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Today we share an hour-long interview with one of the true greats of guitar-making, John Monteleone. Collectors and musicians around the world have sought out John's archtop creations, resulting in six-figure price tags, a quartet of guitars at the Met (the Four Seasons), and even a song penned by Mark Knopfler (simply titled, "Monteleone"). He's a…
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Meet Scott Tsai, founder of Philadelphia's Queens Vintage Guitars. Queens Vintage Guitars may just be the newest brick & mortar vintage guitar store in the country. On today's podcast, owner Scott Tsai tells us about its inception, its community focus, and so much more. https://queensvintageguitars.com Scott's story is fascinating: His love for gui…
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We just premiered Mikkel Ploug's beautiful arrangement of Bach's Art of the Fugue for guitar on our YouTube channel. Today, we hear all about it. Ploug talks to us about how he turned to a Gibson ES-330 and an Estey-era Magnatone M-14 for this recording, his arrangement process on the Bach piece, and so much more. We talk gear, European jazz, and t…
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The Decemberists' Colin Meloy joins us this week to talk about the band's new, long-awaited album, 'As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again.' Longtime readers of the magazine will remember Colin gracing the cover of our 45th issue. This time around, we chat about why there was a six-year break Decemberists albums, the tedious side of touring, the joys …
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Bluegrass banjo legend Tony Trischka joins us this week to discuss the making of his new album, 'Earl Jam.' He also gives us a mini-masterclass into the world of Earl Scruggs. The story behind 'Earl Jam' is truly remarkable: Upon receiving a USB drive full of never-before-released Earl Scruggs home recordings from the '80s and '90s, Trischka decide…
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Meet Sofia Wolfson, a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, writer, and Fretboard Journal contributor who just released an incredible album called 'Imposing on a Hometown.' This project features a bunch of former Fretboard Journal subjects and contributors, including Meg Duffy of Hand Habits, Mason Stoops, and Harrison Whitford. Mostly though, it's a c…
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Guitarist Ethan Sherman returns to the Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk about his new acoustic album, 'Passages.' This contemporary bluegrass-inspired record features Ethan alongside Wes Corbett (banjo), Rob Ickes (Dobro), Thomas Cassell (mandolin), Avery Merritt (fiddle) and Ethan Jodziewicz (bass). During our chat, Ethan explains why banjo recor…
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When guitarist Dr. Molly Miller isn't teaching music at USC, she's touring the world with Jason Mraz or recording with her own Molly Miller Trio. Or, as we learn today, she might be over at the tennis courts. On this week's Fretboard Journal Podcast, Miller walks us through a week in her life, talks about the gear she uses, and hints at hosting a t…
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On this week's show, we have a candid chat with Seattle indie rock musician-turned-podcaster (Roderick on the Line, Omnibus) John Roderick. The Long Winters frontman was an early Fretboard Journal subject and guest on our podcast. This time around, we talk about John's break from music-making, the new songs he's been writing, the perils of pedal co…
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For the last several years, Los Angeles-based musician Ryan Richter has served as a touring guitarist for Dijon, Ryan Beatty, Lizzy McAlpine and others. Years ago, he was also one of the Fretboard Journal's earliest employees. Ryan recently released his first solo project - a fascinating one-track, 20-minute long album called "As Good A Place As An…
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This week, JHS founder Josh Scott joins Jason to talk about guitar media, following your passion, marketing, work/life balance and so much more. We talk about how JHS was founded, the JHS Show on YouTube (and the work that goes into it), guitar media, printed matter in 2024, events, social media, the enduring power of Facebook (and paper books!), m…
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Singer-songwriter John Smith joins us this week to talk about his moving new Joe Henry-produced album, 'The Living Kind.' We hear about the British folk scene and John's time with John Renbourn and others; his guitar collection (including a rather unusual custom Fylde, his Mule guitars and others); the making of the new album; his thoughts on strea…
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Scott Ballew is an Austin, Texas-based filmmaker and musician. For years, he’s directed unforgettable videos and documentaries for Yeti and others. In 2020, he decided to take up songwriting and recorded his first album just a year later. This week, Ballew releases his third album, Rio Bravo. It’s an exceptional work that somehow combines Ballew’s …
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Six-time Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist, producer, and composer John Leventhal joins us this week to talk about 'Rumble Strip,' his long-awaited debut solo album! John tells us why, after five decades in the music business, he decided to make a solo album. We chat about his writing process, the home studio he and partner Rosanne Cash have in …
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Craig Korth is a bluegrass musician, instrument collector, and luthier based in British Columbia. Over the years, Craig performed at countless festivals, ran a music camp, and amassed a world-class collection of vintage instruments. As he recounted at the end of his appearance on episode 271 of the Fretboard Journal Podcast, he's also struggled wit…
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This week, guitarist Julian Lage returns to the Fretboard Journal Podcast to talk to us all about his new, Joe Henry-produced album, 'Speak to Me' (Blue Note). We talk about working with Henry, the 'Speak to Me' band (including Levon Henry), Lage’s writing process, his favorite practice hacks, the gear he used, and so much more. We pack a lot into …
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This week, we share two great interviews: First, we talk to Rasmus Zandvliet, a young (17-year-old!) aspiring luthier from the Netherlands teaching himself how to build acoustic guitars from scratch using YouTube videos for inspiration and a modest array of tools (and a curling iron to bend sides!). Rasmus is already on to his third guitar and garn…
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Austin's Matt the Electrician joins us this week to talk about his new album, 'The Ocean Knocked Me Down.' He also gives us a mini master class on being a productive songwriter. We also talk about John Allison Guitars, the Austin music scene today, the weekly songwriting group helmed by Bob Schneider and so much more. https://matttheelectrician.ban…
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It's the fourth and final installment of 'String Theories' takeover of the Fretboard Journal Podcast! To celebrate the launch of their book, String Theories, guitarists and educators Ethan Sherman and Adam Levy share some of their favorite music tips and New Year's resolutions with us. Order the book here: https://stringtheoriesbook.com/ This week,…
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It's the third installment of 'String Theories' takeover of the Fretboard Journal Podcast! To celebrate the launch of their book, String Theories, guitarists and educators Ethan Sherman and Adam Levy share some of their favorite music tips and New Year's resolutions with us. Order the book here: https://stringtheoriesbook.com/ This week, Adam and E…
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It's part two of four of 'String Theories' takeover of the Fretboard Journal Podcast! Adam Levy and Ethan Sherman, the authors behind the excellent new 'String Theories' book, are guest hosting the Fretboard Journal Podcast for four episodes. This week, they're joined by guitarist Mason Stoops (Ryan Beatty, Marcus Mumford, Jackson Browne) for a liv…
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It's a 'String Theories' takeover of the Fretboard Journal Podcast! Adam Levy and Ethan Sherman, the authors behind the excellent new 'String Theories' book, are taking over the Fretboard Journal Podcast for four episodes. We'll hear their personal New Year's resolutions, talk to some of their favorite musicians (Molly Miller, James Valentine, and …
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Guitarist and educator Teja Gerken joins us this week to talk about the making of his new solo fingerstyle album, 'Test of Time.' It's an eclectic album of originals, Celtic music, J.S. Bach and even John Coltrane's "Naima"...all played on acoustic guitar. We chat about Teja's early love for fingerstyle, the gear he employed for this album (a Marti…
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Atlanta-based Jason Mays has a unique perspective on guitars: He's a touring musician; the co-founder of YouTube's Working Class Music; he continues to work sales at Guitar Center; and he's one of the few people of color reviewing guitar gear. (We're also happy to announce that Mays is one of the FJ's newest contributors.) On this week's podcast, w…
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This week we're joined by Mike Ball of Seattle's Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar. We go deep into their history, how they grew from a garage operation to a beautiful storefront in Seattle, and so much more. Mike walks us through the daunting world of Japanese-market Fenders, explains why Epiphone Casinos are hard to keep in stock, and talks about how they…
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