Acoustic Tuesday Show with Tony Polecastro

By Tony Polecastro

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Description

A weekly show where Tony Polecastro gives you his list of 5 acoustic guitar geek finds that will help your guitar playing or turn you on to new guitar gear or music.

Episode Date
095 - How To Chicken Pick On Acoustic Guitar (Mind Blowingly EASY)
36:46

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at95/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

  • How to hybrid pick on acoustic guitar

  • Featured Artist: Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

  • Fishman's NEW LoudBox Mini
Jun 18, 2019
094 - Record Yourself Playing Guitar TODAY (No more Excuses!)
38:31

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at94/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

  • 3 Tips To Recording At Home

  • Featured Artist: Catfish Keith

  • LR Baggs Chorus and Delay Pedal Review
Jun 11, 2019
093 - 5 Tips For An Open-Mic Success
51:40

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at93/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#3 5 Tips To Prep For Your First Open Mic

#2 Featured Artist: Days Of The New (Travis Meeks)

#1 Devil At The Crossroads Netflix Documentary

Jun 04, 2019
092 - The BEST Fishman Acoustic Guitar Pickup
01:15:06

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at92/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Fishman's Blackstack Pickup Review

#3 Featured Artist: David Qualey

#2 Fylde Guitars

#1 ToneTalk

May 28, 2019
091 - NEW Acoustic Guitar Line From Beard Guitars
01:11:06

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at91/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Beard Decophonic Acoustic Line

#3 Featured Artist: Simon Flory

#2 Bryan Kimsy, Acoustic Guitar Hot-Rodder

#1 5 Tips To End Guitar Store Anxiety

May 21, 2019
090 - Andrew White Guitars And A Musical Murder Mystery
01:09:22

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at90/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Andrew White Guitars

#3 Disgraceland Podcast

#2 Featured Artist: Shaun Hopper

#1 Clay Parker and Jodi James: Ask The Artist

May 14, 2019
089 - A MUST Hear Blues Renaissance Man
01:17:04

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at89/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Loops Ear Plug Review

#3 This week's Featured Artist is Guy Davis

#2 Ask The Artist with Michael Watts

#1 Tone Talk #3

May 07, 2019
088 - Tony Plays A Furch Guitar And Teaches An Important Lesson
50:56

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at88/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Furch Guitar Review

#3 This week's Featured Artist is Will McNicol

#2 What to do when you feel behind

#1 The Personal Guitar Workshop

Apr 30, 2019
087 - An Acoustic Life Rite Of Passage
57:32

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at87/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Rite Of Passage

#3 New Era Guitars

#2This week's Featured Artist is Erik Mongrain

#1 How To Grow A Band Documentary

Apr 23, 2019
SE01 - Remembering Preston Thompson
26:13

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/atSE01/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

Remembering Preston Thompson

Apr 18, 2019
086 - Your Acoustic Guitar String Gauge Guide
01:16:39

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at86/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 String Guage Selection Guide

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

#2 A Hockey, Bourbon, Guitar Collision

#1 Jason Momoa and Colter Wall

 

Apr 16, 2019
085 - The #1 Mistake You NEED To Make On Guitar!
01:01:31

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at85/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 The #1 One Mistake You Need To Make

There is 1 mistake you can make on your guitar that will immediately change your perspective on every future mistake you make. Wanna know what it is...? Then check out today's episode of Acoustic Tuesday. I'll give you the key to ruling all of your mistakes.

#3 B&G Caletta Guitar

B&G are mostly known for their electric guitars, so you can imagine my surprised delight in not only hearing of their NEW acoustic line, but impressed at what I have seen and heard so far.

#2 What's On the Turntable This Week?

I became aware of this duo when they opened for I'm With Her in Stanford, CA on 10/10/18. I love their personalities, their story (twins from Illinois whose last name isn't actually Brother - haha, it's Moss), and of course their touching music. They masterfully play a variety of instruments (guitar, violin, mandolin, cello), and their harmonies are dead on. But what's really striking is the sentimentality of their songs and their performances, somewhat reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel. The link that I featured is a half-hour radio interview with the duo, but they play full songs in the interview. Give it a listen and I hope you enjoy.

#1 Lowden Strings

I'm a geek for strings AND I just happen to be on the lookout for a Lowden Guitar... so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give Lowden's NEW strings a try. I put them on my Martin OM Custom and am very very pleased with the tone I am getting. You can see and hear them for yourself...

Apr 09, 2019
084 - An Irish Trad Guitar Master
01:17:11

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at84/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 What's On the Turntable This Week?

John Doyle was the first guitarist that inspired and informed my own playing. He is a master of traditional Irish music and alternate tunings on the guitar. Although based in Irish trad, he has toured with Tim O'Brien, Joan Baez, and many others in the American folk music tradition.

 

#3 Holy Grail Guitars w/ Matt Chulka

Matt is back! But this time, instead of #askmatt it's what guitar Matt thinks you should know about... Today, Matt introduces a beautifully made guitar by Kevin Ryan with Ryan Guitars. You don't want to miss it!

#2 Dehradun Guitars

J David Murray moved to the foothills of the Himalayas to open his guitar custom workshop. As if setting up shop in the Himalayas wasn't awesome enough, he found and trained 6 budding luthiers that hand-make every single guitar to the specs of the purchaser.

#1 ToneTalk No.2

Back by popular demand, ToneTalk is here again for round two! Noah gathers your questions about anything and everything and Tony answers away in one-minute or less.

Apr 02, 2019
083 - Clean Up Your Guitar Chords
01:06:58

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at83/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Clean Up Your Guitar Chords

When you're playing a guitar chord it either sounds good or... not so good. You may find it surprising that getting your chords to sound nice and clear may only take the slightest adjustment. So, in this lesson, I'll share with you a way to make your chords leaner, meaner, and cleaner.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Mile 12. A great blend of both old and new bluegrass, Acoustic Tuesday viewer and Tony's Acoustic Challenge member Shawn G. says this group is so fresh and contains just a bunch of virtuosity.

 

#2 Martin's Newly Designed SP Strings

Here we are for Round 2 of my dive into Martin's newly designed lineup of strings. I put these bad boys on my Thompson, and although I can't really say I notice a difference between the old and the new strings, there is a little bit of a magical presence that makes me enjoy what I'm hearing. What do you think?

#1 Bluegrass Journey: A Documentary

This documentary is a bit dated, but... the deep tie and appreciation of the music and culture of bluegrass are timeless. It runs deep and is a treat to see and especially experience.

Mar 26, 2019
082 - Play THIS Blues Riff!
01:03:17

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at82/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Play Blues In Any Key

Learning the Blues is where many guitar geeks start because it's fun, recognizable and rewarding. So, in this lesson, I'm gonna show you one blues lick that is incredibly useful because after you learn it, you will be able to play the 12 Bar Blues in ANY Key.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Cory Chisel. From Wisconsin, Cory's voice is immediately recognizable and pours his heart and soul in both his solo music, as well as his group projects. Both are worth a listen. 

#2 GHS Vintage Bronze String Review

I love trying new guitar strings. And what's more... I love getting to share with you my findings on each and every one of them :) These GHS Vintage Bronze Strings

#1 Eric Skye 3x3

Featured in Acoustic Tuesday #74, Eric Skye is a true guitar geek. We asked Eric three guitar geeky questions and he more than delivered. He reveals the piece of gear that changed his guitar playing forever.

Mar 19, 2019
081 - Are Martin's Authentic Acoustic Guitar Strings Better???
01:06:29

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at81/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Martin's Authentic Acoustic Marquis Guitar Strings

I was excited to hear about Martin's newly revamped Marquis Guitar String selection, so... I ordered them. Revamped, repackaged, and improved is what the word on the street is. So, in today's episode of Acoustic Tuesday, I'll share with you my findings.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week I'm listening to Michael Watts. Recommended by Eddie's own Matt Chulka, he says Michael is not only an articulate gentleman of the highest caliber but also a ridiculous player. I concur. You will not be disappointed.

#2 Gorgomyte Cloth

I recently featured the GHS Fingerboard Care Kit. A great tool for that once a year deep clean. This product is for more regular use of polishing your frets and fretboard. Not a super deep clean, but a great touch up cleaning whenever you feel your guitar needs it.

#1 5 Inexpensive Tonal Experiments

Playing the guitar is all about having fun. And whether you feel like you're in a rut or not, these fun and simple tone experiments will help get your creativity pumping. Plus, if you happen to feel that your acoustic guitar is limited in what kinds of tone you can get from it, these tips will show you what different tones your acoustic guitar is capable of producing. You might be surprised...

Mar 12, 2019
080 - Consider THIS Internal Acoustic Mic Pickup
01:01:11

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at80/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 NV Tone Pickup

Do you use an internal mic for your acoustic guitar pickup system? I'm normally not a fan of internal mic's. It can be difficult to represent the true tone of the guitar, not to mention potentially picking up body noise and even some external noise. But when NV Tone reached out and asked if I would like to try their internal mic system, I said: "Why not?" Watch the show to see the results.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Acoustic Tuesday Viewer and Tony's Acoustic Challenge Member, Maggie Pope. And not just Maggie, but her band Under The Oak. Maggie is living her BEST Acoustic Life. Managing a large family and still making the acoustic guitar a major part of her life. I think you'll like what you hear...

#2 Red Tail Ring 3x3

Red Tail Ring was the featured artist back on Acoustic Tuesday episode #72 and they are back! Gracious to contribute to one of our new segments "3x3", Both Michael and Laurel answer three guitar geeky questions for you. You might be surprised at the end.

#1 Tone Talk w/Tony & Noah

NEW Acoustic Tuesday segment! We take viewer questions and answer them live here on Acoustic Tuesday! Everything from what guitar you are thinking about buying to what bourbon is Tony's favorite.

Mar 05, 2019
079 - A MUST Have Acoustic Guitar Tech Kit
52:09

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at79/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Fix Your Acoustic Guitar Buzz

If you're a guitar geek like me you look forward to that moment in the day when you can kick back and have some fun playing your acoustic guitar. But nothing can spoil that fun like a buzz emanating from it. So in today's video lesson, I'm going to help you identify where that buzz is coming from.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Nathan Salsburg. Nathan comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Andrew D. from Richland WA, who is on a HOT streak. This is his third time recommending an artist that has totally knocked my socks off! Andrew says, "Reminds me of a modern day John Fahey without the internal demons."

#2 Cruztools Acoustic Guitar Tech Kit Review

This is something that every guitar player MUST have. It just came out, and is the Acoustic Guitar Tech Kit made by Cruztools. If you're anything like me when you go to change your strings, you start by asking your significant other where the wire clippers are located. You then follow with where is my string winder? And where are my extra strings? Every time. Enter Cruztools, life changed.

#1 David Bromberg Unsung Treasure Documentary Review

If you consider yourself a guitar geek, if you like guitar in general, if you like personal stories you need to add this to your watch list. David Bromberg Unsung Treasure is one to watch. He was a musical enigma. It's a fascinating story, a documentary everyone should see. I learned a lot about him in this film and really enjoyed it.

 

Feb 26, 2019
078 - Your Guitar Fingerboard Care Kit
01:01:53

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at78/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 5 Reasons A Metronome Can Be Fun!

I don't want you to freak out about this learning and playing tip. Don't turn the show-off and run away. I want to show you how you can have fun with a metronome. I'll share with you five reasons why it can be fun, and in the learning tip link, you'll learn three steps in using a metronome to make it fun!

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is a duo, Robert Bowlin and Wil Maring. This duo comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Jon B. of Makanda, IL. Jon says, "Robert and Wil are local artists, and though their websites kind of fade away after 2009, they are still in Southern IL and still playing together. I am fortunate to see them at a friends 4th of July party every year where they play for a dozen or so people. In 1978 Robert took second place in Winfield at the National Flat Pick Championship in the flat pick division and in 79 he won the fingerpick title at Winfield......Oh, and Robert's guitarsenal will make you drool. Last 4th of July he brought his 1935 D28 Herringbone."

#2 GHS Fingerboard Care Kit Review

I put this through its paces, so I could share my experience with it. It was super easy to use. This tiny care kit is so convenient and it very guitar and travel-friendly. I used it on a dobro that I had, I hadn't cleaned it in three years or so. Check out the video to see the dramatic impact this care kit had on my fretboard! I am tickled with this product, I think it's a fantastic kit.

#1 Daddario Humitrak System Review

The humiditrak is a small blue tooth unit that sits in your guitar case (with clip or velcro) and it gauges your temperature and humidity, and communicates to an app on your phone! You can set it up to send alerts to your phone if your guitar is in any sort of danger. I am floored. It has made me realize that I should get one of these for all of my guitars.

Feb 19, 2019
077 - Modern Day Troubadours
53:49

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at77/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#5 Top 10 Valentine's Day Guitar Geek Gifts

In this episode (starting at minute 25:43) we provide you with a little special Valentine's Day report. Check out our top 10 guitar geek-centric Valentine's Day gifts!

#4 Three Reasons Why Drop D Tuning Is Awesome

Drop D tuning was one the first tunings I was exposed to, and I didn't know what the hell it meant. I finally figured it out and was really happy I did because it unlocked a whole different world of creativity. In this episode, I show you some tips and tricks to open up your knowledge of drop D tuning.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Conny Berghall. Conny comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Rikus V. of Johannesburg South Africa. Rikus says, "He is the most amazing guitar player I have ever seen just watch and listen." Rikus was totally right. This guy is unbelievable. Conny has carved out his own path in terms of percussion and the melodies that he puts together.

#2 AER Amplifiers Review

Let me tell you about a tiny, yet powerful acoustic guitar amplifier. These amps have a very woody, transparent tone. They are made by AER in Germany and built like total tanks. I have also learned that Tommy Emmanuel has an artist edition!

#1 Find Your Way: A Busker's Documentary Review

This documentary is about 5 separate buskers (street musicians) in Seattle. Good news, this documentary weaves together 5 different stories throughout the entire movie. I am delighted with it, I found it extremely inspirational and thought-provoking. The theme that had the biggest impact on me is that it seemed to toy with the idea of various people trying to define success, which is so fascinating.

Feb 12, 2019
076 - Combining Bass And Melody On Acoustic Guitar
53:54

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at76/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Combining Bass And Melody On Acoustic Guitar

I want to share with you how to combine bass lines and melody lines to create a composed piece of music. I will show you a simple and effective method to do this, and it's not a complicated approach - you don't even have to know what you're doing.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is a duo, Jake and Rebekah Workman. This duo comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Andrew D. of Richland, WA. Andrew says, "Both of their skills are SICK." - he need not say anything further, because that pretty much sums it up. I have seen Jake play in person, and he is a phenomenal player. The two of them together are incredible.

#2 G7th Performance 3 Capo Review

After using this capo for about two months, I am way impressed with it! I think this is a Swiss army knife of capos. This capo creates a buzz-free playing experience. They have done a wonderful job in designing it. I think this is a great one size fits all capo!

#1 PureWave Massager Review

The PureWave Massager has relieved so much tension for me. I have used it on my forearms and hands, it has helped me out a ton. It increases blood flow to my forearms so they don't feel as tight and sore as they would without using it. This massager makes me feel nimble and loose.

Feb 05, 2019
075 - Practicing VS Rehearsing On Acoustic Guitar
49:04

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at75/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Practicing VS Rehearsing On Acoustic Guitar

In this episode I talk about the expectations we set for ourselves. Part of having fun as a guitar player is managing your expectations. I will cover the differences between learning, practicing and rehearsing. Set your intentions for these, and be happier with the outcomes!

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is a local MT band who I have been wanting to feature for quite some time. I have been listening to them since their start. They are a great group of guys, wonderful musicians. They started around 2009 and are going strong, making incredible music. What I love about this band is that their arrangements are intricate. They are amazing to listen to, kind of like if the Beatles were in a bluegrass band.

#2 LR Baggs Lyric Pickup Review

This pickup system produces beautiful tone. What I love about this system is that it uses this true mic technology, which allows you to play it aggressively without giving you an odd tone. It sounds so pure and is super feedback resistant. You're going to want to listen to the tone it produces!

#1 LJ Williams Guitar Review

Sometimes we find ourselves going down an online rabbit hole of pictures of guitars. Well, last weekend I found myself venturing down what turned out to be a very fruitful rabbit hole. The picture that caught my eye was a striking tonewood! It looked 3D, holographic-like. I was stunned. It lead me to a new luthier that I had not heard of....check it out.

Jan 29, 2019
074 - Play Acoustic Guitar In DADGAD Tuning
50:25

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at74/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Play Acoustic Guitar In DADGAD Tuning

 Maybe you've wanted to look into DADGAD tuning but felt it was this elusive thing, or maybe you've never heard of it at all! Well, this lesson will help you not only get started but also playing in this tuning today!

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Eric Skye, who comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Trent S. from La Crete, Alberta, Canada. Trent says, "What I love? Everything. I love his fingerpicking, and I especially love his Flatpicking. His album June Apple is absolutely fantastic, and it's not lighting fast so it's awesome to sit down and play along with. I just recently did a lesson with him, he's super kind and explains things so well. And he's got 50 fiddle tunes up on his website in standard notation for the true music geek!"

#2 Eric Bibb Shares His Favorite Guitar

I want you to think back (AT Episode 66), where we featured an artist named Eric Bibb. Eric is a fantastic blues player and a torchbearer of the folk tradition. He had just released an album called Global Griot. We heard from Eric right after our feature so we, of course, hit him up for his responses to three burning questions we had for him. Check out his video response!

#1 Harlem Street Singer Review

This movie is something I think everyone should watch. This is the story of Reverend Gary Davis, from when he grew up in the deep south. He was an integral part of the 1960s folk scene. You'll agree it's a must watch documentary.

Jan 22, 2019
073 - Spice Up Your Strumming On Acoustic Guitar
59:31

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at73/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Five FUN Strumming Patterns For Acoustic Guitar

Do you strum the same few patterns for almost every song you play? Well, you won't anymore. Whether you need more strumming patterns in your repertoire or are interested in learning some new ones, this video lesson will do the trick!

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist came recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Caleb H.  I know Doyle Dykes as a fingerpicker, but he is a musical chameleon. He is an amazing musical arranger, composer, and player. Doyle's one of those players that you need to know about if you're an acoustic guitar player.

#2 Faith Guitars Review

I love fine guitars, it's pretty clear. BUT I do know there is an array of guitars out there, in all price ranges and categories. Each guitar has it's good qualities. Just because a guitar is inexpensive doesn't mean it's not a good guitar. Faith Guitars does a great job in balancing the price of their guitars and a really good sounding guitar. These guitars are made in the UK and come at a really fantastic price.

#1 American Epic Review

American Epic is a musical TV series that I just recently started to get into. This show really traces the roots of American music. The series is fascinating, from the footage that they dug up, to the songs featured, to the interviews....this show is multifaceted.

Jan 15, 2019
072 - The Guitar Exercise To Rule Them All
43:31

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at72/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 The Best Guitar Exercise

Does it sometimes feel like your pick hand is out of sync and your fretting hand's accuracy is all out of whack? In this lesson, I'm going to teach you an exercise that will introduce speed accuracy independence and control to both your fretting and picking hand.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is a folk duo called Red Tail Ring. This recommendation came to us from a YouTube commenter, and as soon as I pulled the name and got the tunes I immediately fell into a black hole of listening. The harmonies are very tight and the instrumentation is extremely diverse. They are wizards of the stringed instruments. Check out their synergy!

#2 Journey Guitars Road Trip Series

The Journey Guitars Road Trip Series are smaller, fixed neck travel guitars. They aren't collapsable, but they are very travel-friendly. These travel guitars are extremely convenient and comfortable to play. I tried one and I think it sounds AWESOME.

#1 Bernunzio Uptown Music Store

I want to tell you about a music store that I think is a hidden gem. The store is located in Rochester NY and is owned by John Bernunzio. They not only have banjos, but they also have an incredible array of vintage instruments. I encourage you to check out their shop, it needs to be in your list of stores to check out frequently.

Jan 08, 2019
071 - Best Acoustic Guitar Year EVER!
57:40

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at71/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...  

#4 The Importance of Reflection and Intention

Grab a cup of coffee and a pen and paper. Reflection and Intention are the lynchpins to experiencing progress on the guitar. Being grateful for the experience you've had thus far (#smallwins) and then setting intentions moving forward is crucial in creating positive momentum in your guitar journey.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is a duo, recommended to us by Glenn W. Everyone needs to stop what they're doing right now and listen to Clay Parker and Jodi James. I have been listening to them all week. I am completely enthralled by their harmonies, sound and dynamic as a duo. They are a musical treasure that needs to be listened to by all guitar geeks.

#2 Wrist Grips Review

These wrist grips almost give you an added strength. They offered an incredible amount of stability to both my picking and fretting hand. I can't explain it but I felt like I fatigued less and had more stamina. They just made me feel more stable. I think you'll notice a difference in using these wrist grips.

#1 Revival:  The Sam Bush Story

If you love bluegrass music, artists that define entire genres, if you love icon artists this documentary is for you. It's called Revival:  The Sam Bush Story. Talk about one of the most inspirational players - this documentary is on my list for tonight's viewing.

Jan 01, 2019
070 - Chord Changes Made Easy With THIS Trick
01:02:44

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at70/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Three Steps To Play Bass Walks

Does the mere thought of transitioning from chord to chord stop you dead in your tracks when you want to play a song? In this video lesson I share with you a way to make your chord changes not only easier... but more interesting and fun by adding bass walks. And if you watch to the end, you'll get the Master Formula to create ANY bass walk you want.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week’s featured acoustic artist is Gwenifer Raymond who comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Mark Clark H. from Ardre, Gotland. Mark says, "She's a young up and coming Welsh fingerstyle guitarist who's influenced by Fahey and other American Primitives, as well as old country blues. She also has a Ph.D. in astrophysics and designs video games in her day job--so pretty interesting bio. Her first LP just came out this year and it rocks deeply, or maybe picks deeply rather?"

#2 Tonewood Amp Review

The Tonewood Amp has been recommended to me many times. The folks at Tonewood were kind enough to send me a demo model. This unit is completely unassuming.  Installation was super easy, and it did not mark the finish on my guitar. I was intimidated to install it but am surprised at how easy and seamless it went. Once installed, it was extremely user-friendly. I see this as a very useful, creative tool.

#1 The GIG At Belmont Review

There's a lot of talk about planning in the new year. What vacations to take, guitars to buy, guitars to play.....well I found a place in Nashville that combines all of this! The GIG (Gallery of Iconic Guitars) actually features nearly 500 truly iconic guitars. 

Dec 25, 2018
069 - How To Fingerpick On Guitar
01:06:37

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at69/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Four Steps to Fingerpicking Freedom

When starting out on your guitar journey, fingerpicking seems so cool, but also so difficult. And like me, maybe you thought, "I wanna learn that... but when I'm good enough." Well, I want to tell you that you that you are good enough, right now. Whether you're a beginner or have been playing guitar for a while, you can fingerpick as long as you know the four basic steps that I cover in this video.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Emily Barnes, who came recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Pam B. of Nazareth PA. As soon as I received Pam's recommendation I took it seriously. She lives in the same town where Martin Guitars is based, so clearly, she's a guitar geek who knows what she's talking about.  This recommendation totally blew my socks off. Emily is very much under the radar, but she shouldn't be. She's an outstanding singer/songwriter, her playing is fantastic and her lyrical content is so moving. You won't be disappointed.

#2 Journey Instruments Travel Guitar Review

As a guitar geek, we want to travel and we want to bring a guitar. But traveling with a guitar can sometimes be anxiety-inducing. I've tried quite a few of the travel guitars, but they all have that shape that causes red flags with the TSA. It's a hassle, and you're always worried about the guitar. Journey Instruments has the solution to your worries.

#1 Auld Supercut

Noah has been at a very special project for quite some time. One year ago, we had the Tony's Acoustic Challenge members participate in a song challenge. Over the course of two weeks, they learned an entire song, measure by measure. They had another two weeks to practice the song and then submit a video of themselves playing the song. We received over 60 video submissions of this song! We have made a supercut of the song Auld Lang Syne. It's a treat to watch. Sit back and enjoy!

Dec 18, 2018
068 - There's More Than One G Chord???
52:40

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at68/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 What G Chord Is Correct?
Ever see someone play a chord you thought you knew, but you notice their fingering looks different or it's a completely new shape you're not familiar with? That's because there are multiple ways of playing the same chord. And not only that...some ways of playing a chord are actually better depending on what style or sound you are going for. Watch this video on three ways to play the G Chord and why you might do so.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?
This week's featured acoustic artist is Cahalen Morrison & Eli West who come recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Zorn J. from El Paso TX. Zorn says, "The playing, the harmonizing, the unique vocals of Cahalen...I'm not eloquent enough to do these guys justice. These are the gentlemen that opened up the vast world of this genre & roots music."

#2 LR Baggs Align Series Pedals Review
LR Baggs sent us the full meal deal set of pedal boards to review and I'm so glad they did! We have the Session, Equalizer, Reverb and Active DI. In this segment, I show you each of these up close and go into detail on what I think about them. Each of these pedals individually is extremely useful. BUT I think when you actually chain them together as a series that's when their full potential is realized.

See this Product Review

#1 Preston Thompson Newsletter
I found a great way for all of you acoustic guitar geeks to stay in the loop with one of the leading acoustic guitar makers in the United States. Clearly, you know by now I love Thompson Guitars. I love this newsletter too, you should sign up for it.

 

Dec 11, 2018
067 - How To Strum Without A Guitar Pick
52:07

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at67/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Three Strumming Patterns Without A Guitar Pick

If you hate using guitar picks then this quick lesson is for you. Some guitar geeks just don't like guitar picks and that's ok, but what do you do when you want to strum along to a song? You certainly don't want to sit the tune out, so in this short video, I am going to share with you 3 ways you can strum along to a song without a guitar pick.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is The Devil Makes Three who comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Tony F. of Kansas City, MO. Tony says, "I love that they uphold bluegrass and Americana traditions, but add modern lyrical themes. They also have astounding energy live."

#2 Native Sons Straps Review

Native Sons Straps offers a whole plethora of design options, you're sure to find one that fits your style. In this segment I hit on quite a few options that they offer, I also tell you about a SPECIAL DEAL for Acoustic Tuesday viewers only.

#1 Regal Musical Instruments History Book Review

This would be a great gift for the guitar geek that may quite possibly have everything, BUT I can guarantee you they don't have this. It's an encyclopedia of Regal musical instrument knowledge. The tale of Regal Instruments is a fascinating tale. At the end of the book are ads on every Regal Guitar that was produced. The instruments shown in the ads are absolutely stunning.

Dec 04, 2018
066 - How To Play ANY Guitar Lick
49:54

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at66/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Three Steps to Hack EVERY Guitar Lick

A necessity on every guitar geeks journey is learning guitar licks. But a big problem that a ton of players face is that a guitar lick stays just that... a lick... that is never actually used when jamming to a tune or playing with your friends. So in this video, I teach you the MOST popular bluegrass lick AND how to incorporate ANY lick into your guitar playing!

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Eric Bibb who comes recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Cedric Perrier of London, England. Cedric describes Eric as "Quite simply one of the most prolific acoustic singer/songwriter bluesmen in the world today. Last year his album ‘Migration Blues’ was nominated for a Grammy alongside The Rolling Stones’ “Lonesome & Blue” album in the blues category."

#2 Wazinator Stompbox Review

I want to introduce you to a stompbox called the Wazinator. These stompboxes are made in Australia and they are AWESOME! I have tried out quite a few stomp boxes and I haven't (up until now) found one that floats my boat. They all seem to make a clicking sound when I'm using them. That is not the case with the Wazinator.

#1 Acoustic Tuesday Holiday Buyer's Guide

Let me describe a scenario to you....you are a guitar geek. You embrace your geekiness, you love it. But it never fails, people do not know what to get you. They are intimidated by your guitar geekiness. They get overwhelmed by all the 'gear' and so they get you a sweater.  It's a nice thought, but we don't need more sweaters. I have made a GUITAR GEEK HOLIDAY GIFT LIST! You're going to want to share this with those people who may be wondering what to get you.

Nov 27, 2018
065 - Artificial Harmonics: EXPLAINED!
57:26

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at65/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Artificial Harmonics Made Easy

I don't know about you, but one thing that keeps me out of a guitar rut is learning new techniques. So, in this video, I show you how simple it is to start playing artificial harmonics. Get out your guitar, because after watching this you will be playing them!

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Scott Mulvahill. Scott is doing something that I always thought was completely impossible - sing and play stand up bass at the same time. To me, this feat seems impossible and I am very impressed.

#2 LR Baggs Venue DI Review

This DI left me wondering why it took me so long to try it out. It's probably one of the most versatile DIs on the market. You can really dial it into your preferences, which I love. The tuner is one of the best tuners I have seen on a DI. I think they have thought of everything with this product!

#1 Ask Matt - Sitka vs Adirondack Spruce Braces

As a guitar geek do you ever find yourself pondering the question, "What is the difference between Sitka and Adirondack spruce braces?" Acoustic Tuesday correspondent Matt Chulka from Eddie's Guitars in St. Louis, MO helps us answer this tough question.

Nov 20, 2018
064 - Play Guitar In Open-D Tuning
59:27

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at64/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Play Guitar in Open-D

This lesson on open tunings really helped me to break out of an acoustic guitar rut. This will unlock a massive amount of creativity and exploration on your guitar. Learn about my initial hesitations to alternate tuning, and how I overcame those! I'll share a guide with you that includes three easy steps to breaking through any fears you may have in alternate tuning.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Christie Lenee. Christie is an incredibly talented guitar player. In 2017 she won the International Finger Style Guitar Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield KS. Christie has been recommended to me numerous times, I'm glad I finally checked her out!

#2 Picker's Grip Review

When I first started flatpicking my pick would spin constantly. I hated the feeling that I wasn't overly solid on my pick. This product would have helped me in those frustrations. Check out this segment where I discuss how Picker's Grip feels to use, and why I think it can help you in keeping control over your pick.

#1 Preston Thompson Family Go Fund Me

We are a tight knit community of acoustic guitar players. As a part of this family, we try to help out our own when we can. Preston Thompson of Thompson Guitars was recently in the hospital. He's on the road to recovery, but he and his family could definitely use some help. In this segment I give you details on how you can help Preston and his family out. We are thinking of you and sending you good vibes Thompson family!

Nov 13, 2018
063 - Resonator Guitar Crash Course
50:27

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at63/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Your Quick Start Guide To Resonator Guitars

Resonator guitars are some of the most distinctive sounding stringed instruments, and they are a blast to play, but they can be intimidating. Well, be intimidated no more because I show you the ins and outs of all types of resonator guitars in this quick start guide.

 

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Toby Walker, who is an acoustic blues juggernaut you need to know. He's an incredible blues player and more impressive than his technical chops are his tone and feel...

 

#2 Beard Guitars Belle Beard Review

Right at the beginning of 2018, I was lucky enough to find this guitar and add it to my guitarsenal. I had lusted after a guitar just like this for years and finally, the stars aligned. This resonator by Paul Beard looks slick and sexy, sounds slick and sexy, and even has a very special surprise hidden within it. Check out the full review to find out what secret this resophonic beauty is keeping.

 

#1 Mule Resophonic Guitars Tri-Cone Review

This guitar's looks don't tell its full story. Beneath the hood of this hot rod lies a tri-cone resonator system that sounds gorgeous. From headstock to tailpiece, this Mule Resonator has loads of mojo to offer; handmade in Saginaw, Michigan by Matt Eich and his talented team this guitar carries with it a story so be sure to check out the entire review to hear about its origins and how it sounds.

Nov 06, 2018
062 - Avoid These Music Theory Mistakes
01:02:38

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at62/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

#4 Three Music Theory Mistakes to Avoid

In this episode, I cover the 3 biggest music theory mistakes. I've learned my lesson with these mistakes, I'm want to help you learn and avoid them.

  1. You don't have to know standard notation;
  2. Not applying what you've learned in music theory;
  3. Feeling like you have to learn EVERYTHING on music theory.

Featured in this episode...

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Tim Stafford, who is an acoustic guitar player you need to know. He's a fantastic flat picker, an all-around incredible songwriter and composer. Some of his instrumental stuff will leave you weak in the knees.

 

#2 Orange Acoustic Preamp

I received this acoustic preamp to check out. I gave it a try and I'm very impressed with it. It's a two channel pre, and channel A actually utilizes a tube so you are able to get this wonderful, rich, harmonic blend. Channel B has a mic input with switchable fan and power. You can effectively play your guitar plugged in and in front of a mic all in one unit!

 

#1 Thompson Cuban Mahogany Dreadnought Review

I featured this guitar in a past episode of Acoustic Tuesday, but I need to share it again. My Thompson Cuban Mahogany Dreadnought is mind-blowing. The string spacing, responsiveness, bark, overall volume - is amazing. It literally will make banjos run away with their tails between their legs.

Oct 30, 2018
061 - 3 REAL Reasons to Use A Capo
43:54

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at61/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Three Reasons To Use The Capo

In this episode I discuss in detail when you may want to use a capo:

  1. To change keys easily;
  2. To replace barre chords;
  3. To get access to chord shapes for a specific style.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Chris Knight from Slaughters, KY. He's one of those songwriters who is able to paint such a vivid picture, with beautifully chosen words. You don't want to miss my segment featuring Chris!

#2 The Music Emporium

This is a beautiful store that stocks an amazing amount of acoustic guitars. The Music Emporium has a wonderful reputation and a great history. They have been around since 1968 and are based out of Lexington, MA. They have an unending supply of acoustic guitars that can be purchased through their website or in person.

#1 Furch Guitars Review

Are any of you confused about the difference between Furch and Stonebridge Guitars? Well look no further, I found the answer!

Oct 22, 2018
060 - The Hidden Power Of Barre Chords
53:59

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at60/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

Featured in This Episode...

#4 The Secret of Barre Chords

Do you think that barre chords SUCK? Well listen up, because I know if you knew the hidden power of barre chords you'd place them much higher on your guitar practice priority list. In this episode I show you the secret power of barre chords. Check it out.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Sierra Ferrell who I am personally recommending to you. She's got a voice that is plucked from old time radio - it's so unique and has a wonderful vintage characteristic.

#2 Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings Review

I want to share with you my review of the Ernie Ball Paradigm Strings. The strings boast two main qualities, they are break resistant and ultra durable. I tested out those qualities, check out the segment to find out what I found out.

#1 My First Guitar Book Review

This book was sent to me as a gift from one of our AT viewers, Vic G. I would encourage you all to get the book. Seventy of the most influential guitarists are interviewed about their first guitar playing experiences. My First Guitar really shows the human connection to the guitar.

Oct 16, 2018
059 - The Secret to Fretboard Memorization
47:17

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at59/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Musical Alphabet and Note Memorization

Does the musical alphabet and note memorization have you stumped? Grab a pen and paper and join me as we take a dive into learning them!

 

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is Glenn Jones, who was recommended to us by Acoustic Tuesday listener Richard L. from Kingsland, TX.

 

#2 Santa Cruz Vintage Southerner Guitar Review

In this episode I review the Santa Cruz Vintage Southerner. I think this guitar is a true jack of all trades. It's capable of a lot, but may fly under the radar because of what seems to be basic specs (hint - it's NOT basic!).

 

#1 Robert Crumb Blues Heroes Book Review

Looking for a gift for another guitar lover? I want to share with you a gift that may just fit the bill. The contents of this book by Robert Crumb were formally only available in a trading card form, now they are bound together in one book!

Oct 09, 2018
058 - A Canadian Luthier Trifecta
47:56

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at58/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Boucher Guitars

Boucher Guitars is located in Quebec Canada.  They definitely have their finger on the pulse of tradition. They are located in the heart of one of the best places for the raw materials they use in creating their guitars. The vibe of these guitars is steeped in tradition and style.

 

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured artist is Tim O'Brien. Tim was recommended by Acoustic Tuesday listener Eric T. from Ontario Canada. Eric said we need to check out Tim's music because of "his versatility and unique flavor."

 

#2 Manzer Guitars

Linda Manzer is an incredible luthier from Toronto Canada. She's built guitars for Pat Metheny, Carlos Santana, Julian Lage, and many other well-known musicians. Be sure to watch what Pat Metheney has to say about his relationship with Linda.

 

#1 Parks Guitars

Shelley Park of North Vancouver, BC. Shelley has been building guitars since 1991 and is considered the preeminent gypsy jazz guitar builder. Her guitars are stunning, and most reviews reflect on the laser-like projection of the guitars.

Oct 02, 2018
057 - Hand Saving Stretches For Every Acoustic Guitar Player
44:56

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at57/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Red Bear Picks

I want to share with you my review of the Red Bear Guitar Picks made in Cedar City Utah. This company makes over 30 styles of picks. I tried quite a few, do you want to know what I dug about them? Watch the review to find out!

 

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured artist is Boubacar Traoré. One of our listeners recommended this artist and boy am I glad he did! This is the kind of music you can just listen to and zone out...it's almost trance-like. Check it out.

 

#2 Acoustic Guitar Player 5 Minute Stretch

Stretching is extremely important to your guitar playing journey. These are simple stretches I show you that take very little time.

 

#1 Lomax: The Songhunter

I want to share with you some insight on the Alan Lomax documentary. In this episode I also share a little discovery with you about Alan's recordings for the Library of Congress.

Sep 25, 2018
056 - 5 Tips To Turbo-Charge Your Acoustic Guitar Scales
52:53

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at56/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze Strings

I threw these strings on my Thompson Dread, watch the review to see what I thought about them!

 

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured acoustic artist is John Oates. John is one half of the best-selling duo of all time Hall & Oates, as well as an accomplished solo artist. I've selected three tunes that I think you'll love.

 

#2 How To Best Practice Scales (5 Tips)

In this episode I share with you five tips on how to effectively practice your scales and have fun doing so. Scales are an absolute necessity to learn. Scales are where chords come from. They are how we convey musical ideas. They are where melodies are born, and many times the origin of original music. So scales are supremely important.

 

#1 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

As a guitar geek you absolutely have to know about the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion Festival. This festival was recommended by an Acoustic Tuesday viewer and for good reason... it's like an acoustic music showcase.

Sep 18, 2018
055 - Are These Acoustic Guitar Strings Worth $40?
44:43

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at55/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

Featured in This Episode...

#4 Would You Spend $40 On Strings?

Guitar strings are one of the cheaper experiments you can do to modify the tone of your guitar. That notion held pretty strongly up until about two weeks ago when I bought a set of strings that I certainly wouldn't describe as inexpensive.

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

Today's artist feature comes courtesy of Acoustic Tuesday fan Bob W. from Kichener, Ontario. Bob says, "He's an amazing talent that plays with a lot of feel and dynamics and attributes influence from Michael Hedges." I agree with Bob here, in fact, I think you will too. Check out this modern fingerstyle player who uses percussive techniques...

#2 Honeyboy's Life In A Book

Edwards, Honeyboy is very much an under the radar Blues musician who is connected deeply to the roots of the Delta Blues. This documentary's amazing, but there are more resources available about him than just the documentary.

#1 Do You Think This Documentary Is Blazing Hot?

I want to make sure you know about a guitar geek full-length film that's directed by Ethan Hawke. It was just released on August 17th, in theaters across Texas. I'm not sure of the trajectory of this movie but I just want it on your radar because it definitely piqued my interest and I think it will perk you guitar geek up as well. Check out my thoughts in this week's episode....

Sep 11, 2018
054 - Is This The NEW Golden Era of Acoustic Guitar?
47:09

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at54/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Sep 04, 2018
053 - 5 Acoustic Guitar Case No-No's
50:39

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at53/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode

#4 Special Guitar Seasoning

You know when you get a new guitar, they use terms like "Oh, it's stiff," or, "It needs to open up"? I've recently experienced this very thing. I just purchased a Thompson Dreadnought guitar with Cuban mahogany back and sides it's a newly made guitar, and it felt a little stiff when I first got it. In that, it wanted to be resonant, but it just wasn't quite giving its all. It still sounded good, don't get me wrong, it's just a new guitar. After two weeks though it doesn't sound so stiff, and guess what? I didn't even play it that much...

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

Today's artist feature comes courtesy of Acoustic Tuesday fan Ray R. from Mililani, Hawaii. Ray says, "(He is an) amazing guitarist and songwriter." I agree with Ray here, in fact, I think you will too. You may have even heard this individual before, but not in this particular context...

#2 Vintage Inspired Blues Machines

There's a luthier up in Madison, Wisconsin that you probably don't know about. He is making vintage inspired guitars, but not the vintage you are thinking of. Sure he loves old Martins and Gibsons like all guitar geeks do, but this luthier derives his inspiration from old department store type guitars... think old delta blues guitar players... yep those guitars...

#1 What A Guitar Case Is NOT Good For

Guitar cases are in fact guitar-saving and protecting devices. They help protect our guitars from knocks and bruises, dings and all sorts of things like that, but our guitar cases can actually cause damage to our guitars as well...

Aug 28, 2018
052 - One Year Anniversary of Acoustic Tuesday
49:50

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at52/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

Featured in This Episode

#5 A New Album On The Horizon

A couple of episodes back on Acoustic Tuesday, I featured a singer/songwriter who has an incredible voice, and his songwriting is just, well, it's about as raw as it can get. He's like a word magician, and I gotta tell you, I was super pumped to find out this piece of knowledge...

#4 Mouth Watering Guitars From Virginia

When I first started playing guitar, I absolutely lusted after a particular guitar from this maker. I remember talking to my Dad. I'm like, "Dad, we have to go to these different shops and I have to try out these guitars I heard that they're amazing." And boy, was I right...

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This artist is largely responsible for the start of my own personal guitar journey and I thought he absolutely needed to be mentioned in a show. For those that are familiar with him you should be reminded of his importance in the acoustic guitar world, and for those who have never heard his name, you are in for an absolute treat...

#2 What Happens When Two Guitar Geeks Are Stuck In a Room?

Every now and again you find yourself in the company of a true guitar geek. This happened very recently and you'll never guess who sat down for an interview here at Acoustic Life Studios...

#1 Are You Coming To The Pary?

It's official Acoustic Tuesday has turned one year old and of course, it is thanks to viewers like you. What birthday party would be complete without gifts? There actually is a gift with your name on it, you have to see it...

Aug 21, 2018
051 - A Guitar Geek Vacation Destination
41:40

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at51/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

Featured in This Episode

#4 Beautiful Feedback Busting

Feedback is a bummer; It's loud, ornery, inconvenient, and can ruin an acoustic performance. It is the nature of the beast though... when you plug in an acoustic guitar at a certain volume it will feedback. Those black "Feedback Busters" exist but quite honestly I think those are as ugly as sin. So what is a guitar geek to do...

 

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

Judging by the amount of passion and mojo that pour out of every note this artist plays, he is very much a student of the blues. Whether playing a banjo, resonator guitar, or his 1930's Regal the tone and vibe of the blues seems to surround this fingerpicker. He delivers songs with grit, sweat, and a perfect imperfectness that keeps you coming back time and time again...

 

#2 Guitar Geek Library Expansion

Guitar geeks often get inspired by trying out new guitars. You play a different instrument and your mind goes into overdrive thinking of all of the possibilities that having that instrument could provide. This phenomenon is quite common amongst guitar lovers, but there are those rare moments when an instrument actually takes your breath away and leaves a mark on your guitar geek heart...

 

#1 History Told With Guitars

Hanging a guitar on a wall is a statement. It could mean so many things... things like "I play guitar," or "this guitar means a lot to my family and me," or even "in this house we love music." Just one guitar can make quite a profound statement, but what happens when there are 1700 of them...

 

Aug 14, 2018
050 - 5 Tips To Get Out Of Your Guitar Rut
50:51

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at50/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

Featured in This Episode

#4 A Life in the Shadows

This guitar geek film recommendation is brought to you by honorary guitar geek and Acoustic Tuesday viewer David M. I am super excited to watch this documentary because it contains footage and stories from some of the most important musicians in blues history...

 

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This weeks listening selection is brought to you by Acoustic Tuesday fan and guitar geek, Steven W. He says this of the artist for the week, "Excellent songwriting, and the lead singer has one of the best voices I've heard...incredibly full of emotion and passion. Definitely, one of my favorite bands to just sit and listen to!"

 

#2 Quebec's Master Luthier

There is a guitar maker in Quebec that has absolutely hit the nail on the head when it comes to a powerful, responsive, and tonally rich fingerstyle guitar. I was able to say this with confidence before, but after having played one in person...

 

#1 Bust Your Guitar Rut Right Now

In every guitar journey, there are some hurdles and detours that all guitar geeks must deal with along the way, but nothing is more intimidating nor frustrating than the ultimate nemesis to any guitar geek...

 

Aug 07, 2018
049 - Official Acoustic Life Festival RECAP!
34:47
➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at49/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday
 
Featured in This Episode
 

How To Live Your Very Best Acoustic Life...

A festival purely dedicated to guitar geeks is in the history books and if you want to know every detail and astonishing thing that happened then you must check this episode out.

The inaugural Acoustic Life Festival held in Bozeman, MT at the Rialto Theatre happened Friday, June 22, and Saturday June 23, 2018. It was two days of living the Acoustic Life to the max!!!

The Acoustic Life Festival was full of amazing moments both musical and personal. Between the artist performances, the open mic nights, the workshops, and the band performances so many friendships were started, transformations made, and guitar geek flags waved.

Make sure to check out all of the video recaps for some behind the scenes footage as well as the picture gallery for some candid shots of the open mic, the shows, and the guitar geekery that occurred at the very first of many Acoustic Life Festivals.

Acoustic Life Festival 2018 Behind the Scenes Links

Jul 31, 2018
048 - A One Stop Guitar Pick Shop
57:33
➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at48/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday
 
Featured in This Episode

 

#5 Beautifully Dressed Up Fingerboards

Vinyl albums are an item of pure beauty. From the album art, the shiny black disc, the liner notes, and the listening experience; vinyl records capture as much or more mojo and magic than the music was originally recorded with. The album is only half of the equation though...

 

#4 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's featured artist comes from Zorn John in El Paso, TX. He says: "Much like John Fahey he makes a single guitar sound incredible. This is the sound I aspire to create one day." For all of you out there who happen to like the American primitive guitar style, you are going to love this...

 

#3 Guitar Geek Fashion, Form, and Function

You know you're a guitar geek when you have this friend that you really want to finish an album so, selfishly, you can listen to it whenever you wish...

 

#2 The Capo Conversation Heats Up

Back on Episode #47 of Acoustic Tuesday, we took a look at the new G7th Heritage capo. It is a truly sexy capo, but I had some questions about its design. I happened to ask these questions during the show and you'll never guess who responded...

 

#1 Playing Guitar With a Jalapeno?!?!?

Yoke capos are one of the most convenient capo types available. They are beautifully designed to stay on your guitar when not in use, and very easy to recruit when a capo is necessary. For a while, there was really only one high-end yoke capo option until this company came along...

 

Jul 24, 2018
047 - A Neck And Neck Capo Race To The Finish
58:19

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at47/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

Featured in This Episode

#4 Going Into Orbit

Vinyl albums are an item of pure beauty. From the album art, the shiny black disc, the liner notes, and the listening experience; vinyl records capture as much or more mojo and magic than the music was originally recorded with. The album is only half of the equation though...

 

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This weeks featured artist comes from Zorn John in El Paso, TX. He says: "Much like John Fahey he makes a single guitar sound incredible. This is the sound I aspire to create one day." For all of you out there who happen to like the American primitive guitar style you are going to love this...

 

#2 Help Out A Fellow Guitar Geek...

You know you're a guitar geek when you have this friend that you really want to finish an album so, selfishly, you can listen to it whenever you wish...

 

#1 A Sexy Capo?!?!

Yoke capos are one of the most convenient capo types available. They are beautifully designed to stay on your guitar when not in use, and very easy to recruit when a capo is necessary. For a while there was really only one high end yoke capo option until this company came along...

 

 

 
Jul 17, 2018
046 - A Star-Studded Luthier Showcase
49:17

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at46/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

Featured In This Episode:

 

#3 A Guitar Geek Aura

Having something that makes your guitar sound consistent in a variety of playing situations is hard... even more difficult to find is something that is easily tweak-able to dial in a tone you find pleasing. Well, guitar geek friends, I have found a magical DI box that comes close to that mouthwatering description...

 

#2 What's On the Turntable This Week?

His playing is so supportive of the song; it's never too much, it's never not enough, it always seems just right for the musical situation. He plays fingerstyle guitar with a fluidity that sets a shining example, and his playing looks completely effortless...

 

#1 A Luthier that Takes the Cake

If creating an instrument that has balance, power, dynamic range, and an uncanny level of responsiveness is a contest, this luthier will no doubt take the prize and win by a very large margin...

 

Jul 10, 2018
045 - A Guitar Thief Is On The Loose!
49:50

 

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at45/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

Featured In This Episode:

 

#4 Guitars that Sustain Forever...

Being a luthier seems to be one of those professions that you don't choose, rather it chooses you. I want to introduce you to a luthier who has been chosen to make some of the most robust and lush sounding guitars I have ever heard...

 

#3 A Guitar Thief is On the Loose

As a guitar geek our guitars are precious to us... there is absolutely no doubt about that. And as a luthier and guitar geek not only do you take fantastic care of your instruments, more often than not those very instruments that you take care of are your very own creations...

 

#2 What's On the Turntable This Week?

Her playing approach is delicate yet can be considered powerful at the same time. She has an effortless command over the fretboard and her influences seemingly pour out of her playing...

 

#1 #AskMatt

It's not every day you get to sit down with one of your own acoustic guitar heroes so when the opportunity arises it is a guitar geeks obligation to... well... geek out.

 

Jul 03, 2018
044 - A Fingerpick You NEED To Know About
45:09

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at44/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

The acoustic rocket has carefully been placed on the launch pad, safety harnesses are fastened, helmets are in place... all systems go.

The countdown begins 10... 9... 8...

All aboard are intergalactic guitar geeks ready to see what lies within the galaxy of geekdom.

7... 6... 5...

Constellations made of abalone, satellites held together with 80/20 bronze guitar strings, moons made up of layers upon layers of exotic tonewoods.

4... 3... 2...

A gargantuan galactic gathering place where guitar geekiness flourishes.

1...

Blast Off!!!

Welcome to Acoustic Tuesday, your gravity-free guitar geek world chocked full of all of the guitar goodness that you should be aware of.

Featured in This Episode

#4 Spaceship Finger Protectors

Fingerpicks are little bent pieces of metal that sit atop your fingers so that you can dig in, pull some extra volume out of your instrument, maintain clarity, and absolutely destroy your cuticles. It's true, for all of the good that fingerpicks do, it comes at a cost of damaging the cuticles of your picking fingers, but it doesn't have to be that way anymore...

#3 A Summer Acoustic Music Destination

Summer is absolutely chocked full of musical opportunities from local hotspots to national festivals that fans trek miles to. There is literally something for everyone. One festival that I think everyone should know about and at least attend once is...

#2 What's On the Turntable This Week?

I love her ragtime infused fingerstyle blues. Her playing is like listening to Robert Johnson but having a little something extra thrown in there. Kinda like eating your favorite dish at your favorite restaurant, but they won’t tell what the secret special ingredient is...

#1 Your May 2018 Donation Report

Acoustic Tuesday finds all of us guitar geeks uniting every Tuesday, but this week we get to celebrate a whole new level of guitar geek solidarity...

Jun 26, 2018
043 - Is this the BEST Acoustic Guitar Pickup?
53:26

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at43/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

The magnificent blazing ball of light known as the sun rolls over the horizon and illuminates the calm waters of Acoustic Tuesday

This episode will have you setting sail on the S.S. Acoustic, heading into uncharted waters of the acoustic ocean with a guitar geek list as your map to the all-hallowed guitar geek treasure.

Strap on your life jacket and hold steady at the stern for we are about to get underway and navigate the channels of acoustic bliss.

Featured in This Episode

#4 A Custom Saddle Maker in Georgia

When I first saw that this item was recommended I was a bit confused because it seemed so basic, but I was very pleasantly surprised upon doing more research. This may be the equivalent of sliced bread for guitar geeks...

#3 A Songwriter's Dream

For music history buffs and especially for those interested in songwriters, their stories, and even their process this documentary needs to be very high on your "to watch" list...

#2 What's On the Turntable This Week?

This week's artist actually comes in the form of a two for one special. Acoustic Tuesday Viewer Ted Renshaw from Southold, NY recommended a true songwriting treasure that's connected to another under the radar artist.

#1 A Visit From an Angel

Magnetic soundhole pickups for acoustic guitar can really be hit or miss. Some can be inexpensive and sound puny, others can be way expensive and sound only ok, but this one sits right in the middle and needs to be known by guitar geeks en masse...

Jun 19, 2018
042 - An Acoustic Guitar Pickup Showdown
48:51

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at42/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

For this Acoustic Tuesday, I invite you to ride upon the chariot of acoustic wonderment.

This episode finds us wandering through a land where the streets are paved in spruce, the guard rails are phosphor bronze, and people hang their clothes on the line with capos.

Hop in and strap your seatbelt on for a tour de force through acoustic-city.

 Featured in This Episode

 #4 The Best Addition to Your Guitar Geek Library

As a guitar geek, specifically an acoustic guitar geek, there are certain books that need to make an appearance in your library. Books that not only take on the history of the guitar but also provide a reference for specs and things of that nature...

 

#3 A Storyteller Who Has a Link to Robert Johnson

There are many myths and legends surrounding the crossroads, the location where Robert Johnson made a deal with the devil. To hear stories from a contemporary of Mr. Johnson, someone who Robert Johnson actually played with, would be a blues guitar geeks dream... Well, blues guitar geeks, it's time for dreams come true.

 

#2 What's On the Turntable This Week?

Their synchronicity is a wonder in and of itself. The way these four come together to make music is a treat to watch. The energy that they bring and the way they give each other a slice of the sonic pie is just plain fun to hear.

 

#1 Finding the BEST Acoustic Guitar Pickup

There comes a point and time in every guitar geeks journey where the opportunity to plug in comes along. It can be at home with a new acoustic amp, it can be at an open mic, it could even be with friends at a jam; whatever the case though you will most certainly need a pickup. There's a catch though...

 

Jun 12, 2018
041 - A Capo For Every Guitar Geek Gig Bag
46:35

➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at41/
➜Get the show: https://tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday

 

Welcome to the wonderment that lies inside the many layers of Acoustic Tuesday.

On the docket for today's exploration are 5 items that will surely inspire you to live your best acoustic life.

There is much ground to cover so let's get ready for blast off into the acoustic infused world of Acoustic Tuesday!!!

Featured in This Episode

#5 A Comfy Musical Instrument Hug

A comfortable hug brought to you by your instrument... seriously a big warm squeeze from your six string friend...

#4 A Mythical Instrument Mashup

Sometimes there are instruments that capture your attention, and they seem to follow you wherever you go... and I mean everywhere...

#3 What's On the Turntable This Week?

These gals sing with such precise harmony and phrasing it will send chills up your spine. They can surely be soft and sensitive when the song demands, but if they need to be gritty and raw they have no problem conjuring those sonic beasts as well...

#2 An Emergency Must-Have Accessory

Every guitar geek has that moment where you are pumped to go play, you get to where you're going, and you open your case only to get that dreaded feeling...

#1 A Recipe for Acoustic Magic

To create acoustic magic, mix one part iconic acoustic guitar brand, two parts guitar geek enthusiasm, and one incredibly talented luthier...

 

Jun 05, 2018
040 - 150 Years of Banjo Tradition Shattered
59:42

Hello and welcome to another week of guitar-centered geekery!

Acoustic Tuesday is coming in for a landing. The runway is clear, and with this jumbo jet of acoustic centered goodness comes a full dose of inspiration to live your best acoustic life.

After checking with the radar tower it seems as though 5 guitar geek items have popped up, but no worries it's all smooth flying from here.


➜All show notes and links: https://acousticlife.tv/at40/

 

-Heartbreaker Guitars-

Finding small bench luthier made guitars to sample is a difficult task. Even in today's day an age, it's still hard to find the rarer makers all under one roof. A single place where you can compare and contrast a multitude of artisan made instruments... That changes now.

Heartbreaker Guitars in Las Vegas, NV is the place where you can go and try out a Lowden, next to a Bourgeois, next to a Santa Cruz, next to a Huss & Dalton. Located roughly 14 miles off the Vegas strip, Heartbreaker Guitars is a boutique shop that has a diverse and inspiring inventory.

The owner, Brendan Smith, curates the inventory with the simple guidance of what he likes... and judging by the pictures and things on their website, he has phenomenal taste.

HBG stocks some unique and one of a kind instruments that would make any guitar geek drool and quite possibly lose sleep. This is one of those stores that will make you weak in the knees and searching for a place to sit down simply because of the breathtaking instruments.

If you happen to be in the Vegas area make sure to check these folks out, call for an appointment and be prepared to be amazed at the selection. If you aren't in the Vegas area, no worries at all, just surf their site and check out hi-res images of every in stock guitar. Oh and if you want to hear those guitars, be sure to visit their youtube channel where they feature reviews of the guitars and even do some fantastic comparisons.

This store no doubt has guitar geeks rejoicing, and you too will rejoice after seeing the guitars that they stock... to say they are drool worthy is an enormous understatement.

 

-Swallow Hill Music Center-

Folk music is a broad term that encompasses so many different styles, instruments, cultures, and people. Folk music even involves more than just music itself... it's almost as if it needs one place where it can all be contained... a place to learn, play, sing, dance, and discuss.

Swallow Hill Music Center in Denver, CO is just the place that folk music can call home. This non-profit establishment is a place where children and adults can take music lessons, it's a place where you can see an inspirational show, it's a place where you can go to attend a workshop, and it's a place where you can go to share your ideas and thoughts on music as well.

I first heard of Swallow Hill Music Center when I worked in Chicago at the Old Town School of Folk Music. What the Old Town School of Folk Music is for the Midwest is exactly what Swallow Hill is for the West. It truly is another folk music epicenter offering all of the education and wonder that goes along with folk music.

The beautiful thing is that their mission is to make sure that people feel the enrichment of music on a daily basis, and they are striving to do just that. They have festivals so folks can enjoy live music, their adult classes hold graduation ceremonies (part of which involves performing), and they even offer financial aid programs for people that wish to get involved but may not have the means to do so.

Swallow Hill is responsible for spreading the goodness that music can bring, and they are a place that as a guitar geek you need to know about. You can of course visit Swallow Hill and see a show if you are in the Denver area, or if you still wish to support their cause you can even donate online.

-Michael Daves-

What can I say about this weeks artist... I should rephrase, what's not to say about the artist featured this week.

His playing makes you feel like you are on the edge of a cliff... uncomfortably close to the edge. His flatpick runs are inventive and unconventional, but are at home, comfortably finding their way into tunes.

Michael Daves is a guitarist and singer that I first heard playing with Chris Thile on an album entitled "Sleep With One Eye Open." His command over the guitar alongside Chris Thile was inspiring, and then, he started singing...

Michael's voice is a serious contender for one of the best modern bluegrass voices around. Singing lead, Michael Daves controls the ebb and flow of the song all the while projecting a raw confidence. Singing harmony, he quickly escalates to the upper echelon of singers in the genre. His high part harmony is an absolute treat to listen to and unmistakable.

Michael Daves' voice is one that, in my opinion, will be referenced for years and years to come and not just within the bluegrass genre. The ease with which he adds harmony to a song is a treat to the ear, and his abilities on the guitar need not be overshadowed by his voice... they are both on very strong and equal footing.

One album that features Michael in his element is his duo album with Chris Thile entitled "Sleep With One Eye Open." The other album that showcases his creative side is entitled "Orchids and Violence." This album is more of a concept type album featuring one side of it dedicated to straight ahead bluegrass tunes and the other side taking those same tunes and putting a dark electric guitar-infused spin on them.

Chances are if you have heard any modern bluegrass album recorded in the New York area, you may well have already heard Michael at work, but now it's time to single out his abilities and check out his albums... Your record collection will certainly rejoice at their arrival.

-Nechville Banjos-

In a galaxy far, far away there lived an invention that would forever change the way the banjo was thought about. This invention made the banjo a much more tame beast. This invention made the banjo less complicated. This invention made the banjo... easier to tune.

This invention was brought to fruition by a man by the name of Tom Nechville, founder and owner of Nechville banjos out of Bloomington, MN. Nechville banjos sound like the classic banjos that carved the path of bluegrass music, but these banjos are much much different. They have fewer parts, they are easier to setup, and they are easier to tune... it's true, with Tom's invention, the banjo head of the banjo is way easier to tune/tension.

So what exactly is this invention???

The Heli-Mount design replaces over 70 pieces of hardware found on a traditional banjo, and leaves behind a streamlined look and just about the easiest way to tune a banjo head that I have ever seen. The Heli-Mount system functions much like screwing a lid on a jar... except on a banjo. This system, with the use of a single tool, allows you to tighten or loosen the head of your banjo in mere seconds, and it ensures that there is equal tension around the entire head... meaning your banjo is much more musical and far less frustrating.

Nechville banjos also have more than a handful of modern improvements such as the revered hand cut enterprise bridge, the modern in-line tailpiece, the comfort bevel armrest, and the quick-cam neck connection. All of these improvements together make for a banjo that is easy to setup and tweak, but has that highly sought after vintage tone.

Nechville banjos come in a wide array of styles from very modern all the way to that classic vintage banjo look. If you happen to want something a bit more custom, they are happy to entertain those ideas as well.

If you are looking for a banjo that offers the promise of less time tinkering and more time for music making Nechville banjos should be on your list to check out for certain.

http://www.nechville.com/about.php (slow scroll over the helimount system info)

http://www.nechville.com/allacoustics.php (slow scroll through the model offering)

https://youtu.be/-QALC90tdek

https://youtu.be/z6hDcDVtZ4o

-Wegen Picks-

The guitar pick quest continues, actually it never really ends, and today is proof of that. Today, a pick that comes from the Netherlands offering a dark and gritty tone.

Wegen picks, made by Michel Wegen over in the Netherlands, are a fantastic solution for a guitarist not only looking for differently shaped picks but also some radically varied thicknesses. I opted for the Wegen picks that closely resembled what I'm used to so I tried out the black bluegrass picks that come in a standard thickness of 1.4mm.

There are two things I noticed about this pick upon playing with it for the first time. The first thing that popped right out at me was how these picks interact with the guitar strings. The material is a bit softer than what I am used to so I experienced a bit of "drag" as I used the pick on my guitar. It's as if the strings grab hold of the pick ever so slightly... Which leads me to the next thing that I noticed... the tone.

The second thing that surprised me about this pick was its tone. The tone produced by this pick was darker and grittier than most picks that I have tried recently. The Wegens offered a much different tonal palette. Due to the drag on the strings, I felt I could dig in harder to get a more gritty tone. This is a great feature especially if you want to put an exclamation point on a G run, or something of the like.

Overall the Wegen picks were a breath of fresh air. What I initially thought may have been the pick's downfall was a huge benefit in the tone department. The fun doesn't end there though... I only tried one of the plethoras of picks offered from Wegen. Amongst the offerings Michel has created, some standout picks include gypsy jazz picks, mandolin picks, triangular picks, and even the notorious Fatone. All of these picks have their prescribed uses and I would certainly encourage you to try them out if you happen to be in an adventurous mood.

May 29, 2018
039 - Is this the BEST entry level guitar?
49:59

Salutations guitar geek, may this fine Acoustic Tuesday cast plenty of pleasantries your way!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Another volume of Acoustic Tuesday is here and with it comes your weekly helping of acoustic guitar goodness.

This week another 5 guitar geek items are presented on a silver platter for your enjoyment.

-Jeffrey Foucalt -

I am so happy about the news that I just received... yet another Acoustic Tuesday artist is releasing a brand new album, and I heard this one in entirety and it is a beautiful piece of work.

Jeffrey Foucalt is set to release his newest album Blood Brothers on June 22, 2018, and I will just say that you need to pre-order it. Plain and simple, this album contains some gorgeously crafted songs. Jeffrey's writing on Blood Brothers is open, honest, and truly touching. This is the type of album that you just keep flipping in an effort to make sure it never ends. The cast of characters playing on the album treats the songs so incredibly well, playing with taste and a high level of reverence for the songs and their lyrics.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to receive my pre-ordered, signed, vinyl copy of this new album. You should be excited as well because you can pre-order yours too by visiting Jeffrey's Pledge Music page. There are a gaggle of great options available on that page from preordering the album, access to some live show material, and even getting a private show with Jeffrey.

One more thing that makes me love this project even more... this quote from Jeffrey's pledge music page:

"I don’t care about being famous, and if I did I would have made other decisions in my life until now. I want to make enough money to write songs, make records, tour behind them, and pay everyone fairly along the way. I believe in music, and what it’s meant in my life, and I want the music I make to mean something in the lives of other people."

That right there is a project I can get behind.

https://youtu.be/M1Eqp53o8uk

https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/bloodbrothers

https://amzn.to/2whQ7XK

https://jeffreyfoucault.com/news

https://jeffreyfoucault.com/tour/

-Blueridge Guitars-

The question of what is the best entry level guitar has been posed to me many times before, and I wish I had one I could go to as the end all be all, but the truth of the matter is that there are a whole bunch of really exceptional entry and mid-level guitars out there. So which ones should you consider?

It would be hard to pick just one, but if I had to I would say that one brand, in particular, would be a phenomenal starting place. Blueridge Guitars made by Saga Musical Instruments has some truly fantastic instruments and they come in at some unbelievable price points.

Usually, I would just isolate one guitar from a lineup, but in this case, I have to say that across the board Blueridge makes some very good sounding and nicely priced instruments. Both the Historic Series and the Contemporary Series by Blueridge are major home runs.

These models take their aesthetics from iconic guitars which is what initially caught my attention. While working in Chicago, I had the privilege of playing the BR43, BR40, BR63, BR60, BR143, BR140, BR163, BR160, amongst others. I have to say these instruments are well made, look the part, and most importantly sound good. Not only did I have the chance to play each of these models, I got to play a ton of each of them so I feel commenting on their consistency is very relevant here.

Whether you are looking for an intermediate level guitar for your guitarsenal or you are seeking out a second guitar that you can modify or use on camping trips I would certainly consider Blueridge. The amount of these guitars that I have seen at bluegrass festivals alone says a ton about their sound.

http://www.sagamusic.com/products/show-guitars.aspx?brand=blueridge

https://youtu.be/wWAdpDb0ocw BR143 Demo

https://youtu.be/QcCpqwG-tfo BR60 Review

https://youtu.be/AM2_Ow3oVh0 BR40 Review

https://youtu.be/kZQcNfiGWME BR160 Review

https://amzn.to/2KKaW1d - BR40

https://amzn.to/2rrmxcK - BR43

https://amzn.to/2rtqTA7 - BR60

https://amzn.to/2HVM6xC - BR63

https://amzn.to/2KHCZyp - BR140

https://amzn.to/2KHCZyp - BR143

https://amzn.to/2rpXSFF - BR160

https://amzn.to/2KKLc50 - BR163

-Molly Tuttle-

This week's artist is no stranger to Acoustic Tuesday, but there has never been an official artist feature on her. That changes this week...

She flatpicks with surgical precision, her phrasing is unique, and she sings with a magical voice. Her original tunes are crafted with expertise and the musicality she brings to every situation is her superpower.

Molly Tuttle has been on Acoustic Tuesday roughly 4 times and now she officially has an artist feature. This is long overdue because Molly is one of the top modern flatpickers that I have ever heard.

Molly has a knack for finding space and letting a tune breathe all the while balancing her high-level flatpicking ability. She is the type of picker that never seems to overplay; she plays what's right when it's right... nothing more and nothing less.

Watching her play is a master class in pick hand control and economy of motion. She picks with ease, although what comes out of her guitar does not sound easy... she just makes it look that way.

Molly is most associated with the acoustic guitar but she is an outstanding banjo player as well. In fact, she often brings the old-time clawhammer style of banjo to her guitar which can be heard on the song "Save This Heart" from her EP "Rise."

The bottom line is: if you like amazing flatpicking, incredible tone, an outstanding voice, and appreciate original music. Molly's new EP is one for you. If you are looking for a flatpicker that will make you think differently about bluegrass guitar you very much need to know of Molly.

https://www.mollytuttlemusic.com/

https://www.mollytuttlemusic.com/tour

https://www.mollytuttlemusic.com/store

https://amzn.to/2rsttGD

https://amzn.to/2I4955K

https://amzn.to/2rsWZw1

https://youtu.be/OezjWN44Ejc

https://youtu.be/DJY5RjuHHDY

https://youtu.be/lLlkKMg_Vaw

https://youtu.be/y9uLjD76vsA

-Dunlop Flow Picks-

Guitar picks... our best friend and arch nemesis. There are so many how do we know when to stop searching for the right one... The answer is never...

That search for the perfect pick is what brought me to this wonderful little gem. This beautiful green colored Ultex beauty has made my guitars scream with joy. I am referring to the new Dunlop Flow picks.

These picks have a comfy feel and even a subtle grip to them beyond the normal grippy feel of Ultex. What I noticed about these picks is that they are close to the Primetone picks but without the bevel. They come in a fatter shape that allows for a bit more control with the thumb, a huge bonus.

Overall I was very pleased with the tone produced by these picks. The notes are fat and warm, and the polished edge allows for a nice smooth release of the string. I experienced that the picks actually felt a touch faster than my standard Ultex picks. This may be in part due to that polished edge, but I also feel that it could be attributed to the shape of the pick and the extra control it seemed to offer.

These picks won't halt the perfect pick journey, but they may very well keep me occupied for a spell. My standard Ultex picks seem to be getting just a little jealous of the new Flow picks. I will have to keep you posted on how they cohabit in the pick box.

https://www.jimdunlop.com/product/549p100-7-10137-10861-5.do?sortby=ourPicks

https://www.jimdunlop.com/product/547p200-7-10137-10840-0.do?sortby=ourPicks&refType=1&ecList=1&ecCategory=

https://youtu.be/KY3BxSbky6o

-Gryphon Strings -

There are some amazing acoustic guitar shops in the US, but one has two figures that are largely responsible for what we know about the history of guitars, and how we fix them...

Back in 1969, Frank Ford and Richard Johnston started Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, CA. Those names might sound familiar and if they don't then take this as your introduction to two of the most amazing guitar geeks out there. Frank Ford runs the repair shop at Gryphon and he is a repair wizard of sorts, and Richard not only runs the retail shop, he also writes for industry magazines and guests on PBS' Antiques Roadshow as their instrument specialist.

The shop that these two founded and still are a part of is incomparable. They feature new instruments from some of today's top makers as well as a very wonderful assortment of vintage instruments. The selection of instruments that they offer is vast, but it is more than just a shop.

Want lessons? Gryphon does it.
Concerts? Gryphon does it.
Workshops? Yep, Gryphon does it.
Appraisals? Yes indeed, Gryphon does it.
Super informative and beneficial news? ...Sure thing, Gryphon does that too!

In fact, the news section of their website is one that should be checked out by every guitar geek. Particularly the article on how heat in a car can damage your acoustic guitar... beware if you look at that article there are some very graphic images.

All in all, Gryphon Stringed Instruments is a shop for guitar geeks by guitar geeks, and by the looks of what they are up to they do an amazing job of uniting guitar geeks as well.

https://shop.gryphonstrings.com/

https://www.gryphonstrings.com/the-history/

https://www.gryphonstrings.com/news/

https://www.gryphonstrings.com/hot-guitar-car/

https://www.gryphonstrings.com/events/

https://www.gryphonstrings.com/appraisals/

The warm breeze that is Acoustic Tuesday is done shaking the leaves on guitar geek trees for this week.

Alas, don't fear it will only be one more week until the next Acoustic Tuesday is here.

Until then check out those guitar geek items and live your best Acoustic Life!!!

Cheers,
Tony

May 22, 2018
038 - This $30 Product Will Give You An "Eargasm"
49:31

Glorious guitar geek greetings to you on this day of acoustic celebration!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Prepare your eyes and ears for the customary dose of 5 guitar geek items that Acoustic Tuesday brings with it.

This week we'll pick up right where we left off and keep that Acoustic Tuesday train rolling.

Being that it is summer, it seems as though there are boatloads of new records coming out. One record, in particular, is being released by a songster and songstress previously featured on Acoustic Tuesday. Oh, and these two aren't only crafters of song... they happen to make gorgeous banjos as well.

On May 18, 2018, Jason and Pharis Romero will be releasing a brand new album featuring their delicious harmonies, outstanding arrangements, and wonderfully played tunes. I am super pumped for this album for two reasons: one, I just discovered these two in the last year, and two, I think the music they create together is brilliant. The way these two harmonize is addicting, and the way they support what they sing with their instruments is superlative.

Their new album (out May 18) is entitled Sweet Old Religion. I have heard the title track from it, and that alone has sufficiently fueled my desire for the entire thing. Currently, you can preorder the album in both CD and Vinyl format from their website. I would urge you to hop on this one, it will surely please any acoustic music lover.

http://www.pharisandjason.com/

http://www.pharisandjason.com/music

https://youtu.be/NSu9p85S4AY

https://amzn.to/2I2FauE

 

This product, for as simple as it seemingly is, will increase your enjoyment of music for... well... an entire lifetime. I'm not even kidding about that.

I ordered a set of Eargasm Earplugs on a whim and I was very pleased that I did so. I purchased these as a replacement for my "Mack's Hear Plugs" which were getting on in their years, and honestly, weren't very comfortable. I was impressed with the Eargasm earplugs in a big way. The packaging is clean and well thought out, the instructions are easy to follow, the comfort is off the charts, and they work so incredibly well.

These ear plugs filter the sound instead of muffling it. What this means to you as a music appreciator and player is that you can listen to music, rehearse, go to shows all while listening at a comfortable level. The benefit here is two-fold: one, you preserve your hearing and keep your ears healthy. Two, you can listen, play, and participate for longer because your ears don't fatigue.

I tried these out while playing drums (something I usually wear foam earplugs for) and I was amazed at the fact I was able to hear with clarity just at a reduced and comfortable volume.

I dare profess these as a necessity for any guitar geek participating in loud or even semi-loud rehearsals and even more so for the live concert attending guitar geek. Oh and another two things I love about these: They are pretty discrete in your ears (unlike the pictures on their website), and they have a convenient carrying case included which is perfect for storage and quick access.

https://eargasmearplugs.com/

https://youtu.be/uPmgxPGdvmc

https://amzn.to/2KJFVuD

 

This weeks artist is one that I have wanted to feature for quite a while, I just wanted to wait for the time to be right... and that time is now.

His playing is clear, concise, delicate, and packed full of emotion. I have never heard someone play old-time banjo in such a way that so much emotion comes across. That's just the playing though; his singing is raw and fits the old-time banjo so well.

Chris Coole is an old-time banjo player from Toronto, and he picked up the instrument at age 17. His education in old-time banjo was delivered by the streets of Toronto... literally, he would busk and play tunes over and over again to work on variations and refine his tone. He is now one of the main players in the old-time banjo scene. He plays in various string bands such as The Foggy Hogtown Boys and The Lonesome Ace Stringband. Along with the bands, he also has a duo with Ivan Rosenberg (Dobro) as well as another duo with Arnie Naiman.

The first time I heard his playing I was enthralled. The clarity with which he presents the melody seems uncanny. His playing carves a clear-cut path for his own singing, and his ability to read and interact with the song is apparent by hearing him play solo or with just one other musician. He has a high level of technical proficiency matched with grace and ease.

Chris really is a standout musician and his catalog of albums is proof that he is a bit of a musical shapeshifter. From his solo album "Old Dog" to his "Farewell to Trion" album with Ivan Rosenberg; it is evident that Chris is an acoustic musician that should certainly be on your playlist.

I would recommend starting with some of his solo work and then building from there. You'll find his solo performances captivating and that is no exaggeration whatsoever.

https://www.chriscoole.com/

https://www.chriscoole.com/shows

https://www.chriscoole.com/music-store

https://youtu.be/218tAJxg-jA - Old Dog

https://youtu.be/hp2iyiwMvfo - The Train That Carried My Girl From Town

https://youtu.be/_a1Rz17ENZo - Willie Duncan

https://youtu.be/6yNFckPXz80 - I Know Your Wandering Heart

https://amzn.to/2jD1JeP - Farewell Trion

https://amzn.to/2rpm0ZK - Return To Trion

https://amzn.to/2jFRxCi - Meet Me in the Music



Our bearded guitar loving brother is back with an awesome #AskMatt segment. This week Matt gives us a peek into his own collection, one guitar in particular. Not only does Matt tell us why he loves this guitar so much, he shows us. Matt delights us in a beautiful tune played on a guitar that is just as gorgeous as the tune he plays. It is an awesome day when you can not only learn about a very amazing instrument but also hear the owner pour their whole musical being into it... That is exactly what happens in this #AskMatt segment.

-Dunlop Primetone Picks-

Nothing beats a guitar pick that is worn into perfection. I'm talking about that wonderful bevel that develops, making the pick effortlessly slice through the strings of your guitar. It seems like it takes months of playing with the same pick to achieve that, but not anymore...

Dunlop's Primetone picks are at your service for that nicely broken in pick feeling. From $5 - $12 depending on thickness and quantity, these picks are the real deal. They felt incredibly comfy in my hand, and even had a raised, grippy type surface on them... and the tone... oh my the tone...

These picks produce a very solid and articulate note. The notes produced by these wonderfully sculpted plectra retain body and thickness. I really took a quick liking to these picks because they felt broken in already and they produced a tone that was familiar to me... like incredibly familiar.

Upon further research, these picks are composed of Ultex, pretty much one of my top 3 pick materials. I was so excited to hear that these were Ultex. I pretty much found a pick that right out of the package produced a tone that I loved without the break-in period.

One quick thing though, if you are a guitar player that likes a pick with a more crisp edge these may not be for you because the bevel is pretty significant so keep that in mind while checking these out.

https://youtu.be/doTeLTiqATQ

https://www.jimdunlop.com/product/510r-7-10137-09888-6.do?sortby=ourPicksAscend&page=3&refType=&from=fn&view=100078,100195,100474

And with that, another Acoustic Tuesday is placed in the record books, but that need not be the reason for the celebration to stop.

As a guitar geek, take the momentum that we gathered on this Acoustic Tuesday and allow it to blast you through the week, and don't forget if you need a little pick me up, head to acousticlife.tv.

Until next week guitar geek friends, wave your guitar geek flag loud and proud!!!

Cheers,
Tony

May 15, 2018
037 - The Future of Acoustic Tuesday
50:14

Grandest of greetings and sweetest of salutations to you Guitar Geek!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://acousticlife.tv

This week on Acoustic Tuesday history is being made. You have not only helped make history, you are also part of a huge guitar geek movement.

As with all Acoustic Tuesday's I have cooked up 5 delectable delights just for guitar geeks.

So grab your fork and knife and let's dig in...

-String Swing-

As a #guitargeek what happens when you run out of floor space and stands for your guitarsenal? Dare you start leaning guitars against couches, walls, and other seemingly stable surfaces? As a guitar geek, I wouldn't advise the leaning option. However, there is a solution for your guitarsenal that originated in Wisconsin.

The company, String Swing, located in Wisconsin, has been making #guitarsenal solutions since 1983. String Swing is based in Ontario, WI and got its start in Elroy, WI on a small dairy farm of all places. String Swing specializes in all things display, and what I want to focus on is their vast array of instrument wall hangers.

This company offers secure wall hangers for all sorts of instruments: guitars, ukes, violins, mandolins, and yes even banjos. The beautiful thing is that each hanger does its job very very well, in fact depending on the hanger you get the yoke and hanger depth will be of different size to accommodate whichever instrument it's for.

These hangers get bonus points in my book for the wooden hanger base options available as well as the ease of installation. If you know how to turn a screwdriver these hangers can be installed in mere minutes. All of the necessary hardware is included and the drywall anchors that are in the package are simply the best I have ever used.

One note about these hangers that all guitar geeks should be aware of is that the material used for the hanger is safe for your guitar's finish. Yes, from everything I read the tubing used on the hanger yoke is finish safe, but being that I am a complete guitar geek I still get hanger covers for that part of the hanger. (Note: those can be purchased separately and are not included with the hanger).

Overall, these are a great solution for any #guitargeek that wants to put their instruments on display in their guitar den. They even make a 5 space wall hanger... I just found that one and am trying to convince Whitney that it would look really cool in our family room... I will be sure to keep you posted on the status of that conversation.

https://www.stringswing.com/

https://amzn.to/2KmIVg0 - Guitar Hanger

https://amzn.to/2Hyy0lM - 5 Guitar Hanger (Copper)

https://amzn.to/2Kp3fxw - 5 Guitar Hanger (Black)

https://amzn.to/2Jw7NAP - Banjo Hanger

https://amzn.to/2jgdCam - Mandolin/Uke Hanger

https://youtu.be/pQCpWdr6olI - How to Install

-Hawktail Album coming May 11-

Every now and then acoustic artists gather together and create a force that seems nearly superhuman, a formidable juggernaut of acoustic music bliss. Also, every now and then a supergroup captures this magic on a record.

This is exactly what happens on May 11, yes just 3 days away a supergroup will release a gorgeous album containing music specifically designed for the acoustic music lover.

The group Hawktail made up of Brittany Haas, Dominick Leslie, Paul Kowert, and Jordan Tice were a previous feature on Acoustic Tuesday (AT episode #14) and they are back because they have a new album coming out that is sure to tickle the fancy of acoustic aficionados.

It's official, on May 11 this acoustic supergroup will release their first album as a quartet entitled "Unless." I have heard a few tracks from this album and I am sufficiently excited to listen to the full album.

If you happened to like the earlier trio, Hass, Kowert, and Tice you will definitely want to hop on preordering this one as it is a sure pleaser for any acoustic #guitargeek.

https://youtu.be/LeNBIq6oiLo?t=7m37s

https://www.hawktailmusic.com/

https://youtu.be/4LrssWrJKfY - Unless

https://youtu.be/4GLkj5uGDiw - Abbzug

https://amzn.to/2Ko8Uny - New Album Unless

-Infamous Stringdusters-

If acoustic bands were like comic book heroes then this next band would be the equivalent of The X-men, Fantastic Four, The Avengers, and The Guardians of the Galaxy all wrapped up into one.

Top to bottom this is a band that dominates every musical dimension. From their proficiency on all of their chosen instruments, incredible multi-part harmonies, this band is ready to follow the muse wherever it takes them, and the results are always good... unbelievable at times.

The Infamous Stringdusters are made up of Jeremy Garrett (Fiddle), Travis Book (Bass), Andy Hall (Dobro), Chris Pandolfi (Banjo), and Andy Falco (Guitar). This group of musicians is an absolute powerhouse of energy and incredible musical skill.

The singing alone is masterful, the playing is otherworldly, and they have this 'x' factor... For lack of a better term, I'll just call it energy. Seeing them live is a treat on so many levels, but it is the best example of this energy that I'm referencing. They always seem to know what the other is going to do musically, and they make it look easy. They crowd around whoever is soloing and in doing so it looks like they have orchestrated the whole performance.

I would dare call this band absolute masters of improvisation and performance. They continually push the boundaries of what is possible with their instruments, not to mention they create and perform with endless energy.

To date, they have put out more than 7 studio albums and this last year (2018) they won a Grammy for the Best Bluegrass Album. I have been a Stringdusters fan since very early on and have continually enjoyed seeing the band grow and push the boundaries of bluegrass music.

https://youtu.be/hC6TLpGP0qQ - Where the Rivers Run Cold

https://youtu.be/crbSxj60kTI - Gravity

https://youtu.be/NwAuZJsDXQE - You Can't Stop the Changes

https://youtu.be/YEghQY3M_8Y - Black Rock

https://youtu.be/roObnu-UIo8 - By My Side

http://www.thestringdusters.com/

http://www.thestringdusters.com/live-downloads/

https://thestringdusters.shop.musictoday.com/store/

https://amzn.to/2r6O18n - Laws of Gravity

https://amzn.to/2jcEnwi - Silver Sky

https://amzn.to/2r7TSdi - Let It Go

https://amzn.to/2r6lDSQ - Things That Fly

https://amzn.to/2r7KZ3z - Self Titled

https://amzn.to/2rclY6L - Fork in the Road

-Sharktooth Picks-

Thumbpicks can no doubt be uncomfortable, and flatpicks can fly out of your hand so what is a #guitargeek to do when they want to flatpick a little, strum a little, and then finger pick a little?

If only some sort of crossover pick was made that would allow you to use all of your tools as a guitar player... This exists, I tried it out, and I was pleasantly surprised. The Sharktooth crossover pick by the company Strum'N'Comfort is a pick that allows you to have a flatpick at your disposal, but also convert that flatpick into a thumbpick like device.

The whole notion of the sharktooth pick is that there is a neoprene band that goes around your thumb and attaches with velcro. Inside this neoprene band is a non-skid material that has a flatpick attached to it. Once affixed to your thumb you have what looks like a thumbpick, but with more comfort and control over how tight it sits on your thumb.

I found this pick to work quite well. I must say I have no trouble with standard thumb picks so this was more of an experiment for certain, but my skepticism was quickly removed upon trying the sharktooth. My initial thought was that it would slip on my thumb and just feel, well, kind of odd. Well, I am happy to report that the pick did not slip at all. The pick stayed put when using it like a flatpick as well as like a thumbpick. Also, I should say that it was quite comfy on my thumb the neoprene was much more welcoming than the standard plastic band of a thumbpick.

I will say that I noticed the pick give just a touch on the upstroke creating a feeling that I was using a thinner pick than I was, but overall I was pretty impressed with its stability. I used the pick for the better part of two weeks and the grip and elasticity of the neoprene band didn't seem to wear out, which is a nice bonus as well.

All in all, this is a great option if you are the player that is looking for a more comfy pick that allows you to quickly change styles during play. Included in the package were two neoprene bands with two different thicknesses of picks (.75mm and 1.0mm), as well as an additional band that you can use your own favorite pick with.

https://amzn.to/2jc4tj8 - Sharktooth Pick

https://artisanguitars.com/sharktooth-traditional-right-hand-id-4909

http://www.strum-n-comfort.com/home.html

-Acoustic Life.TV Announcement (Andy Powers Full Interview)-

It's here, it's here, it's finally here... the moment that every acoustic guitar geek in the world has waited for... A very special announcement about the future of Acoustic Tuesday...

Acoustic Tuesday started as just an idea... a show focused on all things that acoustic guitar geeks would enjoy. Just 37 episodes ago, Acoustic Tuesday was born and my oh my have we seen it grow up quickly. Guitar Geeks are continuing to unite underneath the banner and mission of Acoustic Tuesday. Each week thanks to all of you, Acoustic Tuesday gets spread from guitar geek to guitar geek, positivity is shared, and guitar geekiness occurs all over the globe, and now Acoustic Tuesday is reaching another level.

Now Acoustic Tuesday is not only a show. Acoustic Tuesday now has a companion website for all of the juicy details on each item discussed in the show. It is a place where any guitar geek can go to feel at home and get lost in pages and pages of all things acoustic guitar. From interactive guitar geek trivia, all the way to expanded acoustic artist features, acousticlife.tv is your new home to get inspired to live your best acoustic life.

Oh and remember that time I had a chance to sit down with Andy Powers and chat about V-Class bracing when it first came out??? That entire unedited interview is available exclusively at acousticlife.tv

Yes, the entire interview in all of it's guitar geek glory!!!

But there's more...

Often times during the show I will feature products that you can check out such as picks, capos, guitars, stands, etc. I usually include a link to purchase the featured items, and these links are affiliate links that offer a small percentage of the purchase price to Acoustic Life for promoting the sale. Well, I am very excited and happy to announce that any money generated through an affiliate link on acousticlife.tv will now be going straight to the Guitars For Vets non-profit organization.

Let me recap: Acoustic Tuesday now has a new online home at acousticlife.tv. The new acousticlife.tv website will now share all of it's Amazon affiliate link revenue with the amazing non-profit organization Guitars for Vets.

Yes, by loving your acoustic guitar and being a guitar geek, you are now supporting an outstanding organization that believes and acts on the healing power of music.

Be certain to pop on over to acousticlife.tv to completely geek out on all things acoustic guitar, and be fully prepared to find some fun bonuses over there as well.

https://acousticlife.tv/

https://acousticlife.tv/category/lifestyle/interviews/

https://acousticlife.tv/category/lifestyle/guitar-geek-trivia/

https://acousticlife.tv/category/reviews/

https://acousticlife.tv/category/learn/

https://acousticlife.tv/the-real-story-behind-the-taylor-v-class/

https://youtu.be/_Hy6dy82l1M - Andy Powers Interview

You all are what help make this possible so thank you so much for being a part of acoustic guitar history, and for helping so many guitar geeks unite.

I hope this Acoustic Tuesday ranks among the top episodes for you and if you want to check out back episodes to see you certainly can do that at acousticlife.tv

I wish you the best week guitar geek, I can't wait to see you next Tuesday for another round of the ultimate in guitar geekiness... Acoustic Tuesday

Cheers,
Tony

May 08, 2018
036 - How to be a Fretboard Wizard
44:22

Dearest Guitar Geek,

It's here, it's here, it's here...

Another round of Acoustic Tuesday is here to satisfy your nerdiest of needs and your dorkiest of desires; all within the guitar geek realm that is.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Here is your fix of 5 guitar geek ponderings that need to be setting your guitar geek radar ablaze with awareness.

Here goes nothing:

Kentucky Traveler: My Life In Music Ricky Skaggs

Every now and then a book comes along that gives you insight not only into the artist it features but also how big of a role they played in a certain genre's history.

Ricky Skaggs' book, Kentucky Traveler: My Life in Music, is a book that does that very thing. It is complete with stories of a young Ricky Skaggs making his way in the musical world, which includes hopping on stage with Bill Monroe and then later with Flatt & Scruggs at a very young age. This book is a treat to read and is chocked full of all sorts of interesting stories from throughout Ricky's life. From his albums and experiences with Keith Whitley to his experiences with some of the greats of bluegrass and country music.

I have always admired Ricky's talent, whether it be on the guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo or even his incredible harmony singing, but never did I realize just how big of a role Ricky played in the history of bluegrass music.

The book was written by Ricky Skaggs and Eddie Dean, and kudos to them for sharing such wonderful stories and doing so in a way that really keeps the reader's attention.

https://youtu.be/g8W-spB8-Oo (Play until 1:50)

https://amzn.to/2HpGXd9 - Buy Book

http://www.rickyskaggs.com/p/book - Ricky Skagg's Site

Fretboard Wizard Open

It's official! Fretboard Wizard is open for enrollment.

Fretwiz.com

Christy Hays

This week's artist is one that I hold near and dear to my heart because of her songs and because of the person she is.

Her songs are raw and the writing is as real as rain. She takes seemingly everyday happenings and crafts them into song in a way that leaves you hanging on every word.

Christy Hays is an artist that I have had the immeasurable pleasure to play with nearly every summer since roughly 2014. Christy is a crafty songwriter and her vocals are seriously scrumptious.

She is a mix between the unique quality of Emmylou Harris and her own mixture of grit and heartfelt expression. Her writing effortlessly paints pictures of landscapes and curious characters all of which create the pulse of everyday life.

Christy has released a whole slew of albums from full band performances to her by her lonesome, and her newest album River Swimmer is due out April 27, 2018. Christy is one of the hardest working musicians I know and this album is for sure going to be topnotch. Make sure to check out her site for the older albums that are available and of course if you like what you hear pre-order River Swimmer... and guess what?!?! You can even get that one on vinyl!!!

https://youtu.be/xTKnheaUT_Y - Town Underground

https://youtu.be/LPtBoKhqWsg - Strange Times

https://youtu.be/ck5VH-_JglM - Don't Let Me Die In California

https://christyhays.com/ - Christy Hays' Site

https://amzn.to/2HpLTm7 - Buy Album (River Swimmer)

Chuck Lee Banjos

Custom instruments are something to behold regardless of whether they are a guitar or not.

I say this because there is no doubt that I love me some banjo, and usually when the word banjo is even uttered it sends people fleeing towards the exits. But stay seated I promise this is good.

Chuck Lee Banjos out of Ovilla, TX produces some very gorgeous (both looking and sounding) banjos. The instruments coming out of Chuck's shop are simply fantastic, and I am nearly positive that no two are the same. Custom instruments are the bread and butter of Chuck's shop from different headstocks, to inlay patterns, to tone rings, to wood and finish selections this shop does an impressive job. The necks are nice and hefty and the rims are exquisitely turned... it's the kind of instrument that you just want to feel. The neck feels like it was crafted for the player's hand and the playability of these banjos is outstanding.

And then there's the sound... with all of the options available you can custom design a banjo that sounds as plunky as you need or as crisp as you want.

Overall, these banjos are remarkable and if you happen to find one at a local shop or get one by contacting Chuck himself (I think they are still being made) you will be just as impressed as I was when I got mine.

https://youtu.be/fkJd-jZfUbQ - Interview (20seconds - 54 seconds)

http://www.chuckleebanjos.com/dealers/ - Where to Find a Chuck Lee

https://youtu.be/8pOPMQWHze8 - Chuck Lee Lonestar

Hense Faux Tortoise Picks

What's the deal with imitation products that produce tones previously achieved by only the rarest of materials?

Well, I am happy to say that no turtles were harmed in the making of these picks, however, the tone produced by them is quite reminiscent of actual tortoiseshell. Since 1973 it was no longer legal to trade/sell actual tortoiseshell, so many guitarists had to go back to the drawing board to find a material that produced that warm yet crisp tone that tortoiseshell is known for. This tone haunts Flatpickers and seems like something only dreams are made of, which is why when I discovered Hense picks from Germany I was so excited!!!

Hense's The Happy Turtle pick that I procured from Artisan Guitars in Nashville is made out of a material called Milk Stone which is a casein (think of it as a milk protein). This material is outstanding at producing a solid tone and an extraordinary feel. One thing to be careful of with these picks is to not bend them, or get them wet. These picks are quite stiff and have only a subtle flex... if flexed too far they will snap. Since these picks are made of an organic material they will become brittle if they have been wet or damp and then left to dry out. So if you aren't playing on a rainy day outside these picks are exquisite, and produce some serious tone.

Hense picks also come in a variety of shapes and material choices such as:

-The Happy Turtle picks, made from Milk Stone
-The Cream Speedy picks, made from a modern self-lubricating high tech plastic.
-The Midnight Blue picks, made from a high-impact plastic.
-The Grunge Triangle, made of traditional hard rubber

These picks are definitely worth a try if you are seeking a tone and feel akin to the old tortoise shell picks.

http://www.happyturtlepick.de/

https://artisanguitars.com/hense-happy-turtle-faux-tortoise-shell-picks-id-9834

https://artisanguitars.com/hense-triangle-hsk-happy-turtle-pick-14mm-id-9835

https://artisanguitars.com/hense-cream-speedy-triangle-guitar-pick-14mm-id-11023

https://artisanguitars.com/hense-midnight-blue-triangle-guitar-pick-14mm-id-11923

That wraps up another study session at the universal library of guitar geekiness known as Acoustic Tuesday.

Make sure to return your books on time and come back next week to dive ever deeper into the realm of acoustic guitar and the geekiness that must accompany the best Acoustic Life.

Cheers,
Tony

 

May 01, 2018
035 - Are You Going To Merlefest?
43:25

Compliments to you on this fine Acoustic Tuesday, Guitar Geek!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

As Spring arrives gazes are drawn towards the tree branches for fresh buds, the ground for tender green sprouts, and of course towards the guitar geek radar to see if any new inspiring things have come up.

And boy howdy have they...

Here are 5 guitar geek things pinging the #guitargeek radar this week.

How does a guitar geek stay properly fueled, hydrated, and alert? You may think bourbon is the answer, but I reckon it is quite the contrary. See bourbon, although it tastes delicious, doesn't do much for hydration or the alertness aspect. However, Fretboard Coffee out of Columbia, MO is here to provide the perfect cup of Joe for any tired and fading fretter. This coffee company was brought to my attention by Acoustic Tuesday Show viewer and fan Troy and when I dug into the coffee I was not only pumped to find out it tastes good, but it also lives up to its name. See the name fretboard coffee is just plain awesome in and of itself, but the coolness factor bumped up a notch when I opened the bag to find a little card sharing what song was playing during the roasting process. Double whammy for us coffee loving guitar geeks; you get a great cup of joe and exposure to a song you may have never heard before. It's like a match made in heaven. Fretboard Coffee also seems to support live music as well have some killer merch available to peruse. So order yourself a bag or two, have a nice long sip and listen to the song that your beans were born to. 

http://www.fretboardcoffee.com/

http://www.fretboardcoffee.com/shop/

Your Song Changed My Life by Bob Boilen

Books about artists and their life fascinate me, my bookshelves at home are covered with biographies, autobiographies, and the like. So this next book was a bit of a surprise to me. Last Christmas Whitney's folks gifted me a book by the author Bob Boilen, entitled Your Song Changed My Life. Now first off, Bob is the creator and host of NPR's All Songs Considered as well as their Tiny Desk Concert Series so this man knows music. This book is a sampling of 33 artists and what song they define as changing their life. It is fascinating, there is enough context around each artist to learn some great factoids about their life and also you get insight into their vast musical interests. Each artist, in discussion with Bob, shares not only the song they define as life-altering, but also the when's, where's, and why's of it. This book is a great read and it's separated in such a way that makes it a great read.

http://www.bobboilen.info/ - Bob's Site

https://youtu.be/I3NOvTn01gg - Book Interview

https://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2015/11/18/456191341/bob-boilen-wrote-a-book - NPR story

https://amzn.to/2H6hwx2 - Buy the Book

This week's artist I would say is from the "old-time" category, but I definitely do not want to pigeonhole them as they are capable of way more than old-time music. 

It's not often that you hear a new artist that is able to take you back to a time and place long forgotten and only best conjured up by an artist from that very era. The Local Honeys are a group that is basically a time machine. From their voices, inflection, phrasing, and instrumentation these ladies do a great job in teleporting the listener back to a simpler time, yet they are able to freely flow from old-time music on up to more contemporary tunes. The Local Honeys are a made up of Montana Hobbs, and Linda Jean Stokely and the way these gals sing together is addictive. At first, I thought the accents were a bit contrived... and then I did my research... it's the real deal and it is amazing. From slow ballads to craftily written tunes all the way to instrumentals, these girls have it. Their album is a blast to listen to front to back, from the slow tunes to the peppy ones. Also, special note the tune Cigarette Trees is an anti-strip mining song that brought home blue ribbon from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in 2017. 

https://youtu.be/4F6k4Xdrj4Q - Cigarette Trees

https://youtu.be/XpnXAQ0jF1U - How Mountain Girls Can Love

https://youtu.be/yO5jGGHKSjA - Hares On the Mountain

https://youtu.be/Z6xla0Q2PIg - The L&N Don't Stop here Anymore

https://youtu.be/yy10LoYTBzg - Hills of Mexico

http://www.thelocalhoneys.com/ - Band Site

http://www.thelocalhoneys.com/album/ - Merch

https://amzn.to/2vsL86u - Buy the Album

Merlefest April 26- April 29

This weekend, on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, one of the most amazing and inspiring bluegrass festivals will take place. From April 26th to April 29th, 2018 incredible acoustic musicians, music fans, jammers, and all around good people will join together to create the phenomenon known as Merlefest. Merlefest was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson (Doc Watson's Son) as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and to celebrate ‘traditional plus’ music. I owe this festival a huge thanks because although I have never attended in person, I have discovered numerous artists just by checking out who is playing Merlefest in any given year. This year, as always, the lineup is chocked full of pure acoustic goodness, and I am absolutely positive there will be plenty of jamming to be had by any who wish to partake that are in attendance. If you are interested in the festival just check out their website for all of the ticket info as well as all of the other things you need to know to have an outstanding festival experience. 

https://youtu.be/s0NC_JIJVCs

http://merlefest.org/

http://merlefest.org/lineup/

http://merlefest.org/purchase/

What's the point of the CAGED system?

At one point in anyone's guitar journey there comes a time where you hear about the CAGED system. You hear how wondrous it can be to unlock the fretboard, you hear about how much it can help with your overall understanding of the fretboard, but when you find information on it may seem a little bit disorienting, and that's ok because I was disoriented too until I figured out the core elements of what makes CAGED so darn useful. See with CAGED you need to know three things:

1.) The 5 basic chord shapes C A G E D. You need to know how to make them, and the most important part, the fact that they can become moveable by converting them to barre chords.

2.) Where the root note is for each of the 5 chord shapes. The Root note is the lowest bass note that defines the chord. Each of the 5 chord shapes has their root note located on a specific string. Knowing this makes the moveable shapes much more useful because now you can name them. 

3.) Why Caged is useful. Knowing why CAGED is useful helps with the reason why you need to learn it in the first place. If you have thr "why" you will follow through not only learning it but implementing it. So here are just a handful of reasons CAGED is helpful: It helps with Capo use, it helps with transposition, it helps with alternate chord voicings, it helps you add sonic layers in multiple guitar situations, it even helps you organize scale patterns and see how they connect. 

It would be hard to break from the show and start teaching CAGED due to technical limitations so I want you to check out video 2 of my foundational five workshop series. In video 2 I go into detail on CAGED and show you how all of the things I just discussed are connected and more importantly how you can do apply them immediately to the guitar. 

vid 1 is live and people are going nuts make sure to check it out at: fretwiz.com

There's another Acoustic Tuesday chiseled on the stone of guitar geekdom.

Make sure to tune in to see the full episode and unite with your fellow #guitargeeks.

Until next Tuesday, keep your guitars tuned and the guitar geeks uniting.

Cheers,
Tony

Apr 24, 2018
034 - 3 Cheap Guitar Pick Experiments You Should Try ASAP
58:37

An infusion of #guitargeek vitamins awaits you on this Acoustic Tuesday. Acoustic vitamins to fortify you and your #guitargeek friends.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com 

As is customary on Acoustic Tuesday these vitamins come in the form of 5 guitar items that will be placed on your #guitargeek radar. 

So grab a tall glass of water and make sure to take all of your acoustic infused medication. 

Open wide...

Picks are picks are picks... right? Definitely not! Picks impact the tone of a guitar in a major way. If you are a flatpicker, you can do a quick and easy experiment: Get three different picks, play the same lick, and observe how each pick will add a subtly different tonal characteristic. Some picks are bright and clear while others are on the dark and warm end of the spectrum, the new Acrylux picks by Daddario actually cover both ends of this tonal spectrum. These new Acrylux picks come in two different recipes: the "Reso" version and the "Nitra" version and both have a unique sound to offer. The "Reso" picks offer a subtly more clear and bright sound while the "Nitra" composition is a bit warmer and offers a darker tone. These picks come in three different shapes: Standard, Jazz, and Mandolin, and only one thickness (1.5mm) at the time of writing this. Although these picks are on the thicker end of the spectrum they have a decent amount of flex to them. My experience with these picks is that both versions produce a tone that is on the warmer end of the spectrum, however the "Reso" picks do have a touch more clarity than the "Nitra" ones. I also noticed that both picks seem to be pretty slick and smooth in how they interacted with the strings. These would be a great option for any #guitargeek looking for a warmer/fatter tone. 

https://youtu.be/6FizOj0vbOA - Acrylux Product Video

http://www.accessories.daddario.com/pwProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=4115&productid=1146&productname=Acrylux_Reso_Standard

http://www.accessories.daddario.com/pwProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=4115&productid=1142&productname=Acrylux_Nitra_Standard

https://amzn.to/2EBtE6T - Acrylux Reso

https://amzn.to/2GNt78b - Acrylux Nitra

The material that a pick is made of impacts its tone in a huge way, but it goes beyond that... The material also has an effect on the pick's stiffness. Think of it this way: you can have a 1mm pick made out of delrin or you can have a 1mm pick made out of cattle bone; although both picks are the same thickness their inherent stiffness is very different. That is the very thing I noticed upon trying TUSQ picks by the company Graphtech. These picks were brought to my attention by Acoustic Tuesday viewer Andrew D. and I am very happy that he got me to try them because I was stunned. These picks are incredibly stiff and that correlates into a fast snappy release from the string as well as a very clear tone. Not only did I try different thicknesses of picks I also tried different materials (Graphtech has three different materials which they advertise as the tones: Bright, Warm, and Deep). I was amazed at the variety of tones that were possible and also how comfortable I was with a subtly thinner pick at 1mm as compared to my usual 2mm Ultex pick. The thing that was the most pronounced for me was the stiffness and the resulting clarity that it helped me achieve. For any player looking for more articulation  these are a great starting point. It's always hard for me to put down my Dunlop Ultex 2mm pick, but these are a very enticing option for certain. 

http://www.graphtech.com/

http://www.graphtech.com/products/product-categories/picks

https://youtu.be/Ce_Nx0WIMBU - Product Video

https://amzn.to/2IKG7rF - TUSQ Picks Mixed Gauge Pack

https://amzn.to/2qlSPFG - TUSQ Picks Mixed Size Pack

https://amzn.to/2GNpdfk - TUSQ Picks Biangle Mixed Pack

Hearing a songwriter sing a completely raw and truthful song while performing solo is a magical experience. What makes it magic in my eyes is that it doesn't really happen all too often... (I guess in my eyes it should happen all the time... so I am biased). The artist that I am listening to this week came from a band setting and went ahead releasing a solo album in December of 2017... just himself and a guitar... and yes it is truly magical. Benjamin Tod, who also plays with the Lost Dog Street Band, released his solo album I Will Rise in late 2017. It contains 10 songs that will downright rip your heart out, make you reflect, and proceed to kick your heart down the street a little bit... even through the puddles and the potholes. Benjamin's album is well beyond a treat to listen to and it delivers on the raw and emotional front. One of the reasons I think this album emotes so well is that it's just him, a guitar, and nothing else besides some songs that you know are loaded with personal tales, trials, and tribulations. Benjamin's voice has this quality that I'll refer to as "raw yet refined," you can hear it when he trails off on a line with this unique three note step down that seems a bit Celtic. This album is a must play on one of those days when you wake up only to see the clouds hanging low in the sky contemplating on whether or not they're going to let the rain out. "I Will Rise" is about the purest album I can think of released in the last 6 months. 

https://youtu.be/NACMpkxm-fA - Using Again (Song)

https://youtu.be/st-CkCeqMO0 - I Will Rise (Song)

https://youtu.be/-qwRjPpHFbg - Hungry For You Blues (Song)

https://youtu.be/eR04x5XXAwQ - The Mountain (Cover Song)

https://amzn.to/2HrM2lG - I Will Rise (Album)

https://amzn.to/2Hp0zid - Life's a Dog Gone Shame (LDSB Album)

https://amzn.to/2GMqNxW - Sick Pup (LDSB Album)

https://amzn.to/2EAscSB - Homeward Bound (LDSB Album)

https://amzn.to/2EAVDDK - Rage and Tragedy (LDSB Album)

https://benjamintod.bandcamp.com/

http://www.lostdogstreetband.com/

There are some things that #guitargeeks deal with on a regular basis like broken strings, constant tuning, and misplacing your pick, but nothing is worse than finding a pick that you absolutely love only to have it become slippery in your hand and start spinning while you play. This #guitargeek phenomenon is all too common and thankfully there is a company out there trying to stop the spinning and slipping. Monster grips is a company that makes these small and grippy little discs you can stick right on your favorite pick... and they actually work! I have tried many products that aid in helping your pick stay put, from Gorilla snot, to violin rosin, and even the Cool brand picks with the sandpaper attached to them. I can confidently say that Monster Grips are a cut above the rest and are raising the bar in this category of Acoustic Guitar Accessory. They are easy to use and extremely durable. I put the grips on each side of a Dunlop Ultex pick, played the guitar for more than an hour, followed that up with placing the pick in a cup of coffee, and then washed it off with dish soap. In short, I put these through the ringer, and after cleaning they were just as grippy as when I first put them on. One of the things I had to get used to was the feel of the grippy pads on each side and the added thickness, but after a short adjustment period I found these to be pretty darn effective. They also work really well as a non slip surface on the feet of effects pedals. All in all Monster Grips are pretty outstanding if you are one of those players needing a little extra grip on your pick. 

https://www.monstergrips.com/

https://youtu.be/2LVsOpNMfWA

https://amzn.to/2qn3fVA - Monster Grips on Amazon 

For as much joy as playing with another person can be, it can also produce a ton of anxiety… and I mean the kind of anxiety that can cause any player to lock up.

What can cause the anxiety are the questions that bubble up. Those pesky questions that rattle around our guitar #guitargeek brains like:

What if I don’t know the song and can’t play along?

What if I’m not good enough to play with others?

What if I’m unfamiliar with a certain chord?

What if whomever I am playing with asks me to do a solo?

What if there are no song sheets to follow?

What if…

There are a billion "what if" scenarios, but the reality is that the overarching theme here is fear of the unknown and that is totally valid.

This is something all #guitargeeks go through at one point or another and, quite honestly, it never totally goes away. The good news is that there are some things you can do to keep that fear at bay and open yourself up to the learning opportunities that present themselves while playing with other folks.

Here are some tips to gain confidence in playing with others and some things to learn that will help you on your guitar journey.

1.) Guilt By Association - Surround yourself with guitar geeks that share the same thoughts, enthusiasm, and approach as you. This gives you the peace of mind that the folks you are playing with are there to support and help you along on your guitar journey.

2.) Open Mind - Go into any situation with other players as a bonus opportunity to learn. So many times the practice room feels like the only place to learn a lesson, but the truth is you can learn lessons anywhere and often the ones outside the practice room are the most valuable.

3.) Ask Questions - There is no rule, that I am aware of, that says you can’t ask questions and that you are magically supposed to know everything without ever asking. When playing with others it’s ok to ask questions about what chords are in a song or what key it’s in. Really any question is fair game and usually, those questions lead to major breakthroughs.

4.) Communication - This is key, no pun intended… hehe. Communication lies at the heart of having an awesome experience when playing with friends. One of the most crucial parts of communication is having the musical vocabulary to do so. Understanding what a key is and how chords work within a key will not only help you communicate with fellow guitar players; it will also help you be able to musically function within a jam which will certainly cut down on your anxiety when approaching a playing situation.

So wrap all of those things up with a nice little bow and you have yourself a launching pad into a world of fun that you will enjoy for years to come.

Wait, wait, wait… what if all those sound good except for that whole communication part...???

No worries, I've put together a free workshop on that very topic that starts on Monday, April 23rd.

In this workshop, I am going to discuss the Foundational Five which will help you not only clearly communicate in a jam, but also give you the confidence to start playing with other folks.

It's super easy to attend the workshop, all you have to do is visit fretwiz.com and be sure you are on the waiting list for Fretboard Wizard. That's it. I can't wait to see you there and share in the lightbulb moments that will be happening!

Wow, another round of acoustic infusion from Acoustic Tuesday. Go forth and wave your #guitargeek flag and don't forget to share this episode with your fellow guitar geeks. 

Guitar geeks unite!

Cheers,
Tony

Apr 17, 2018
033 - Cancel Save changes Is Cocaine & Rhinestones Your Next Obsession?
54:43

Happiest Tuesday to you, my comrade in guitar geekiness!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Today we take some time to think of and thank all things acoustic with a juicy list of goodies to help you live your best #acousticlife. 

I know it's spring, but no rain delays are happening so let's play ball... err... I mean dive into some enlightening #acousticlife enhancers. 

I have always loved learning about music history. The stories seem to be of mythical proportions.. especially in country music. Now I'm not talking about Florida Georgie Line here, I mean country music prior to the year 2000. Tales of lying, cheating, stealing, love, smash hits, and controversial songs fill the coffers of country music and there's so much, I have never had time to dig into all of it... until now. The Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast hosted by Tyler Mahan Coe is one of the most amazing podcasts for any #guitargeek interested in the stories and tales that proliferate country music. This podcast is entertaining, informative, and downright inspiring. Currently there is one season available with 12 episodes and they are all incredible... no joke. I also have to say that the host, Tyler, puts a ton of work into these episodes and it shows, big time. Each one is packed full of information and it is presented in a fun manner that is easy to follow and digest. The Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast is a true treasure trove of incredible info and stories. Also, on the Cocaine & Rhinestones website each episode has a companion blog post allowing the listener to further geek out. This is a listening and learning experience through and through. 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ernest-tubb-the-texas-defense/id1304192102?i=1000394220773&mt=2    (Segment: 6:56 - 8:45)

https://cocaineandrhinestones.com/

https://www.patreon.com/tylermahancoe

https://cocaineandrhinestones.com/about-contact

Every now and again as guitar geeks, we look for a new piece of gear or accessory. Who am I kidding here?!?! As a #guitargeek it is our moral obligation to be on a never-ending quest for the next piece of gear that could get us one step closer to the elusive magical tone we have an insatiable desire for. There are numerous options for picks, strings and other gadgetry, but the Passerelle Bridge developed by luthier Rachel Rosenkrantz and artist Kaki King takes the cake for an accessory that can turn your guitar into a whole new instrument... as in completely different. The Passerelle bridge is cast out of bronze and sits on the 16th fret of your guitar and changes it into a "Koto" like instrument. Your guitar all of a sudden makes sounds of a dulcet nature and your ability to achieve a magically vocal-like quality from your guitar becomes quite easy. I have been experimenting with the one I ordered and I'm having a blast working with it. When I received it in the mail I had to make some adjustments to the string slots which the included materials did call to my attention, but after that, it was quite easy to begin experimenting with. Overall this gadget offers tons of possibilities which become very clear when watching Kaki King use it on her guitar. 

http://www.kakiking.com/passerelle/

https://www.atelierrosenkrantz.com/product-page/passerelle-bridge

https://youtu.be/vn84FfYvRv0 - How to Install a Passerelle Bridge

https://youtu.be/2ZEDYETleNw - How to Tune With the Passerelle Bridge

https://youtu.be/FlR_k7FZnsw - Passerelle Demo (Bowen Island by Kaki King)

Every so often an artist comes along, changes the way an instrument is perceived, and then continues to push its boundaries. The artist that I have been listening to this week does just this and does so tirelessly. She is seemingly always trying something new and constantly challenging herself to find new avenues for the six string guitar. The artist that I am referring to is Kaki King; fingerstyle guitar player extraordinaire, brilliant composer, and constant boundary pusher. Kaki creates a beautiful synergy between percussive elements on the guitar and gorgeous melodies carried out with two hand tapping and other unconventional styles. Her newest project has her playing original compositions with an orchestra. The project prior to that, "The Neck is a Bridge to the Body," finds her playing a guitar that has visual projections mapped on its surface... something you have to see to believe. She has a myriad of albums to explore and I strongly encourage you to check them out. 

https://youtu.be/ziPD16xCBBg - The Surface Changes

https://youtu.be/MKs0tzjJb04 - Magazine with the Porta Girevole Chamber Orchestra

https://youtu.be/FwI8ROqVNHU - The making of Glow

http://www.kakiking.com/

https://shop.bandwear.com/collections/kaki-king-shop

https://amzn.to/2GKHSYm - Glow (Album)

https://amzn.to/2uK1uXQ - Legs to Make Us Longer (Album)

https://amzn.to/2IpRpkN - Everybody Loves You (Album)

It's tough to get access to small bench luthier guitars. Plain and simple, they are usually a one man or woman operation and being a one-person show limits the number of guitars they can make in a year. Getting to try a small bench luthier's guitars is what #guitargeek dreams are made of though... the guitars are masterfully made, often times somewhat unusual, and thought-provoking. What if I said there was a place you could go to try nearly 100 different small bench builder's guitars? Well, I'm saying it, that place exists and it's called the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase. The showcase is held in Woodstock, NY on October 26, 27, and 28 and you can go there to not only see and try some rare and unique instruments but also attend panel discussions and workshops. There are some real gems among the artists and presenters that will be there; Macyn Taylor, Antoine Dufour, Happy Traum, Courtney Hartman... and that's only a small sampling. This is a must-attend event for any guitar geek so make sure to schedule it. 

http://woodstockinvitational.com/

http://woodstockinvitational.com/tickets.shtml

http://woodstockinvitational.com/about.shtml

The question of "Do I have to learn music theory?" comes up quite often amongst guitar geeks. I personally get asked this question a lot and I think you will find my answer insightful and energizing. 

I believe that you will learn theory when you are ready for it. Another way to say it is that you will ask the right questions when you are ready to learn the answer. So don't just go on a mission to learn music theory... it is an incredibly expansive topic and you may not have the right context for all of the items presented. Rather, learn some core fundamentals and allow yourself to swing on the learning pendulum... let me explain. The learning pendulum has two distinct points on it... you can even think of it as a spectrum with one end focused on physical learning (technique), and the other end focused on mental learning (theory). As a guitar player, you will swing back and forth between these two points and that is actually ideal because each end of the spectrum informs the other. Essentially when you are on one side you will learn something that impacts the other developing a new context with each swing of the pendulum. You absolutely must check out this segment from Acoustic Tuesday where I discuss this concept more. I think it will lead to light bulb moments and a new found vigor for guitar learning. (Not to mention, there is also quite the visual created with Miley Cyrus references and all... just sayin). 

To learn even more be sure to check out the free workshop I am releasing on April 23rd, this free workshop will discuss the core elements you will need to grow all of your future music theory knowledge. I like to call these elements the Foundational Five and they consist of the musical alphabet, major scale construction, the chord matrix, chord tonality, and the CAGED system. This workshop is packed full of light bulb moments and all you have to do is sign up. Just visit fretwiz.com, sign up for the Fretboard Wizard waitlist, and you will be in the loop for this workshop. 

Talk about an action-packed installment of Acoustic Tuesday... Whoa!

Take a deep breath, make sure to check out those items, and it is imperative that you rest up because next week Acoustic Tuesday is coming in hot. 

Cheers to you #guitargeek and here's to living your best #acousticlife!

Happy pickin'

Tony

Apr 10, 2018
032 - Is THIS your new guitar strap??
43:19

Greetings #guitargeek!

I hope this finds you sufficiently fueled with coffee and thirsty for some acoustic guitar geekiness to help you live your best #Acousticlife.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com 

A ton is in store for today so off we go to the magical fountain of guitar geekness to indulge in the acoustic infused elixir known as Acoustic Tuesday.

When your guitar hasn't been cleaned in a while it starts to actively collect fingerprints, smudges, smears, and what I like to call guitar grime. Guitar grime is one of those things that can make your guitar look gross. I have tried a bunch of different guitar polishes with varying degrees of success, but one that sticks out in my eyes for its consistently excellent results is Gibson's pump polish. Its label appears to be unchanged since the '70's, but it's what's inside that really blows me away. This polish is exceptional, hell, it even smells good. This polish cleans well and makes your guitar's finish baby butt smooth... seriously... there is a distinct tactile difference in how your guitar feels after using this stuff. Now, I am not saying this is the only polish that does this, but it is, in my opinion, one of the best guitar polishes out there and should certainly be on your radar. 

http://store.gibson.com/guitar-polish/

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/gibson-pump-polish-for-guitars-banjos-mandolins

Next up... a guitar geek joke for you...

What do you get when you cross stellar fingerstyle guitarists, a gathering of music lovers, and Takoma Park, MD?

Well, you get the "Thousand Incarnations of the Rose Festival" which is a festival celebrating the American Primitive Fingerstyle guitar movement. I know this isn't a funny joke, but you have to admit that punchline is pretty awesome! This festival is on my list of ones to attend and I am currently working on pulling some strings so I can be there. You get three days of music by some absolutely incredible American Primitive guitarists whom are continuing to carry the torch of this style of music. Never before have I seen a festival dedicated to this style. So if you love American Primitive Guitar make sure to check this one out. Oh, and if you can't make the fest be sure to check out the album: The Thousand Incarnations Of The Rose: American Primitive Guitar And Banjo (1963-1974) which celebrates the groundbreaking, inventive approach to traditional music brought forward by the likes of John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Robbie Basho and more.

https://1000rose.org/ - Festival website

https://youtu.be/anEduHsU7uA - Festival Promo

https://youtu.be/4dBqeLKqDEQ -  A Thousand Incarnations of the Rose Album Promo

https://amzn.to/2pJvdun - A Thousand Incarnations of the Rose Album

This week I want to share with you a Flatpicker that I have been listening to for some time and I feel like he flies a bit under the radar... to a degree. This picker produces beautiful tone with a seemingly delicate touch. It's as if his picking and fretting hand are one hundred and ten percent perfectly in sync. His original instrumental tunes are melodically beautiful and expertly executed. I am talking about the one and only Kenny Smith, whom I was first introduced to through the band that him and his wife play in, aptly named, The Kenny and Amanda Smith Band. In this band setting Kenny shines vocally alongside his wife, and his instrumental breaks are rich with tone, succinct, and inserted into songs with precision. On his solo albums his guitar prowess shines brightly as well as his composition skills. Overall Kenny is a Flatpicker you need to know about and The Kenny and Amanda Smith Band is a band you need to hear. 

https://youtu.be/5WgeL-_XRlE - Randall Collins (Song)

https://youtu.be/q7R5tc93Zpg - Cruel Willie (Song)

https://youtu.be/2PH6sqka3-Q - Always Never Enough (Song)

http://www.kenny-amandasmith.com/

https://amzn.to/2urAmwI - Studebaker (Album)

https://amzn.to/2G8U2uv - Always Never Enough (Album)

https://amzn.to/2umHtWZ - Tell Someone (Album)

https://amzn.to/2pHgArm - Live and Learn (Album)

https://amzn.to/2GbPWlC - House Down the Block (Album)

https://amzn.to/2ITrgvS - Unbound (Album)

http://www.kenny-amandasmith.com/shopkasb - Kenny and Amanda Smith Store

Back in the 30's National guitars became known for a novelty finish called "frosted duco." This finish was gorgeous due to it's unique character. Since the finish's beauty relied on how crystals grow (no two are the same), each finish was different, making them absolutely gorgeous when done right. Now mind you, this was in the 30's, so how on earth would you get a finish like that on a new guitar or even refinish an old one? Well, you would have to call Rik Besser of B Fanatic Guitarworks. Rik is a specialist in the frosted duco finish and he has dedicated much time to perfecting his craft; so much so that he is responsible for that very finish on new National guitars made today. Rik not only applies this finish to new Nationals, he also helps restore old Nationals, and he even sells some on his site. If you have any interest in resos this is a great place to check out even if it is just for the visual inspiration. 

http://www.bfanaticguitarworks.com/

http://www.bfanaticguitarworks.com/?lens_portfolio=dueco-model

http://www.bfanaticguitarworks.com/?lens_portfolio=1937-gold-duolian

http://www.bfanaticguitarworks.com/?lens_portfolio=yellow-frosted-duco-collegian

If you look at old pictures of artists playing live shows you will no doubt see some really stellar guitar strap designs. I'm talking some very striking tapestry type themes... think Jimi Hendrix at Monterey or any picture of Eric Clapton in the 70's. Some of those patterns are iconic and that being the case we cannot forget them, and as #guitargeeks we can thank Souldier Straps from Chicago because they are using those very patterns on straps today... but those aren't the only patterns they have. Souldier Straps are made in Chicago and they are crazy comfortable and the custom looks you can create are nearly endless. They use recycled seatbelt material as the base of the strap and the decorations are pulled from vintage fabric. I should also add that the leather strap ends are affixed with a metal ring which seems like a small detail, but it is very important for longevity. One more thing about these straps and this company... I would highly recommend visiting their site, particularly the custom strap designer portion... you can pick colors, patterns, and all sorts of really geeky details. 

https://youtu.be/YLsfVxVN1qU - Souldier Straps Interview

https://www.souldier.us/Default.aspx

https://www.souldier.us/CustomGuitarStraps.aspx

https://amzn.to/2I3hR3G - Brown Seatbelt Strap

https://amzn.to/2IWfpwP - Koi Goldfish Strap

https://amzn.to/2DWKLzV - Zodiac Strap

Our trip to the fountain of all awesome things acoustic must come to an end for this week my fellow #guitargeek, but please don't be sad. Go forth with your newly acquired acoustic knowledge and help more #guitargeeks unite!!!

Keep strumming and smiling until next Acoustic Tuesday and don't forget...

Guitar Geeks Unite!

Cheers,
Tony

Apr 03, 2018
031 - Two Guitar Geek Podcasts You Need to Know About
39:45

Salutations to you gold medal #guitargeek!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

With this fine day comes a truckload of Acoustic guitar discoveries that are sure to feed your hungry #Acoustic Life.

On your mark... get set...

#guitargeeks go!

First up on the docket of dreamy #AcousticLife items today is a store dedicated to the guitars eight-stringed, upside down, little brother... the mandolin. The Mandolin Store located in Surprise, AZ and run by Dennis Vance is a primo spot if you are considering a brand new mandolin, wanting to buy another, or just looking to peruse some breathtaking instruments. I have known Dennis and Brian at the Mandolin Store ever since I worked for Weber mandolins and their shop is outstanding for all things mandolin. The Mandolin Store, as its name suggests, is chocked full of mandolins... New, used, F style, A style... they are all there, and they even have some guitars lying around as well. As a #guitargeek I check out their site frequently since their inventory is always changing and afterward have dreams of sneaking some mandolins into my #guitarsenal. Also, if you are curious about how a given instrument sounds their youtube channel is packed full of great reviews and samples of the cream of the mandolin crop.

https://themandolinstore.com/

https://themandolinstore.com/product-category/inventory/f-style-mandolins/

https://youtu.be/IBmlw8GuYjg - Store Tour

I am a complete sucker for music documentaries, and the one I'm about to share with you pretty much started it all... Heartworn Highways. Heartworn Highways is a music doc that everyone absolutely needs to see... you get a fly on the wall experience of some of the most prolific songwriters ever put on this earth. Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, and many many more. This doc is filled to the brim with some of the most seemingly common yet inspiring footage of all time. A standout scene is all of these songwriters sitting around a table swapping songs and drinks on what I believe was either Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve... this scene alone is mind boggling and that is just one of many.

Also, I just found out that they released Heartworn Highways Revisited in 2015 to celebrate the films 40th anniversary and this time they filmed the next wave of Nashville outlaw songwriters. I haven't seen this one yet, but if it is even half as good as the first it will be downright amazing.

https://youtu.be/FjnXkhwubzQ - Heartworn Highways Trailer

https://youtu.be/fOtwft8Cd38 - Heartworn Highways Revisited Trailer

http://amzn.to/2GcaWb4 - Heartworn Highways Revisited

http://amzn.to/2HRGu3d - Heartworn Highways

This week I am listening to a bit of a random find. Often times new artist finds come from friend recommendations and Acoustic Tuesday viewers and followers, but this week's artist is a bit different because I stepped out on a limb and checked out Otis Gibbs based solely on an album cover I thought was interesting... my oh my was I in for a surprise!!! Otis is a brilliant songwriter and an amazing storyteller with song. His voice reminds me of John Moreland with a similar amount of rasp and character. Overall I was and am wowed. I became even more wowed when I saw the sheer amount of albums that Otis has released (my favorite of which is entitled Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth).

Then the level of wow increased yet again when I discovered Otis' podcast named "Thanks For Giving a Damn." This podcast is a delicious treat of behind closed doors stories from the vaults of musical history told by the folks that experienced them first hand. For any guitar geek or music aficionado, this podcast is a blast to listen to!!! So make sure to check it out, a great starting point is Episode #144 which is a story about Guy Clark's favorite shirt.

https://youtu.be/JROJLYbp0t0 - Ghosts of our Fathers (Song)

https://youtu.be/NngPEUaHuUM - Joe Hill's Ashes (Song)

https://youtu.be/sulwOnz8eX4 - Darker Side of Me (Song)

http://otisgibbs.com/

http://amzn.to/2u6x95q - Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth (Album)

http://amzn.to/2FRA5bx - Mount Renraw (Album)

http://amzn.to/2FO3kw6 - Harder Than Hammered Hell (Album)

http://otisgibbs.com/category/podcast/ - Thanks for Giving a Damn Podcast

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-144-guy-clarks-favorite-t-shirt/id568743610?i=1000380496868&mt=2 - Episode #144 Guy Clark's Favorite T-Shirt

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/thanks-for-giving-a-damn/id568743610?mt=2 - Thanks for Giving A Damn Podcast Itunes

Speaking of podcasts, as a #guitargeek there is another one you must know about. What happens when two cool cats from a leading guitar manufacturer get together and geek out about guitars... you get Taylor's From the Factory Podcast. Taylor's very own Jay and Cameron are your hosts for this podcast and I must say I have first-hand experience at how awesome these two dudes are because I was a guest on their podcast for episode #12 "Geeking Out With Tony Polecastro." I had so much fun being on their podcast we shared many chuckles and you get to learn about my musical past which involves a journey through a grocery store freezer, my thoughts on the new V-class bracing design, and they ask me a very pointed question about the future of the acoustic guitar which was a blast to answer. Make sure to check out the podcast and if you dig it be sure to subscribe.

https://www.taylorguitars.com/from-the-factory-podcast - From the Factory Podcast

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-12-geeking-out-with-tony-polecastro/id1291589467?i=1000406273992&mt=2 - Episode 12 Geeking Out with Tony Polecastro

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/taylor-guitars-from-the-factory/id1291589467?mt=2 - From the factory Podcast Itunes

The new tradition of celebrating the #guitarsenal continues again this week on Acoustic Tuesday. This week there are some amazing guitarsenals to lay your #guitargeek eyes on. You will have to check out the full episode to see them, and I will tell you, you certainly don't want to miss these. There is a dog, a cat, and even a glass of bourbon. Oh, and how could I forget the #guitarsenal that literally took over an entire living room... I mean this one required the moving of furniture. Make sure to check them all out in Acoustic Tuesday Episode #31, and if you want your #guitarsenal featured on an upcoming episode of Acoustic Tuesday it is super easy, it just takes 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Wear your Guitarsenal shirt, if you don't have one just click the link below and pick your color and size.

https://teespring.com/guitarsenal_polecastro

Step 2: Take a picture with your family. This means everybody... all your acoustic guitars and associated instruments and of course your spouse or siblings, as well as your furry guitar loving pets.

Step 3: Send that picture to support@tonypolecastro.com with the subject line #guitarsenal.

Voila! Just like that, you will be featured in an upcoming episode of Acoustic Tuesday.

Alright, time to collect yourself because the sun has set on another Acoustic Tuesday. The race has come to an end and yes you are the winner!

Why?

Because you are an official #guitargeek living your best #acousticlife.

Best wishes to you on your continued guitar journey, Guitar geeks unite!

Cheers,
Tony

 

Mar 27, 2018
030 - 12 Fret vs 14 Fret, What's Best?
39:44

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Good morrow fellow #guitargeek and welcome to the day formerly known as "Just Tuesday," now celebrated and revered as Acoustic Tuesday.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

5 items await you on the sacred #guitargeek scroll this week so let us halt the introductions and partake in a journey of discovery.

Our hyper hair follicled friend is back to shed wisdom on a question asked by one of our very own Acoustic Tuesday viewers. Matt Chulka, acoustic aficionado, beard maintenance master, and an overall awesome dude from Eddie's guitars in St. Louis shares his wisdom as he discusses the impact of a 12 fret neck to body joint and a 14 fret neck to body joint. If you have ever wondered what the deal with this is you have to tune into the episode to learn more; I think you will be surprised at how it affects more than just the aesthetic of the guitar.

So here's the situation: You have a pickup on your guitar, you aren't plugged in at the moment, and you enjoy playing with a strap around your guitar. Seems like a normal situation right? ...until the strap lets go of the input jack and nearly falls to the floor. Something that no guitarist ever wants to experience. Never fear Strap Jack is here to remedy this very scenario. Strap Jack is a device that locks your strap in on the input jack end and uses a rubber washer on the other to bring you peace of mind that your guitar is not going anywhere. Think of it like a strap lock specifically designed for guitars with a pickup. There is also a bonus use for it too... do you have a mixer or other piece of gear that you want to block inputs on? Strap Jack works like a charm. I also really appreciate that the cost is super low on these so you can get one for each guitar that has a pickup and just store them in the case for those "just in case" moments.  

https://strapjack.com/

http://amzn.to/2FDiQGY

Have you ever heard someone who's voice makes your head snap back, ears perk up, and every hair on the back of your neck stand up? The person I am listening to this week does that very thing to me... 

Tyler Childers is someone who was introduced to me via Colter Wall's latest album (He happens to sing on the song Fraulein). In addition to being the guest vocal on that album, many Acoustic Tuesday viewers told me about him so I had to do the full deep dive and I am so happy I did. Tyler has a knack for writing wonderfully descriptive songs and his voice delivers them in such a way that leaves you wanting more and more. His voice seems to be a cross between classic country and traditional bluegrass, but I can't say he sounds like anyone except, well... Tyler Childers. The standout tune for me is Purgatory off of his newest album of the same name as well as the tune that closes the album, entitled, Lady May. If you dig heartfelt delivery with a voice that has a bit of twang you will not be disappointed with Tyler's newest album... or his older one for that matter. 

https://youtu.be/KMn5sLegqo4 - Keep Your Nose on the Grindstone

https://youtu.be/EeDTKH9AU3U - Purgatory 

https://youtu.be/oOIJecsnaWg - White House Road

http://amzn.to/2GqixAc - Purgatory Album

http://amzn.to/2FRNiAs - Bottles and Bibles Album

What happens when you gather 7 luthiers and inspire them with 7 significant artists from their locale. You end up getting 7 (actually 8) guitars that are chocked full of inspiration... this is what the Group of Seven Guitar Project is based on. This project includes Canadian luthiers: Grit Laskin, Linda Manzer, Sergei de Jonge, Jean Larrivee, Tony Duggan-Smith, George Gray, and David Wren. Each luthier was commissioned to build a guitar inspired by one artist from the Group of Seven (the Group of Seven refers to 1920's Canadian landscape artists Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, Franklin Carmichael, Frank Johnston, F.H. Varley, and A.Y. Jackson) The results were absolutely amazing, inspiring, and jaw-droppingly beautiful, and you can see them in the documentary dedicated to these guitars and their making. You will get a peek at the guitars and each individual luthier's thought process behind their design. Truly fascinating stuff for any #guitargeek. 

https://youtu.be/LZD_3rovSu4 - Grit Laskin

https://youtu.be/bCSkSs-tTks - Linda Manzer

https://youtu.be/GMtsWoGBtiA - Sergei de Jonge

https://www.larrivee.com/shop/group-of-seven-guitar-project-dvd-a-celebration-of-art-and-music

This week we get to gawk at some awesome guitarsenals from our very own #guitargeek ranks. Make sure to watch the full episode to see some really outstanding guitars, smiles, family members, and even some furry friends. This week there is a vintage Gibson, some stellar small bench luthier made guitars, some eyebrow-raising oddballs, and even Marty Mcfly... yes, Marty Mcfly... You'll have to watch the show to find out about that one. 

May your ears encounter wonderful music and sweet melodies as the page turn on another episode of Acoustic Tuesday. 

Don't forget to subscribe to the Acoustic Life youtube channel and be absolutely certain to share this show with your guitar geek friends!!!

Guitar Geeks unite!

Cheers,
Tony

Mar 20, 2018
029 - The BEST Guitar Stool Ever!
36:21

Good morning fellow #guitargeek!

As the crisp air of another Acoustic Tuesday hits your face please be reminded that Acoustic Tuesday is chocked full of #guitargeek items for you to ponder, peruse, and ultimately enjoy.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Let us submerge ourselves into the #guitargeek list for today. 

Finding the right guitar stool can be a daunting task, but when you find the one you like... man oh man is it a good feeling. Some guitar stools or chairs have funky heights, others have uncomfortable seats, but I have one that I have used for years and really dig. The Roc N Soc tower stools are seriously comfortable, they are built like tanks, and they come in a variety of color options as well as seat styles. You can get a standard round stool top or a saddle seat, as well as varying heights to fit exactly what you need, to play comfortably for as long as you wish. 

https://rocnsoc.com

https://rocnsoc.com/new/product-line/tower-seats

http://amzn.to/2sC2v3e - Roc N Soc Tower Stools

Mojo infused tone is something every #guitargeek has an insatiable desire for. This last week I had two run-ins with a device that produced purely magical tone. Two of my musical friends turned me on to the Rich Robinson bronze slide from Daddario/Planet Waves and holy smokes what a beautiful guitar accessory. This slide is one that is incredibly comfortable and has the heft to produce clear, bright tone. The most notable thing about this slide is the wonderful taper making it seemingly form to your finger. For any of you slide players or even slide dabblers out there this is one to consider and certainly test drive. 

http://amzn.to/2oNnsDW

https://youtu.be/HkWYx-3IK7I

http://www.daddario.com/pwProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=4115&productid=1112&productname=Rich_Robinson_Brass_Slide

This week have I got a band for you! This band has it all; their songwriting is deep and dark, their harmonies are incredibly tight, and both members are very comfortable on whatever instrument they happen to be playing... guitar, banjo, fiddle... they can do it all. Ben Jaffe and Suzanne Santo make up the band I am referring to, HoneyHoney. Ben holds down the rhythm, lead, and bass guitar... often times playing the bass from his guitar through some pedal wizardry, and Suzanne plays the guitar, fiddle, and banjo, while singing... and let me tell you about her voice... wow!!! It's raspy, wide-ranging, and incredibly expressive. I have seen her two times performing here in Montana and each time her voice is crystal clear and pretty much mind-blowing. HoneyHoney has three albums to date, and Suzanne Santo just released a solo album, and I can honestly say your record collection would have a huge smile on its face if you added those four albums to it. They aren't 100% acoustic, but they are so good this is one of the cases where I throw the rules out the window. 

https://youtu.be/AQAVa_p0EK8 - Yours to Bear

https://youtu.be/og7kVTd6uS4 - Whatcha Gonna Do Now

https://youtu.be/sKciiuQO4Cs - Big Man

http://amzn.to/2BxjNRZ - Billy Jack Album

http://amzn.to/2HfQ1S2 - "3" Album

http://amzn.to/2Hk1v6Y - First Rodeo Album

http://amzn.to/2EvcblJ - Suzanne Santo "Ruby Red"

I already referenced chasing the mighty tone dragon once in today's Acoustic Tuesday, but I need to mention it again because I found something that will help expand tonal possibilities to the "nth" degree. The Emerald Amicus absolutely blew my mind upon first playing it. First and foremost, it is a carbon fiber instrument rendering it impervious to humidity and temperature fluctuations; Second, this instrument offers a tonal range similar to a mandolin, but with no modifications to the chord shapes you already know. Think beautiful dulcet sounds with familiar chord shapes that can be a wonderful addition to any musical situation. The Amicus is a beautiful accompaniment instrument and a great composition tool. Overall, this is an instrument that can add a whole different layer to your sound. Make sure to check out the full review below.

https://youtu.be/PUo9ikLlzV4

http://emeraldguitars.com/product/amicus-opus/?v=7516fd43adaa

This week you get to look at some guitarsenals from our very own Acoustic Tuesday viewers and holy smokes... our Acoustic Tuesday family have some beautiful guitars! Four guitarsenals are on deck this week. You will get to see everything from a redemption picture from Shane R. all the way to a stellar collection that contains a '66 LG-0 amongst some other great instruments. There is even a '60's Framus archtop in one collection and a tribute to the grateful dead in another. To see the entire #guitarsenal lineup make sure to check out the full episode, this is a segment you will not want to miss! Oh and to get your #guitarsenal featured it just takes 3 simple steps: 

Step 1: Wear your Guitarsenal shirt, if you don't have one just click the link below and pick your color and size. 

https://teespring.com/guitarsenal_polecastro

Step 2: Take a picture with your family. This means everybody... all your acoustic guitars and associated instruments and of course your spouse or siblings, as well as your furry guitar loving pets. 

Step 3: Send that picture to support@tonypolecastro.com with the subject line #guitarsenal.

Voila! Just like that, you will be featured in an upcoming episode of Acoustic Tuesday. 

And with that, another Acoustic Tuesday is in the record books. I wish you the best #guitargeek week!!! 

May your ears receive sonic treats of your own creation and may the small wins rain down and create a flood of positive momentum for you!

Cheers,
Tony Polecastro 

Mar 13, 2018
028 - 4 Acoustic Artists You NEED to Know
49:53

Ahoy and welcome to the wondrous ship known as Acoustic Tuesday.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

No pirates or scallywags here just five #guitargeek items for you to learn about, check out and share with your guitar geek friends.

There are many guitar strap companies, all of which have their own unique piece of the strap pie. Some straps have custom designs, others boast about their comfort, and most are really really good at what they do. Lakota Leathers Straps is a strap company that in my opinion are known for their soft, supple and incredibly durable straps. The straps are assembled on the Pine Ridge Lakota Sioux Indian reservation and are available in a variety of options. You can go the full blown custom route, or check out their Elk and Bison leather straps in a very guitar friendly color palette. I have spent time with both the guitar straps as well as the braided mandolin straps and these are seriously like butter. This is a great accessory to keep in mind if you ever need another strap or just want to try something a bit different. 
 
http://www.lakotaleathers.com/

http://www.lakotaleathers.com/products/guitar/

Guitar cables are just one of those unassuming accessories that are ever present and often go unquestioned especially in the acoustic guitar world. In the past I have basically used whatever cable I found in my cable bag, paying no attention to what it was or why I had chosen it, but as long as it worked I was happy. This line of thinking proves to be fine as long as the cable works and this is where things get tricky. Most guitar cables feature a simple solder joint where the cable meets the connector and it's covered with a small plastic protector... this has worked for years, but those very solder joints end up being the weakest point in the cable. That's where Planet Waves American Stage cables come in, these cables are rugged, provide solid connection, and are built to withstand some serious abuse. The solder joint used in these cables can be paralleled to the Incredible Hulk's strength. The actual connector will stay in your guitar regardless of how much internal tension your input jack has, and the signal quality is outstanding. I have used these cables for countless shows and they are super dependable and always hold up to the task. Make sure to check these out and you absolutely have to watch the strength test video. 

https://youtu.be/JsxJhdJoGhI - Strength Test Video 

http://www.daddario.com/PWAmericanStageCables.Page?sid=ee75a172-03a6-44cd-83e4-3d83ced2dca4

http://amzn.to/2BxO8Qp

Guitars and aeroplanes don't really love one another, it's a known fact. It's never clear if you can carry your instrument on, and depending on which flight attendant you speak to (and of course how their day is going) you may hear the words no #guitargeek ever wants to... "you are going to have to check that." Any #guitargeek that hears that instantly gets the cold sweats and wonders how their beloved six-string friend will ever make the trip in the belly of the plane. Now there are lots of flight cases out there, don't get me wrong, but the one I want to feature today and the one that has served me well is the Calton Case. Started by Keith Calton, circa 1973, in London; Calton Cases are now being made in Austin, TX by a crew of outstanding artisans making sure that each case fits the instrument like a glove and protects it like a mama bear would her cub. These cases are designed to take a serious beating and the new design makes them even lighter. Be sure to explore their website for all of the case options that are available from sizes to colors to sparkle... yes, even sparkle. Happy travelling #guitargeek!

http://www.calton-cases.com/

http://www.calton-cases.com/cases/

http://www.calton-cases.com/dealers/

https://youtu.be/PdhFtBMRLsw

Our bearded brother, Matt from Eddie's Guitars in St. Louis is back for another #askmatt segment this week. This week he pulled a question from a previous show that a viewer left in the comments regarding a guitar's resonance. Matt eloquently sheds light on what gives a guitar that magic that makes you feel as if the guitar is kicking you right in the gut. He discusses a guitar that he used to have (you have to tune in to find out), and he compares that to the guitars that he graduated to in an interesting glimpse into why one guitar would resonate more so than another. Also, keep in mind that if you have a question for Matt and want him to answer it only takes three easy steps to submit it:

Step One: Think of a #guitargeek question you want Matt to address. This could be tonewoods, bracing, custom options, or even certain brand characteristics. 

Step Two: On the most current episode of Acoustic Tuesday leave a question starting with #AskMatt in the comments below the video. 

Step Three: Subscribe and tune into Acoustic Tuesday because your question could be next up!

That's it, super easy!

What I'm listening to this week... Well, I happen to be listening to songs from all the artists that will be playing at the first ever Acoustic Life Festival here in Bozeman, MT. Yep, right here in Bozeman on June 22nd and 23rd the town will be converted into the epicenter of all guitar geekdom. The Acoustic Life Festival will feature two nights of world-class acoustic performers and not only will you get to watch stellar acoustic acts with your guitar geek friends, all proceeds of the Acoustic Life Festival will be benefitting the Guitars For Vets non-profit organization. So who is playing this awesome festival?

Here is the official lineup:

Friday, June 22

Caitlin Canty - https://youtu.be/yr_2L2_dCiA

Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley - https://youtu.be/nx1n8hQOBPI

Saturday, June 23

Antoine Dufour - https://youtu.be/YQlyHbu0zz4

The Small Glories - https://youtu.be/4YBRV4uxT8M

There are only 217 tickets left so secure yours today if you want to live your best acoustic life in Bozeman for two days with your guitar geek friends while taking in these awesome acts please visit:

acousticlifefestival.com

Well, off goes the Acoustic Tuesday ship, sailing into the sunset after having delivered the guitar geek goods this week. 

Until we meet again next week, keep your #guitargeek radar alert and be sure to share Acoustic Tuesday with your acoustic loving friends.

Cheers,
Tony

Mar 06, 2018
027 - My Favorite Guitar Player's Multi Tool
33:10

May this Acoustic Tuesday find you reflecting back on a month of guitar progress, acoustic discoveries, and positive momentum that continues to march forward... well... right into the month of March.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com 

Five acoustic discoveries are on the menu today so let's skip the appetizers and devour the main course. 

Fingerpicks are one of those necessary evils for certain styles. If you are seeking a certain level of cut and clarity while finger picking your guitar or are a banjo player that likes to cross over, finger picks are just part of the deal. The thing that stinks is that they can be very very uncomfortable. That's where Guptill Music comes in with their wonderful fingerpick brand, Pro-Pik. Pro-Piks come in a huge variety of styles and sizes to make sure you get the right tone and fit that you need. I particularly like the brass number 3 split band models for their comfort and warmer tone, but there are so many options to pick from and the cool thing is that they even offer specifically sized small picks for children or players with really tiny fingers. This really only scratches the surface, you have to check out the full line to really see just how vast the offering is from these folks. 

https://www.guptillmusic.com/

https://www.guptillmusic.com/propik-ec-split-wrap-finger-picks/

Now let's check out some guitars from over the pond for you to ponder... I have to start this with a bit of a disclaimer and that is this: I am a traditionalist and I like guitars made of wood... That being said I understand and see the uses for carbon fibre instruments. I have never played a carbon fibre instrument that really resonates; I'm talking top and back. I love the feeling when you strum a chord and it's as if the guitar kicks you in the belly. I was surprised to find this feeling from a carbon fiber instrument, particularly the Emerald Guitars X20 Woody Select Series. I was dumbfounded at how much the guitar sang and how much projection it had. It has a very clear and focused tone and it very freely offered volume. I recently reviewed that model so make sure to check out the full review to really hear it, and if you like wood guitars I think you will be surprised at its tone, I know that I was. 

 

Click here to watch the review

http://emeraldguitars.com/

http://emeraldguitars.com/guitar-galleries/?v=7516fd43adaa

This week I am listening to a band named after a raccoon. Mapache, Spanish for "raccoon" is a band that you will no doubt love if you gravitate towards duos, warm harmonies, and beautiful guitar interplay. Mapache is made up of Clay Finch and Sam Blasucci and together they conjure up a sound that resembles bands like The Byrds, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and the Grateful Dead (think "American Beauty" and "Workingman's Dead"). Their voices mix together so well as do their guitars. One guitar is a resonator, and the other seems to be a Martin D18V or something along those lines. This is a duo that I discovered after seeing them open at a local show and I was completely floored by the music that I heard. Essentially I rushed to their merch stand to get their album immediately after they got off stage. I urge you to dig into their album as well.  

https://youtu.be/XeqEbH6zk10 - "In the Morning Light"

https://youtu.be/6k_sdiulSIE - "Chico River'

https://youtu.be/fyhuAqYDoIQ - "Loretta"

http://amzn.to/2CdHZ8r - Self Titled Album

https://mapachesounds.bandcamp.com/

If you could only have one guitar tool on a desert island, what would it be? For me it would be the Daddario/Planet Waves Pro-Winder, and I would recommend you consider this for your desert island tool as well. This thing is an unassuming accessory that has saved my butt on numerous occasions. Usually, when you change strings you need the winder and the wire cutters, which is no big deal at home, but when you need them both in a pinch often times one goes missing. The pro winder is a string winder, but it has the string cutter built in, and it actually works... it cuts the string! It's not just an object shaped like a wire cutter, it does the job very well. So be sure to check these out if you have never seen them before. If you get one make sure to keep it in your case or gig bag... it will definitely save you in a bind. 

http://amzn.to/2nVbHL6 - Planet Waves Pro Winder

http://www.planetwaves.com/pwProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=4115&productid=551&productname=Pro_Winder_Guitar

The acoustic instrument hot spot, Elderly instruments, in Lansing, Michigan is in a class all by itself. This is the type of shop that you can go to and walk out having learned a ton of new information, and not only is this typical in their physical store it's also an experience you can have on their website. Elderly really has it all... if you are looking for something, anything acoustic I can assure you they have it, and if they don't they can likely get it. Elderly has quite the depth when it comes to acoustic guitars, both vintage and new. The great thing about these folks is that not only do they stock a ton of instruments... their knowledge is vast and wide-ranging when it comes to all things acoustic. Make sure to check out their site for acoustic instruments, accessories and two of my favorite parts: the vintage web vault, and the collectible ephemera section. Tons of treasures await, and like I said you will no doubt learn something surfing their site or talking to them on the phone. Happy guitar shopping!!!
 
https://www.elderly.com

https://www.elderly.com/vintage/web-vault

https://www.elderly.com/catalog/category/view/id/575

This Acoustic Tuesday just crossed the finish line hands waving in the air and a smile on it's face. 

Thanks to you #guitargeek for making Acoustic Tuesday what it is. Until next week stay in tune and keep on time.

Cheers,
Tony

Feb 27, 2018
026 - Listen to This Smokin' Guitar and Dobro Duo!
32:20

Salutations my string strumming #guitargeek friend!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

This day greets you with some mouth-watering #guitargeek accoutrement so let's dig right in.  

There are some guitar books that you just need... Plain and simple. They are the kind of books that you can keep in your guitar room or set on your coffee table and no matter where they are everyone who picks them up enjoys leafing through them. One such book is from the series, Images of America, and it's focused on none other than C.F. Martin & Co. This book is packed full of really outstanding factoids as well as some amazing pictures of the factory, guitars, artists, and even historical ledgers from the 1800's. This book is a must-have for any #guitargeek looking to round out their library. 

http://amzn.to/2nIFaYG - Images of America C.F. Martin & Co

Every now and then a #guitargeek has to show some love to other instruments, and what better instrument to show love to than one that is often under-appreciated and misunderstood. Yes, our beloved 5 string brother, the banjo. The banjo is an outcast of sorts, but it is one of the most beautiful instruments when played well and even more so when built well.  Ome banjos in Boulder, CO is one of those banjo builders that you absolutely need to know about. Ome banjos was founded by Chuck Ogsbury. He and his small team of builders, build some truly magnificent instruments both open back, resonator, and even tenor style banjos. These are must-see works of functional art, by one of the best teams in the banjo business. 

https://www.omebanjos.com/

https://www.omebanjos.com/banjos/5-string-flathead/vintage/juniper/

https://www.omebanjos.com/banjos/5-string-open-back/old-time/minstrel/

This week I am listening to a duo that is musically tight, technically proficient, and really good at melting face. They are the type of musicians that inspire by helping you see what's possible on their chosen instruments. Their chosen instruments are acoustic guitar and dobro and playing these instruments with precision are Trey Hensley and Rob Ickes. Trey flatpicks with speed, accuracy, and outstanding tone, not to mention his voice is one of those that is impossible to forget. Rob plays the dobro with a surgical exactness and an expressiveness that is off the charts. Together these two make phenomenal music that you absolutely must hear. 

http://www.robandtrey.com/

http://amzn.to/2BjaqVA - Country Blues

http://amzn.to/2BdzQUR - Before the Sun Goes Down

https://youtu.be/DpmvW85UD8E - Ballad of a Well Known Gun

Bozeman, Montana really seems to be an epicentre of luthiery and overall guitar geekery. I have featured local makers before on Acoustic Tuesday and they all build instruments, but Bozeman is also home to one of the best tuning machine manufacturers in the world... Waverly Tuners resides right here in the Gallatin Valley, and my oh my do they make some jaw-droppingly beautiful and extremely precise tuning machines. Waverly is known for high-end tuning machines built to last and designed to match the aesthetic of your guitar. You can choose a variety of styles of buttons for the tuners from plain chrome/steel all the way to black pearl and even ebony or snakewood if you want. Make sure to check out their offering on StewMac's website I am certain you will be amazed at the possibilities. 

http://www.stewmac.com/

http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Tuning_Machines/Solid_Peghead_Guitar_Tuning_Machines/?facet=%7cBRAND%3aWAVERLY

http://amzn.to/2C33xEE - Ivoroid Buttons

http://amzn.to/2C33Y1K - Classic Butterbean

To wrap up this wild ride of acoustic action we feature some of our very own #guitargeek family. Today you get to take a sneak peek at some guitarsenals from our very own Acoustic Tuesday viewers. It's always a treat to see what our fellow #guitargeeks have in their collections and this week is full of some great guitars. Make sure to watch the show to see the featured guitarsenals, and if you wish to participate it is super easy, it just takes 3 simple steps: 

Step 1: Wear your Guitarsenal shirt, if you don't have one just click the link below and pick your color and size. 

https://teespring.com/guitarsenal_polecastro

Step 2: Take a picture with your family. This means everybody... all your acoustic guitars and associated instruments and of course your spouse or siblings, as well as your furry guitar loving pets. 

Step 3: Send that picture to support@tonypolecastro.com with the subject line #guitarsenal.

Voila! Just like that, you will be featured in an upcoming episode of Acoustic Tuesday. 

There you have it, another Acoustic Tuesday has been gently tucked in so that sweet acoustic infused dreams can ensue. 

Make sure to sleep tight #guitargeeks and have dreams of ever-growing guitarsenals.

Cheers,
Tony

Feb 20, 2018
025 - Andy Powers Fires Back at Tony
38:20

Greetings guitarsenal wielding #guitargeek and welcome to the totally tubular Tuesday now known as Acoustic Tuesday!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Without any hesitation, let's knock out 5 items for your #guitargeek radar...

A classic #guitargeek problem... too many instruments and not enough space. Welcome to the world of the Hercules triple stand. This is a great stand that I have used on countless gigs. It holds three instruments and is adjustable to accommodate differing heights of various instruments. I have used this to hold my banjo, dobro, and guitar at a gig and it works fantastically. It has a weight activated instrument yoke to avoid missteps and accidents and is built like a tank. They don't name these things after a Greek God for nothing. If you are looking for something for your guitar den or a stage stand for a jam, this is one that should definitely be in the running. 

http://herculesstands.com/us/products/fretted-and-bowed-instrument/guitar/multiple-stands/gs432b/

http://amzn.to/2DdyPet

So it's official I received my second shipment from Tiptonic picks containing the actual fingernail picks. After getting my first shipment with the activator and sizing chart, I sized my fingernails with the included sizing chart and went forth with the order. They came in and I ripped open the box to find a nice circular shaped organizer, nail file, and comprehensive instructions. After trying them on and giving them a spin I would definitely say anyone who likes to pick with their fingernails would certainly benefit from them. There is some time involved with the sizing, but it is time well spent. Once you get a solid fit, activate the pick, and apply it; it really feels like part of your nail... and the best part they come off and can be put on again after another activation. I was skeptical that they would come off cleanly but lo and behold they did, and once I got used to the feel of them I really started to enjoy having the picks on. Quick note: the instructions that come with them are comprehensive so definitely read them before putting the picks on. 

https://www.tiptonic.com/

This week I have a sonic treat for you, presented in the form of what I'm listening to. This week I want to feature an artist that is really out fo this world... Antoine Dufour. Antoine is most certainly in the modern fingerstyle category and he is an outlier in my opinion. His playing is off the charts. From the innovative melodies to the unique percussive patterns he integrates, Antoine's repertoire is wide-ranging and extremely dynamic. His knack for creating memorable melodies is his strong suit and he follows that up with rhythmic rollercoasters. All in all, Antoine is someone you need to be aware of as he is very clearly pushing the boundaries of what a single acoustic guitar can do. 

https://www.antoinedufourmusic.com/

https://youtu.be/2Z1wa2wmFtM

http://amzn.to/2BYlLHz - Back & Forth

http://amzn.to/2Bc8zC5 - Convergences

American Music Furniture Cabinets

To see a fine specimen of an acoustic guitar in its natural guitar habitat is a thing of beauty... a rare sight, but when witnessed it is inspiring. American Music Furniture actually makes that very thing; A humidity-controlled guitar habitat. It not only safeguards your instruments from fluctuations in humidity, it also puts them on display in a very elegant way. The cabinets are made from solid hardwoods and can be custom built and tailored to your very own instrument collection. If you want to lock your instruments in place they offer the "neck-tie" system so your instruments will be nice and secure. Oh, and speaking of humidity, your guitar habitat can contain a humidifier or dehumidifier depending on your location. The slick thing about the humidifier area is that it is hidden yet easy to access so your instruments can be healthy and happy all the while maintaining a super clean aesthetic. These are a truly beautiful way to store your instruments for everyone to see and enjoy all the while keeping them safe and sound. 

http://americanmusicfurniture.com/

Back on Acoustic Tuesday Episode 23, I asked a very specific question to Andy Powers regarding Taylor's new V series bracing. I was confused and curious about the notion of bracing effecting the intonation of a guitar and was hoping to gain some clarity. So I asked Andy If he would send me a cell phone video explaining the impact. Well, I am happy to report that not only did he send a video, he also invited me out to the factory to discuss the racing in person. More details on the Acoustic Tuesday episode so be sure to check that out for all the juicy details of the Taylor V Series Saga. 

Yet another Acoustic Tuesday has been set up and knocked down all with your guitar geek help!!! I hope this week finds you strumming and smiling!!!

Until next week happy pickin'!!!

Cheers,
Tony

Feb 13, 2018
024 - Guitar Collections of 8 Guitar Geeks!
41:06

Happy Tuesday my proud guitar geek friend!

Welcome to another rousing rendition of Acoustic Tuesday sure to knock your socks off and send your flatpick flying.

 Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Sit down, pour yourself your favorite beverage, and soak up these 5 guitar geek items coming your way:

[ATTENTION] Those who like to pick with their fingernails... this one's for you. On a past episode of Acoustic Tuesday, a viewer left a comment about some fingernail picks that I should check out. So as any #guitargeek would I ordered some. I am talking about Tiptonic fingernail picks here and I have to say that my curiosity is sufficiently piqued. These are similar to acrylic nails without the harsh chemicals and the trip to a nail salon. Developed by musician and inventor Jack West for the picker that doesn't to commit to acrylic nails and who can't stand the feel of standard metal fingerpicks. So far half of my starter pack order came in and I am very excited to report next week on how they feel and work. 

https://www.tiptonic.com/product/tiptonic-starter-kit/

https://youtu.be/QQ2Gn-VK46U

This next item is an official Acoustic Tuesday round two. Way back on Acoustic Tuesday episode 3 I featured Caitlin Canty. Caitlin is a fantastic songwriter with an absolutely stellar voice whom I strongly recommend, and guess what?!? She has a new album coming out on March 30th. Her newest album Motel Bouquet is set to release early Spring and it sounds like it will be magnificent. Currently, she is doing a pre-order for the album through pledge music so if you want to make sure you don't miss this one be sure to check out her pledge music page and see what's available when you pre-order the album. From house concerts, guitars strings, and seeds from her very own garden it's all there. 

https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/caitlincanty

https://youtu.be/hhhEybSjBok

This week I am listening to a folk and bluegrass-infused group that has tight harmonies, superb songwriting, and a cast of characters that play their instruments expertly. Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys are just plain outstanding... I mean words cannot do justice to a group that can go from blues to old time to smokey jazz feeling songs in one fell swoop. This group has it all dobro, banjo, upright bass, mandolin, acoustic guitar, and a lead singer whose voice is captivating and nearly addicting. They have a few albums out and all of them will take you on a musical journey you will surely want to repeat. 

https://www.lindsayloumusic.com/

https://youtu.be/cFjByii_Q4g - Old Song

https://youtu.be/siDeIcGs3KY - River Jordan

http://amzn.to/2FSOH6W - Release Your Shrouds

http://amzn.to/2FWultq - Ionia

Pickguards are one of those guitar accessories that are easy to forget about. I mean you buy a guitar and they are just there doing their thing. They protect the top of your guitar and end up being a nice accent around the soundhole of the guitar. The pickguard is also an opportunity to aesthetically upgrade your guitar. Back when I first got my HD35 Martin was using those weird pixelated pickguards and I couldn't stand the look so I upgraded to a tor-tis pickguard. The tor-tis material closely imitates pre-war style pickguards and it happens to be very scratch and impact resistant so it makes for a great pickguard. I should also mention that the patterns and swirls that this material develops look absolutely scrumptious. If you want old school firestripe they have it, old style 30's swirl pattern it's available, and they are all made at LMII. Be sure to check these out if you are looking to upgrade your guitar's pickguard or if you happen to be building your own guitar. 

(Quick disclaimer: most manufacturers are using very nice looking and well-made pickguards currently so an upgrade may not be necessary. Also, if you are planning on swapping out your pickguard make sure to contact a luthier before starting to be sure your method is safe and won't harm your guitar) 

https://www.guitargal.com/collections/pickguards?view=all

http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-not-wood/pickguard-material/tor-tis-pickguards

This Acoustic Tuesday we celebrate the all mighty guitarsenal... in fact, we celebrate 8 guitarsenals. Eight of our very own Acoustic Tuesday #guitargeeks shared their very own guitar collections with us. They donned the official guitar geek uniform (the guitarsenal T-shirt) and took a picture with their guitarsenal. Make sure to check out the video to see some really outstanding guitar collections and meet some of your fellow guitar geeks. Oh, make sure not to forget to send pictures of your very own guitarsenal in. All you have to do is where the shirt, take the picture, email it to support@tonypolecastro.com and you could be featured in an upcoming Acoustic Tuesday episode. 

https://teespring.com/guitarsenal_polecastro

That's another Acoustic filled Tuesday in the books. Have a fantastic week and be sure to share The Acoustic Tuesday show with your guitar geek friends. 

Cheers,
Tony

Feb 06, 2018
023 - Acoustic Guitar History Made!
50:37

Welcome to another Tuesday which so happens to be gracefully infused with maximum acoustic guitar geekiness!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Here are your 5 guitar geek items for the week:

Acoustic guitars and large pedalboards don't necessarily have the same relationship as peanut butter and jelly, but the company LR Baggs is on course to change that. LR Baggs is currently in the process of releasing their Align Series Acoustic Pedal Suite and these things looks, well... sweet. Between their size, their aesthetic, and their overall functionality I cannot wait to get my hands on these and give them a proper test drive. In the Align Series, there is an Active DI, an Equalizer, a Reverb, and what looks to be a compressor. These should be hitting stores soon so be on the lookout and be sure to give them a try. 

https://youtu.be/h9ta-t-Bt0o

https://www.lrbaggs.com/align-series-acoustic-pedal-suite

Purchasing a vintage guitar can be a scary experience, especially if you aren't able to give the instrument a full once-over in person. There can be so much hidden and downright scary things lying under the top, which is why it's nice to have a store with a great reputation and a specialty in vintage instruments. Lowe Vintage Instrument company in Burlington, NC is one of those very stores. They have fine examples of some seriously iconic vintage instruments and it just so happens that vintage is their wheelhouse. From Gibson to Martin, Flattops to banjos to mandolins, both Ed and Will Lowe have done a fantastic job in curating a brilliant collection to peruse. A mention must also be made of the videos that they put out showing off these instruments being played by some of the finest. 

https://youtu.be/vBrca-Ww_8c - PreWar Guitar Co played by Presley Barker

https://lowevintage.com/

I love it when Youtube blackholes prove fruitful. About 11 years ago when I was first getting into the dobro I discovered something that is about as #guitargeek as you can get, and that happens to be exactly what I am listening to this week. Long ago I stumbled on this song called "The Blackest Crow." It was being performed by Bruce Molsky and Julie Fowlis, both incredible artists in their own right, but that song led me to discover so much more. I soon learned that that performance was part of a much larger musical undertaking called the transatlantic sessions. Think of it like this, Marvel and DC (you know the comics) combine forces and all of the superheroes are on the same side... well that is exactly what the Transatlantic Sessions are for the acoustic world. Some of the top acoustic musicians in the world gather together to play one another's songs and my-oh-my are the results truly stupendous. Not only is this a treat to listen to, but you can actually watch it as well, which is what I recommend. 

https://youtu.be/d6jh1vqNvMs - The blackest Crow

https://youtu.be/lwllcWC_FL4 - St. Anne's Reel

http://amzn.to/2DeI6SH - Series 1 DVD

http://amzn.to/2Djg0Ka - Series 2 DVD

http://amzn.to/2DmiNCo - Series 3 DVD

http://amzn.to/2rhPzic - Series 4 DVD

http://amzn.to/2DfxKSu - Series 5 DVD

http://amzn.to/2DkXbpU - Series 6 DVD

Taylor takes a huge leap in the history of the acoustic guitar with a complete revamp of the X bracing design. X bracing has been the gold standard for some time in the world of flattop steel string guitars and then along comes Andy Powers to shake things up in a major way. Just last week Taylor announced their new V bracing design, which essentially has two long braces running parallel to the guitar neck and then some additional support provided via tone bars running off of those longer braces. Essentially this new design will make the top more rigid which will add to the responsiveness and projection, all the while allowing the top to vibrate a bit more freely which will contribute to stronger single notes as well as an overall volume increase. I must say a huge tip of the hat to Andy Powers, Bob Taylor, and the entire Taylor crew for pushing the boundaries and contributing to the evolution of the steel string acoustic guitar. 

https://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/acoustic/v-class-bracing/story

https://youtu.be/Ys_tScJ9NXw

https://youtu.be/GkX-lzzG-GA

https://youtu.be/_lrNq5Qktmk

https://youtu.be/gj8M-wF3ZPQ

Matt is back! The #Askmatt segment is back in full force and this week our bearded guitar brother Matt Chulka is back discussing a hot topic among acoustic guitar geeks... Torrefaction - The act of "roasting" tonewood at low temperatures to impart a more woody/earthy tonal profile. So is a torrefied top better than one that hasn't been torrefied? This week Matt gets asked that very question so be sure watch the show and see what his thoughts are on this hot-button issue. 

May this Acoustic Tuesday bring a smile to your face and your ears as well!

Have a fantastic week!

Cheers,
Tony

Jan 30, 2018
022 - Acoustic Guitar Magazine + Billy Strings, & a Luthier
35:46

Welcome to another installment of Acoustic Tuesday #guitargeek friends.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Today's #guitar geek list is chock full of great stuff as well as a surprise or two so without any hesitation let's cut the ribbon on a new week full of #guitargeek...


Starting with a soft breeze.... let's drift right into some accessories. A few episodes ago I featured Josh Turner's recipe for Nick Drake's tone and he had a very cool armrest on his guitar and someone asked about it... so I did some research. Lo, and behold I found a company whose strings I enjoy and who makes some stellar acoustic accessories. John Pearse also known as Breezy Ridge Instruments has some fabulous accessories to offer from straps to strings and picks to... you guessed it... beautiful armrests. Although the website isn't cutting edge they have some really outstanding things to check out. I would definitely look at their armrests as well as their bridge pin offerings, but along with that be sure to check out fast turtle picks. These picks are nice and beefy and have a comfy dimple for your thumb to rest in. They give you great tone and are very natural feeling... definitely a tonal experiment waiting to happen.

http://www.jpstrings.com/armrest.htm

http://www.jpstrings.com/brbpins.htm

http://www.jpstrings.com/brpicks.htm

A guitar maker that has my jaw on the floor... literally drool and all. As a guitar geek, I feel like there are so many amazing guitar makers right now... it's like we are in the midst of a guitar building renaissance. Preston Thompson, out of Sisters, Oregon is building some absolutely beautiful golden era style instruments. I'm talking hand-fit dovetail neck joint... hand carved bracing... hand graduated tops... Adirondack tops... the list goes on. After surfing the site I am officially convinced these are immaculate instruments with a tone akin to the hammer of Thor and the precision of Poseidon's trident. So then I find samples... goodness gracious me oh my... Jake Workman, Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle play these fine six strings... truth be told I spent a good two hours on the site and am smitten with these handbuilt gems. So as a guitar geek I feel obligated to urge you to do the same. 

http://pktguitars.com/

https://youtu.be/OkdGym1uTvw

https://youtu.be/QxuLnoL5I1Y

Bluegrass is a musical genre steeped in tradition. This is one of the things that is so endearing about it and its overall musical form. People get together to jam and share ideas on this music that has lasted generation after generation, but every now and then someone comes along and shakes up the tradition... you know... stands out in a major way. Billy Strings happens to be one of those players. His flatpicking prowess is unreal. His knowledge of the musical genre is vast, and he is one of those young players that will forge new paths in the world of bluegrass all the while having the utmost reverence for tradition. Billy Strings is someone you need to hear. 

http://amzn.to/2BpGBTQ

https://youtu.be/Y3-728niBW8

https://www.billystrings.com/

I am always on the lookout for new magazines... but I am a little wary because it seems like so many are a bit advertisement heavy. No judgment of course, ads are a magazine's lifeline... I just like a good guitar magazine that has awesome content and the ads are fun and informative. I happened to find a magazine that does just that... Acoustic Magazine from the UK. This magazine is full to the brim with great album reviews, awesome gear features, and some really solid instruction. If you are a magazine fan this is one to put on your list for certain!!! You will have to convert the price from pounds, but I will say that it is a very exciting day when this publication gets delivered. 

http://www.acousticmagazine.com/


During Acoustic Tuesdays it is often requested to see Levi or Noah play some music. Since Levi is a stellar drummer and Noah plays the bass and sings like an angel (a really tough angel) I thought I would share with you some of their music. Their band Golden Grenade performed on the award-winning Montana PBS show 11th & Grant with Eric Funk and it is officially out for the world to enjoy. So sit back,  let your eyes be delighted, and get your ears ready to smile because these guys just plain rock. Keep up the awesome work fellas!!!

http://watch.montanapbs.org/video/3008447441/ 

Jan 23, 2018
021 - Reverb's Surprising NEW Offering
38:24

Welcome to the wondrous day known world-wide as Acoustic Tuesday. 

Of course with Acoustic Tuesday comes 5 Guitar Geek-centric items that are displayed in a list for you to peruse and research at your leisure.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Here goes nothin'...

One of my favorite guitars in my #guitarsenal is my 1935 Martin 0-17... It is beautifully worn, plays like a dream, and to my ears sounds like angels singing, but to say I think twice about taking it to a bar gig is an understatement. So in a past episode of Acoustic Tuesday (AT#10) I checked out the Pre-War guitar company and these guys rock plain and simple... but I thought they were the only company currently doing the vintage/distressed thing... then I found Atkin Guitars in England. This company is doing some seriously fantastic work and anyone that's' in the market for a "newly made" vintage guitar Atkin Guitars should be in the running. This company makes some incredible looking and sounding "new" vintage guitars. They can distress, antique, and even make the guitar smell old (if that's your thing). The model that has caught my attention form these guys is their "white rice dreadnought." This model features an enlarged soundhole and the warmth and woodiness of Tony Rice/Clarence White's iconic D28, and damn if it doesn't look the part as well.

http://atkinguitars.com/ - Main Page

http://atkinguitars.com/shop-item/white-rice-relic-2/ - White Rice Model Page

https://youtu.be/8vVb-52w1iI - White Rice Prototype Vid

https://youtu.be/MEp_LTOglpM - White Rice Demo

https://youtu.be/OCM7GsqYD0E - Model Explanation

LP's, 33's, Vinyl, Albums... whatever you call these wonderful black circles of bliss... they are, in my opinion, the absolute best way to consume music. Don't get me wrong, I think streaming services are great, but when you can lay the needle down on a spinning plate of musical wonder you are transported to another dimension. I'm saying this because when you find a killer record store it's like you have found the gates to that musical wonderland... and I happened to find one... online... and you need to know about it. ReverbLP... yep same company (Chicago Music Exchange) that runs Reverb for instruments now has an online record store for everyone to buy and sell records (and cds if that's your thing). I have found some gems on there. To say that I have gone on a digital shopping spree is a total understatement. Set aside a night to pour a glass of something nice and get lost in the virtual record bins that ReverbLP provides. 

https://lp.reverb.com/

This week I wanted to really dig deep in terms of what I'm listening to, and have I got a treat for you. I wanted to pay tribute to an artist that is largely responsible for getting me hooked on fingerstyle guitar. This is an artist who placed in the Walnut Valley National Fingerstyle Guitar Contest 4 times (First place in 1984, Second place in 1992, and Third Place in both 1986 and 1983). This artist I am referring to is none other than Eric Lugosch. Eric is an inspirational player, a phenomenal teacher, and incredible arranger. His albums are a treat to listen to and he has a knack for pulling beautiful tone out of his Ryan guitar. Make sure to give him a listen you will not be disappointed at all.

https://youtu.be/_6PLoyJepEM

http://ericlugosch.com/

http://www.ericlugosch.com/lessonhome.html

http://www.ericlugosch.com/recordings.html

http://amzn.to/2FjYVNi - Making Models

http://amzn.to/2DbutnR - Black Key Blues

http://amzn.to/2CXA43G - New Tradition

Here's the scenario: you've learned some songs with your #guitargeek friends. You're thinking of playing your very first open mic, show, or maybe even you booked a show at a local pub... but what on earth do you call yourselves??? Creating a band name is incredibly difficult and their seems to be a very secret high level science behind it... enter the band name generator. This convenient website does all the calculating for you, no complicated equations, no band arguments... just pure band naming nirvana (see what I did there :-) ). Make sure to check it out, but beware it can be mildly addictive. 

https://www.bandnamemaker.com/

What are you doing on January 22nd?

Your answer should be something along the lines of "starting 10 days of acoustic guitar bliss", and doing the most important exercise of your #acousticlife. 

How do you get this important exercise? How do you participate in the 10 Day play Every Day challenge?? How do you stay in the loop for some incredibly important announcements???

Make sure to v

Jan 16, 2018
020 - Ryan Guitars & Colter Wall = STUNNING
35:06

May this Acoustic Tuesday find you feeling fantastic, joyous, and downright ready to get your full #guitargeek on. 

This week brings another 5 guitar geek items to your attention. So without any further hesitation, we shall journey into the hallowed halls of the #guitargeek lair.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

A personal wardrobe makeover designed just for the #guitargeek. So often during Acoustic Tuesday the feeling of guitar geeks uniting runs rampant, but after the show what do you do (besides sharing the show of course) to further promote living the #acousticlife? Well, you find a shirt that proclaims your full-blown guitar geekiness... which is why I hope you will consider fancying yourself a genuine, 100% original, guitarsenal shirt. What's a guitarsenal you ask? The shirt proclaims the definition of guitarsenal loud and clear and let's just say it happens to mention the word guitar geek. So be sure to check them out and proudly flaunt your extremely high level of acoustic nerdliness.

https://teespring.com/guitarsenal_polecastro

Do you ever feel like you have run into a guitar snob? It can be pretty scary. In fact, I would tend to believe it is a guitar geek's biggest fear. You know, that one person that seems to know it all or at least act like they do. The type that can make you feel like you don't belong. If you happen to ever need a guide to figure out what type of guitar snob you are dealing with, last week I released a video that shares the top ten types of guitar snobs, and I think you will be very surprised what they all have in common. Not only will their shared trait be a shock, but I also share a wonderful way to deal with them. So be sure to watch, you won't want to miss this one.

https://youtu.be/lc2SWI2oD_E

This week I am listening to an artist who I had never heard of, and I have to thank Acoustic Tuesday viewer Andrew D. for introducing me to the mesmerizing Colter Wall. Both of his albums (Self Titled and Imaginary Appalachia) are absolutely hypnotizing. From his playing, the dynamics, instrumentation, arrangement, and the songwriting his Self Titled album is a masterpiece. Oh and one more thing... the voice... to try and describe it would be futile, but what the hell... It's like George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, amongst others are being channeled through Colter. Don't misinterpret though... he isn't copying, Colter is all his own and his unique vocal stylings shine on songs that are written by a master's pen.

http://colterwall.com/

https://youtu.be/qSYkikkitS0

http://amzn.to/2C8UlQc - Self Titled

http://amzn.to/2A2i6aK - Imaginary Appalachia

What are you doing from January 22nd through February 2nd? I'm guessing you're participating in 10 days of rut-busting, technique building, guitar bliss... right?

Ok here's the scoop, I want all you guitar geeks to participate in the upcoming 10 Day Play Everyday Live Guitar Challenge. This is where I teach a new lesson each weekday for ten days starting on January 22nd and ending on February 2nd. All of us guitar geeks gather to learn, share, celebrate small wins, and participate in an exercise that will literally change your life. I'm not kidding. It will truly change your life for the better. Make sure you don't miss it. Make sure you're on the list so you get the announcement...

www.tonypolecastro.com/get-acoustic-tuesday 

I heard a Kevin Ryan guitar in person once and it was cemented in my brain as the most complete, rich, articulate, and sonically pleasing guitar I had ever heard. Each note seemed to drip with the richest tone, as if covered in tonal honey. It projected with laser-like precision and the notes were so carefully separated like a finely cut pie... Phew... is it hot in here? Seriously Ryan guitars are some of the most incredible small bench guitars being made today and they happen to be celebrating their 30th anniversary! So from all of us guitar geeks here at Acoustic Tuesday, Happy 30th anniversary Ryan guitars! Those 30 years were well spent too... the amount of innovations that they have introduced to the world of luthiery is staggering (they have a whole page dedicated to their advancements on their site and it is worth a look)... seriously you must check it out. 

https://ryanguitars.com/

https://ryanguitars.com/design-innovations/

https://youtu.be/od8PDpZ13sU

https://youtu.be/3NMaOijLoeM

https://youtu.be/uCayFsenXpg

Yet another Acoustic Tuesday is in the books so I bid you adieu fellow guitar geek and can't wait to see you on that 10 day play every day challenge for the most fun you will have with your guitar all year. 

Cheers,
Tony

Jan 09, 2018
019 - Romero Banjos, Blue Chip Picks and a Massage!
37:27

The numero uno primo Acoustic Tuesday of 2018 is here! Happy New Year to you #guitargeek. What better way is there to kick off 2018 than to jump into 5 Guitar Geek items...

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Mirror, mirror on the wall... or uhhh in your hand. There are some things that can be a lifesaver, and it may seem a bit vain to include a mirror in that category, but a mirror can save you from making a huge mistake. I am not talking about a hair that is a bit out of place here... Including a guitar inspection mirror is something that every #guitargeek should consider adding to their toolbox as it can be a fantastic negotiating tool. I know this seems weird but hang in there with me. Whenever you buy or consider purchasing a used guitar having a mirror on hand specifically made for guitar inspection is a lifesaver. You can look inside to check for repairs that may have been done, cracked or loose braces, and even inspect the bridge plate for overall health. Who knows what problems are lurking under the top of a used guitar... well you will know for sure with a guitar inspection mirror. 

 http://amzn.to/2BC3bpW - Inspection Mirror

Banjos can really be a thing of beauty... truly I mean it, they can be beautiful both in sound and in aesthetic. Banjos are seemingly simple creations. A round rim, a tone ring, a neck, fretboard, tuners, and strings. That's it right? Not for Jason and Pharis Romero of Romero Banjos located in Horsefly, British Columbia. Jason handles the banjo making, Pharis does the inlay/design, and together they create some of the most eye appealing, heart-stopping, and beautiful sounding banjos. Form there design innovations to the materials that they procure these banjos are one of a kind and a must-see for any acoustic aficionado.

But wait... #AcousticTuesday is for #guitargeeks only right!?!

Absolutely, #guitargeeks eat your heart out because Jason and Pharis still fit the bill. They make some absolutely beautiful resonator guitars. They use some of the same beautiful design elements of their banjos in their biscuit style resonator guitars. Upon continued research, and of course wanting to hear them, none other than honorary TAC family member, Tony Furtado, did a handful of audio demos located on their site. These resos have tons of character both in the sonic and visual space. 

https://youtu.be/aKVJ08joH1w

http://www.romerobanjos.com/

http://www.romerobanjos.com/guitars/

http://www.romerobanjos.com/about/

All this talk of banjos leads me to what I'm listening to this week and it's none other than... well... Jason and Pharis Romero. Yes, not only do these two combine forces to make amazing instruments they join together to create gorgeous music. If you dig harmonies, simple yet beautiful arrangements, fine picking, and the kind of music you can just get lost in these two are for you. One of my favorite tunes is the "Ballad of Old Bill" as it shows off their storytelling as well as their vocal and instrumental prowess. Their album, " A Wanderer I'll Stay" is chocked full of acoustic awesomeness to make your ears smile and your heart full. 

https://youtu.be/U3s8lNCkVgM

http://www.pharisandjason.com/

http://amzn.to/2DgtLVp

There are so many specialty picks out there it is hard to sample them all, but there is one that I have used that made a serious impact on me. Blue Chip picks, made in Knoxville, TN are truly an artisan flatpick that have a stellar lifespan (as long as you don't lose them). These picks are made from a highly specialized proprietary composite material that is not only very heat and wear resistant, it also is self-lubricating which means the pick releases the strings very quickly. These picks have a fantastic impact on the tone and they definitely eliminate some of the drag that you can experience when Flatpicking. Certainly, a geek item that is a must try. 

http://www.bluechippick.net/

Hand cramps and pain are things synonymous with extended practice sessions, barre chords, and holding too much tension while playing. So often I find myself trying to smash the "meat" of my thumb just to relieve a little bit of the pressure and strain that builds up. When I was teaching lessons in person one of my students was a massage therapist and she recommended this little wooden ball with a smiley face on it... I tried it and my life changed forever... no joke. This little wooden tool by the happy massage company aptly named the happy massager made my hand muscles relaxed and took away the strain I was experiencing. If you find yourself with had pain trying to find a way to massage it away definitely check out the happy massager, it is a definite guitar geek aid. 

http://amzn.to/2DjVGnn

Alrighty, that wraps up the very first Acoustic Tuesday of 2018! Welcome to the New Year and may this year be the first year you experience a fully infused #acousticlife. 

Don't forget to share Acoustic Tuesday with your #guitargeek friends and let's make it our goal this year to unite as many guitar geeks as possible!

Cheers,
Tony

Jan 02, 2018
018 - Tony's New Guitar, Jill Andrews & How to Create Nick Drake's Sound
42:59

Cheers on this magical morn of acoustic wonderment! Happy Acoustic Tuesday fellow guitar geek, let me be the first to tell you that this Acoustic Tuesday is the last of it's kind...

Sorry, I don't mean to scare you, but it's officially the last Acoustic Tuesday of 2017 and my oh my will we send off this year with a #guitargeek salute!

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

I have another 5 items for you to place on your #guitargeek radar, so here goes nothin'

A vintage tone master that gives you the recipe for one of the most signature acoustic guitar tones of all time... Nick Drake. Guitarist, Josh Turner has distilled the secrets of Nick Drake's infamous acoustic guitar tone, and he gets down to the nitty-gritty. I'm talking an in-depth study of what makes up Nick Drake's unique sonic fingerprint. I also want to point out that Josh Turner is a fantastic player who communicates in "guitargeekese"... you know, the official language of guitar geeks. 

https://youtu.be/EzdQE3fJW2E

Some tips to break the sound of silence... Playing guitar and singing at the same time is a seemingly easy task, but I know once I tried it, I found out that this was no easy feat. There were a plethora of problems I experienced when trying to do the guitar version of patting my head while rubbing my stomach. So last week I released a video that gave a 3 step process showing how to break down any song and use a system to play and sing it in no time. This is one that will bring some serious enjoyment to your playing, even if you just want to give it a spin and see how it goes. 

https://youtu.be/ttSjXUlsuxA

This week I went down a bit of a musical rabbit hole and discovered something rather unexpected. I started listening to Jill Andrews at the recommendation of a friend and discovered an absolute treasure trove of great music. The album I am currently hooked on is her album The Mirror which was released in 2011. My favorite tune off of that album is called "A Little Less"

http://amzn.to/2BimTKp - The Mirror

https://youtu.be/bIIQxQhUvGc - A little less w/ Josh Olliver

http://jillandrews.com/

But there's more...

Upon searching I found she is on the cusp of releasing a new acoustic duo album with John Groenwald. This new project will tour under the name Hush Kids and you can actually get a sneak peak of their new stuff and even pre-order the album on their pledge music campaign.

https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/hushkids

Another Beard on Acoustic Tuesday? Is there even room?

The answer is yes... Beard Guitars that is. Located in Hagerstown, MD Paul Beard and his small crew are making some absolutely stunning resonator guitars. Both round neck and squareneck instruments are coming out of this shop and they sound absolutely magical. Their attention to detail and function is unmatched and the quality of their setup is absolutely ridiculous. I know this first hand as I just ordered a guitar from them (a custom Belle Beard Squareneck) and it is truly magnificent. It rings like a bell and sustains for days (cue Spinal Tap reference). Seriously these instruments are the real deal and if you have any interest in resos specifically wood bodied spider cone style resos you need to be acquainted with this fine group of artisans on the East Coast. 

http://www.beardguitars.com/

http://www.resophonicoutfitters.com/

https://youtu.be/n6lsvg1l_VU

https://youtu.be/CHYvk6VZFUY


Alright it's official, that is the last Acoustic Tuesday for 2017 thank you for an awesome year and I can't wait to share with you what 2018 will have in store...

Let's just put it this way...

Guitar Geeks will continue to unite in a major way

Cheers,
Tony

Dec 26, 2017
017 - Clapton, 50 Years of Larrivee & More!
36:00

The sun comes up on yet another illuminating Acoustic Tuesday. This Acoustic Tuesday is ablaze with acousticness and sees guitar geeks continuing to unite. 

Acoustic Tuesday tradition continues with another list of 5 #guitargeek finds for your #acousticlife... here come the waves of acoustic awesomeness.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Where did you place your drink? Whether you are playing a coffee house, an open mic, practicing with your PA at home, or just not wanting to spill your drink K&M stands has a fantastic solution. The mic stand drink holder... it's true these exist, and they offer incredible peace of mind. No more drops of beer on your pedalboard, no more accidental spills on your shoes, and most importantly no longer is your gear subject to spills from that stray chord, foot, or cat running through the room. This is a convenient little drink holder that screws directly to your mic stand elevating your beverage and keeping it out of harm's way, but just within arm's reach. Stay hydrated guitar geeks!

http://amzn.to/2By9fPP

Love is in the air and anniversary bells are ringing. As a #guitargeek it is imperative to celebrate major milestones when they happen in our tight-knit acoustic community, so... Happy 50th Anniversary to Larrivee guitars!!! I must say Larrivee guitars have always impressed in terms of consistency in tone and the outstanding quality of the raw materials that they procure and use. I had an L-03R once (it's a long story how that one escaped my grasp), and I absolutely adored the tone that came out of that instrument. Often times Larrivee flies under the radar, especially with some of the bigger manufacturers hogging the spotlight, but in no way shape or form Jean and his crew be unknown. These people make beautiful sounding and looking guitars, and as a #guitargeek they definitely need to be on your radar. 

https://www.larrivee.com/

https://www.larrivee.com/videos

https://youtu.be/aqBd_CJdxRo

This week I veer a bit into the country realm... keep reading even if you swear you don't like country music... Holly Williams (Hank Jr's daughter, and Hank Sr's granddaughter) Is someone you need to know... rather, Holly Williams is someone you need to listen to. Her writing is deep, her voice expresses the lyrics with conviction, and the timbre of her voice is in a class all it's own. I am a huge fan of her albums, but the two that stick out the most are "Here With Me" as well as her most recent release "The Highway." There are moments of the full band, but they are few, and truly the acoustic guitar shines through on the majority of the tracks. 

https://youtu.be/Yko39qfdNfE

http://amzn.to/2z61Vfp - The Highway

http://amzn.to/2C8KPgf - Here With Me

To say that MTV unplugged saved the acoustic guitar in the late 80's and early 90's is a gross understatement... that show is single-handedly responsible for reviving the pulse of the acoustic guitar when it seemed like all hope was gone. Many artists played the unplugged show, but there is one in particular that is the focus of a new documentary premiering on February 10, 2018 on Showtime... Eric Clapton. This documentary chronicles his life, his struggles, and ultimately the love of music that keeps him hanging on. An absolute must watch for any #guitargeek

https://youtu.be/nrAvDFmE9i4

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-revealing-trailer-for-eric-clapton-life-in-12-bars-w502050

Since the holiday season is upon us in a major way I thought the timing was right... The timing for a video dedicated on convincing your spouse that you need another guitar. But first let's be honest, these tactics can be used any time of year... it's true for all ten tactics I share in the video. If for any reason those 10 don't work I even throw in a bonus for you. It's your lucky day #guitargeek, that new guitar is just around the corner, make sure to watch and take notes.

https://youtu.be/rMVozFW-NRs

Jolliest of Acoustic Tuesdays to you #guitargeek and be sure to wake up everyday prepared to live your best #acousticlife.

Cheers,
Tony

Dec 19, 2017
016 - Bearded Guitar Geek Take-Over
37:04

Hello fellow #guitargeek, and welcome to yet another installment of weekly Acoustic Guitar wonder known as Acoustic Tuesday.

I have 5 acoustic guitar geek items for you learn about this week so off we go down the yellow brick road to the Acoustic Land of Oz....

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Up first, an update to your guitar den. As a #guitargeek it is a must to have the obligatory guitar den.  A place where you can escape the noise of the day to day and make some music. Just you and the four walls. Hopefully, those walls aren't bare though... that would be uninspiring. After checking out Martin's merchandise shop, I found some things that would look just plain cool hanging up in a guitar den. Martin has recreated two of their older print ads on vintage tin sign material and they look really really awesome... They have also thrown a license plate into the mix. These would be at home in any guitar den and the beauty is when your friends come over they won't rip like a poster. Make sure to check out these stellar #guitargeek signs.

https://www.martinguitar.com/1833-shop/vintagenostalgic-metal-sign-(piece-by-piece)/c-24/p-712

https://www.martinguitar.com/1833-shop/vintage-metal-sign-still-handmade/c-24/p-711

https://www.martinguitar.com/1833-shop/new-martin-still-handmade-license-plate-(black-with-white-logo)/c-24/p-1007

https://www.martinguitar.com/1833-shop/new-martin-still-handmade-license-plate-(white-with-black-logo)/c-24/p-1006

The book, Still Inside: The Tony Rice Story is an inside look at an acoustic guitar great. http://www.tonyricestory.com/written by Tim Stafford and Caroline Wright. I bought this book a while ago and thought, "How cool, I finally get to learn more about one of my guitar heroes..." And then I read it and I realized it was so much more. This book is not only a first-hand account of Tony's life (with segments written by himself), but it also has interviews and statements from some of the leading bluegrass players that are Tony's friends as well. All in all this book is an insight into Tony's life and how it parallels the history of bluegrass music in general. An amazing compendium of bluegrass history using Tony's experiences as the map. 

Still Inside - The Tony Rice Story http://www.tonyricestory.com/


This week I am visiting the well of American Primitive Guitar, and I pretty much just fell straight in. A quick thank you to my friend Simone M. for introducing me to Daniel Bachman because this last week I was immersed in Daniel Bachman's catalog. He is certainly the next wave of American Primitive guitar and he brings his own style to the genre. His picking is precise and intentional, and he does this thing... I can't really describe it, but his right hand is a machine and his compositions are memorable as well as thought-provoking. The album that has me hooked this week is called River, it's not his newest release, it just happens to be the one that I am really digging into. 

https://youtu.be/Wn1rDNKWrLU

http://amzn.to/2jyQ8x2

http://danielbachman.com/

A special correspondent exclusively for Acoustic Tuesday? Yes! it's true! Matt Chulka from Eddie's Guitars in St. Louis, MO is here to guitar answer your geek fueled questions. In this first installment of the "Ask Matt" segment, Matt addresses the question of how to choose guitar body size when designing a custom guitar.

Is your guitar too dry??? Let me share with you five ways to tell without any tools... not even a hygrometer. 

Tip #1 - Fret ends poking out - If your guitar is thirsty the fretboard my shrink ever so slightly causing the fret ends to poke out ever so slightly. Your fretting hand will notice this immediately

Tip #2 - Buzzing Notes - If you are experiencing a buzz that is of the mechanical nature (meaning not caused by the technique) then your guitar might be too dry. When your guitar drys out the top lowers ever so slightly causing the strings to be a bit closer to the fretboard. 

Tip #3 - Weird Rattles - When the guitar starts to dry out the wood can shrink on the headstock causing the tuner bushings (metal rings around the tuners). to rattle.

Tip #4 - Raised hard grain lines - When your six-string friend is parched one of the tell-tale signs are that the ridges of the hard grain lines becoming very apparent. I mean you can feel them and if you hold it in the light you can likely see them as well. 

Tip #5 - The dreaded crack - Most likely on the center seem, but it can appear other places as well. If your guitar is too dry it will result in a crack so be sure to humidify appropriately. 

I hope this Acoustic Tuesday was an enlightening one and one that helps you live your best #acousticlife

Cheers,
Tony

Dec 12, 2017
015 - Luthier's Edge and a Stunning Power Trio
48:35

Good glorious morning my fellow guitar geek!

Another round of Acoustic Tuesday is coming in hot and man oh man have I got some awesome finds this week. As with every Acoustic Tuesday, today's list is full of guitar geek finds that will spark your curiosity and fuel your #guitargeek fire.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Here goes nothing:

An online school helping budding luthiers along on their guitar building journey. Art of Lutherie/Luthier's Edge run by Tom Bills is a paid online resource for you guitar geeks that wish to up your guitar building game. From video courses discussing fretwork, binding, guitar physics, and even how to make jigs, all the way to e-books and photo tutorials on fanned fret guitars, purfling, how to make side sound ports, and so much more. For any armchair luthier or repairman, this seems like an awesome resource. No more buying parts and materials and waiting for that magic moment. You can get instruction right in the comfort of your home or wood shop. 

http://theartoflutherie.com/my-membership-options-page/

https://vimeo.com/127886829

Travel guitars always excite me and a while ago I had a chance to review a very interesting and up and coming guitar that qualifies as one hell of a travel companion. For anyone that happens to travel in less than desirable conditions, loves the outdoors, or just wants a guitar to bring on their travels that you don't have to worry about Klos guitars has the solution. This tiny carbon fiber travel guitar packs a wonderful punch and is extremely resilient. You can throw anything at this instrument and it'll keep on performing. Not only is it strong and tiny, it's also extremely convenient to pack. You can disassemble it, use the bag, or just the neck sleeve if you happen to toss it in your backpack. Oh and one more thing... they are currently developing a ukulele with the same technology... I cannot wait to see that little carbon fiber wonder. 

https://www.klosguitars.com/

https://www.klosguitars.com/ukulele

https://youtu.be/8lm7Q4K77qI

This week I happen to be listening to another acoustic trio. The I'm With Her trio is one that is serious ear candy. With the likes of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O'Donovan once you hear one song you won't be able to stop listening. The harmonies are rich and lush, the instrumentation precise, and the overall vibe of their performances is inspirational, to say the least. If you are looking for some outstanding players, beautiful vocals alone and together, as well as dynamic song offerings you must check out these ladies. They have a new album, "See You Around," coming out on February 16, 2018, and they happen to be touring from January through May of 2018... do not miss them. 

https://www.imwithherband.com/

https://youtu.be/BTDUDRIEifQ


For the solo artist and beyond... So you've decided that you would like to plug in your acoustic guitar, try out singing through a microphone, and you have a goal of playing an open mic or a show... this is outstanding. But you need a PA system of sorts... an amp is too small for what you need... so what to do? PA systems can be confusing and hard to assemble even for someone with experience so I want to bring to your attention the Bose L1 Compact. This wonderful PA system is easy to assemble, sounds great, is perfect for the solo artist and can even be more flexible than just one input. This is the smallest of the Bose L1 systems but by no means is it lacking. It sounds great, is easy to transport, and can be set up in less than a minute. 

https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/speakers/portable_pa_speakers/l1-compact-system.html

http://amzn.to/2k9aLDS

As a vinyl record lover, I feel the need to shed some light on a local record shop that I found truly amazing in its selection, shop knowledge, and overall cool factor. The Record Exchange in Boise, ID is full of amazing vinyl and has big-time wow factor... I mean it is located in a building called the Hitchcock building and it has birds painted on it... lots of birds. I happened to have visited this shop two times so far and each time was completely blown away and happened to score some killer records. If you are looking for something odd, something new, something borrowed, something blue, or even a rarity make sure to stop by the Record Exchange, give them a call, or check their website... there are many sonic treasures to be found. 

http://www.therecordexchange.com/

Thus concludes the 15th round of Acoustic Tuesday. Be sure to fly your #guitargeek flag and enjoy every moment you get to strum the strings of the most magical instrument in the world... the acoustic guitar. 


Cheers,
Tony

Dec 05, 2017
014 - Petros Guitars & The New Acoustic Documentary!
41:31

Today's list of acoustic awareness covers movies, guitar makers, humidification and even a super strong mutant pinky. So without hesitation lets jump in.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

First up is a guitar maker that hails from the land of cheese and cold midwestern winters. Petros guitars are lovingly built by Bruce and Matt Petros out of Kaukauna, WI and my goodness are they gorgeous. The first and only Petros guitar that I had ever played was owned by a co-worker of mine named Dale Petrsohn. I played Dale's fingerstyle model Petros guitar back in 2004 and it made a lasting impression. These guitars have a rich voice, are voiced to sing like an angel, and sustain for days. As an added bonus the Petros site features a shop where you can purchase some beautiful Celtic infused accessories like bridge pins, tuner buttons, inlay material, and the Petros' made purflex (a truly genius design for purfling).  

http://petrosguitars.com/

https://petrosguitarshop.com/collections/all

http://purflex.net/Purflex/Welcome.html

https://youtu.be/nGK0QQWLPxw  

A documentary is about to be released focusing on the acoustic fingerstyle movement and how much popularity and momentum it has. The Acoustic Uprising documentary features interviews from Kaki King, Andy Mckee, Tommy Emmanuel and more. The movie sheds light on how the unique fingerpicking percussive acoustic guitar style has developed and evolved over the years. It references artists who developed the style and those who continue to push it's boundaries further and further.

http://www.acousticuprisingfilm.com/

https://youtu.be/sBSrRo5Lb6Q

An acoustic power trio (and now quartet) that has my ears smiling in a big way. Brittany Haas (violin), Paul Kowert (bass), and Jordan Tice (guitar) combined forces a few years back to put out an absolutely stunning album featuring some hot picking, intricate melodies, and just overall virtuosity. Fast forward to 2017 they bring Dominick Leslie on board (mandolin) and change the band name to Hawktail. This is a collection of acoustic musicians who can push acoustic music to a whole new level so be sure to watch out for them when summer comes around and festival season is upon us. 

https://youtu.be/kBxqmjEAE9o - Haas Kowert Tice "Grandpa's Cheesebarn"

https://youtu.be/4LrssWrJKfY - Hawktail "Unless"

http://amzn.to/2BaFhBf - Album "You Got This"

Since winter is upon us humidification for your guitars should be something that is on your mind. I have tried all sorts of different products for humidification and each has their pros and cons. So for those of you who like the idea of humidipaks, but don't like the idea of the cost associated with them Oasis humidifiers are something you should check out. These have the benefit of lasting a good while between refills and they humidify the guitar case environment quite well. The oasis humidifiers are offered in both a guitar-specific model and a case humidifier model that are like little canisters that you fill with water to humidify your guitar. Once the water is added a gel-like substance forms within the canister. This substance as two benefits: 1.) Spilling is less likely, and it makes the moisture last a bit longer. One thing to know about these humidifiers though, make sure to keep the moisture at an ample level if left to dry out the membrane can crack and cause leakage which is obviously easily avoidable, but something to be aware of. 

http://amzn.to/2hJElv6 - Guitar Humidifier

http://amzn.to/2zZMQgh - Case Humidifier

For those of you who want to build your pinky finger muscles last week I released a video sharing one of my favorite exercises for pinky strengthening. This exercise pairs your pinky with your index, then your middle finger, and finally your ring finger. This single exercise can not only increase your pinky's strength but also it's agility and dexterity. Definitely something to work into your playing routine that will affect your fretboard confidence in a myriad of ways. 

https://youtu.be/ts1WnILa9RA

So there you have it, another Acoustic Tuesday for your #guitargeek enjoyment!

 

Nov 28, 2017
013 - Old Town School of Folk Music & Kalamazoo Gals
37:55

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

This Acoustic Tuesday is an extremely special one that will not only save your guitar's life but also bring joy to your ears. 

So without any more delay lets dive into the geekiness that is Acoustic Guitar

If you use a strap at all with your acoustic guitar this item is for you. Three important tips before I share with you a product that could potentially save your guitar's life. Tip #1 always make sure your guitar is hanging correctly from your strap. Sometimes the ends can flip and when the guitar tries to hang it literally can just fall out of the strap. Tip #2 When using a cord with your acoustic guitar, always wrap the chord in the strap so if for any reason you step on the cord it will pull the strap and not your input jack. Tip #3 Never leave your strap on your guitar when it is resting in a stand. It can catch on a passerby and pull your guitar right off the stand. On to the product that will really help when using  a strap: plastic strap locks. These slip over the strap buttons on your guitar and create a barrier so the strap won't fall off. There are two here that I like. One is the Dunlop product that are two plastic discs that spin and the other is a rubber gasket type material that is good for oddly shaped strap buttons or bulky straps. 

http://amzn.to/2ALiwE6 - Dunlop Strap Locks

http://amzn.to/2yFb4sB - Guitar Saver Strap Locks

An online "how to" repair database created by one of the top guitar geeks out there, Frank Ford. Frank Ford works at Gryphon Strings in Palo Alto, CA and he is a repair wizard, to say the least. He creates jigs and tools, he tackles difficult repairs, he even restores guitars. The coolest part... he documents all of it... every... single.. thing. If you have any question about restringing, how to do basic repairs, or are just curious about some of the work he has done you must be aware of this site it is a huge lifesaver. 

http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/pagelist.html

What I'm listening to this week: The Small Glories. It's true, I can admit I have an incredible soft spot for folk duos, with awesome harmonies and subtle instrumentation. My Dad informed me of this duo and they have all of the above in spades. Cara Luft and JD Edwards make up this duo, and between the two of them musical magic happens... The vocals alone can weaken your knees to the point where you have to take a second to get your bearings. Their debut album "Wondrous Traveler" is fantastic and one you should make some room for in your record collection. 

http://amzn.to/2yDUIAs - Wondrous Traveler

https://thesmallglories.com/home

I've mentioned on previous Acoustic Tuesday shows that I used to work at the Old Town School of Folk Music, but I have never gone into detail on how much of an amazing place it truly is. This is a must-see for any acoustic #guitargeek. The school located on the north side of Chicago is quite honestly the epicenter for all things acoustic, and not just in Chicago. Old Town School has amazing classes from Flatpicking to slack key guitar, they have an outstanding music store called the Different Strummer, and they have a beautiful concert hall that features both national and local acts. It truly is a one-stop shop for all things acoustic and folk, so if you are in the area it would most certainly behoove you to drop in for a visit or even a concert.

http://www.oldtownschool.org/

http://www.oldtownschool.org/concerts/

https://youtu.be/dK4k_C5x_zg

Kalamazoo Gals. Written by John Thomas, chronicling the stories of the women who held down the fort at Gibson Guitar when the men were off at war. Not only does this book provide great historical context on when these lauded "banner" era guitars were made, but it also features interviews with the very ladies that built them. Stories are told of how they handled supply shortages and reasons why these guitars have some rather odd features. All in all this is a fantastic read if you are a Gibson buff and a double whammy if you like history sprinkled in there as well. 

http://amzn.to/2yCTEwy - Kalamazoo Gals

http://kalamazoogals.com/

That's a wrap for another enriching Acoustic Tuesday. May your week be filled with #smallwins and many smiles with your acoustic guitar in hand!!!

Nov 21, 2017
012 - You've got to try these NEW strings!
26:35

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Welcome to another awesomely Acoustic Tuesday my dear #guitargeek. There is a ton in store for you this week, so grab a pen, some paper...

A new take on guitar strings? Most often the question of "gauge" is one of the first we ask when asking about strings, but not with Santa Cruz's parabolic tension strings. There are two options with these strings, either a mid-tension or a low-tension set and per their recommendation, the low-tension strings are a good match for smaller bodied guitars while the mid-tension strings work nicely with larger bodied guitars. I am floored by the crispness of these strings and what really surprised me were two things: First, the out of the package feel... I'm talking before even putting them on the guitar... they are more supple than any other string I have tried. Second, they seem to immediately calibrate to your guitar and in an odd way adjust the EQ so each string has a clear slice of the sonic pie. 

http://www.santacruzguitar.com/scgc-strings/

http://amzn.to/2AqACLg - Low Tension

http://amzn.to/2zFNzDX - Mid-Tension

Tonewood Encyclopedia. Is there such a thing? Yes, but not in the way that you may think. Being a #guitargeek requires a certain quality... let's call it an insatiable desire for all things acoustic. I have discovered a site that will have every acoustic #guitargeek in the world's mouth agape in wonderment. The tonewood data source... yes ladies and gentlemen this is a real thing and I was so happy to discover it. Ever wonder how tonewood hardness is measured? Ever been curious about the different terms for describing wood figure? Wondering what specific tonewoods are used for? Which tonewoods can cause respiratory irritation when working with them? 

This site has it all. Yes, all of it. 

This is a wonderful resource that was put together by a guitar geek and tonewood enthusiast, whose name I cannot find anywhere on the site, but nonetheless, a huge amount of gratitude is being sent their way. 

This is a resource that is like the road map to living an incredible #acousticlife.

http://tonewooddatasource.weebly.com/

What am I listening to this week? Well, the tone of the Wide Sky Guitars featured in last week's Acoustic Tuesday (Ep. #11) had me hungry for some old thumpy blues so I turned to none other than Lightnin' Hopkins. It's raw, it's real, and it has the rhythmic drive that I was searching for. His unique style is inspiring to watch and the way he plays looks absolutely effortless. The tone he gets out of the guitar is a mixture of dead strings and his unique attack. If you ever have a hankering for blues and haven't heard of Mr. Hopkins then you must... and well, if you have heard of him, you must revisit his catalog. Listening to him is a deep dive into the raw nature of old time blues. 

https://youtu.be/VOI5y1ZUXVc - Baby Please Don't Go

http://amzn.to/2ArE7kw - 8 Classic Albums

Deodorant for strings...??? There are many things that can kill tone, but one of the worst is gunk building up on wound strings. Oh! and what about just the general tarnish that develops from environmental factors... Then there is the dreaded string squeak. Nothing can spoil a guitar party quicker than an errant string squeak. I had the same issues and then I discovered two types of string cleaners/lubricants that made my uncoated strings last longer and significantly cut down on squeak. Both the GHS Fast Fret and the Planet Waves XLR8 work miracles if your strings tarnish, you have gunk build up, or you are battling the squeaky strings. 

http://www.ghsstrings.com/products/11464-fast-fret?category_id=1964826-lubricants-cleaners

http://amzn.to/2zFbwLl - GHS Fast Fret

http://www.planetwaves.com/pwProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=4115&productid=544&productname=XLR8_String_Lubricant_Cleaner

http://amzn.to/2zriKzT - Planet Waves XLR8

Beginning guitar is an extremely exciting time, the lessons come fast and quick, motivation is at it's highest, and new gear is purchased en masse. At the start of every guitar player's journey is their first guitar, but how do you decide which one is the right one for you? After years of working in stores and reviewing tons of guitars, I sat down and made a list of my top 5 beginner guitars under $500, of all the guitars out there in this range, these ones stand out to me and each is on the list for a very specific reason. If you are in the market r want to help a friend make sure to check it out:

https://youtu.be/Hk5zL_UXJDQ

Another list complete and more things to help you live your best #acousticlife!!!

Here's to another week of guitar geekiness and the smell of a freshly cut piece of Adirondack spruce.

Nov 17, 2017
011 - Must-See Guitar Displays, Wide Sky Guitars, & More!
30:29

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

The smallest guitar to ever come out of the Santa Cruz Guitar Company's shop... I was pumped to get the chance to review the Santa Cruz Firefly guitar just last week, and I have to say I am impressed. The motivation behind the design of the guitar was to pack the tonal quality, comfort, and luxury of a beautifully crafted small bench guitar into a small, travel-worthy package. I have to say it is a success, the guitar has a focused voice, wonderful depth of tone, and an overall comfort that is rare in a travel guitar. Guitars of this size have a tendency to bounce around when trying to play them, but this one stayed put, I believe due to the body shape... namely, the way the waist of the guitar is cut in. This is a guitar that should definitely be on your list to at least try and consider if you want to bring an artisan guitar on your travels. 

https://youtu.be/Mrz99XedM94

http://www.santacruzguitar.com/instruments/firefly/

A small bench luthier you should be aware of... especially if you like blues-infused, barky, small bodied guitars. Wide Sky Guitars built by luthier, Patch Rubin, down in Taos, NM needs to be on your #guitargeek radar. I happened upon one of his guitars one evening in the midst of a bourbon-infused YouTube session. One of his models, the Wide Sky PL1, is a nod to the Gibson L1. If you have never seen a Gibson L1 look up the infamous picture of Robert Johnson... he is holding an L1. This guitar sounds tremendous, it's barky, it's distinct, it has great projection, and is very well composed with really nice note separation as well as articulation. It definitely has some modern improvements including a much thinner, more modern neck, and it is built like a flattop guitar but with a 15' radius instead of the standard 28.' I believe this is what gives the guitar such a distinct voice. This is just one of Patch's models you should check out. Quick disclaimer: my description of this model is based on my exposure to it through various videos on Youtube... I am still waiting to try one of these beauties out so I can more accurately describe its playability. 

http://www.wideskyguitars.com/about/bio/

http://www.wideskyguitars.com/pl-1/

https://youtu.be/QozZyH6IIek

Guitar stands are great for gigs, open mics, and even bringing your guitar over to your buddy's house. Guitar stands even work fantastic at your own house for keeping the guitars out and accessible, but what if you are looking for a little bit more? I'm talking a little flash, you know something that puts the guitar on display... Acoustic Remedy guitar displays to the rescue. These gorgeous display cases are made by hand, one at a time and they do more than just display your guitar. These cases present your guitar in the most elegant fashion while maintaining a perfect climate (I'm talking humidity here) for your beloved six-string. These cases are eye appealing as they are functional. They are also available in an array of styles. While they are not cheap, they are fantastic for displaying your guitar with panache and more importantly keeping it protected. 

https://www.acousticremedycases.com/

https://youtu.be/9zmWKkG1vYA

https://youtu.be/oF-cTbAqLrE

This week I have a special musical treat for you, one that I think you will really dig. Especially if you like crafty lyrics, emotional voices, and the classic "heart on your sleeve" vibe I feel you should get from a songwriter. I discovered John Moreland a few weeks ago when Whitney and I went to see Iron & Wine in Missoula. In typical fashion, we showed up early wanting to see the opening act and man were we blown away by the performance of John Moreland. His album In the Throes is outstanding as are the other two that we immediately purchased from his merch stand upon his performance ending. The song that nailed me personally is called 3:59 am. That one is off the In the Throes album. High on Tulsa Heat and his newest album Big Bad Luv are also outstanding. Again, if you dig raw lyrics, true songwriting, and a voice that delivers the message with emotion John Moreland is your guy and I strongly recommend digging into his catalog.

John Moreland - http://www.johnmoreland.net/

https://youtu.be/1TAB3HleKCI (album version)

https://youtu.be/awNw8MIeSiw (live)

High on Tulsa Heat - http://amzn.to/2xpvq8B

Big Bad Luv - http://amzn.to/2gI6iXt

In the Throes - http://amzn.to/2i5xcVS

Beard and acoustic guitar love part two... Listen, it's not every day that you run into a well-spoken, enthusiastic, bearded, acoustic guitar aficionado. So when I see someone who fits the bill, I need to introduce them. As an acoustic guitar geek, you absolutely must be aware of Matt Chulka at Eddies Guitars in St. Louis MO. Matt is an absolute endless well of acoustic knowledge. His passion for the guitars, the tone, the building process, and even the smell of the tonewoods come through in his reviews. Oh and I need to mention how incredible he is as a player and human being. Now, I know you think I may be biased here since he has a beard and all, but seriously Matt lives acoustic guitars and he has access to some of the absolute best instruments by some of the most revered small bench luthiers in the industry. I am very excited to introduce you to Matt and even more excited to let you know that Matt and I have been corresponding. I have some exciting news about his involvement with Acoustic Tuesday that I look forward to sharing in future episodes, but for now, make sure to check out Eddies Guitars on the web and if you have any questions Matt is your guy. 

https://eddiesguitars.com/acoustic-guitars

https://youtu.be/3ZYEc3sd9-Q

https://youtu.be/K-Lk6_Foa9M

I hope you have a fantastic acoustic afternoon, and a week full of guitar goodness. Remember to enjoy the journey and keep your eyes peeled for that next guitar because as a guitar geek we know full well that one just isn't enough.

Nov 17, 2017
010 - Have You heard these Pre-War Guitars?
33:37

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

This special Halloween Acoustic Tuesday is infused with items all "acoustic" that are scary good. Let's dive into this terrifyingly terrific list, shall we? 

Santa Cruz Guitars has always amazed me in their build quality, fit, finish, and most importantly... tone. I was able to get my hands on one of their Brad Paisley models based on their pre-war dreadnought model. The guitar has a really cool story behind it so please check out the review to get that and see the new review format which features a bit more playing throughout. I also want to make mention that they are using their own parabolic tension strings which rather than being gauge specific, they are tension specific. In fact, I loved the feel of them so much I contacted Santa Cruz to get some sets for my other guitars... I will report on how I liked them and how they sound in a future Acoustic Tuesday. 

https://youtu.be/xVCeW695z-4

http://www.santacruzguitar.com/instruments/brad-paisley-signature-model-guitar/

http://www.santacruzguitar.com/scgc-strings/

https://www.fretboardjournal.com/columns/hands-on-santa-cruz-parabolic-tension-guitar-strings/

Music holds a magical power. To each and every #guitargeek it means something unique. Music manages to cut through and touch you right in your soul... it has a magical healing power. There happens to be an organization that is harnessing this power of music and helping out veterans here in the US. The program is called Guitars For Vets or G4V and it helps supply guitar lessons and guitars to veterans suffering from PTS. This non-profit organization is not in all 50 states yet, but it is growing and making differences in lives every single day. To hear some of the testimonials is humbling and inspiring all at the same time. I encourage you to check out their site and if you can donate, and if you can't that's ok just spread the word as much as you can as these people are truly changing lives and the world for the better... all through the power of music.  

https://youtu.be/w6hL5RU85tw (News segment)

https://youtu.be/AfkVpzCOBug (Individual Story) 1:47

http://www.guitars4vets.org/

What I'm listening to this week: Love Letter For Fire by Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop. This album is one that I got some time ago but never threw it on the turntable until recently. It was released in April 2016 and man oh man am I glad to have revisited it. Harmonies run rampant throughout the album, and the blend of their voices is heavenly. While listening to this album at TAC Studios, Noah mentioned that he really dug the "out of the box" song structure, which I guess I have to agree with him here, I dig it as well. If you happen to love harmonies, crafty songwriting, and subtle acoustic infused instrumentation this is an album that you will no doubt enjoy. 

http://amzn.to/2zBrMd3

https://youtu.be/nD4df5tJqvc

A pre-war guitar fresh from the shop... with that new guitar smell? As acoustic #guitargeek legend has it, being able to play the all-hallowed and super rare pre-war guitar is about as common as seeing Bigfoot playing a G run in between sipping some fine bourbon. If you are ever lucky enough to play a pre-war instrument (often referred to as an instrument from the golden age) it will forever be a point of comparison for every guitar you play from that point on. In short, pre-war guitars are downright amazing and their price tags reflect that... But what if you could get that pre-war sound and feel for a decent price? Enter, the Pre-War Guitar Co. Both Wes Lambe and Ben Maschal understand the magic that vintage instruments contain, and they build guitars based on the greats. They reference classic examples of pre-war Gibsons and Martins during their build process and the results are absolutely outstanding. I have only heard samples and seen pictures, but from what I have seen and heard, my jaw is on the floor. I can't wait to get my hands on one of these to put through its paces. Please if you ever get to play one of these make sure to let me know and I will do the same. 

https://www.pre-warguitars.com/

https://www.pre-warguitars.com/about-the-builders/

https://www.facebook.com/prewarguitars/videos/623161331209886/

 

That's another Acoustic Tuesday in the books, I hope this list helps keep the #guitargeek momentum going and of course highlights some things that allow you to live your best #acousticlife.  

Cheers and Happy Halloween!

Nov 17, 2017
009 - Is a $150 Capo Worth The Price?
31:32

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

First up this week is some fuel for your Flatpicking, some gasoline for your G run, some diesel for your downstroke... you get the idea, but seriously first up on the list this week is some bluegrass inspired coffee. As a coffee drinker, I was ecstatic to find some blended coffee bearing the name "Flatpicker Fuel". This is a coffee blend by the folks at Coffee Fool and I must say that after a few cups I may very well be able to play a bit faster... It certainly allows me to speak at an increased rate. Make sure to check this coffee out along with the others that they offer. 

http://www.coffeefool.com/Flatpicker-Fuel-p/2301.htm

http://www.coffeefool.com/

A capo is a capo is a capo right??? Not necessarily so, in fact, the fine folks at Elliott Capos will tell you different. I first heard of these capos from Dave Grier's website, and I thought for sure upon purchasing one my playing was going to transform. Well, I am sad to report my playing didn't transform, however, I found one of the most quality capos I have ever had the pleasure of using. This small shop of family members makes the most finely machined stainless steel capos in a variety of styles and finishes. Make sure to check these guys out, and keep in mind that these are pricey buggers, but I can honestly say after having one for almost ten years now, they are very much worth it. 


https://elliottcapo.com/

https://elliottcapo.com/shop/category.aspx?catid=6

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgsDOi1OfVx-qe1PZBIAkXw

https://youtu.be/XrBtrbWSFb0

https://youtu.be/ppCeXNnnlqY

As an acoustic #guitargeek you may not have a lot of pedals, but if you have one or even just a few it can become a huge pain in the butt laying them out on the floor every time you want to use them. Transport becomes difficult, and the odds of forgetting a crucial piece are increased, which is why I want to share the PedalTrain Nano pedal board with you. This stout, small format pedalboard is perfect for the acoustic player who has only a few pedals but wants to keep things nice and tidy. The nano is built like a tank and can handle about 3 standard size pedals (think pedal tuner, DI, and maybe an effects unit of sorts). Since getting the nano, my live setup has become effortless and things stay in the same spot. A must for any player who wants there sound to follow them wherever they end up.

http://www.pedaltrain.com/nano

http://amzn.to/2yYMsuw

This week I have been listening to John Fahey... an official truckload of John Fahey. In fact a while ago I purchased the box set "Transcendental Waterfall," which was a treasure trove of John Fahey's studio albums. This latest John Fahey phase leads me to something else that I wish to share with you though... a movie. Yes, a movie inspired by what I am listening to this week. The movie, actually a documentary, is called "In Search of Blind Joe Death." This doc is about John Fahey, who he influenced, and his life in general. Even if you aren't familiar with John Fahey you will enjoy this doc, since the cast of characters is pretty vast and the stories told are quite candid. 

Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2z0QMcC

Box set purchase link: http://amzn.to/2yhw4I6

Movie trailer: https://youtu.be/3NoXyb9AjJw

Interview with director/producer: https://youtu.be/VjDfzIdFA_8

Music theory and fun rarely occur in the same sentence... in fact probably never in the history of the spoken word have fun and music theory been associated. I think this has to do with the image that the words "music theory" conjure up... Piles of books, the standard notation staff, Augmented 7/9 suspended chords, and just headache after a headache, but I am here to confidently say it doesn't have to be like that... rather it shouldn't be like that. I just launched the Fretboard Wizard course this week and it happens to kick off with a free "Guitar Theory for Everybody" video series. This video series will create mega lightbulb moments and uncover the "foundational 5," which are the core elements that theory is based on. If you understand the foundational 5 you will then be able to unlock many of the secrets the fretboard holds. The series comes with a downloadable workbook and truly will catapult your theory understanding into the next level. Make sure to click the link below to access the video series. 

https://tonypolecastro.com/fw1

Continue waving your #guitargeek flag, and I can't wait for next week so you can see what geekiness I have in store for you. 

Nov 17, 2017
008 - Making of a Mule and a Tonewood World Tour
27:06

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Bob Taylor was kind enough to document his travels as he flew across the world... no joke... the entire world, and checked out wonderful examples of proper forestry and sustainable wood initiatives. This video series has it all. Ever wonder what Koa looks like in a forest? Bob covers it in Hawaii. Are you curious about what the furniture industry is doing to use wood more responsibly? Bob reports on that in Vietnam. Bob also touches base with the Ebony mill that he started in Cameroon. This is a wonderful, almost necessary peek into where the wood used on our beloved instruments comes from and offers wonderful perspective on what it takes to grow and properly harvest this wood. In the series Bob and his crew go to some pretty wild, far-reaching places... places you have to see to believe.

Series Introduction: https://youtu.be/FIKYmZuMt6c
Guatemala Quick Clip: 0:19 - 1:43 https://youtu.be/3SaafoQuqco
Ireland 0:41 - 1:31 https://youtu.be/Bmv2RIIOrpc
Entire Series Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIa-kz_oNaiTYa5ZWKYsKSML5eEAIQKu6

Mesa/Boogie has started their jump into the acoustic realm and they are doing it in style with the Rosette 300 Acoustic amp, as well as the Rosette Acoustic DI. These two pieces make up Mesa's first wave of products in the acoustic world. I must say I was a bit skeptical, but after putting both pieces through their paces, my skepticism changed to curiosity, which quickly developed into great respect for both of these pieces and their finer points. The tone shaping capabilities of both the DI and the amp are remarkable, and while it will take some time to dial in a good tone, the time will be well worth it because that tone will be mighty fine. 

Rosette DI: http://mesaboogie.com/amplifiers/acoustic/pre-amp-series/rosette-preamp/index.html
Rosette 300 Amp: http://mesaboogie.com/amplifiers/acoustic/pre-amp-series/rosette-preamp/index.html
Rosette 300 Amp Review: https://youtu.be/PgZuCny2i6s
Rosette DI Review: https://youtu.be/_zfSiwKQK8E

What I'm currently listening to: If you happen to be a sucker for harmony-laden acoustic music then what I am listening to this week will surely rattle your bones. The Honey Dewdrops are a husband and wife folk duo that have an outstandingly organic sound. And their harmonies... my oh my. The voices each of these two have are rich and powerful by themselves, but when added together I'm pretty sure it becomes a superpower... and I'm talking comic book stuff here. The Honey Dewdrops album that I am currently spinning is called Silver Lining. It was released in 2012 and the music truly feels timeless. The track that has me mashing the repeat button is called "No More Trouble." The banjo, the voices, the haunting modal sound... let's just say this song has it all, and you need to be aware of these acoustic superheroes. 

Band Website: http://www.thehoneydewdrops.com/
Song, "No More Trouble": https://youtu.be/1OyCeEIMvk4
Album, "Silver Lining": http://amzn.to/2ytpaRr

Dress up your thumb for the dance with the Dunlop Zookies thumb pick. So often with standard straight blade thumb picks a certain squeaky or scraping sound occurs. This sound isn't intentional by any means, the function of the straight blade counteracts the movement of your thumb when fingerpicking... or at least the natural action of my thumb... Enter the Dunlop Zookies thumb pick, this thumb pick has an angled picking surface (your choice of a 10, 20, or 30-degree angle) to limit the squeak and scrape, and also allow the picking motion to be smooth and frictionless. I found out about these by checking out Jerry Douglas' gear list on his website. After trying them at one gig some years ago, these are my go-to thumb pick for dobro (I like the M-20), and I have found they work quite nice on guitar as well. 

Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2yWHiPz
Product Page: https://www.jimdunlop.com/product/z9002m20-7-10137-00716-1.do?sortby=ourPicksAscend&page=6&refType=&from=fn

A fly on the wall watching a Mule take form... No, this isn't a foray into poetry. I found two videos from Matt Eich and the folks at Mule Resonator guitars that document the process of building Charlie Parr's newest reso. Not only can you see the process (which was shot beautifully), but you can also see Charlie's reaction to getting the guitar. You can tell by watching him play it that he really enjoys this newest addition to his guitarsenal. It is remarkable to see the work that goes into one of these beautiful instruments and equally amazing to see the reaction of the artist for whom it was built for. 

Building process - https://youtu.be/ruEE4iK5j9s
Charlie's reaction - https://youtu.be/O2PI0kbvdlk
Mule review - https://youtu.be/q9c6TxKxsB4
Charlie Parr Interview - https://youtu.be/hfeFYzsVuyI
Mule Resophonics Homepage - http://muleresophonic.com/

Nov 17, 2017
007 - Guitar Case Art, My Top Tuner & Acoustic Candy Shop!
32:19

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Another week has passed and I can sense that you are in need of more guitar geekiness to fuel your#acousticlife, so here goes:

 

- My absolute favorite clip-on tuner: Being in tune is ruled 'A' number 1 when playing guitar either by yourself or at a jam. If you have ever searched online for a tuner the options are truly ridiculous... Actually, the options are almost on the verge of comedic. So I wanted to cut through all the options and brag about my personal favorite clip-on tuner, which happens to be the Polytune Clip. I love this tuner for four distinct reasons: 1.) Battery life. I have yet to change the battery in this tuner and I have had it for nearly two years at this point. 2.) Display. Whether this tuner is in direct sunlight, on the front or back of my headstock it reads clear and concise. A must for any tuner. 3.) Options. If you want to tune all strings at once you can with the poly tune setting. If you want to tune just one string at a time you can, and if you wish to strobe tune there is a setting for that as well. 4.) The Clip. This tuner shines due to its clip. It is made out of metal, it doesn't harm the instrument and it is durable as all get out. 

http://www.tcelectronic.com/polytune-clip ( PolyTune Site )

http://amzn.to/2xeCyUn ( White Clip Tuner )

http://amzn.to/2xeyhjC ( Black Clip Tuner )

https://youtu.be/msORx8g0Hdg ( PolyTune Product Video )

- Good Vibes. The Best Kind of Vibes. Acoustic Vibes: Many days I virtually shop for guitars online, and one of my frequent stops is Jeff Looker's shop down in Tempe, AZ called Acoustic Vibes. This store is chock full of all things that #guitargeek dreams are made of. The swath of brands that he carries and the variety of guitars offered is truly unmatched. Jeff is an incredibly knowledgeable store owner who is a true acoustic guitar aficionado. I got to know Jeff when I was doing sales for Weber mandolins and to say he is a #guitargeek is an understatement. His showroom proves it. Huge variety, one of a kind instruments, and the kind of guidance you want when searching for your lifetime guitar. If you are in the area, stop what you are doing and call Jeff. If you are virtual guitar shopping, clear your schedule, you will not be disappointed.

https://acousticvibesmusic.com/

https://youtu.be/PQAlC1bws3w ( 1:40 quote )

- What I'm currently listening to: I have gone down the rabbit hole of blues this week. In particular, foot-stompin', fingerpickin', mojo infused blues. So Big Bill Broonzy gets the nod for his album Big Bill Broonzy Sings Folk Songs. The opening track on this album, "Backwater Blues" is what is tugging at my ears... a hugely powerful voice, a sparse yet purposeful guitar, and so much mojo it almost comes out of the grooves on the record. Speaking of mojo... at one point in time, I had a chance to play Big Bill's (1946?) Martin 000-28 when I worked in Chicago. Talk about a religious experience... the tone, the smell, the thoughts of what that guitar had been through, a serious #guitargeek moment that connects me even more to this album. 

https://youtu.be/i_Wb9CyOxBM ( Backwater Blues - Song )

http://amzn.to/2ykDKub ( Big Bill Broonzy Sings Folk Songs ) 

- Not your ordinary guitar cases: Your color options for guitar cases are generally, well, black. I know there are other color options out there, but I would venture to guess that the majority of guitar cases come in black. Black is cool, but artist James A. Willis is seemingly offended by a pure black case because he creates some absolutely glorious guitar case art. James takes cases and transforms them into tributes of artists who are icons in their genre. Not only does he make guitar cases art, he also creates beautiful guitar inspired wall art. Lucky for us #guitargeeks, Carter Vintage Guitars has made James' case art and wall art available on their website for a quick look or to take home and brighten up your guitar room. 

https://cartervintage.com/collections/james-a-willis  ( Full Collection )

https://cartervintage.com/collections/james-a-willis/products/disappearing-railroad-blues-print-by-james-a-willis

https://cartervintage.com/collections/james-a-willis/products/shokey-railcar-blues-print-by-james-a-willis

https://cartervintage.com/collections/james-a-willis/products/james-a-willis-custom-jimmi-hendrix-case?variant=42307069315

https://cartervintage.com/collections/james-a-willis/products/james-a-willis-custom-kitty-wells-case?variant=31990401091

https://cartervintage.com/collections/james-a-willis/products/james-a-willis-custom-stevie-ray-vaughan?variant=42496411971

It's a true fact that #guitargeeks hang out in groups. Since that's the case, please subscribe and make sure to tell your friends!

Nov 17, 2017
006 - Ear Trumpets, An Underground Luthier, & A NEW Flight Case
27:21

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Here is your weekly dose of guitar geekiness. These are Acoustic Guitar nuggets sifted from the sands of the internet for your knowledge and entertainment... and of course to propel the #acousticlife.  

A luthier you need to know about: Bozeman very often feels like the valley of luthiers, being that Gibson is right down the road and there are ample amounts of small bench luthiers in the area. One small bench luthier that lives in Belgrade (just outside of Bozeman) is Dan Roberts. Dan is a master craftsman who started his career at Flatiron/Gibson, then moved to Santa Cruz Guitar company, and now has his own shop where he does some truly outstanding custom work. Dan draws his inspiration from the tradition set forth by the bigger manufacturers (read Martin and Gibson), but he enjoys making tweaks to it and loves the small shop environment for that very reason. Check out this video done a while back, which will give you Dan's thoughts on building and his philosophy behind custom guitars. #Guitargeek Alert!!! There are some beautiful shots of his shop in this video. 

Daniel Roberts Shop Video: https://vimeo.com/59663806
Daniel Roberts Stringworks Website: http://www.danielrobertsstringworks.com/

Guitar Gadget that has my curiosity sufficiently fueled: Flying with a guitar is no doubt a stress filled task that has us #guitargeeks pressed up against the windows of an airplane wondering if we will see our guitar case launched across the tarmac to an uncomfortable concrete resting place. Flight cases to the rescue!!! But wait... Flight cases can be very specific and often are custom built to an instrument's exact specs. So this means one case per guitar, but hold that thought for just one moment... enter Visesnut cases. These cases offer an internal strapping apparatus that allows one case to be used for similarly sized guitars... this means one flight case can handle more than one guitar. Flying with an instrument may have now gotten just one step easier. 

Visesnut Case Website: http://www.visesnutcase.com/
Visesnut dem0 video: https://youtu.be/xfjA4YX-gFg
Buy from Elderly: https://www.elderly.com/catalogsearch/result/?cat=0&q=visesnut

What I'm currently listening to: Currently I am stuck on Jeffrey Foucalt's newest release, Salt As Wolves. The tones on this album are fantastic, and I must say I may have broke an acoustic rule here as this album features some electric guitar, but hear me out... Salt As Wolves has the right amount of space, tasty guitar fills, stellar songwriting, and the type of songs that have you enthralled in their story. Jeffrey's vocals are whiskey smooth and his guitar work and tone fit each song to a tee. The stand out track for me is "Slow Talker," in fact check out the video link to see Jeffrey play with a past Acoustic Tuesday featured artist. 

Slow Talker w/ Special Guest: https://youtu.be/dpyG6rhQ0ow
Salt As Wolves Album: http://amzn.to/2x6emVX

A must hear microphone: I have seen multiple live acoustic shows in various venues, I have watched many youtube videos of my favorite acoustic artists and they all seem to have something in common... the microphone. An elegant, almost industrial looking microphone that sounds amazing. Ear Trumpet Labs offers some seriously beautiful looking and sounding microphones for acoustic instrumentation. In fact by the looks of it they are taking acoustic music by storm. Check out their site to lay your eyes on these beauties and check out the different models that they offer.  

Ear Trumpet Site: http://www.eartrumpetlabs.com/
Ear Trumpet Mics in action: https://youtu.be/SU30eXcwr38

I want to make sure you don't miss an episode of Acoustic Tuesday and the shenanigans that go along with it so please subscribe.

Nov 17, 2017
005 - Guitars Made From Whisky Barrels, Harmonics, & Tony Furtado's Cello Banjo
29:56

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Welcome to another round of #guitargeek findings that have my wheels turning, my brain-bending, and most of all my geek radar lighting up like the sky on the Fourth of July.

A book necessary for the #Guitargeek library: A music theory book that's actually fun sounds about as commonplace as a unicorn prancing over a rainbow with a leprechaun hang gliding over headed showering the onlooking jackalopes with golden coins. I hope I painted an accurate picture for you... As rare of a bird as a fun music theory book is, Edly's Musical Theory for Practical People is actually fun and extremely informative. Quick disclaimer this is not a direct guitar theory book, but the concepts discussed are invaluable, and the way Ed Roseman writes is very conversational and easy to follow. If you have ever wondered about music theory this is a great first step. 

Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2yd1GMM

The Gadget that can create a worry-free guitar environment: Living the #acousticlife is an amazing experience. You have the jams with friends, the guitar shopping, and the #guitarsenal to go along with it. But, what happens when you go somewhere and you don't have a guitar stand... (cue record scratch sound). Sure you can put it back in the case, but that becomes a pain after 3 or 4 times of getting it in and out... and you certainly don't want that case lid coming down on the top of your beautiful guitar. Enter, Ultimate guitar stands, namely the GS1000 and the GS200 models. These stands fold up, are easy to travel with, take up no space and provide a secure environment for your guitar to live in when you have to set it down. A must have for any #guitargeek (I even leave an extra in my car for those just in case moments).

Ultimate GS200 - http://amzn.to/2xnVNOK
Ultimate GS1000 - http://amzn.to/2x8JMfQ

What I'm currently listening to: This week I drew some inspiration from the second annual TAC Jamboree, where we were lucky enough to be joined by none other than Tony Furtado. Upon reflecting on his visit to the Jamboree and TAC HQ I pulled up his live album the Cider House Sessions, as well as his latest studio release, The Bell. I am continuously blown away by the level of artistry and the reverence shown towards technique that Tony constantly puts on display. The track that has my socks shoot off my feet and through the wall is "Astoria" ... and it features a cello-banjo... a celljo? ...a banello? Whatever it's called... wow!!!

Interview Clip: https://youtu.be/HGqsv8Zqc2w

Angeline the Baker: https://youtu.be/KAjNRIWtiSc

Astoria: https://youtu.be/O1s7YaFaDWQ

Cider House Sessions - http://amzn.to/2xgBYZs

The Bell  - http://amzn.to/2jDBsQz

A whiskey lover/#guitargeek's dream???: Lowden guitars have always seemed a bit mythical in my eyes. I have gotten the chance to play only a handful of them (maybe two total) and they live up to their description for certain. They are built masterfully and their tone is deep and rich... upon a single strum you can just tell you are playing something special. George Lowden took that word special to a whole different level just recently, in conjunction with Bushmill's Irish Whiskey. The two have come together to celebrate craftsmanship and George has designed a guitar that uses a redwood top, ancient bog oak back/sides, and none other than Bushmill's Irish Whiskey barrel wood for some inlay and appointments. This is something you have to see to believe check out the link to see the video and of course visit the website for the full geeky details:

Bushmill's Lowden Video - https://youtu.be/qH9H44rHMi0

Bushmill's Lowden Specs and Story -
http://www.lowdenguitars.com/bushmillsxlowden

Next week's Acoustic Tuesday will be one for the ages... keep your eyes peeled and your ear to the ground for the acoustic awesomeness headed your way. 

Nov 17, 2017
004 - Cigars, "Dog", K&K, and National Guitars Customs
29:21

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Welcome to Acoustic Tuesday where you get a peek at some of my weekly guitar finds that have me excited, curious, and loving the #acousticlife. That being said, let's go ahead and throw some jet fuel on the #guitargeek fire this week, shall we? 

- Guitar Gadget worth checking out: Humidification is the necessary evil of the acoustic guitar world. It's not necessarily the most exciting thing in an #acousticlife but a necessary one for sure. A company that caught my eye due to their work specifically in the humidification industry (think Cigar humidors and things of the like) is Boveda. They have a low maintenance system that has been developed for guitar, and in my opinion, it is a great option for those #guitargeeks with multiple guitars. Here is a link to their starter kit product: Boveda 49-Percent RH Two-Way Humidity Control for Guitars and Wood Instruments http://amzn.to/2xiNWDe

And for more details on how to season your case check out their site: 
Boveda Site: https://www.bovedainc.com/store/music/guitar-starter-kit/

- What I am currently listening to: This week I am spinning Charlie Parr's new album, Dog. After interviewing Charlie two or so years ago I have kept up with his superhero-like touring and his musical projects. He recently had a stop here in Bozeman and I got to hear some of his new songs live and have a quick chat. Needless to say, I was more than excited for this album to come out and it truly doesn't disappoint. Here is the tune ("I Ain't Dead Yet") I think you should check out: https://youtu.be/kSKVkQ9Ohmg

His new album Dog: http://amzn.to/2vUbLRg

- What's inside my gig bag: Plugging in an acoustic guitar can be a bit hairy... the tone might be weird, it might sound quacky, and it may not represent your guitar the way you want. I had the same experience until the K&K pure mini came into my life. This pickup is a bridge plate transducer and one that I would consider if you are looking for great tone and an easy to manage acoustic guitar pickup. You can check it out here: http://amzn.to/2gQxF18

The K&K website: http://www.kksound.com/products/puremini.php

- Guitar(s) that have me drooling this week: Upon perusing the National Resophonic guitars website I somehow stumbled upon a link to their custom shop. An hour or so later I came up for air and could not believe what I had just seen. These resos are absolute masterpieces that now will be forever "etched" in my memory. You have to see these unreal examples of master luthiers at work, and you will see what I mean about "etching." To have a look at these "one of a kind" gems click here: http://www.nationalguitars.com/custom-shop

Keep your eyes peeled for next week's Acoustic Tuesday the shenanigans and #guitargeek gems will continue to flow.

Nov 17, 2017
003 - Collings D1A, Caitlin Canty, Chicago Music Exchange
31:32

Do you strive for clean buzz free barre chords??? Well, last week I released a lesson on barre chords that will start to put an end to the buzzy B chords and the fuzzy F chords that you may be experiencing. Be sure to check out this necessary barre chord lesson: https://youtu.be/87reIeqqVrs

- A guitar I would love to add to my #guitarsenal: 
 I have had a chance to play a handful of new Collings D1A models in my life, and numerous broken in D1A models that have been played by other musicians, and I have to say they are magical. In my latest fantasy digital guitar shopping trip I found a torrefied D1A that caught my attention on Collings' custom page. The description of this guitar alone had my fretting fingers twitching, my ears perked up, and my brain spinning ways of how I could manage to get this guitar. See and read about it here: http://www.collingsguitars.com/custom-gallery/d1-a-t-torrefied/

- What I'm currently listening to: Caitlin Canty's Reckless Skyline album. This album is one that is easily a front to back listening experience, it seems to ebb and flow with wonderful artistic and dynamic balance. Caitlin's voice shines and the songs range from a stripped down whisper to a full band exclamation point. Although I like listening to the album in its entirety if I was to pick only one track it would be "My Love for You Will Not Fade." This is without a doubt an album that would feel at home in your collection. https://youtu.be/O4opwyj7L3U

- The next guitar wonder gadget???
 I found this gadget on Kickstarter and must first say that it has my curiosity piqued. A stabilization device for your guitar that not only can hold it in a myriad of positions but doubles as a guitar stand as well. Seems like a wonderful two birds one stone type solution. Check out the link for details, a descriptive video for the inventor, and a chance to contribute if you dig what this product is. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1798347341/maintaining-with-ease-displaying-with-pride?ref=nav_search

- A must stop guitar shop: I love traveling and being that my son Ayden lives in Chicago, I find myself there quite often. Whenever I'm on the North Side of the city particularly on Lincoln Ave. I visit the Chicago Music Exchange. This store's walls are lined with all things guitar... and I'm talking all things guitar, from every era, of every style. This store is chock full of vintage guitars, new guitars, and a whole entire room dedicated to Acoustics... and when I say room what I really mean is an entire "wing" of the store. You will not be disappointed if you check these guys out. Here is their site with all the necessary info for your guitar pilgrimage: https://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

Nov 17, 2017
002 - Kelly Joe Phelps, Dunlop Guitar Picks, Art of Chords
22:39

Being a #guitargeek is no easy task. You have to keep up on all of the geeky acoustic guitar things that are happening in the world, but with Acoustic Tuesday you can now keep your finger on the pulse.  

- A Little Practice Positivity & Inspiration: Every so often I find myself a little bummed out that I can't play exactly like my guitar heroes. I say things like I wish I could play just like Bryan Sutton, or I wish I could finger pick just like Tommy Emmanuel. The truth is everyone approaches guitar playing differently and your own unique way is what makes up your distinct sonic fingerprint. Your guitar heroes should inspire, motivate, and encourage; not be used for comparison because when it all comes down to it... we are all different, and we all approach music differently... hell, we even hear different things when listening to music. So embrace the way you play, strive for daily progress and when you find yourself bummed out wishing you could play just like your guitar hero, take a second, breathe, and be thankful for their unique music and approach, and know that you are bringing into the world your own unique music as well... and most importantly feel good about your musical journey!!!

- A Guitar Gadget That's Worth a Look: Not sure if you would consider a guitar pick a gadget, but I get asked about my favorite pick all the time. So here it is in all its glory. The Dunlop Ultex Sharp 2.0mm pick. I included a link in case you want to try them out: ( http://amzn.to/2vu5DvW )

- What I'm currently listening to: Tunesmith Retrofit by Kelly Joe Phelps. I absolutely adore this album. Kelly's songwriting, his playing, and his knack for being in the moment shine through here. This is one of those albums that takes me back to a specific place... (on a red line train heading from Chicago's loop to the Old Town School of Folk Music (located on the North side)... this was around 2006). My favorite track on this one is: "Tight to the Jar"... The line ..."Melody sweet til it rolls out the ear and the beer flows free as advice" always manages to get me. 

- A compendium of #lightbulbmoments: The book Art of Chords by Stephane Gagnon is chocked full of great information about how to look at chords in an analytical fashion to unlock their secrets. This book led to many #smallwins for me personally and if chord construction interests you then this is a book that should be on your list!!! ( http://amzn.to/2uHgmpD )

Have an amazing acoustic week and remember to keep on pickin'.


Cheers,
Tony

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

 

Nov 17, 2017
001 - Fretboard Journal, Luthiers Mercantile, 1935 Martin 00-42, Molly Tuttle
23:31

Here is your weekly dose of acoustic awesomeness to further solidify your status as a #guitargeek

In case you missed it the hammer of Thor visited last week... I filmed a lesson on how to do hammer ons with the strength of Thor. Be sure to check that out here: https://youtu.be/NUSfT9Qspvc

- An acoustic guitar tool supplier you may not be aware of: To say I am a sucker for all things guitar is a total understatement. I love getting the magazines, I love reading about the tools, and most of all I love thinking about the possibilities. One site that a friend turned me onto some years ago (Thanks Mitch!) is Luthiers Mercantile International, Inc. Check this site out if you want to geek out on raw tone woods, guitar setup tools, and even instructional materials. Basically if you have ever thought about building your own guitar, setting up your current guitar, or even repairing a friends guitar this site is a hidden gem. ( http://www.lmii.com/ )

- An iconic guitar and it's story: Tony Rice is a bluegrass fllatpicking legend no doubt. From his work with David Grisman, Peter Rowan, JD Crowe, Ricky Skaggs, Norman Blake, and countless others his approach, tone, and technique are like his sonic fingerprint. Another crucial part of his sonic fingerprint is his 1935 Martin D28 that has an incredible story to tell. Read about the guitar and it's various trials and tribulations in this killer Fretboard Journal article: ( https://www.fretboardjournal.com/feat... )

- What I'm currently listening to: Dan Tyminski's album "Carry Me Across the Mountain." This album shows Dan's diversity as a vocalist, guitar player, mandolin player, and even studio engineer. With the likes of Jerry Douglas, Barry Bales, Ron Block, and Alison Kraus; Dan keeps some incredible company on this album. The standout track for me is "Greens Fees." Check out the album here: ( http://amzn.to/2vGaXfx )

- The guitar (and player) that you have to see and hear right now: Ever wonder what a 1935 Martin 00-42 sounds like? Well wonder no more, Molly Tuttle does the honors for us here and puts this stunning example of a 1935 00-42 through its paces. Check out this video to see how focused and amazing this guitar is. If you have good headphones nearby, you are going to want those. The nuances of this guitar are simply intoxicating. Oh, and while watching this video I had a serious #lightbulbmoment about what is possible out of a D chord position(https://youtu.be/vWxCaJQ2KqY )

Have an amazing acoustic week and remember to keep on pickin'.

Acoustic Tuesday presented by http://tonysacousticchallenge.com

 

Nov 13, 2017