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No. 154, October 2005

Memoir 2 Manifesto
Rodney Crowell's new CD, The Outsider, completes a trilogy of recordings that examine his past, his inner emotional life, and now his social surroundings. He talks about how the Nashville songwriting community, a creative-writing class, the patience to wait for inspriation, and the willingness to revise lyrics have elevated his songcraft. By Craig Havighurst.

Equipment Picks: Rodney Crowell's guitars and gear.

Where the Wild Strings Are
Do you crave musical mischief? Want to venture away from your flattop existence and explore the sounds of other guitar-like instruments—without spending a fortune? Then check out these 13 affordable instruments with unusual sounds that any guitarist can use to stir up trouble. By Shawn Hammond.

Studio Savvy, Fingerstyle Finesse
He's played with Paul McCartney and Wings and recorded music for James Bond movies and American Idol, but Laurence Juber is also one of the most highly regarded solo fingerstyle guitarists around. In this exclusive lesson, he demonstrates the beauties of his favorite tuning, D A D G A D, in a variety of keys, and gives tips on improvising, keeping a groove, and developing an original voice. By Doug Young.

Equipment Picks: Laurence Juber's guitars and gear.

Fire and Rain. Words and Music by James Taylor. Learn an easy arrangement of this adored classic.

A Private Lesson with Brad Davis. The country and bluegrass supersideman explains the unique "double-down-up" style of flatpicking that allows him to play at banjo speed with ease. Includes several general-use licks and picking-pattern examples, as well as Lick of the Month and What He Plays sidebars. By David Hamburger.
Equipment Picks: Learn which guitars, amps, strings, and picks Brad Davis prefers.

Brad Davis. Lick of the Month. By David Hamburger.

Takamine TC135SC Nylon-String. Warm amplified tones and a versatile setup make this a brilliant crossover guitar for steel-string players. By Teja Gerken.
Crafter TD06/N Dreadnought. This moderately priced acoustic-electric opts for quality tonewoods over cosmetic flash, resulting in a versatile, rich sound. By Michael John Simmons.
Wechter 6524-F Scheerhorn Resonator. Custom-grade craftsmanship in an affordable squareneck with a blend of traditional honk and flattop airiness. By David Hamburger.

Bourgeois Petite Jumbo. A new flattop from the boutique gurus.
Fishman Rare Earth Humbucking Soundhole Pickup. The pickup stalwarts add a new noise-cancelling model to their famous lineup.
PG Music Powertracks Pro Audio 10. An affordable digital recording and MIDI sequencing application for your PC.
Ritter RG9000 Series Gig Bag. A new backpack-style bag with a water-repellent shell and extra headstock and bridge protection.


Tracy Grammer. The folk-pop singer describes how her late musical partner Dave Carter mined his best songwriting ideas from the subconscious world of his dreams. By Rani Arbo.
Equipment Picks: Tracy Grammer's guitars and gear.

Paul Rishell. The blues veteran keeps the music fresh in his duo with Annie Raines by seeking out unlikely cover versions and combining influences like western swing and Hawaiian guitar. By Ian Zack.
Equipment Picks: Discover Rishell's favorite resonators, preamps, strings, amps, and picks.

Start Your Own Jam. Find songs that are fun and easy to play, round up some nourishment for your jammers, and you can fill your house with the great feeling of friends making music together. By Dan Gabel.

Rhythms in Three. Get comfortable playing rhythm in 3/4, 6/8, and 12/8, and you'll open up a whole new world of songs to add to your repertoire. By Chris Grampp.

These misunderstood guitar materials are used by high-volume factories, as well as custom luthiers, both to cut costs and improve volume and projection. By Rick Turner.

Need to amplify your nylon-string guitar? You can buy an instrument with factory-installed electronics, retrofit an existing guitar, or have one custom built. Whichever you choose, the options are better than ever. By Teja Gerken.

Reader's Rig. Singer-songwriter Garrin Benfield tweaks his Martin HD-28V with tons of effects. By Teja Gerken.

Shopping for a Vintage Instrument. Intimidated by the idea of buying a cool classic guitar? Before you start, use these tips to set your preferences and educate yourself about resources, quality, and prices. By David Hamburger.

Offbeat instruments like harp guitars are alluring, but it's the background story of their makers, such as Chris Knutsen, that compels Gregg Miner to collect like crazy. By Michael John Simmons.

Foo Fighters, In Your Honor. By Shawn Hammond.
John Doyle, Wayward Son. By Scott Nygaard.
Richard Thompson, Front Parlour Ballads. By Teja Gerken.
John Hiatt, Master of Disaster. By Mike Thomas.
Psychograss, Now Hear This. By Celine Keating.
Ryan Adams and The Cardinals, Cold Roses. By Derk Richardson.
Ali Farka Toure, Red and Green. By Kenny Berkowitz.
Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell, Begonias. By Judith Edelman.
Luciana Souza, Duos II. By Ron Forbes-Roberts.

Bluesy Bluegrass Lead. Fiddle tunes and G-runs will get you off to a good start in bluegrass, but to really get that lonesome guitar sound, you need to come down with a bad case of the blues now and then. By Scott Nygaard.

Marching Through Georgia. Music by Henry Clay Work, arranged by Eric Lugosch. Get into step with a fingerstyle arrangement of the folk classic "Marching Through Georgia.". By Eric Lugosch.

Jeffrey R. Elliott Ten-String. An intriguing ten-string steel-string designed and built by one of the world's foremost nylon-string luthiers. By Teja Gerken.

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