No. 316, May/June 2019

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On the Cover: Joan Baez! Editor at Large Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers breaks down the folk icon’s winning guitar style, with musical examples based on a cross section of her work throughout the decades.

Special Focus: Western Swing. Hot Club of Cowtown guitarist Whit Smith offers an insider’s take on the development of Western Swing, its key originators, the gear, and the keepers of the flame. Plus, add some Western Swing to your repertoire with a lesson on the chordal and melodic moves that define this up-tempo cousin of country music.


  • Phil Ochs – “There But for Fortune” 
  • The Beatles – “If I Needed Someone”  
  • Yasmin Williams – “New Beginnings”
  • A campfire classic – “Streets of Laredo” 
  • Steve James – “Copeland’s Fancy”

Features: Yasmin Williams. The 22-year-old Northern Virginia-based guitarist talks about her unorthodox approach to the instrument, as well as the tools of her trade; Choosing and Using Capos. A close-up look at capos and how they work, and the factors to consider when choosing one; Vintage guitar guru George Gruhn talks shop.


  • The Basics – Gretchen Menn on how to build and use chords
  • Woodshed  Lasso the Western Swing classic “Tiger Rag”
  • Weekly Workout – Jamie Stillway delivers an all-purpose lesson on capo use

Gear Reviews:

  • Farida Old Town acoustics
  • Fender American Acoustasonic Telecaster
  • GrooveTech Acoustic Guitar Tech Kit
  • Santa Cruz Parabolic Tension Strings

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