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Noah last won the day on November 29 2017

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  1. Compliments to you on this fine Acoustic Tuesday, Guitar Geek!!! As Spring arrives gazes are drawn towards the tree branches for fresh buds, the ground for tender green sprouts, and of course towards the guitar geek radar to see if any new inspiring things have come up. And boy howdy have they... Here are 5 guitar geek things pinging the #guitargeek radar this week. How does a guitar geek stay properly fueled, hydrated, and alert? You may think bourbon is the answer, but I reckon it is quite the contrary. See bourbon, although it tastes delicious, doesn't do much for hydration or the alertness aspect. However, Fretboard Coffee out of Columbia, MO is here to provide the perfect cup of Joe for any tired and fading fretter. This coffee company was brought to my attention by Acoustic Tuesday Show viewer and fan Troy and when I dug into the coffee I was not only pumped to find out it tastes good, but it also lives up to its name. See the name fretboard coffee is just plain awesome in and of itself, but the coolness factor bumped up a notch when I opened the bag to find a little card sharing what song was playing during the roasting process. Double whammy for us coffee loving guitar geeks; you get a great cup of joe and exposure to a song you may have never heard before. It's like a match made in heaven. Fretboard Coffee also seems to support live music as well have some killer merch available to peruse. So order yourself a bag or two, have a nice long sip and listen to the song that your beans were born to. http://www.fretboardcoffee.com/ http://www.fretboardcoffee.com/shop/ Your Song Changed My Life by Bob Boilen Books about artists and their life fascinate me, my bookshelves at home are covered with biographies, autobiographies, and the like. So this next book was a bit of a surprise to me. Last Christmas Whitney's folks gifted me a book by the author Bob Boilen, entitled Your Song Changed My Life. Now first off, Bob is the creator and host of NPR's All Songs Considered as well as their Tiny Desk Concert Series so this man knows music. This book is a sampling of 33 artists and what song they define as changing their life. It is fascinating, there is enough context around each artist to learn some great factoids about their life and also you get insight into their vast musical interests. Each artist, in discussion with Bob, shares not only the song they define as life-altering, but also the when's, where's, and why's of it. This book is a great read and it's separated in such a way that makes it a great read. http://www.bobboilen.info/ - Bob's Site https://youtu.be/I3NOvTn01gg - Book Interview https://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2015/11/18/456191341/bob-boilen-wrote-a-book - NPR story https://amzn.to/2H6hwx2 - Buy the Book This week's artist I would say is from the "old-time" category, but I definitely do not want to pigeonhole them as they are capable of way more than old-time music. It's not often that you hear a new artist that is able to take you back to a time and place long forgotten and only best conjured up by an artist from that very era. The Local Honeys are a group that is basically a time machine. From their voices, inflection, phrasing, and instrumentation these ladies do a great job in teleporting the listener back to a simpler time, yet they are able to freely flow from old-time music on up to more contemporary tunes. The Local Honeys are a made up of Montana Hobbs, and Linda Jean Stokely and the way these gals sing together is addictive. At first, I thought the accents were a bit contrived... and then I did my research... it's the real deal and it is amazing. From slow ballads to craftily written tunes all the way to instrumentals, these girls have it. Their album is a blast to listen to front to back, from the slow tunes to the peppy ones. Also, special note the tune Cigarette Trees is an anti-strip mining song that brought home blue ribbon from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in 2017. https://youtu.be/4F6k4Xdrj4Q - Cigarette Trees https://youtu.be/XpnXAQ0jF1U - How Mountain Girls Can Love https://youtu.be/yO5jGGHKSjA - Hares On the Mountain https://youtu.be/Z6xla0Q2PIg - The L&N Don't Stop here Anymore https://youtu.be/yy10LoYTBzg - Hills of Mexico http://www.thelocalhoneys.com/ - Band Site http://www.thelocalhoneys.com/album/ - Merch https://amzn.to/2vsL86u - Buy the Album Merlefest April 26- April 29 This weekend, on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, one of the most amazing and inspiring bluegrass festivals will take place. From April 26th to April 29th, 2018 incredible acoustic musicians, music fans, jammers, and all around good people will join together to create the phenomenon known as Merlefest. Merlefest was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson (Doc Watson's Son) as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and to celebrate ‘traditional plus’ music. I owe this festival a huge thanks because although I have never attended in person, I have discovered numerous artists just by checking out who is playing Merlefest in any given year. This year, as always, the lineup is chocked full of pure acoustic goodness, and I am absolutely positive there will be plenty of jamming to be had by any who wish to partake that are in attendance. If you are interested in the festival just check out their website for all of the ticket info as well as all of the other things you need to know to have an outstanding festival experience. https://youtu.be/s0NC_JIJVCs http://merlefest.org/ http://merlefest.org/lineup/ http://merlefest.org/purchase/ What's the point of the CAGED system? At one point in anyone's guitar journey there comes a time where you hear about the CAGED system. You hear how wondrous it can be to unlock the fretboard, you hear about how much it can help with your overall understanding of the fretboard, but when you find information on it may seem a little bit disorienting, and that's ok because I was disoriented too until I figured out the core elements of what makes CAGED so darn useful. See with CAGED you need to know three things: 1.) The 5 basic chord shapes C A G E D. You need to know how to make them, and the most important part, the fact that they can become moveable by converting them to barre chords. 2.) Where the root note is for each of the 5 chord shapes. The Root note is the lowest bass note that defines the chord. Each of the 5 chord shapes has their root note located on a specific string. Knowing this makes the moveable shapes much more useful because now you can name them. 3.) Why Caged is useful. Knowing why CAGED is useful helps with the reason why you need to learn it in the first place. If you have thr "why" you will follow through not only learning it but implementing it. So here are just a handful of reasons CAGED is helpful: It helps with Capo use, it helps with transposition, it helps with alternate chord voicings, it helps you add sonic layers in multiple guitar situations, it even helps you organize scale patterns and see how they connect. It would be hard to break from the show and start teaching CAGED due to technical limitations so I want you to check out video 2 of my foundational five workshop series. In video 2 I go into detail on CAGED and show you how all of the things I just discussed are connected and more importantly how you can do apply them immediately to the guitar. vid 1 is live and people are going nuts make sure to check it out at: fretwiz.com There's another Acoustic Tuesday chiseled on the stone of guitar geekdom. Make sure to tune in to see the full episode and unite with your fellow #guitargeeks. Until next Tuesday, keep your guitars tuned and the guitar geeks uniting. Cheers, Tony
  2. An infusion of #guitargeek vitamins awaits you on this Acoustic Tuesday. Acoustic vitamins to fortify you and your #guitargeek friends. As is customary on Acoustic Tuesday these vitamins come in the form of 5 guitar items that will be placed on your #guitargeek radar. So grab a tall glass of water and make sure to take all of your acoustic infused medication. Open wide... Picks are picks are picks... right? Definitely not! Picks impact the tone of a guitar in a major way. If you are a flatpicker, you can do a quick and easy experiment: Get three different picks, play the same lick, and observe how each pick will add a subtly different tonal characteristic. Some picks are bright and clear while others are on the dark and warm end of the spectrum, the new Acrylux picks by Daddario actually cover both ends of this tonal spectrum. These new Acrylux picks come in two different recipes: the "Reso" version and the "Nitra" version and both have a unique sound to offer. The "Reso" picks offer a subtly more clear and bright sound while the "Nitra" composition is a bit warmer and offers a darker tone. These picks come in three different shapes: Standard, Jazz, and Mandolin, and only one thickness (1.5mm) at the time of writing this. Although these picks are on the thicker end of the spectrum they have a decent amount of flex to them. My experience with these picks is that both versions produce a tone that is on the warmer end of the spectrum, however the "Reso" picks do have a touch more clarity than the "Nitra" ones. I also noticed that both picks seem to be pretty slick and smooth in how they interacted with the strings. These would be a great option for any #guitargeek looking for a warmer/fatter tone. https://youtu.be/6FizOj0vbOA - Acrylux Product Video http://www.accessories.daddario.com/pwProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=4115&productid=1146&productname=Acrylux_Reso_Standard http://www.accessories.daddario.com/pwProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=4115&productid=1142&productname=Acrylux_Nitra_Standard https://amzn.to/2EBtE6T - Acrylux Reso https://amzn.to/2GNt78b - Acrylux Nitra The material that a pick is made of impacts its tone in a huge way, but it goes beyond that... The material also has an effect on the pick's stiffness. Think of it this way: you can have a 1mm pick made out of delrin or you can have a 1mm pick made out of cattle bone; although both picks are the same thickness their inherent stiffness is very different. That is the very thing I noticed upon trying TUSQ picks by the company Graphtech. These picks were brought to my attention by Acoustic Tuesday viewer Andrew D. and I am very happy that he got me to try them because I was stunned. These picks are incredibly stiff and that correlates into a fast snappy release from the string as well as a very clear tone. Not only did I try different thicknesses of picks I also tried different materials (Graphtech has three different materials which they advertise as the tones: Bright, Warm, and Deep). I was amazed at the variety of tones that were possible and also how comfortable I was with a subtly thinner pick at 1mm as compared to my usual 2mm Ultex pick. The thing that was the most pronounced for me was the stiffness and the resulting clarity that it helped me achieve. For any player looking for more articulation these are a great starting point. It's always hard for me to put down my Dunlop Ultex 2mm pick, but these are a very enticing option for certain. http://www.graphtech.com/ http://www.graphtech.com/products/product-categories/picks https://youtu.be/Ce_Nx0WIMBU - Product Video https://amzn.to/2IKG7rF - TUSQ Picks Mixed Gauge Pack https://amzn.to/2qlSPFG - TUSQ Picks Mixed Size Pack https://amzn.to/2GNpdfk - TUSQ Picks Biangle Mixed Pack Hearing a songwriter sing a completely raw and truthful song while performing solo is a magical experience. What makes it magic in my eyes is that it doesn't really happen all too often... (I guess in my eyes it should happen all the time... so I am biased). The artist that I am listening to this week came from a band setting and went ahead releasing a solo album in December of 2017... just himself and a guitar... and yes it is truly magical. Benjamin Tod, who also plays with the Lost Dog Street Band, released his solo album I Will Rise in late 2017. It contains 10 songs that will downright rip your heart out, make you reflect, and proceed to kick your heart down the street a little bit... even through the puddles and the potholes. Benjamin's album is well beyond a treat to listen to and it delivers on the raw and emotional front. One of the reasons I think this album emotes so well is that it's just him, a guitar, and nothing else besides some songs that you know are loaded with personal tales, trials, and tribulations. Benjamin's voice has this quality that I'll refer to as "raw yet refined," you can hear it when he trails off on a line with this unique three note step down that seems a bit Celtic. This album is a must play on one of those days when you wake up only to see the clouds hanging low in the sky contemplating on whether or not they're going to let the rain out. "I Will Rise" is about the purest album I can think of released in the last 6 months. https://youtu.be/NACMpkxm-fA - Using Again (Song) https://youtu.be/st-CkCeqMO0 - I Will Rise (Song) https://youtu.be/-qwRjPpHFbg - Hungry For You Blues (Song) https://youtu.be/eR04x5XXAwQ - The Mountain (Cover Song) https://amzn.to/2HrM2lG - I Will Rise (Album) https://amzn.to/2Hp0zid - Life's a Dog Gone Shame (LDSB Album) https://amzn.to/2GMqNxW - Sick Pup (LDSB Album) https://amzn.to/2EAscSB - Homeward Bound (LDSB Album) https://amzn.to/2EAVDDK - Rage and Tragedy (LDSB Album) https://benjamintod.bandcamp.com/ http://www.lostdogstreetband.com/ There are some things that #guitargeeks deal with on a regular basis like broken strings, constant tuning, and misplacing your pick, but nothing is worse than finding a pick that you absolutely love only to have it become slippery in your hand and start spinning while you play. This #guitargeek phenomenon is all too common and thankfully there is a company out there trying to stop the spinning and slipping. Monster grips is a company that makes these small and grippy little discs you can stick right on your favorite pick... and they actually work! I have tried many products that aid in helping your pick stay put, from Gorilla snot, to violin rosin, and even the Cool brand picks with the sandpaper attached to them. I can confidently say that Monster Grips are a cut above the rest and are raising the bar in this category of Acoustic Guitar Accessory. They are easy to use and extremely durable. I put the grips on each side of a Dunlop Ultex pick, played the guitar for more than an hour, followed that up with placing the pick in a cup of coffee, and then washed it off with dish soap. In short, I put these through the ringer, and after cleaning they were just as grippy as when I first put them on. One of the things I had to get used to was the feel of the grippy pads on each side and the added thickness, but after a short adjustment period I found these to be pretty darn effective. They also work really well as a non slip surface on the feet of effects pedals. All in all Monster Grips are pretty outstanding if you are one of those players needing a little extra grip on your pick. https://www.monstergrips.com/ https://youtu.be/2LVsOpNMfWA https://amzn.to/2qn3fVA - Monster Grips on Amazon For as much joy as playing with another person can be, it can also produce a ton of anxiety… and I mean the kind of anxiety that can cause any player to lock up. What can cause the anxiety are the questions that bubble up. Those pesky questions that rattle around our guitar #guitargeek brains like: What if I don’t know the song and can’t play along? What if I’m not good enough to play with others? What if I’m unfamiliar with a certain chord? What if whomever I am playing with asks me to do a solo? What if there are no song sheets to follow? What if… There are a billion "what if" scenarios, but the reality is that the overarching theme here is fear of the unknown and that is totally valid. This is something all #guitargeeks go through at one point or another and, quite honestly, it never totally goes away. The good news is that there are some things you can do to keep that fear at bay and open yourself up to the learning opportunities that present themselves while playing with other folks. Here are some tips to gain confidence in playing with others and some things to learn that will help you on your guitar journey. 1.) Guilt By Association - Surround yourself with guitar geeks that share the same thoughts, enthusiasm, and approach as you. This gives you the peace of mind that the folks you are playing with are there to support and help you along on your guitar journey. 2.) Open Mind - Go into any situation with other players as a bonus opportunity to learn. So many times the practice room feels like the only place to learn a lesson, but the truth is you can learn lessons anywhere and often the ones outside the practice room are the most valuable. 3.) Ask Questions - There is no rule, that I am aware of, that says you can’t ask questions and that you are magically supposed to know everything without ever asking. When playing with others it’s ok to ask questions about what chords are in a song or what key it’s in. Really any question is fair game and usually, those questions lead to major breakthroughs. 4.) Communication - This is key, no pun intended… hehe. Communication lies at the heart of having an awesome experience when playing with friends. One of the most crucial parts of communication is having the musical vocabulary to do so. Understanding what a key is and how chords work within a key will not only help you communicate with fellow guitar players; it will also help you be able to musically function within a jam which will certainly cut down on your anxiety when approaching a playing situation. So wrap all of those things up with a nice little bow and you have yourself a launching pad into a world of fun that you will enjoy for years to come. Wait, wait, wait… what if all those sound good except for that whole communication part...??? No worries, I've put together a free workshop on that very topic that starts on Monday, April 23rd. In this workshop, I am going to discuss the Foundational Five which will help you not only clearly communicate in a jam, but also give you the confidence to start playing with other folks. It's super easy to attend the workshop, all you have to do is visit fretwiz.com and be sure you are on the waiting list for Fretboard Wizard. That's it. I can't wait to see you there and share in the lightbulb moments that will be happening! Wow, another round of acoustic infusion from Acoustic Tuesday. Go forth and wave your #guitargeek flag and don't forget to share this episode with your fellow guitar geeks. Guitar geeks unite! Cheers, Tony
  3. Happiest Tuesday to you, my comrade in guitar geekiness! Today we take some time to think of and thank all things acoustic with a juicy list of goodies to help you live your best #acousticlife. I know it's spring, but no rain delays are happening so let's play ball... err... I mean dive into some enlightening #acousticlife enhancers. I have always loved learning about music history. The stories seem to be of mythical proportions.. especially in country music. Now I'm not talking about Florida Georgie Line here, I mean country music prior to the year 2000. Tales of lying, cheating, stealing, love, smash hits, and controversial songs fill the coffers of country music and there's so much, I have never had time to dig into all of it... until now. The Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast hosted by Tyler Mahan Coe is one of the most amazing podcasts for any #guitargeek interested in the stories and tales that proliferate country music. This podcast is entertaining, informative, and downright inspiring. Currently there is one season available with 12 episodes and they are all incredible... no joke. I also have to say that the host, Tyler, puts a ton of work into these episodes and it shows, big time. Each one is packed full of information and it is presented in a fun manner that is easy to follow and digest. The Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast is a true treasure trove of incredible info and stories. Also, on the Cocaine & Rhinestones website each episode has a companion blog post allowing the listener to further geek out. This is a listening and learning experience through and through. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ernest-tubb-the-texas-defense/id1304192102?i=1000394220773&mt=2 (Segment: 6:56 - 8:45) https://cocaineandrhinestones.com/ https://www.patreon.com/tylermahancoe https://cocaineandrhinestones.com/about-contact Every now and again as guitar geeks, we look for a new piece of gear or accessory. Who am I kidding here?!?! As a #guitargeek it is our moral obligation to be on a never-ending quest for the next piece of gear that could get us one step closer to the elusive magical tone we have an insatiable desire for. There are numerous options for picks, strings and other gadgetry, but the Passerelle Bridge developed by luthier Rachel Rosenkrantz and artist Kaki King takes the cake for an accessory that can turn your guitar into a whole new instrument... as in completely different. The Passerelle bridge is cast out of bronze and sits on the 16th fret of your guitar and changes it into a "Koto" like instrument. Your guitar all of a sudden makes sounds of a dulcet nature and your ability to achieve a magically vocal-like quality from your guitar becomes quite easy. I have been experimenting with the one I ordered and I'm having a blast working with it. When I received it in the mail I had to make some adjustments to the string slots which the included materials did call to my attention, but after that, it was quite easy to begin experimenting with. Overall this gadget offers tons of possibilities which become very clear when watching Kaki King use it on her guitar. http://www.kakiking.com/passerelle/ https://www.atelierrosenkrantz.com/product-page/passerelle-bridge https://youtu.be/vn84FfYvRv0 - How to Install a Passerelle Bridge https://youtu.be/2ZEDYETleNw - How to Tune With the Passerelle Bridge https://youtu.be/FlR_k7FZnsw - Passerelle Demo (Bowen Island by Kaki King) Every so often an artist comes along, changes the way an instrument is perceived, and then continues to push its boundaries. The artist that I have been listening to this week does just this and does so tirelessly. She is seemingly always trying something new and constantly challenging herself to find new avenues for the six string guitar. The artist that I am referring to is Kaki King; fingerstyle guitar player extraordinaire, brilliant composer, and constant boundary pusher. Kaki creates a beautiful synergy between percussive elements on the guitar and gorgeous melodies carried out with two hand tapping and other unconventional styles. Her newest project has her playing original compositions with an orchestra. The project prior to that, "The Neck is a Bridge to the Body," finds her playing a guitar that has visual projections mapped on its surface... something you have to see to believe. She has a myriad of albums to explore and I strongly encourage you to check them out. https://youtu.be/ziPD16xCBBg - The Surface Changes https://youtu.be/MKs0tzjJb04 - Magazine with the Porta Girevole Chamber Orchestra https://youtu.be/FwI8ROqVNHU - The making of Glow http://www.kakiking.com/ https://shop.bandwear.com/collections/kaki-king-shop https://amzn.to/2GKHSYm - Glow (Album) https://amzn.to/2uK1uXQ - Legs to Make Us Longer (Album) https://amzn.to/2IpRpkN - Everybody Loves You (Album) It's tough to get access to small bench luthier guitars. Plain and simple, they are usually a one man or woman operation and being a one-person show limits the number of guitars they can make in a year. Getting to try a small bench luthier's guitars is what #guitargeek dreams are made of though... the guitars are masterfully made, often times somewhat unusual, and thought-provoking. What if I said there was a place you could go to try nearly 100 different small bench builder's guitars? Well, I'm saying it, that place exists and it's called the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase. The showcase is held in Woodstock, NY on October 26, 27, and 28 and you can go there to not only see and try some rare and unique instruments but also attend panel discussions and workshops. There are some real gems among the artists and presenters that will be there; Macyn Taylor, Antoine Dufour, Happy Traum, Courtney Hartman... and that's only a small sampling. This is a must-attend event for any guitar geek so make sure to schedule it. http://woodstockinvitational.com/ http://woodstockinvitational.com/tickets.shtml http://woodstockinvitational.com/about.shtml The question of "Do I have to learn music theory?" comes up quite often amongst guitar geeks. I personally get asked this question a lot and I think you will find my answer insightful and energizing. I believe that you will learn theory when you are ready for it. Another way to say it is that you will ask the right questions when you are ready to learn the answer. So don't just go on a mission to learn music theory... it is an incredibly expansive topic and you may not have the right context for all of the items presented. Rather, learn some core fundamentals and allow yourself to swing on the learning pendulum... let me explain. The learning pendulum has two distinct points on it... you can even think of it as a spectrum with one end focused on physical learning (technique), and the other end focused on mental learning (theory). As a guitar player, you will swing back and forth between these two points and that is actually ideal because each end of the spectrum informs the other. Essentially when you are on one side you will learn something that impacts the other developing a new context with each swing of the pendulum. You absolutely must check out this segment from Acoustic Tuesday where I discuss this concept more. I think it will lead to light bulb moments and a new found vigor for guitar learning. (Not to mention, there is also quite the visual created with Miley Cyrus references and all... just sayin). To learn even more be sure to check out the free workshop I am releasing on April 23rd, this free workshop will discuss the core elements you will need to grow all of your future music theory knowledge. I like to call these elements the Foundational Five and they consist of the musical alphabet, major scale construction, the chord matrix, chord tonality, and the CAGED system. This workshop is packed full of light bulb moments and all you have to do is sign up. Just visit fretwiz.com, sign up for the Fretboard Wizard waitlist, and you will be in the loop for this workshop. Talk about an action-packed installment of Acoustic Tuesday... Whoa! Take a deep breath, make sure to check out those items, and it is imperative that you rest up because next week Acoustic Tuesday is coming in hot. Cheers to you #guitargeek and here's to living your best #acousticlife! Happy pickin' Tony
  4. Greetings #guitargeek! I hope this finds you sufficiently fueled with coffee and thirsty for some acoustic guitar geekiness to help you live your best #Acousticlife. A ton is in store for today so off we go to the magical fountain of guitar geekness to indulge in the acoustic infused elixir known as Acoustic Tuesday. When your guitar hasn't been cleaned in a while it starts to actively collect fingerprints, smudges, smears, and what I like to call guitar grime. Guitar grime is one of those things that can make your guitar look gross. I have tried a bunch of different guitar polishes with varying degrees of success, but one that sticks out in my eyes for its consistently excellent results is Gibson's pump polish. Its label appears to be unchanged since the '70's, but it's what's inside that really blows me away. This polish is exceptional, hell, it even smells good. This polish cleans well and makes your guitar's finish baby butt smooth... seriously... there is a distinct tactile difference in how your guitar feels after using this stuff. Now, I am not saying this is the only polish that does this, but it is, in my opinion, one of the best guitar polishes out there and should certainly be on your radar. http://store.gibson.com/guitar-polish/ http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/gibson-pump-polish-for-guitars-banjos-mandolins Next up... a guitar geek joke for you... What do you get when you cross stellar fingerstyle guitarists, a gathering of music lovers, and Takoma Park, MD? Well, you get the "Thousand Incarnations of the Rose Festival" which is a festival celebrating the American Primitive Fingerstyle guitar movement. I know this isn't a funny joke, but you have to admit that punchline is pretty awesome! This festival is on my list of ones to attend and I am currently working on pulling some strings so I can be there. You get three days of music by some absolutely incredible American Primitive guitarists whom are continuing to carry the torch of this style of music. Never before have I seen a festival dedicated to this style. So if you love American Primitive Guitar make sure to check this one out. Oh, and if you can't make the fest be sure to check out the album: The Thousand Incarnations Of The Rose: American Primitive Guitar And Banjo (1963-1974) which celebrates the groundbreaking, inventive approach to traditional music brought forward by the likes of John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Robbie Basho and more. https://1000rose.org/ - Festival website https://youtu.be/anEduHsU7uA - Festival Promo https://youtu.be/4dBqeLKqDEQ - A Thousand Incarnations of the Rose Album Promo https://amzn.to/2pJvdun - A Thousand Incarnations of the Rose Album This week I want to share with you a Flatpicker that I have been listening to for some time and I feel like he flies a bit under the radar... to a degree. This picker produces beautiful tone with a seemingly delicate touch. It's as if his picking and fretting hand are one hundred and ten percent perfectly in sync. His original instrumental tunes are melodically beautiful and expertly executed. I am talking about the one and only Kenny Smith, whom I was first introduced to through the band that him and his wife play in, aptly named, The Kenny and Amanda Smith Band. In this band setting Kenny shines vocally alongside his wife, and his instrumental breaks are rich with tone, succinct, and inserted into songs with precision. On his solo albums his guitar prowess shines brightly as well as his composition skills. Overall Kenny is a Flatpicker you need to know about and The Kenny and Amanda Smith Band is a band you need to hear. https://youtu.be/5WgeL-_XRlE - Randall Collins (Song) https://youtu.be/q7R5tc93Zpg - Cruel Willie (Song) https://youtu.be/2PH6sqka3-Q - Always Never Enough (Song) http://www.kenny-amandasmith.com/ https://amzn.to/2urAmwI - Studebaker (Album) https://amzn.to/2G8U2uv - Always Never Enough (Album) https://amzn.to/2umHtWZ - Tell Someone (Album) https://amzn.to/2pHgArm - Live and Learn (Album) https://amzn.to/2GbPWlC - House Down the Block (Album) https://amzn.to/2ITrgvS - Unbound (Album) http://www.kenny-amandasmith.com/shopkasb - Kenny and Amanda Smith Store Back in the 30's National guitars became known for a novelty finish called "frosted duco." This finish was gorgeous due to it's unique character. Since the finish's beauty relied on how crystals grow (no two are the same), each finish was different, making them absolutely gorgeous when done right. Now mind you, this was in the 30's, so how on earth would you get a finish like that on a new guitar or even refinish an old one? Well, you would have to call Rik Besser of B Fanatic Guitarworks. Rik is a specialist in the frosted duco finish and he has dedicated much time to perfecting his craft; so much so that he is responsible for that very finish on new National guitars made today. Rik not only applies this finish to new Nationals, he also helps restore old Nationals, and he even sells some on his site. If you have any interest in resos this is a great place to check out even if it is just for the visual inspiration. http://www.bfanaticguitarworks.com/ http://www.bfanaticguitarworks.com/?lens_portfolio=dueco-model http://www.bfanaticguitarworks.com/?lens_portfolio=1937-gold-duolian http://www.bfanaticguitarworks.com/?lens_portfolio=yellow-frosted-duco-collegian If you look at old pictures of artists playing live shows you will no doubt see some really stellar guitar strap designs. I'm talking some very striking tapestry type themes... think Jimi Hendrix at Monterey or any picture of Eric Clapton in the 70's. Some of those patterns are iconic and that being the case we cannot forget them, and as #guitargeeks we can thank Souldier Straps from Chicago because they are using those very patterns on straps today... but those aren't the only patterns they have. Souldier Straps are made in Chicago and they are crazy comfortable and the custom looks you can create are nearly endless. They use recycled seatbelt material as the base of the strap and the decorations are pulled from vintage fabric. I should also add that the leather strap ends are affixed with a metal ring which seems like a small detail, but it is very important for longevity. One more thing about these straps and this company... I would highly recommend visiting their site, particularly the custom strap designer portion... you can pick colors, patterns, and all sorts of really geeky details. https://youtu.be/YLsfVxVN1qU - Souldier Straps Interview https://www.souldier.us/Default.aspx https://www.souldier.us/CustomGuitarStraps.aspx https://amzn.to/2I3hR3G - Brown Seatbelt Strap https://amzn.to/2IWfpwP - Koi Goldfish Strap https://amzn.to/2DWKLzV - Zodiac Strap Our trip to the fountain of all awesome things acoustic must come to an end for this week my fellow #guitargeek, but please don't be sad. Go forth with your newly acquired acoustic knowledge and help more #guitargeeks unite!!! Keep strumming and smiling until next Acoustic Tuesday and don't forget... Guitar Geeks Unite! Cheers, Tony
  5. Salutations to you gold medal #guitargeek! With this fine day comes a truckload of Acoustic guitar discoveries that are sure to feed your hungry #Acoustic Life. On your mark... get set... #guitargeeks go! First up on the docket of dreamy #AcousticLife items today is a store dedicated to the guitars eight-stringed, upside down, little brother... the mandolin. The Mandolin Store located in Surprise, AZ and run by Dennis Vance is a primo spot if you are considering a brand new mandolin, wanting to buy another, or just looking to peruse some breathtaking instruments. I have known Dennis and Brian at the Mandolin Store ever since I worked for Weber mandolins and their shop is outstanding for all things mandolin. The Mandolin Store, as its name suggests, is chocked full of mandolins... New, used, F style, A style... they are all there, and they even have some guitars lying around as well. As a #guitargeek I check out their site frequently since their inventory is always changing and afterward have dreams of sneaking some mandolins into my #guitarsenal. Also, if you are curious about how a given instrument sounds their youtube channel is packed full of great reviews and samples of the cream of the mandolin crop. https://themandolinstore.com/ https://themandolinstore.com/product-category/inventory/f-style-mandolins/ https://youtu.be/IBmlw8GuYjg - Store Tour I am a complete sucker for music documentaries, and the one I'm about to share with you pretty much started it all... Heartworn Highways. Heartworn Highways is a music doc that everyone absolutely needs to see... you get a fly on the wall experience of some of the most prolific songwriters ever put on this earth. Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, and many many more. This doc is filled to the brim with some of the most seemingly common yet inspiring footage of all time. A standout scene is all of these songwriters sitting around a table swapping songs and drinks on what I believe was either Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve... this scene alone is mind boggling and that is just one of many. Also, I just found out that they released Heartworn Highways Revisited in 2015 to celebrate the films 40th anniversary and this time they filmed the next wave of Nashville outlaw songwriters. I haven't seen this one yet, but if it is even half as good as the first it will be downright amazing. https://youtu.be/FjnXkhwubzQ - Heartworn Highways Trailer https://youtu.be/fOtwft8Cd38 - Heartworn Highways Revisited Trailer http://amzn.to/2GcaWb4 - Heartworn Highways Revisited http://amzn.to/2HRGu3d - Heartworn Highways This week I am listening to a bit of a random find. Often times new artist finds come from friend recommendations and Acoustic Tuesday viewers and followers, but this week's artist is a bit different because I stepped out on a limb and checked out Otis Gibbs based solely on an album cover I thought was interesting... my oh my was I in for a surprise!!! Otis is a brilliant songwriter and an amazing storyteller with song. His voice reminds me of John Moreland with a similar amount of rasp and character. Overall I was and am wowed. I became even more wowed when I saw the sheer amount of albums that Otis has released (my favorite of which is entitled Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth). Then the level of wow increased yet again when I discovered Otis' podcast named "Thanks For Giving a Damn." This podcast is a delicious treat of behind closed doors stories from the vaults of musical history told by the folks that experienced them first hand. For any guitar geek or music aficionado, this podcast is a blast to listen to!!! So make sure to check it out, a great starting point is Episode #144 which is a story about Guy Clark's favorite shirt. https://youtu.be/JROJLYbp0t0 - Ghosts of our Fathers (Song) https://youtu.be/NngPEUaHuUM - Joe Hill's Ashes (Song) https://youtu.be/sulwOnz8eX4 - Darker Side of Me (Song) http://otisgibbs.com/ http://amzn.to/2u6x95q - Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth (Album) http://amzn.to/2FRA5bx - Mount Renraw (Album) http://amzn.to/2FO3kw6 - Harder Than Hammered Hell (Album) http://otisgibbs.com/category/podcast/ - Thanks for Giving a Damn Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-144-guy-clarks-favorite-t-shirt/id568743610?i=1000380496868&mt=2 - Episode #144 Guy Clark's Favorite T-Shirt https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/thanks-for-giving-a-damn/id568743610?mt=2 - Thanks for Giving A Damn Podcast Itunes Speaking of podcasts, as a #guitargeek there is another one you must know about. What happens when two cool cats from a leading guitar manufacturer get together and geek out about guitars... you get Taylor's From the Factory Podcast. Taylor's very own Jay and Cameron are your hosts for this podcast and I must say I have first-hand experience at how awesome these two dudes are because I was a guest on their podcast for episode #12 "Geeking Out With Tony Polecastro." I had so much fun being on their podcast we shared many chuckles and you get to learn about my musical past which involves a journey through a grocery store freezer, my thoughts on the new V-class bracing design, and they ask me a very pointed question about the future of the acoustic guitar which was a blast to answer. Make sure to check out the podcast and if you dig it be sure to subscribe. https://www.taylorguitars.com/from-the-factory-podcast - From the Factory Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-12-geeking-out-with-tony-polecastro/id1291589467?i=1000406273992&mt=2 - Episode 12 Geeking Out with Tony Polecastro https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/taylor-guitars-from-the-factory/id1291589467?mt=2 - From the factory Podcast Itunes The new tradition of celebrating the #guitarsenal continues again this week on Acoustic Tuesday. This week there are some amazing guitarsenals to lay your #guitargeek eyes on. You will have to check out the full episode to see them, and I will tell you, you certainly don't want to miss these. There is a dog, a cat, and even a glass of bourbon. Oh, and how could I forget the #guitarsenal that literally took over an entire living room... I mean this one required the moving of furniture. Make sure to check them all out in Acoustic Tuesday Episode #31, and if you want your #guitarsenal featured on an upcoming episode of Acoustic Tuesday it is super easy, it just takes 3 simple steps: Step 1: Wear your Guitarsenal shirt, if you don't have one just click the link below and pick your color and size. https://teespring.com/guitarsenal_polecastro Step 2: Take a picture with your family. This means everybody... all your acoustic guitars and associated instruments and of course your spouse or siblings, as well as your furry guitar loving pets. Step 3: Send that picture to support@tonypolecastro.com with the subject line #guitarsenal. Voila! Just like that, you will be featured in an upcoming episode of Acoustic Tuesday. Alright, time to collect yourself because the sun has set on another Acoustic Tuesday. The race has come to an end and yes you are the winner! Why? Because you are an official #guitargeek living your best #acousticlife. Best wishes to you on your continued guitar journey, Guitar geeks unite! Cheers, Tony
  6. Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Good morrow fellow #guitargeek and welcome to the day formerly known as "Just Tuesday," now celebrated and revered as Acoustic Tuesday. 5 items await you on the sacred #guitargeek scroll this week so let us halt the introductions and partake in a journey of discovery. Our hyper hair follicled friend is back to shed wisdom on a question asked by one of our very own Acoustic Tuesday viewers. Matt Chulka, acoustic aficionado, beard maintenance master, and an overall awesome dude from Eddie's guitars in St. Louis shares his wisdom as he discusses the impact of a 12 fret neck to body joint and a 14 fret neck to body joint. If you have ever wondered what the deal with this is you have to tune into the episode to learn more; I think you will be surprised at how it affects more than just the aesthetic of the guitar. So here's the situation: You have a pickup on your guitar, you aren't plugged in at the moment, and you enjoy playing with a strap around your guitar. Seems like a normal situation right? ...until the strap lets go of the input jack and nearly falls to the floor. Something that no guitarist ever wants to experience. Never fear Strap Jack is here to remedy this very scenario. Strap Jack is a device that locks your strap in on the input jack end and uses a rubber washer on the other to bring you peace of mind that your guitar is not going anywhere. Think of it like a strap lock specifically designed for guitars with a pickup. There is also a bonus use for it too... do you have a mixer or other piece of gear that you want to block inputs on? Strap Jack works like a charm. I also really appreciate that the cost is super low on these so you can get one for each guitar that has a pickup and just store them in the case for those "just in case" moments. https://strapjack.com/ http://amzn.to/2FDiQGY Have you ever heard someone who's voice makes your head snap back, ears perk up, and every hair on the back of your neck stand up? The person I am listening to this week does that very thing to me... Tyler Childers is someone who was introduced to me via Colter Wall's latest album (He happens to sing on the song Fraulein). In addition to being the guest vocal on that album, many Acoustic Tuesday viewers told me about him so I had to do the full deep dive and I am so happy I did. Tyler has a knack for writing wonderfully descriptive songs and his voice delivers them in such a way that leaves you wanting more and more. His voice seems to be a cross between classic country and traditional bluegrass, but I can't say he sounds like anyone except, well... Tyler Childers. The standout tune for me is Purgatory off of his newest album of the same name as well as the tune that closes the album, entitled, Lady May. If you dig heartfelt delivery with a voice that has a bit of twang you will not be disappointed with Tyler's newest album... or his older one for that matter. https://youtu.be/KMn5sLegqo4 - Keep Your Nose on the Grindstone https://youtu.be/EeDTKH9AU3U - Purgatory https://youtu.be/oOIJecsnaWg - White House Road http://amzn.to/2GqixAc - Purgatory Album http://amzn.to/2FRNiAs - Bottles and Bibles Album What happens when you gather 7 luthiers and inspire them with 7 significant artists from their locale. You end up getting 7 (actually 8) guitars that are chocked full of inspiration... this is what the Group of Seven Guitar Project is based on. This project includes Canadian luthiers: Grit Laskin, Linda Manzer, Sergei de Jonge, Jean Larrivee, Tony Duggan-Smith, George Gray, and David Wren. Each luthier was commissioned to build a guitar inspired by one artist from the Group of Seven (the Group of Seven refers to 1920's Canadian landscape artists Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, Franklin Carmichael, Frank Johnston, F.H. Varley, and A.Y. Jackson) The results were absolutely amazing, inspiring, and jaw-droppingly beautiful, and you can see them in the documentary dedicated to these guitars and their making. You will get a peek at the guitars and each individual luthier's thought process behind their design. Truly fascinating stuff for any #guitargeek. https://youtu.be/LZD_3rovSu4 - Grit Laskin https://youtu.be/bCSkSs-tTks - Linda Manzer https://youtu.be/GMtsWoGBtiA - Sergei de Jonge https://www.larrivee.com/shop/group-of-seven-guitar-project-dvd-a-celebration-of-art-and-music This week we get to gawk at some awesome guitarsenals from our very own #guitargeek ranks. Make sure to watch the full episode to see some really outstanding guitars, smiles, family members, and even some furry friends. This week there is a vintage Gibson, some stellar small bench luthier made guitars, some eyebrow-raising oddballs, and even Marty Mcfly... yes, Marty Mcfly... You'll have to watch the show to find out about that one. May your ears encounter wonderful music and sweet melodies as the page turn on another episode of Acoustic Tuesday. Don't forget to subscribe to the Acoustic Life youtube channel and be absolutely certain to share this show with your guitar geek friends!!! Guitar Geeks unite! Cheers, Tony
  7. Good morning fellow #guitargeek! As the crisp air of another Acoustic Tuesday hits your face please be reminded that Acoustic Tuesday is chocked full of #guitargeek items for you to ponder, peruse, and ultimately enjoy. Let us submerge ourselves into the #guitargeek list for today. Finding the right guitar stool can be a daunting task, but when you find the one you like... man oh man is it a good feeling. Some guitar stools or chairs have funky heights, others have uncomfortable seats, but I have one that I have used for years and really dig. The Roc N Soc tower stools are seriously comfortable, they are built like tanks, and they come in a variety of color options as well as seat styles. You can get a standard round stool top or a saddle seat, as well as varying heights to fit exactly what you need, to play comfortably for as long as you wish. https://rocnsoc.com https://rocnsoc.com/new/product-line/tower-seats http://amzn.to/2sC2v3e - Roc N Soc Tower Stools Mojo infused tone is something every #guitargeek has an insatiable desire for. This last week I had two run-ins with a device that produced purely magical tone. Two of my musical friends turned me on to the Rich Robinson bronze slide from Daddario/Planet Waves and holy smokes what a beautiful guitar accessory. This slide is one that is incredibly comfortable and has the heft to produce clear, bright tone. The most notable thing about this slide is the wonderful taper making it seemingly form to your finger. For any of you slide players or even slide dabblers out there this is one to consider and certainly test drive. http://amzn.to/2oNnsDW https://youtu.be/HkWYx-3IK7I http://www.daddario.com/pwProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=4115&productid=1112&productname=Rich_Robinson_Brass_Slide This week have I got a band for you! This band has it all; their songwriting is deep and dark, their harmonies are incredibly tight, and both members are very comfortable on whatever instrument they happen to be playing... guitar, banjo, fiddle... they can do it all. Ben Jaffe and Suzanne Santo make up the band I am referring to, HoneyHoney. Ben holds down the rhythm, lead, and bass guitar... often times playing the bass from his guitar through some pedal wizardry, and Suzanne plays the guitar, fiddle, and banjo, while singing... and let me tell you about her voice... wow!!! It's raspy, wide-ranging, and incredibly expressive. I have seen her two times performing here in Montana and each time her voice is crystal clear and pretty much mind-blowing. HoneyHoney has three albums to date, and Suzanne Santo just released a solo album, and I can honestly say your record collection would have a huge smile on its face if you added those four albums to it. They aren't 100% acoustic, but they are so good this is one of the cases where I throw the rules out the window. https://youtu.be/AQAVa_p0EK8 - Yours to Bear https://youtu.be/og7kVTd6uS4 - Whatcha Gonna Do Now https://youtu.be/sKciiuQO4Cs - Big Man http://amzn.to/2BxjNRZ - Billy Jack Album http://amzn.to/2HfQ1S2 - "3" Album http://amzn.to/2Hk1v6Y - First Rodeo Album http://amzn.to/2EvcblJ - Suzanne Santo "Ruby Red" I already referenced chasing the mighty tone dragon once in today's Acoustic Tuesday, but I need to mention it again because I found something that will help expand tonal possibilities to the "nth" degree. The Emerald Amicus absolutely blew my mind upon first playing it. First and foremost, it is a carbon fiber instrument rendering it impervious to humidity and temperature fluctuations; Second, this instrument offers a tonal range similar to a mandolin, but with no modifications to the chord shapes you already know. Think beautiful dulcet sounds with familiar chord shapes that can be a wonderful addition to any musical situation. The Amicus is a beautiful accompaniment instrument and a great composition tool. Overall, this is an instrument that can add a whole different layer to your sound. Make sure to check out the full review below. https://youtu.be/PUo9ikLlzV4 http://emeraldguitars.com/product/amicus-opus/?v=7516fd43adaa This week you get to look at some guitarsenals from our very own Acoustic Tuesday viewers and holy smokes... our Acoustic Tuesday family have some beautiful guitars! Four guitarsenals are on deck this week. You will get to see everything from a redemption picture from Shane R. all the way to a stellar collection that contains a '66 LG-0 amongst some other great instruments. There is even a '60's Framus archtop in one collection and a tribute to the grateful dead in another. To see the entire #guitarsenal lineup make sure to check out the full episode, this is a segment you will not want to miss! Oh and to get your #guitarsenal featured it just takes 3 simple steps: Step 1: Wear your Guitarsenal shirt, if you don't have one just click the link below and pick your color and size. https://teespring.com/guitarsenal_polecastro Step 2: Take a picture with your family. This means everybody... all your acoustic guitars and associated instruments and of course your spouse or siblings, as well as your furry guitar loving pets. Step 3: Send that picture to support@tonypolecastro.com with the subject line #guitarsenal. Voila! Just like that, you will be featured in an upcoming episode of Acoustic Tuesday. And with that, another Acoustic Tuesday is in the record books. I wish you the best #guitargeek week!!! May your ears receive sonic treats of your own creation and may the small wins rain down and create a flood of positive momentum for you! Cheers, Tony Polecastro
  8. Ahoy and welcome to the wondrous ship known as Acoustic Tuesday. No pirates or scallywags here just five #guitargeek items for you to learn about, check out and share with your guitar geek friends. There are many guitar strap companies, all of which have their own unique piece of the strap pie. Some straps have custom designs, others boast about their comfort, and most are really really good at what they do. Lakota Leathers Straps is a strap company that in my opinion are known for their soft, supple and incredibly durable straps. The straps are assembled on the Pine Ridge Lakota Sioux Indian reservation and are available in a variety of options. You can go the full blown custom route, or check out their Elk and Bison leather straps in a very guitar friendly color palette. I have spent time with both the guitar straps as well as the braided mandolin straps and these are seriously like butter. This is a great accessory to keep in mind if you ever need another strap or just want to try something a bit different. http://www.lakotaleathers.com/ http://www.lakotaleathers.com/products/guitar/ Guitar cables are just one of those unassuming accessories that are ever present and often go unquestioned especially in the acoustic guitar world. In the past I have basically used whatever cable I found in my cable bag, paying no attention to what it was or why I had chosen it, but as long as it worked I was happy. This line of thinking proves to be fine as long as the cable works and this is where things get tricky. Most guitar cables feature a simple solder joint where the cable meets the connector and it's covered with a small plastic protector... this has worked for years, but those very solder joints end up being the weakest point in the cable. That's where Planet Waves American Stage cables come in, these cables are rugged, provide solid connection, and are built to withstand some serious abuse. The solder joint used in these cables can be paralleled to the Incredible Hulk's strength. The actual connector will stay in your guitar regardless of how much internal tension your input jack has, and the signal quality is outstanding. I have used these cables for countless shows and they are super dependable and always hold up to the task. Make sure to check these out and you absolutely have to watch the strength test video. https://youtu.be/JsxJhdJoGhI - Strength Test Video http://www.daddario.com/PWAmericanStageCables.Page?sid=ee75a172-03a6-44cd-83e4-3d83ced2dca4 http://amzn.to/2BxO8Qp Guitars and aeroplanes don't really love one another, it's a known fact. It's never clear if you can carry your instrument on, and depending on which flight attendant you speak to (and of course how their day is going) you may hear the words no #guitargeek ever wants to... "you are going to have to check that." Any #guitargeek that hears that instantly gets the cold sweats and wonders how their beloved six-string friend will ever make the trip in the belly of the plane. Now there are lots of flight cases out there, don't get me wrong, but the one I want to feature today and the one that has served me well is the Calton Case. Started by Keith Calton, circa 1973, in London; Calton Cases are now being made in Austin, TX by a crew of outstanding artisans making sure that each case fits the instrument like a glove and protects it like a mama bear would her cub. These cases are designed to take a serious beating and the new design makes them even lighter. Be sure to explore their website for all of the case options that are available from sizes to colors to sparkle... yes, even sparkle. Happy travelling #guitargeek! http://www.calton-cases.com/ http://www.calton-cases.com/cases/ http://www.calton-cases.com/dealers/ https://youtu.be/PdhFtBMRLsw Our bearded brother, Matt from Eddie's Guitars in St. Louis is back for another #askmatt segment this week. This week he pulled a question from a previous show that a viewer left in the comments regarding a guitar's resonance. Matt eloquently sheds light on what gives a guitar that magic that makes you feel as if the guitar is kicking you right in the gut. He discusses a guitar that he used to have (you have to tune in to find out), and he compares that to the guitars that he graduated to in an interesting glimpse into why one guitar would resonate more so than another. Also, keep in mind that if you have a question for Matt and want him to answer it only takes three easy steps to submit it: Step One: Think of a #guitargeek question you want Matt to address. This could be tonewoods, bracing, custom options, or even certain brand characteristics. Step Two: On the most current episode of Acoustic Tuesday leave a question starting with #AskMatt in the comments below the video. Step Three: Subscribe and tune into Acoustic Tuesday because your question could be next up! That's it, super easy! What I'm listening to this week... Well, I happen to be listening to songs from all the artists that will be playing at the first ever Acoustic Life Festival here in Bozeman, MT. Yep, right here in Bozeman on June 22nd and 23rd the town will be converted into the epicenter of all guitar geekdom. The Acoustic Life Festival will feature two nights of world-class acoustic performers and not only will you get to watch stellar acoustic acts with your guitar geek friends, all proceeds of the Acoustic Life Festival will be benefitting the Guitars For Vets non-profit organization. So who is playing this awesome festival? Here is the official lineup: Friday, June 22 Caitlin Canty - https://youtu.be/yr_2L2_dCiA Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley - https://youtu.be/nx1n8hQOBPI Saturday, June 23 Antoine Dufour - https://youtu.be/YQlyHbu0zz4 The Small Glories - https://youtu.be/4YBRV4uxT8M There are only 217 tickets left so secure yours today if you want to live your best acoustic life in Bozeman for two days with your guitar geek friends while taking in these awesome acts please visit: acousticlifefestival.com Well, off goes the Acoustic Tuesday ship, sailing into the sunset after having delivered the guitar geek goods this week. Until we meet again next week, keep your #guitargeek radar alert and be sure to share Acoustic Tuesday with your acoustic loving friends. Cheers, Tony
  9. May this Acoustic Tuesday find you reflecting back on a month of guitar progress, acoustic discoveries, and positive momentum that continues to march forward... well... right into the month of March. Five acoustic discoveries are on the menu today so let's skip the appetizers and devour the main course. Fingerpicks are one of those necessary evils for certain styles. If you are seeking a certain level of cut and clarity while finger picking your guitar or are a banjo player that likes to cross over, finger picks are just part of the deal. The thing that stinks is that they can be very very uncomfortable. That's where Guptill Music comes in with their wonderful fingerpick brand, Pro-Pik. Pro-Piks come in a huge variety of styles and sizes to make sure you get the right tone and fit that you need. I particularly like the brass number 3 split band models for their comfort and warmer tone, but there are so many options to pick from and the cool thing is that they even offer specifically sized small picks for children or players with really tiny fingers. This really only scratches the surface, you have to check out the full line to really see just how vast the offering is from these folks. https://www.guptillmusic.com/ https://www.guptillmusic.com/propik-ec-split-wrap-finger-picks/ Now let's check out some guitars from over the pond for you to ponder... I have to start this with a bit of a disclaimer and that is this: I am a traditionalist and I like guitars made of wood... That being said I understand and see the uses for carbon fibre instruments. I have never played a carbon fibre instrument that really resonates; I'm talking top and back. I love the feeling when you strum a chord and it's as if the guitar kicks you in the belly. I was surprised to find this feeling from a carbon fiber instrument, particularly the Emerald Guitars X20 Woody Select Series. I was dumbfounded at how much the guitar sang and how much projection it had. It has a very clear and focused tone and it very freely offered volume. I recently reviewed that model so make sure to check out the full review to really hear it, and if you like wood guitars I think you will be surprised at its tone, I know that I was. Click here to watch the review http://emeraldguitars.com/ http://emeraldguitars.com/guitar-galleries/?v=7516fd43adaa This week I am listening to a band named after a raccoon. Mapache, Spanish for "raccoon" is a band that you will no doubt love if you gravitate towards duos, warm harmonies, and beautiful guitar interplay. Mapache is made up of Clay Finch and Sam Blasucci and together they conjure up a sound that resembles bands like The Byrds, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and the Grateful Dead (think "American Beauty" and "Workingman's Dead"). Their voices mix together so well as do their guitars. One guitar is a resonator, and the other seems to be a Martin D18V or something along those lines. This is a duo that I discovered after seeing them open at a local show and I was completely floored by the music that I heard. Essentially I rushed to their merch stand to get their album immediately after they got off stage. I urge you to dig into their album as well. https://youtu.be/XeqEbH6zk10 - "In the Morning Light" https://youtu.be/6k_sdiulSIE - "Chico River' https://youtu.be/fyhuAqYDoIQ - "Loretta" http://amzn.to/2CdHZ8r - Self Titled Album https://mapachesounds.bandcamp.com/ If you could only have one guitar tool on a desert island, what would it be? For me it would be the Daddario/Planet Waves Pro-Winder, and I would recommend you consider this for your desert island tool as well. This thing is an unassuming accessory that has saved my butt on numerous occasions. Usually, when you change strings you need the winder and the wire cutters, which is no big deal at home, but when you need them both in a pinch often times one goes missing. The pro winder is a string winder, but it has the string cutter built in, and it actually works... it cuts the string! It's not just an object shaped like a wire cutter, it does the job very well. So be sure to check these out if you have never seen them before. If you get one make sure to keep it in your case or gig bag... it will definitely save you in a bind. http://amzn.to/2nVbHL6 - Planet Waves Pro Winder http://www.planetwaves.com/pwProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=4115&productid=551&productname=Pro_Winder_Guitar The acoustic instrument hot spot, Elderly instruments, in Lansing, Michigan is in a class all by itself. This is the type of shop that you can go to and walk out having learned a ton of new information, and not only is this typical in their physical store it's also an experience you can have on their website. Elderly really has it all... if you are looking for something, anything acoustic I can assure you they have it, and if they don't they can likely get it. Elderly has quite the depth when it comes to acoustic guitars, both vintage and new. The great thing about these folks is that not only do they stock a ton of instruments... their knowledge is vast and wide-ranging when it comes to all things acoustic. Make sure to check out their site for acoustic instruments, accessories and two of my favorite parts: the vintage web vault, and the collectible ephemera section. Tons of treasures await, and like I said you will no doubt learn something surfing their site or talking to them on the phone. Happy guitar shopping!!! https://www.elderly.com https://www.elderly.com/vintage/web-vault https://www.elderly.com/catalog/category/view/id/575 This Acoustic Tuesday just crossed the finish line hands waving in the air and a smile on it's face. Thanks to you #guitargeek for making Acoustic Tuesday what it is. Until next week stay in tune and keep on time. Cheers, Tony
  10. Salutations my string strumming #guitargeek friend! This day greets you with some mouth-watering #guitargeek accoutrement so let's dig right in. There are some guitar books that you just need... Plain and simple. They are the kind of books that you can keep in your guitar room or set on your coffee table and no matter where they are everyone who picks them up enjoys leafing through them. One such book is from the series, Images of America, and it's focused on none other than C.F. Martin & Co. This book is packed full of really outstanding factoids as well as some amazing pictures of the factory, guitars, artists, and even historical ledgers from the 1800's. This book is a must-have for any #guitargeek looking to round out their library. http://amzn.to/2nIFaYG - Images of America C.F. Martin & Co Every now and then a #guitargeek has to show some love to other instruments, and what better instrument to show love to than one that is often under-appreciated and misunderstood. Yes, our beloved 5 string brother, the banjo. The banjo is an outcast of sorts, but it is one of the most beautiful instruments when played well and even more so when built well. Ome banjos in Boulder, CO is one of those banjo builders that you absolutely need to know about. Ome banjos was founded by Chuck Ogsbury. He and his small team of builders, build some truly magnificent instruments both open back, resonator, and even tenor style banjos. These are must-see works of functional art, by one of the best teams in the banjo business. https://www.omebanjos.com/ https://www.omebanjos.com/banjos/5-string-flathead/vintage/juniper/ https://www.omebanjos.com/banjos/5-string-open-back/old-time/minstrel/ This week I am listening to a duo that is musically tight, technically proficient, and really good at melting face. They are the type of musicians that inspire by helping you see what's possible on their chosen instruments. Their chosen instruments are acoustic guitar and dobro and playing these instruments with precision are Trey Hensley and Rob Ickes. Trey flatpicks with speed, accuracy, and outstanding tone, not to mention his voice is one of those that is impossible to forget. Rob plays the dobro with a surgical exactness and an expressiveness that is off the charts. Together these two make phenomenal music that you absolutely must hear. http://www.robandtrey.com/ http://amzn.to/2BjaqVA - Country Blues http://amzn.to/2BdzQUR - Before the Sun Goes Down https://youtu.be/DpmvW85UD8E - Ballad of a Well Known Gun Bozeman, Montana really seems to be an epicentre of luthiery and overall guitar geekery. I have featured local makers before on Acoustic Tuesday and they all build instruments, but Bozeman is also home to one of the best tuning machine manufacturers in the world... Waverly Tuners resides right here in the Gallatin Valley, and my oh my do they make some jaw-droppingly beautiful and extremely precise tuning machines. Waverly is known for high-end tuning machines built to last and designed to match the aesthetic of your guitar. You can choose a variety of styles of buttons for the tuners from plain chrome/steel all the way to black pearl and even ebony or snakewood if you want. Make sure to check out their offering on StewMac's website I am certain you will be amazed at the possibilities. http://www.stewmac.com/ http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Tuning_Machines/Solid_Peghead_Guitar_Tuning_Machines/?facet=|BRAND%3aWAVERLY http://amzn.to/2C33xEE - Ivoroid Buttons http://amzn.to/2C33Y1K - Classic Butterbean To wrap up this wild ride of acoustic action we feature some of our very own #guitargeek family. Today you get to take a sneak peek at some guitarsenals from our very own Acoustic Tuesday viewers. It's always a treat to see what our fellow #guitargeeks have in their collections and this week is full of some great guitars. Make sure to watch the show to see the featured guitarsenals, and if you wish to participate it is super easy, it just takes 3 simple steps: Step 1: Wear your Guitarsenal shirt, if you don't have one just click the link below and pick your color and size. https://teespring.com/guitarsenal_polecastro Step 2: Take a picture with your family. This means everybody... all your acoustic guitars and associated instruments and of course your spouse or siblings, as well as your furry guitar loving pets. Step 3: Send that picture to support@tonypolecastro.com with the subject line #guitarsenal. Voila! Just like that, you will be featured in an upcoming episode of Acoustic Tuesday. There you have it, another Acoustic Tuesday has been gently tucked in so that sweet acoustic infused dreams can ensue. Make sure to sleep tight #guitargeeks and have dreams of ever-growing guitarsenals. Cheers, Tony
  11. Greetings guitarsenal wielding #guitargeek and welcome to the totally tubular Tuesday now known as Acoustic Tuesday! Without any hesitation, let's knock out 5 items for your #guitargeek radar... A classic #guitargeek problem... too many instruments and not enough space. Welcome to the world of the Hercules triple stand. This is a great stand that I have used on countless gigs. It holds three instruments and is adjustable to accommodate differing heights of various instruments. I have used this to hold my banjo, dobro, and guitar at a gig and it works fantastically. It has a weight activated instrument yoke to avoid missteps and accidents and is built like a tank. They don't name these things after a Greek God for nothing. If you are looking for something for your guitar den or a stage stand for a jam, this is one that should definitely be in the running. http://herculesstands.com/us/products/fretted-and-bowed-instrument/guitar/multiple-stands/gs432b/ http://amzn.to/2DdyPet So it's official I received my second shipment from Tiptonic picks containing the actual fingernail picks. After getting my first shipment with the activator and sizing chart, I sized my fingernails with the included sizing chart and went forth with the order. They came in and I ripped open the box to find a nice circular shaped organizer, nail file, and comprehensive instructions. After trying them on and giving them a spin I would definitely say anyone who likes to pick with their fingernails would certainly benefit from them. There is some time involved with the sizing, but it is time well spent. Once you get a solid fit, activate the pick, and apply it; it really feels like part of your nail... and the best part they come off and can be put on again after another activation. I was skeptical that they would come off cleanly but lo and behold they did, and once I got used to the feel of them I really started to enjoy having the picks on. Quick note: the instructions that come with them are comprehensive so definitely read them before putting the picks on. https://www.tiptonic.com/ This week I have a sonic treat for you, presented in the form of what I'm listening to. This week I want to feature an artist that is really out fo this world... Antoine Dufour. Antoine is most certainly in the modern fingerstyle category and he is an outlier in my opinion. His playing is off the charts. From the innovative melodies to the unique percussive patterns he integrates, Antoine's repertoire is wide-ranging and extremely dynamic. His knack for creating memorable melodies is his strong suit and he follows that up with rhythmic rollercoasters. All in all, Antoine is someone you need to be aware of as he is very clearly pushing the boundaries of what a single acoustic guitar can do. https://www.antoinedufourmusic.com/ https://youtu.be/2Z1wa2wmFtM http://amzn.to/2BYlLHz - Back & Forth http://amzn.to/2Bc8zC5 - Convergences American Music Furniture Cabinets To see a fine specimen of an acoustic guitar in its natural guitar habitat is a thing of beauty... a rare sight, but when witnessed it is inspiring. American Music Furniture actually makes that very thing; A humidity-controlled guitar habitat. It not only safeguards your instruments from fluctuations in humidity, it also puts them on display in a very elegant way. The cabinets are made from solid hardwoods and can be custom built and tailored to your very own instrument collection. If you want to lock your instruments in place they offer the "neck-tie" system so your instruments will be nice and secure. Oh, and speaking of humidity, your guitar habitat can contain a humidifier or dehumidifier depending on your location. The slick thing about the humidifier area is that it is hidden yet easy to access so your instruments can be healthy and happy all the while maintaining a super clean aesthetic. These are a truly beautiful way to store your instruments for everyone to see and enjoy all the while keeping them safe and sound. http://americanmusicfurniture.com/ Back on Acoustic Tuesday Episode 23, I asked a very specific question to Andy Powers regarding Taylor's new V series bracing. I was confused and curious about the notion of bracing effecting the intonation of a guitar and was hoping to gain some clarity. So I asked Andy If he would send me a cell phone video explaining the impact. Well, I am happy to report that not only did he send a video, he also invited me out to the factory to discuss the racing in person. More details on the Acoustic Tuesday episode so be sure to check that out for all the juicy details of the Taylor V Series Saga. Yet another Acoustic Tuesday has been set up and knocked down all with your guitar geek help!!! I hope this week finds you strumming and smiling!!! Until next week happy pickin'!!! Cheers, Tony
  12. Happy Tuesday my proud guitar geek friend!!! Welcome to another rousing rendition of Acoustic Tuesday sure to knock your socks off and send your flatpick flying. Sit down, pour yourself your favorite beverage, and soak up these 5 guitar geek items coming your way: [ATTENTION] Those who like to pick with their fingernails... this one's for you. On a past episode of Acoustic Tuesday, a viewer left a comment about some fingernail picks that I should check out. So as any #guitargeek would I ordered some. I am talking about Tiptonic fingernail picks here and I have to say that my curiosity is sufficiently piqued. These are similar to acrylic nails without the harsh chemicals and the trip to a nail salon. Developed by musician and inventor Jack West for the picker that doesn't to commit to acrylic nails and who can't stand the feel of standard metal fingerpicks. So far half of my starter pack order came in and I am very excited to report next week on how they feel and work. https://www.tiptonic.com/product/tiptonic-starter-kit/ https://youtu.be/QQ2Gn-VK46U This next item is an official Acoustic Tuesday round two. Way back on Acoustic Tuesday episode 3 I featured Caitlin Canty. Caitlin is a fantastic songwriter with an absolutely stellar voice whom I strongly recommend, and guess what?!? She has a new album coming out on March 30th. Her newest album Motel Bouquet is set to release early Spring and it sounds like it will be magnificent. Currently, she is doing a pre-order for the album through pledge music so if you want to make sure you don't miss this one be sure to check out her pledge music page and see what's available when you pre-order the album. From house concerts, guitars strings, and seeds from her very own garden it's all there. https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/caitlincanty https://youtu.be/hhhEybSjBok This week I am listening to a folk and bluegrass-infused group that has tight harmonies, superb songwriting, and a cast of characters that play their instruments expertly. Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys are just plain outstanding... I mean words cannot do justice to a group that can go from blues to old time to smokey jazz feeling songs in one fell swoop. This group has it all dobro, banjo, upright bass, mandolin, acoustic guitar, and a lead singer whose voice is captivating and nearly addicting. They have a few albums out and all of them will take you on a musical journey you will surely want to repeat. https://www.lindsayloumusic.com/ https://youtu.be/cFjByii_Q4g - Old Song https://youtu.be/siDeIcGs3KY - River Jordan http://amzn.to/2FSOH6W - Release Your Shrouds http://amzn.to/2FWultq - Ionia Pickguards are one of those guitar accessories that are easy to forget about. I mean you buy a guitar and they are just there doing their thing. They protect the top of your guitar and end up being a nice accent around the soundhole of the guitar. The pickguard is also an opportunity to aesthetically upgrade your guitar. Back when I first got my HD35 Martin was using those weird pixelated pickguards and I couldn't stand the look so I upgraded to a tor-tis pickguard. The tor-tis material closely imitates pre-war style pickguards and it happens to be very scratch and impact resistant so it makes for a great pickguard. I should also mention that the patterns and swirls that this material develops look absolutely scrumptious. If you want old school firestripe they have it, old style 30's swirl pattern it's available, and they are all made at LMII. Be sure to check these out if you are looking to upgrade your guitar's pickguard or if you happen to be building your own guitar. (Quick disclaimer: most manufacturers are using very nice looking and well-made pickguards currently so an upgrade may not be necessary. Also, if you are planning on swapping out your pickguard make sure to contact a luthier before starting to be sure your method is safe and won't harm your guitar) https://www.guitargal.com/collections/pickguards?view=all http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-not-wood/pickguard-material/tor-tis-pickguards This Acoustic Tuesday we celebrate the all mighty guitarsenal... in fact, we celebrate 8 guitarsenals. Eight of our very own Acoustic Tuesday #guitargeeks shared their very own guitar collections with us. They donned the official guitar geek uniform (the guitarsenal T-shirt) and took a picture with their guitarsenal. Make sure to check out the video to see some really outstanding guitar collections and meet some of your fellow guitar geeks. Oh, make sure not to forget to send pictures of your very own guitarsenal in. All you have to do is where the shirt, take the picture, email it to support@tonypolecastro.com and you could be featured in an upcoming Acoustic Tuesday episode. https://teespring.com/guitarsenal_polecastro That's another Acoustic filled Tuesday in the books. Have a fantastic week and be sure to share The Acoustic Tuesday show with your guitar geek friends. Cheers, Tony
  13. Welcome to another Tuesday which so happens to be gracefully infused with maximum acoustic guitar geekiness! Here are your 5 guitar geek items for the week: Acoustic guitars and large pedalboards don't necessarily have the same relationship as peanut butter and jelly, but the company LR Baggs is on course to change that. LR Baggs is currently in the process of releasing their Align Series Acoustic Pedal Suite and these things looks, well... sweet. Between their size, their aesthetic, and their overall functionality I cannot wait to get my hands on these and give them a proper test drive. In the Align Series, there is an Active DI, an Equalizer, a Reverb, and what looks to be a compressor. These should be hitting stores soon so be on the lookout and be sure to give them a try. https://youtu.be/h9ta-t-Bt0o https://www.lrbaggs.com/align-series-acoustic-pedal-suite Purchasing a vintage guitar can be a scary experience, especially if you aren't able to give the instrument a full once-over in person. There can be so much hidden and downright scary things lying under the top, which is why it's nice to have a store with a great reputation and a specialty in vintage instruments. Lowe Vintage Instrument company in Burlington, NC is one of those very stores. They have fine examples of some seriously iconic vintage instruments and it just so happens that vintage is their wheelhouse. From Gibson to Martin, Flattops to banjos to mandolins, both Ed and Will Lowe have done a fantastic job in curating a brilliant collection to peruse. A mention must also be made of the videos that they put out showing off these instruments being played by some of the finest. https://youtu.be/vBrca-Ww_8c - PreWar Guitar Co played by Presley Barker https://lowevintage.com/ I love it when Youtube blackholes prove fruitful. About 11 years ago when I was first getting into the dobro I discovered something that is about as #guitargeek as you can get, and that happens to be exactly what I am listening to this week. Long ago I stumbled on this song called "The Blackest Crow." It was being performed by Bruce Molsky and Julie Fowlis, both incredible artists in their own right, but that song led me to discover so much more. I soon learned that that performance was part of a much larger musical undertaking called the transatlantic sessions. Think of it like this, Marvel and DC (you know the comics) combine forces and all of the superheroes are on the same side... well that is exactly what the Transatlantic Sessions are for the acoustic world. Some of the top acoustic musicians in the world gather together to play one another's songs and my-oh-my are the results truly stupendous. Not only is this a treat to listen to, but you can actually watch it as well, which is what I recommend. https://youtu.be/d6jh1vqNvMs - The blackest Crow https://youtu.be/lwllcWC_FL4 - St. Anne's Reel http://amzn.to/2DeI6SH - Series 1 DVD http://amzn.to/2Djg0Ka - Series 2 DVD http://amzn.to/2DmiNCo - Series 3 DVD http://amzn.to/2rhPzic - Series 4 DVD http://amzn.to/2DfxKSu - Series 5 DVD http://amzn.to/2DkXbpU - Series 6 DVD Taylor takes a huge leap in the history of the acoustic guitar with a complete revamp of the X bracing design. X bracing has been the gold standard for some time in the world of flattop steel string guitars and then along comes Andy Powers to shake things up in a major way. Just last week Taylor announced their new V bracing design, which essentially has two long braces running parallel to the guitar neck and then some additional support provided via tone bars running off of those longer braces. Essentially this new design will make the top more rigid which will add to the responsiveness and projection, all the while allowing the top to vibrate a bit more freely which will contribute to stronger single notes as well as an overall volume increase. I must say a huge tip of the hat to Andy Powers, Bob Taylor, and the entire Taylor crew for pushing the boundaries and contributing to the evolution of the steel string acoustic guitar. https://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/acoustic/v-class-bracing/story https://youtu.be/Ys_tScJ9NXw https://youtu.be/GkX-lzzG-GA https://youtu.be/_lrNq5Qktmk https://youtu.be/gj8M-wF3ZPQ Matt is back! The #Askmatt segment is back in full force and this week our bearded guitar brother Matt Chulka is back discussing a hot topic among acoustic guitar geeks... Torrefaction - The act of "roasting" tonewood at low temperatures to impart a more woody/earthy tonal profile. So is a torrefied top better than one that hasn't been torrefied? This week Matt gets asked that very question so be sure watch the show and see what his thoughts are on this hot-button issue. May this Acoustic Tuesday bring a smile to your face and your ears as well! Have a fantastic week! Cheers, Tony
  14. Welcome to another installment of Acoustic Tuesday #guitargeek friends. Today's #guitar geek list is chock full of great stuff as well as a surprise or two so without any hesitation let's cut the ribbon on a new week full of #guitargeek... Starting with a soft breeze.... let's drift right into some accessories. A few episodes ago I featured Josh Turner's recipe for Nick Drake's tone and he had a very cool armrest on his guitar and someone asked about it... so I did some research. Lo, and behold I found a company whose strings I enjoy and who makes some stellar acoustic accessories. John Pearse also known as Breezy Ridge Instruments has some fabulous accessories to offer from straps to strings and picks to... you guessed it... beautiful armrests. Although the website isn't cutting edge they have some really outstanding things to check out. I would definitely look at their armrests as well as their bridge pin offerings, but along with that be sure to check out fast turtle picks. These picks are nice and beefy and have a comfy dimple for your thumb to rest in. They give you great tone and are very natural feeling... definitely a tonal experiment waiting to happen. http://www.jpstrings.com/armrest.htm http://www.jpstrings.com/brbpins.htm http://www.jpstrings.com/brpicks.htm A guitar maker that has my jaw on the floor... literally drool and all. As a guitar geek, I feel like there are so many amazing guitar makers right now... it's like we are in the midst of a guitar building renaissance. Preston Thompson, out of Sisters, Oregon is building some absolutely beautiful golden era style instruments. I'm talking hand-fit dovetail neck joint... hand carved bracing... hand graduated tops... Adirondack tops... the list goes on. After surfing the site I am officially convinced these are immaculate instruments with a tone akin to the hammer of Thor and the precision of Poseidon's trident. So then I find samples... goodness gracious me oh my... Jake Workman, Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle play these fine six strings... truth be told I spent a good two hours on the site and am smitten with these handbuilt gems. So as a guitar geek I feel obligated to urge you to do the same. http://pktguitars.com/ https://youtu.be/OkdGym1uTvw https://youtu.be/QxuLnoL5I1Y Bluegrass is a musical genre steeped in tradition. This is one of the things that is so endearing about it and its overall musical form. People get together to jam and share ideas on this music that has lasted generation after generation, but every now and then someone comes along and shakes up the tradition... you know... stands out in a major way. Billy Strings happens to be one of those players. His flatpicking prowess is unreal. His knowledge of the musical genre is vast, and he is one of those young players that will forge new paths in the world of bluegrass all the while having the utmost reverence for tradition. Billy Strings is someone you need to hear. http://amzn.to/2BpGBTQ https://youtu.be/Y3-728niBW8 https://www.billystrings.com/ I am always on the lookout for new magazines... but I am a little wary because it seems like so many are a bit advertisement heavy. No judgment of course, ads are a magazine's lifeline... I just like a good guitar magazine that has awesome content and the ads are fun and informative. I happened to find a magazine that does just that... Acoustic Magazine from the UK. This magazine is full to the brim with great album reviews, awesome gear features, and some really solid instruction. If you are a magazine fan this is one to put on your list for certain!!! You will have to convert the price from pounds, but I will say that it is a very exciting day when this publication gets delivered. http://www.acousticmagazine.com/ During Acoustic Tuesdays it is often requested to see Levi or Noah play some music. Since Levi is a stellar drummer and Noah plays the bass and sings like an angel (a really tough angel) I thought I would share with you some of their music. Their band Golden Grenade performed on the award-winning Montana PBS show 11th & Grant with Eric Funk and it is officially out for the world to enjoy. So sit back, let your eyes be delighted, and get your ears ready to smile because these guys just plain rock. Keep up the awesome work fellas!!! http://watch.montanapbs.org/video/3008447441/
  15. Welcome to the wondrous day known world-wide as Acoustic Tuesday. Of course with Acoustic Tuesday comes 5 Guitar Geek-centric items that are displayed in a list for you to peruse and research at your leisure. Here goes nothin'... One of my favorite guitars in my #guitarsenal is my 1935 Martin 0-17... It is beautifully worn, plays like a dream, and to my ears sounds like angels singing, but to say I think twice about taking it to a bar gig is an understatement. So in a past episode of Acoustic Tuesday (AT#10) I checked out the Pre-War guitar company and these guys rock plain and simple... but I thought they were the only company currently doing the vintage/distressed thing... then I found Atkin Guitars in England. This company is doing some seriously fantastic work and anyone that's' in the market for a "newly made" vintage guitar Atkin Guitars should be in the running. This company makes some incredible looking and sounding "new" vintage guitars. They can distress, antique, and even make the guitar smell old (if that's your thing). The model that has caught my attention form these guys is their "white rice dreadnought." This model features an enlarged soundhole and the warmth and woodiness of Tony Rice/Clarence White's iconic D28, and damn if it doesn't look the part as well. http://atkinguitars.com/ - Main Page http://atkinguitars.com/shop-item/white-rice-relic-2/ - White Rice Model Page https://youtu.be/8vVb-52w1iI - White Rice Prototype Vid https://youtu.be/MEp_LTOglpM - White Rice Demo https://youtu.be/OCM7GsqYD0E - Model Explanation LP's, 33's, Vinyl, Albums... whatever you call these wonderful black circles of bliss... they are, in my opinion, the absolute best way to consume music. Don't get me wrong, I think streaming services are great, but when you can lay the needle down on a spinning plate of musical wonder you are transported to another dimension. I'm saying this because when you find a killer record store it's like you have found the gates to that musical wonderland... and I happened to find one... online... and you need to know about it. ReverbLP... yep same company (Chicago Music Exchange) that runs Reverb for instruments now has an online record store for everyone to buy and sell records (and cds if that's your thing). I have found some gems on there. To say that I have gone on a digital shopping spree is a total understatement. Set aside a night to pour a glass of something nice and get lost in the virtual record bins that ReverbLP provides. https://lp.reverb.com/ This week I wanted to really dig deep in terms of what I'm listening to, and have I got a treat for you. I wanted to pay tribute to an artist that is largely responsible for getting me hooked on fingerstyle guitar. This is an artist who placed in the Walnut Valley National Fingerstyle Guitar Contest 4 times (First place in 1984, Second place in 1992, and Third Place in both 1986 and 1983). This artist I am referring to is none other than Eric Lugosch. Eric is an inspirational player, a phenomenal teacher, and incredible arranger. His albums are a treat to listen to and he has a knack for pulling beautiful tone out of his Ryan guitar. Make sure to give him a listen you will not be disappointed at all. https://youtu.be/_6PLoyJepEM http://ericlugosch.com/ http://www.ericlugosch.com/lessonhome.html http://www.ericlugosch.com/recordings.html http://amzn.to/2FjYVNi - Making Models http://amzn.to/2DbutnR - Black Key Blues http://amzn.to/2CXA43G - New Tradition Here's the scenario: you've learned some songs with your #guitargeek friends. You're thinking of playing your very first open mic, show, or maybe even you booked a show at a local pub... but what on earth do you call yourselves??? Creating a band name is incredibly difficult and their seems to be a very secret high level science behind it... enter the band name generator. This convenient website does all the calculating for you, no complicated equations, no band arguments... just pure band naming nirvana (see what I did there :-) ). Make sure to check it out, but beware it can be mildly addictive. https://www.bandnamemaker.com/ What are you doing on January 22nd? Your answer should be something along the lines of "starting 10 days of acoustic guitar bliss", and doing the most important exercise of your #acousticlife. How do you get this important exercise? How do you participate in the 10 Day play Every Day challenge?? How do you stay in the loop for some incredibly important announcements??? Make sure to visit weplayeveryday.com and show up on Day 1, it will be the most important day of your #Acousticlife. weplayeveryday.com Here's to living your best #acousticlife this week and waving your #guitargeek flag. I can't wait to see you on the 10 Day play Every Day challenge! Have an outstanding #guitargeek week!