What’s Inside: Fretboard Journal 54

The Fretboard Journal is unlike any guitar magazine you’ve ever seen: Barely any ads and more coffee table book than magazine. Subscribe today to join us. Click on Current Issue if you want our all-new 54th issue.

Dubbed “the guitar magazine for grownups,” the FJ is lovingly crafted to share great storytelling, amazing music, and the stories behind the gear. Our issues are filled with interviews, photo essays, and histories that you won’t find anywhere else.

Acoustic and electric instruments…legendary players and upstarts…we love it all.

Issue 54 has it all: Odes to New York’s guitar scene; tributes to beautiful guitar places; a bluegrass legend, inspiring singer-songwriters, the restoration of one of Johnny Cash’s Martins, and all points in-between.

Bluegrass stalwart Peter Rowan and writer/photographer Cameron Knowler go deep and talk about Rowan’s time with Bill Monroe, the magic of Clarence White, the guitars that meant the most over the years, and spirituality. Included are all-new photographs of Rowan taken by Knowler, one of Rowan’s illustrations, and shots of his cherished Preston Thompson guitars.

Session guitar ace/producer Matt Sweeney has carved out a career like no other, from indie rock’s Chavez to famed Rick Rubin-produced sessions to hosting Guitar Moves. FJ publisher Jason Verlinde talks to Matt about the relaunch of Guitar Moves on YouTube, the art of fingerpicking, and the magic found in those old E.C. Ball recordings.

Leo Kottke’s 6 & 12 String Guitar has to be considered one of the most influential acoustic guitar albums of all-time. Its armadillo cover is nearly as memorable. Jamie Etherington tracks down Anne C. Elliott, the illustrator behind the famed illustration, and unearths a history lesson on the Minneapolis music scene. In a fun twist of fate, luthier Nate Wood (also showcased in this issue), snaps the photos of Elliott, now living in Oregon.

Guitarist Robert Quine was one of the guitar world’s unsung heroes until his passing in 2004, a player’s player. Paul Elie sheds light on one of Quine’s unique quirks: While he was playing alongside Richard Hell, Lou Reed, John Zorn, Lloyd Cole and others, Quine amassed quite a unique instrument collection.

NYC’s Rudy Pensa has brokered some of the most important guitar deals of all time and helped launch the careers of luthiers he’s taken under his wing. Brian Fisher takes a visit to Rudy’s Scarsdale location to give us non-New Yorkers a sense of the magic behind Rudy’s Music.

Margaret Glaspy is a double-threat: A young musician with incredible guitar chops and a knack for writing great songs. The Fretboard Journal’s Jason Verlinde sits down with Glaspy to talk about the making of her last album and how an unlikely guitar found at TR Crandall’s helped shape its sound.

Is it a store, a museum, or an art installation? Daniel Marcus Clark and photographer Matt Oaten take a visit to Bristol, England’s Electric Ladyland, a building packed with rare and vintage instruments that may (or may not be) for sale. Howe-Ormes sit next to Marshalls, drum kits, and who-knows-what. Is this time capsule a guitar store or just a guitar collector’s dreamscape? Clark tries to find out and meets the establishment’s unique owner.

Plus: Maya de Vitry, Johnny Cash’s D-18s, real talk from luthier Nate Wood, David Jacques’ celebration of guitars from the 1800s, and much more.

Thanks to our community of subscribers, contributors, and sponsors for helping make this issue a reality.

Want this issue? Subscribe today and we’ll send it to you.


Previous Issues