Each month I have a goal of reading five books. Here’s my list from June 2022.
A treasure full of the wild, weird and wonderful from the world of fretted instruments publishes its 50th issue.
John Reischman writes melodic mandolin tunes that have become classics.
Steeped in the lineage of British folk, Smith is an innovative fingerstyle guitarist and a warm and welcoming singer.
Articles on the relevance of history, Brexit, steps to save democracy, and a famous Martin D-28.
A look at the prolific and jaw-dropping talent of Mark O’Connor.
Making my way through the most recent issue of the Fretboard Journal (FJ #45*), I came across sixteen splendid pages on fingerstyle guitarist Eric Skye. The photos of a beautiful twelve-fret 00-sized Santa Cruz guitar were sumptuous, and I was soon to learn that this was the company’s signature 00-Skye guitar. Likewise, the writing catches you right from the beginning, with a story — and quip — about using a wedding band as a slide. (“It’s why I got married, man!”) Skye was new to me, but the Portland, Oregon-based acoustic guitarist certainly has a devoted following, and not just from Richard Hoover and the folks at Santa Cruz Guitars. He has a very broad minded approach to music, which he explains came in part from a classical guitar teacher who turned him on to blues and jazz as well. As his website notes, while often billed as an acoustic jazz guitarist, “Skye actually occupies a unique niche between traditional acoustic music, modal jazz, folk, and blues. With a technical approach that is somewhat informed by …
Two of my favorite musicians – plus one of this era’s best guitar builders – are all featured in the Fall 2010 issue of The Fretboard Journal which landed in my mailbox last week. Let’s begin with those musicians. I’ve been listening to New Grass Revival founder Sam Bush (on the right in the picture by Thomas Petillo at the top) since about 1973. A few years later I began to hear Hot Rize member Tim O’Brien in a number of venues. Both are multi-instrumentalists who have stretched the boundaries of bluegrass since coming on the scene. The Fretboard Journal has a laid back yet informative “conversation” between Bush and O’Brien as the cover story of the most recent issue. The topics are wide-ranging, from playing with jazz pianist Bill Evans at the Blue Note to the night when Bush and Mark O’Connor joined the Hot Rize alter ego band Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers for a set. When the conversation turned to hearing someone for the first time, my mind went back to the …
I love it when my passions collide. Like when the November/December issue of Preservation magazine has a story on the saving of one of the few remaining Negro League baseball stadiums. Any preservation story that begins with the name Monte Irvin is guaranteed to warm the heart of this old NY baseball Giants fan. My mother-in-law thought that because of my position with the National Trust for Historic Preservation I must have chosen the cover picture for the magazine. I didn’t (although I gave writer Eric Wills lots of encouragement as he put the story together), but I do have a beautiful print of that great shot ready for framing for my office. And from Preservation Online comes the encouraging news that Patterson, New Jersey’s Hinchliffe Stadium… …may be restored. The city of Paterson and the school board entered into a shared services agreement in late October 2009, and in early November, voters passed a referendum asking for $15 million to fund the stadium’s renovation. If all goes according to plan, the city will receive permission to issue a …
The Fretboard Journal just posted this wonderful video on their Facebook page. It features mandolin phenom Chris Thile playing the Bach E Major Prelude on his Dudenbostel mandolin. I found the video compelling not only for the beautiful music but also because of the way it highlights Thile’s amazing right hand pick techniques. The guy is incredible. Enjoy. More to come… DJB