The Sound

The Martin guitar after Neil Kendrick’s restoration. Inset: The Martin before restoration.

Kempa Guitars

A New Guitar Brand From China Kepma Guitars is a Chinese company fresh to the New World that aims to compete in the hotly contested global market for quality acoustic guitars selling for around 2,500 US dollars, in addition to models under $500. The company claims to be the best-selling acoustic guitar brand in China,…

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The Steeldrivers (left to right): Brent Truitt, Richard Bailey, Tammy Rogers, Matt Dame, and Mike Fleming.

The Falling Man

By Liz Hengber, Tammy Rogers, Jerry Salley Some songs demand to be written. That was the case with “The Falling Man,” cut by The Steeldrivers (Bad For You, 2020) and written by Liz Hengber, Tammy Rogers, and Jerry Salley. Inspired by the famous 9/11 photograph also titled “The Falling Man,” the song describes the haunting…

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 A Martin Lost & Found

It’s every picker’s nightmare scenario: having a treasured instrument stolen. That happened to me back in 1972. My basement-level Chicago apartment was broken into while I was away from home, and when I returned, I immediately discovered that my 1947 Martin D-18 guitar was missing (along with some valued audio equipment). I called the police,…

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It Rains Everywhere I Go

By Don Cusic Sometimes, it takes a while for a song to find the perfect home. “It Rains Everywhere I Go,” written by Don Cusic in the late 1970s, didn’t find its just-right singer for more than two decades. Ultimately, the song was released on Lynn Morris’s Mama’s Hand in1995 by Rounder Records, and Rounder…

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Buddy Michaels

Hometown Hero Of N.C. Bluegrass Broadcasting  Photo by Lee Capps Buddy Michaels loves to talk.  Ask him a question then sit back and enjoy the ride, because he’s likely to detour through a story or two before arriving at the answer.  His favorite subject: music and the people who make it.  So what better path…

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Ringing in the Changes

Geoff Stelling Bids Farewell to Banjo Making After 48 Years It may seem an odd thing to say in an age when the options for professional-quality banjos are plentiful, but there once was a time when they didn’t extend much beyond Gibsons.  But by the mid-70s, when Geoff Stelling was thinking about starting his own business…

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