#FJFest: Five to Follow (A Slight Return)

Screen time’s up these days, innit? Understandable and excusable under the circumstances. Those circumstances, though, mean more than just you’re staring at your phone more than usual. They also mean that pretty much everyone is sharing more. There’s a fantastic flood of content on the Ol’ Social Media, right? It’s overwhelming, but there is an absolute shitload of fantastic stuff you can find, if you know where to look. So, as part of our #FJFest efforts, we figured we ought to revive our short-lived “Five to Follow” column to point you at a few (well, five) of the folks we think are doing great things on Instagram with their newfound free time these days…

John Leventhal


We’re big John Leventhal fans around here. He’s a wizard with the guitar, and he works with some of our other favorites, including his other half, Rosanne Cash, and folks like Sarah Jarosz, for whom he produced a new record that’s dropping in June (look for the first single on our monthly Spotify playlist when it gets its April update). And, as it happens, he’s really good at Instagram. His feed is shows off a fine sense of humor, good photos and a lot of excellent musical interludes, including “Distancing Hymn #1,” above, which really hits the spot for us.


Sierra Hull


Between the release of her new record and a whole lotta down time, Sierra Hull is seriously working the Instagram, promoting the record and sharing a great assortment of live IGTV performances. She’s engaging her followers, taking requests, and pretty much knocking it out of the park. Needless to say, the new album, 25 Trips, is a great listen, too.


Emerald City Guitars


Our friends at Seattle’s Emerald City Guitars are really getting the hang of this Instagram thing. They share a great mix of “gear porn” pics and videos, enough to drive you to distraction and, occasionally the point of frustration, because G.A.S. is a serious problem for a lot of us, right? Luckily, it’s not just pie in the sky vintage offerings that they’re highlighting (see above), so following them isn’t as dangerous as it could be.


Nick Millevoi


Guitarist/writer/teacher Nick Millevoi might just be losing his mind…but he’s definitely messing with ours. He’s always had a good feed — shares tips, live videos and lots of fun stuff — but recently the current state of affairs seems to have inspired him. He’s pretty much taken this flood of lonely folks in front of their phones (see below) and created something fantastically bizarre. Here’s hoping he keeps it up, because these posts have been a serious treat lately.

BONUS: That was Nick in the second guitar chair for Jazz Night in America‘s broadcast of Nels Cline‘s Lovers.




Did you know that you can follow tags on Instagram? It’s true! It’s great for finding pre-Instagram posts — Oscar Moore never had an iPhone — and for injecting a tiny slice of pseudo-randomness into your feed. These days #LiveFromHome is an excellent choice for a follow. It’s become one of those “challenge” things, where folks tag others to get them to join in, and there’s a ton of posts, of course, including lots of ‘grammers you’ve never heard of (and maybe one or two you could do without), plus a lot of artists you probably have heard of, including the aforementioned Sarah Jarosz and Rosanne Cash, and of course Chris Thile, host of Live From Here and the instigator of this “virtual open mic.”

#FJFest is the Fretboard Journal’s way of keeping our community connected during these difficult times: Expect to see never-before-seen shop tours from guitarmakers, unique music performances and a ton of beautiful instruments on a daily basis here and on the FJ‘s social media channels.

Like what we’re doing? We could use your support: Get a digital subscription to the FJ for just $30 and, for a limited time, we’ll send you our two most recent issues immediately as PDFs, on the house. Each issue of our magazine has over 120 pages of long-form interviews and photo essays with today’s top guitarmakers, brands and music heroes.