Fretboard Journal 11: What’s Inside


The Fretboard Journal #11 features another fly-on-the-wall story on the cover, as we get lucky enough to sit in on Ben Harper’s conversation with David Lindley. Harper also gives us a look at his amazing instrument collection, plus we have profiles of Tony Trischka and Barry Tashian, a comprehensive look at Brazilian rosewood, stories on luthier Bryant Trenier and guitarist Mickey Baker, a trip backstage at the Grand Ole Opry and much more…

Check out behind-the-scenes shots from our cover story here.


Tony Trischka may be the only banjo player in the world who can hold his own in a traditional bluegrass band or accompanying an avant-garde guitarist such as Eugene Chadbourne. John Kruth interviews Trischka about his love for the instrument, bluegrass music, the lesson he took from jazz legend Ornette Coleman and some of the greats he’s played alongside (including comedian Steve Martin, the alternative rock group the Violent Femmes and, of course, Earl Scruggs). Jim Herrington takes photographs of some of Trischka’s favorite banjos.


In the first decade of the 20th century and long before they were fashionable, Baltimore-area luthier Carl C. Holzapfel created some of the earliest full-bodied 12-string guitars. Writer Neil Harpe investigates the history of the Holzapfel 12-string guitar, the man behind the instruments and his varied output. Though Holzapfel guitars may be obscure to most of us today, they were also the 12-string of choice for Mike Seeger, Dave “Snaker” Ray (of Koerner, Ray and Glover) and Eric Darling. Photographer Mike Fleming takes stunning pictures of some of the Holzapfels from the collection of Fred Oster.


Andy Ellis interviews Barry Tashian, singer-songwriter and founder of the Remains. Tashian talks about the genesis of the Remains, the band’s debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, touring with the Beatles and the music he’s now creating with his wife Holly. Tashian also reflects on some of the unique gear he’s used for the last four decades.


In the late 1960s, photographer Jim Silvers chronicled the backstage antics and musicians of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. In this photo essay, Silvers reflects on some of the never-before-seen shots that he captured of Bill Monroe, Pete Sayers, Stringbean, Webb Pierce and other country music greats. Great photographs from Silvers abound.


In this Fretboard Journal double-feature, we take a look at two issues affecting vintage guitar owners: the scarcity of Brazilian Rosewood and the impact of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) treaty on guitar collectors. For the first story, guitar builder Todd Lunneborg interviews some of the biggest names associated with Brazilian — Paul Reed Smith, Martin Guitars, Jeff Traugott – and asks them each what makes this wood so special. In the second essay, guitarist John Thomas interviews the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, George Gruhn and others about how CITES enforcement affects guitarists. You may be surprised to learn that even some modern guitars wouldn’t pass the CITES test for international travel.


In our longest story to date, Grammy-winning musician Ben Harper interviews fellow lap steel guitarist (and all around musical virtuoso) David Lindley. The pair discuss everything from the Topanga banjo contests that Lindley repeatedly won to Dumble amplifiers, the early Jackson Browne recordings Lindley graced, lap steels and more.  Harper also interviews some of the rock icons that Lindley has accompanied over the years, including Browne, David Crosby, Bonnie Raitt and Graham Nash. Included in this lengthy article are all-new, exclusive photos of both Harper and Lindley playing together; pictures of Lindley’s favorite gear and famous Dumble amps; and six pages of Harper’s favorite gear.

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