Five for Friday, September 20, 2019

September 2019

The Fretboard Journal is happy to be announce Five For Friday, a new column where we recap what went down in the guitar world this week…

Passings: John Cohen, Ric Ocasek & Eddie Money

While most of the mainstream music press focused on the passings of Eddie Money and the Cars’ Ric Ocasek, acoustic musicians mourned the loss of the New Lost City Ramblers’ John Cohen, who passed away at the age of 87. Cohen was more than a musician, he was a folklorist, a professor, a filmmaker and an accomplished photographer.

Cotten Music Becomes The North American Guitar

Cotten Music – the Nashville institution where songwriters, country stars and average joes could try out and buy high-end guitars in a quiet (albeit narrow) environment – has merged with the North American Guitar, the London-based boutique shop offering a curated collection of luthier-built instruments, mostly from America (natch). Cotten will henceforth be called The North American Guitar Nashville. In other Music City guitar mecca news, Artisan Guitars, long based outside of the city in Franklin, Tenn., is moving to Nashville proper.

Playing For Change’s “The Weight”

Playing For Change released another viral “Song from Around the World” project featuring the Band’s “The Weight.” Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr and a dozen or so musicians from around the world collaborate thanks to the magic of editing and the results are pretty powerful.

Rhiannon Giddens Tiny Desk Concert

This week, Rhiannon Giddens finally got her overdue turn at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. Though her vocals stole the show (of course), we did get to hear her play the banjo (a fretless replica of an instrument originally from 1858) on one tune. In other music video-ish news, Wilco released a new video for “Everyone Hides” (with a nice cameo from the Wilco Loft, featured in FJ #15) and the world gets to finally hear what Billy Strings and Bela Fleck sound like together.

Ken Burns Takes on Country

We’ve been taking advantage of our PBS Passport deal to forge ahead on Ken Burns’ Country Music, which has been a fun watch, with deep dives into the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe and more. Needless to say, ogling the instruments both legendary (like Mr. Rodgers’ Martin or Mother Maybelle’s L-5) and surprising (random guitars from Paul Bigsby appearing in the background) has been a particular draw, and in fact there’s a Facebook group dedicated to keeping track of them all. If you’re not watching, get with the program!

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