Bruce Cockburn Small Source of Comfort True North Fans of Bruce Cockburn’s extraordinary acoustic fingerpicking will be thrilled with Small Source of Comfort, his 31st studio album. Cockburn’s shimmering arpeggios,

Bruce Cockburn
Small Source of Comfort
True North


Fans of Bruce Cockburn’s extraordinary acoustic fingerpicking will be thrilled with Small Source of Comfort, his 31st studio album. Cockburn’s shimmering arpeggios, syncopated riffs, and hypnotic single-note lines blend elements of Mississippi John Hurt, Jerry Garcia, Leo Kottke, and Brazilian greats Luiz Bonfa and Oscar Castro- Neves, yet remain entirely his own. Of the album’s 12 tunes, five are instrumentals, so there’s plenty of crisp, ringing fretwork to keep guitar aficionados happy. Yet Cockburn’s poetic—and passionately political—lyrics and burnished, world-wise vocals take center stage, supported by earthy, clattering percussion, dub-thick bass, and occasional jangling resonator slide guitar (ably played by producer Colin Linden). Jenny Scheinman’s soaring violin adds a sensuous touch to the music, which sounds like it was recorded right in your living room by old friends who truly enjoy rubbing musical shoulders. The Zen meditation bells that periodically chime accentuate the wisdom, sadness, humor, and beauty inherent in Cockburn’s songs and shamanistic playing.

This rare English Tonemaster was made circa 1957.

The Valco-produced English Tonemaster is a rare, lap-steel-inspired gem from the 1950s—when genres and guitar design were fluid.

The 1950s were a peculiar time for the electric guitar. Innovators, designers, and tinkerers were pushing the boundaries of the instrument, while musicians were experimenting with various playing techniques and sounds. There was an evolution of sorts (or de-evolution, depending on your slant) from solidbody “sit-down” guitars, like pedal and lap steels, to “stand-up” or “upright” solidbody electrics. If you look at an early Fender catalog—let’s say from 1953—you’ll see the Telecaster (and Esquire), the Precision Bass, and then a whole bunch of steel guitars. There was a shift underway, and many manufacturers began to blur the lines of what a guitar should look, sound, and play like.

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PRS Guitars and John Mayer officially announce the PRS SE Silver Sky, an affordable version of the original with PRS trademark bird inlays and three single-coil pickups.

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