Listen in as Sarah Jarosz plays her original song "Build Me Up From Bones" for the Fretboard Journal staff.
For nearly two decades, the Magnetic Fields’ frontman Stephin Merritt has shown the world that the ukulele is as powerful a songwriting and performing tool as any fretted instrument. Often compared to the tunesmiths of Tin Pan Alley, Merritt is a unique force, a prolific composer and even the author of a book on each of the two-letter words suitable for Scrabble. In short, he’s one of our favorite people.
Sean Hayes was raised in North Carolina and grew up listening to the teen staples such as the Smiths, the Police and Led Zeppelin. A childhood friend named Michael Horowitz eventually turned him onto Irish music and bluegrass (Horowitz is now based in Seattle and known for his gypsy jazz playing). Hayes’ current songs are an amalgam of rock, folk and soul. “I don’t really write from genre, just from an emotional spot,” he says.
Brad Barr of the Barr Brothers stopped by the Fretboard Journal offices to perform “Half Crazy” from their 2014 album Sleeping Operator. He brought along the 1951 Gibson J-45 he bought at Chelsea Guitars in New York City. The ’51 replaced a guitar that his uncle had left him but was stolen from a car in NYC. The new instrument “changed the way I thought about the acoustic guitar,” according to Barr.
Bill Frisell plays "Shenandoah" on a '30s Gibson L-00 that was handed to him just seconds before this Fretboard Journal video shoot. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what guitar he's playing, that telltale Frisell touch and tone is always there.
Leading up to the release party for his new CD, Sun Might Shine on Me, singer/harmonica player Grant Dermody stopped by the Fretboard Journal office with Orville Johnson in tow to share the song "Illinois Blues".
Australia’s Paul Kelly is one of the world’s greatest songwriters. And the tune “From Little Things Big Things Grow” is a favorite from the legendary musician. Co-written with Kev Carmody and first found on the Paul Kelly & The Messengers’ 1991 album, Comedy, this fact-based song spotlights a pivotal moment in the struggle Australia’s indigenous population.
Attending a Milk Carton Kids concert is rewarding on many levels. The first thing you notice are the duo's gorgeous harmonies. The second thing that stands out is the pair's deft acoustic guitar playing. The songs are both new and timeless, a fresh take on the music of Simon & Garfunkel. And, as if all that wasn't enough, the MCK's between song conversations are simply hilarious... sarcasm as art.
Join Fretboard Journal Live as they interview acclaimed singer-songwriter, session musician and producer Blake Mills. You’ll hear a few tunes from his album Heigh Ho, hear a bit about his background and, of course, talk gear.
Blake Mills is a guitarist, producer, and recording artist. He is best known as a session musician, having performed on recordings by Kid Rock, the Avett Brothers, Conor Oberst, Norah Jones, Dixie Chicks, Zucchero, P!nk, Lana Del Rey, Dangermouse, Paulo Nutini, and Weezer.