picks: Aimee Mann details her gear for The Forgotten Arm.

New Sensations
Tasty new guitars and gear. By Teja Gerken.

Of Paramount Importance
Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, Charley Patton, and the legendary blues of Paramount Records. By Steve James.

Equipment Picks: Discover the guitars used by blues legends Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, and Charley Patton.

LETTERS
Mail. Readers express their viewpoints on the April 2005 John Lennon issue, new classical-guitar technologies, tortoiseshell picks, and our groovy sister publication Play Guitar!.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Songcraft
Jay Farrar. The return of Son Volt. The former Uncle Tupelo frontman talks about his musical progression and the Son Volt album scheduled for release this summer. By Derk Richardson.
Equipment Picks: The lowdown on Farrar's favorite guitar gear.

On the Edge
Little Axe. Hip-hop veteran Skip McDonald brings dub to the Delta. McDonald talks about his fourth solo album, Champagne and Grits, which finds him reunited with former Sugar Hill/Tackhead mates Keith LeBlanc and Doug Wimbish. By Bill Milkowski.
Equipment Picks: Skip McDonald talks about the guitars he borrowed to record Champagne and Grits.

Wide World
The Choro Revival. New recordings broaden the scope and extend the global reach of the venerable Brazilian style. Mike Marshall, Paulo Bellinati, Marco Pereira talk about taking the cherished Brazilian musical tradition to into the future. By Ron Forbes-Roberts.

Happenings
Events. Grammy-winner David Russell to appear at WNED Buffalo Niagra Guitar Festival June 16-20; Nordic Acoustic Guitar Festival held August 10-14 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Gibson Exec Honored. Gibson chairman/CEO Henry Juszkiewicz to receive National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Fame's Patron of the Arts award on June 9.
In Memory. Joe Carter, 1927-2005. The son of old-time country/bluegrass greats from the legendary Carter Family died after battling cancer. His life was dedicated to preserving the legacy of this important slice of American history.
Indie Kudos. Independent Music Awards winners for 2005 include Darrell Scott and Chris Whitley.
More Cash on the Barrelhead. Columbia/Legacy announces four new CD anthologies from the careers of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.

HERE'S HOW
Music for the People. How to run a grassroots guitar series. Learn how to set up regular concerts for you and your guitar-playing friends at a local gathering place. By Teja Gerken.

REVIEWS
Bright Eyes, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. By Derk Richardson.
Jimmy LaFave, Blue Nightfall. By Kenny Berkowitz.
Vis A Vis, Acoustic Colours. By Ron Forbes-Roberts.
Gibson Bros., Long Way Back Home. By Sue Thompson.
Rory Block, From the Dust. By Ian Zack.
Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, Exploration. By Mike Thomas.
Amos Lee. By Drew Pearce.
Mesut Ozgen, Troubadour. By Julia Crowe.
Michel Haumont, Ma Guitare. By Teja Gerken.
Vic Chesnutt, Ghetto Bells. By Judith Edelman.
Frigg. By Sue Thompson.
Various Artists, Sweetheart. By Derk Richardson.
John King, Famous Solos and Duets for the Ukulele; The Classical Ukulele. By Michael John Simmons.
Rob Ickes, Essential Techniques for Dobro; Cindy Cashdollar, Dobro Variations: Explorations in Minor, Swing, and Rockabilly Styles. By Andy Volk.

GEARBOX
Babicz Identity Jumbo. We take a look at a guitar with luthier Jeff Babicz's radical new "lateral-compression soundboard" and adjustable neck joint. By Teja Gerken.
Korg AW-1 Micro Tuner. We take Korg's cute, futuristic little tuner for a test drive. By Teja Gerken.

SHOPTALK
Hands On. The return of the hand finishes. Joshia de Jonge, Bruce Sexauer and others chime in on the new trend toward French polishing and other manual finishing techniques. By Rick Turner.

Q&A
Double-Duty Amplification. A reader who plays both acoustic-electric and electric asks how to get the most out of his amps. By Shawn Hammond.
Punchy Nylon Strings. A reader asks which nylons have more steel-string-like brightness and sustain. By Patrick Francis.
Soundport Authority. A reader reveals his own soundport experiment and asks for more information on the uncommon feature. By Kenny Hill.

PRIVATE LESSONS
Movable Open-String Chords. AG's music editor shows you how to turn simple chord patterns integrating open strings into magic bullets you can fire from across the fretboard. By Andrew DuBrock.
Soloing with Nonchord Tones. Lead Techniques. We show you how to paint leads in exuberant new colors by venturing outside expected chord notes. By Karen Hogg.

GREAT ACOUSTICS
1930s Kay Kraft Jumbo Style A. We goggle our eyes at a cool piece of Americana that still comes fairly cheap. By Teja Gerken.