No. 296, August 2017

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On the Cover: Rising singer-songwriter Joan Shelley on her influences, open tunings, and working with Jeff Tweedy; plus, play her song “Wild Indifference.”


  • Bessie Smith - “Mama’s Got the Blues”
  • Tom Paxton - “A Daughter in Denver”

Features: Changemakers. A look at organizations and companies that are providing guitars, training teachers, offering lessons, and more to bring music to underprivileged and under-served communities in the US and abroad; a celebration of Scott Joplin, the famous ragtime composer, and music for his famous “Maple Leaf Rag.”


  • Six steps to improve your rhythm playing
  • How to play the blues like Booker “Bukka” White
  • Improve your flatpicking skills with precision picking

Gear Reviews:

  • Marchione OMC
  • Waterloo WL-S
  • Fender paramount PM-3
  • Michael Kelly 3D Grand Auditorium
  • Taylor GS Mini-e Bass
  • Fishman SA Performance Audio System

Plus: The effort to halt illegal rosewood logging; a home recording primer for guitarists; strategies for  landing your next gig; blues guitarist/singer Ruthie Foster; albums by “American Primitives” Max Ochs and Harry Taussig, Suitcase Junket, and George Thorogood (solo acoustic).

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