A graceful, crowning solo statement from a master of acoustic slide.

Lloyd Thayer

North Star

Lloyd Thayer is revered in the New England acoustic music scene and among deep slide guitar devotees for his melodic intelligence, ceaseless invention, graceful composition, and glorious tone. His new album illuminates those qualities in 70 minutes of solo instrumentals played on Dobro, Weissenborn, and Chaturangui—an instrument with 20 to 24 strings designed by Hindustani music giant Debashish Bhattacharya to take the middle ground between a slide guitar and a sitar. Simply put, North Star is an essay in contemplative beauty illuminated by lightning flashes of slide, dissonant surprises, and a radiant warmth that emerges from every note. And while this may sound strange, there’s a sense of humility that extends across the vastness of Thayer’s global-music landscape. —Ted Drozdowski

Must-hear tracks: “The Boss Universal Sutra,” “Last Right Whale”

A compact pedal format preamp designed to offer classic, natural bass tone with increased tonal control and extended headroom.

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In their corner, from left to right: Wilco’s Pat Sansone (guitars, keys, and more), drummer Glenn Kotche, Jeff Tweedy, bassist John Stirratt, guitarist Nels Cline, and keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen.

Photo by Annabel Merhen

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Luthier Maegen Wells recalls the moment she fell in love with the archtop and how it changed her world.

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