I Got A Guitar For Christmas ... Now What Do I Do?

By Chris Cooper

Christmas is one of those times where there’s a surge of buying in the instrument market, and much of that buying involves some lucky kid (or adult) getting their first guitar. So what I’d like to do here is provide some insight into getting the most out of that initial phase of playing and learning, list what extras you really may need, and give a little insight as to what elements make up a “good” guitar.

Speace’s style still rings true

Something I’ve noticed over the years is that the longer you’re on this planet, the smaller said planet seems to become. This observation becomes especially true if you find yourself immersed in a particular field or occupation for a long time — paths that may have crossed long ago, seemingly by coincidence, inevitably find a way to cross again later.

Three from the vault

By Chris Cooper

I’m beginning to notice a relationship between the acquisition of “new” used CDs at my place of employment and my need to write in a “multiple CD” review format. Coincidence? I think not. But this week I was reminded, for the umpteenth time, that there is indeed a veritable smorgasbord of great music waiting to be heard out there.

Inspired effort from the Smiths has something for everyone

By Chris Cooper

Inspiration comes from a variety of sources. And as much as a new love, a rainy day or a broken heart can provide the fuel for inspired songwriting and performance, so can the pain of loss and the need to understand and deal with it.

Effortless extraction from the days of fusion

By Chris Cooper

Music, and the artists that make it, have no choice but to evolve as time goes by. For many rock-oriented instrumentalists that came into prominence during the 80s, this has been a difficult thing.

So, what is there to do around here?

By Chris Cooper

Though Sylva might not qualify as a simmering hotbed of musical and cultural hipness, to a degree it does have it’s own thing going on. We have a reasonable variety of musicians and bands, with several — even some surprising — genres represented.

Old instruments sing again: Community band effort provides new homes for neglected instruments

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Jacob Clark, a sixth-grader at Waynesville Middle School, likes the trumpet.

“It’s easy to play,” he says.

From the pick of the old time pickin’ litter

By Chris Cooper

Rafe Stefanini: Ladies Fancy

Rafe Stefanini is something of a walking encyclopedia of old-time fiddle and banjo music, having dedicated most of his life to hunting down and learning tunes both famous and obscure from all over this country.

Raging rockabilly courtesy of Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys

By Chris Cooper

“Timeless” is one of those words tossed around a lot in reference to music. Everybody wants to write a song that’s “timeless,” right? A tune that sounds just as good today as it will 20 or 30 years down the line, regardless of changes in what’s thought of as “cool” — that’s the goal, correct?

Makin’ tracks: Musician/traveler/artist Jim Stoltz brings his cross-country experience to life with a multimedia show and fund raiser for the Jackson/Macon Conservation Alliance

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Jim Stoltz first learned to appreciate nature on family camping trips.

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