No. 274, October 2015
James Taylor talks about guitars, songwriting, and his first album of original songs in 13 years, Before This World. Special Focus: Home Improvement Tips, with handy advice on playing casual gigs, the art of noodling, and “couch potato” ergonomics. Also: Swedish singer/songwriter Kristian Matsson, aka the Tallest Man on Earth; JD Souther takes a classic songwriting approach on his new CD; a Songwriter’s Guide to Rhyme; how to use open strings creatively; Learning to Swing Like Freddie Green; Songs to Play—Alice in Chains’ “Nutshell,” Memphis bluesman Earl Bell’s “Travelin’ Blues,” and the oft-covered classic “House of the Rising Sun”; Gear reviews—Taylor’s revamped 914ce, Mérida’s Master Series 75D dreadnought, and the Grace Harbor GHGC-200 flattop; plus, facts about torrefaction, Ed Helms’ Lonesome Trio, reviews of CDs by the Steep Canyon Rangers and Langhorne Slim, Willie Nelson’s latest autobiography; and lots more.