Acoustic guitarists and mandolinists all over the world know of the importance of Sitka spruce. It's one of the favored choices for guitar tops (and for bracing inside the instrument). What many musicians may not realize is that the Sitka forests in Alaska face some of the same over-harvesting dangers that have occured with Brazilian rosewood, Madagascar rosewood and Adirondack spruce.
Musicwood is a new documentary that follows the fate of one forest in Alaska and the efforts of a group of guitarmakers (including Taylor Guitars' Bob Taylor) to slow down the harvesting.
In this week's podcast, we talk to the Musicwood's director, Maxine Trump, about the project, the Kickstarter campaign currently underway to finish funding the film and about the current state of the Sitka forests in Southern Alaska.
The long awaited return of the Fretboard Journal's podcasts. This week, editor Marc Greilsamer talks to incredible mandolinist David Grisman. Grisman, as many FJ readers know, was the cover story of our very first issue...some five years ago. He also interviewed Chris Thile for us in issue 10.
In May of 2011, Joe Spann will release Spann’s Guide to Gibson 1902-1941, a new book on vintage Gibson guitars, mandolins and banjos that may very well rewrite how we classify, age and think about these wonderful instruments. On this week's podcast, we talk to him about the book, the quirks of vintage Gibson guitars and mandolins and more.
Our 35th podcast features 2/5ths of the Punch Brothers: banjo great Noam Pikelny and fiddle virtuoso Gabe Witcher. We caught up with the pair right before the PB’s show at Seattle’s Showbox Theater on March 15, 2011. We asked them about the instruments they’re using on this tour as well as their future recording plans.
Our 34th podcast features an interview with singer-songwriter duo Corinne West and Kelly Joe Phelps. Though the pair have had lengthy solo careers for years, they've recently decided to perform together as a group. We ask them about how they approach songwriting as a duo, what instruments they're using and about their forthcoming album. We also ask Phelps about his great slide guitar playing (which, sadly, he no longer does). At the end of the interview, the duo performed a tune on their matching Martin HD-28s.
Recorded at the Fretboard Journal offices on January 17, 2011. Be sure to check out our exclusive video of the pair singing "Night Falls Away Singing" here.
Our 33rd podcast features a nearly hour-long interview Fretboard Journal editor Marc Greilsamer conducted with Phish bassist Mike Gordon. Gordon talks about the gear he uses, recent shows, comparisions between Phish and the Grateful Dead, his solo album Moss and much, much more.
On this week's podcast, FJ editor Marc Greilsamer talks to Walter Salas-Humara from the groundbreaking Americana band the Silos. We catch up with Salas-Humara in our offices right before he played a gig at Seattle's Tractor Tavern. The singer-songwriter talks about his tried-but-true Gibson, his early recordings with the Vulgar Boatmen and his work with the Silos. He also talks a bit about his career in the visual arts, including his recent work doing pet portraits. We also hear about the forthcoming Fretboard Journal Fifth Anniversary festivities.
On this week's podcast, Marc and Jason discuss the new Fall 2010 issue of the Fretboard Journal, which is mailing now to subscribers and features stories on Sam Bush, Froggy Bottom Guitars and much more. We also get a sneak peek at what's in store for the forthcoming Winter edition. Jason also talks to Seattle-based author (and FJ contributor) Kurt B. Reighley about his new book, United States of Americana. The book studies our country's current fascination with handmade crafts, old-time music and other throwbacks from bygone eras.