Every once in a while, we need to unplug. That goes for guitars, too! Anthrax’s Scott Ian joins PG editors and our Reader of the Month in discussing our favorite acoustic works.

Scott Ian -- Guest Picker; Anthrax guitarist

What is your favorite acoustic album?
American IV: The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash. It goes without saying.

My current obsession is: Playing new Anthrax riffs!

Matt Meyer -- Reader of the Month
What is your favorite acoustic album?
Live on the Double Planet. Michael Hedges was an amazing performer who changed the way I looked at acoustic playing. Crazy tunings as well!

My current obsession is: A used Mu-Tron Bi-Phase I bought recently. I love how it looks, and the sound is a phenomenal, syrupy goodness that I haven't heard from any other phaser out there.

Joe Gore -- Senior Editor
What is your favorite acoustic album?
Lots of great albums from 1971: Zep IV, Who’s Next, Sticky Fingers, What’s Going On, Hunky Dory—but none greater than Joni Mitchell’s Blue. With exquisite performances, artfully acidic lyrics, and Mitchell’s utterly original acoustic guitar vocabulary, it’s a perfect singer/songwriter album. Maybe the perfect one.

My current obsession is: I’m flipping out again over Scott Tennant’s classical playing. He’s got it all: passion, analytical insight, and stupefying technique. He makes it sound easy—something it definitely ain’t. (Great example: His take on Alexandre Tansman’s Suite in Modo Polonico.)

Rich Osweiler -- Associate Editor
What is your favorite acoustic album?
Nick Drake’s Pink Moon is a masterpiece, and while the cool kids pooh-pooh on it because a car commercial helped introduce Drake to the masses, it’s due for an artist who went relatively unnoticed before his death. The Robin Nolan Trio’s Mediterranean Blues is another fave, since it’s the record that started my unquenchable thirst for all things with Gypsy jazz.

My current obsession is: Ukulele. With two of them in the house now, I’m working up, um, interesting duets with my 5-year-old.

Jason Shadrick -- Associate Editor
What is your favorite acoustic album?
As a child of the ’90s, my first brush with Clapton wasn’t Cream or the Dominos, but his insanely successful Unplugged album. It had everything from heartfelt ballads to down-and-dirty blues.

My current obsession is: Picks! So many different sizes, shapes, and textures to go through and so little time. Currently, my favorite all-around plectrums are 1.25 mm celluloids, but I’m really intrigued by some 3 mm ones made of glass.