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What Kind of Mandolin Should I Get?

By Wayne Erbsen Unless a free mandolin just falls in your lap, you’ll need to purchase one. When you go shopping for a mandolin, I strongly suggest that you don’t buy a cheap one off the Internet. Most of these cheapo instruments will sound like a tin can strung with barbed wire. Instead, you should… Read More »


Drifting Too Far From the Shore

Charles E. Moody was not your average gospel songwriter. He alone wrote both the words and the melody of two of the bedrock classics of country and bluegrass gospel, “Kneel at the Cross” and “Drifting Too Far From the Shore.” To get a handle on this man and the songs he wrote, let’s go back… Read More »


Emmett Miller – The Vaudeville Star Who Helped Shape Country Music by Charles Wolfe

There are dozens of unsung heroes in the annals of country music; some are instrumentalists, like the legendary Georgia fiddler Joe Lee, who introduced the “long bow” style to greats like Clayton McMichen; some are songwriters, like the gospel singer Grady Cole, who ‘wrote “Tramp ort the Street”; others were promoters and radio personalities like… Read More »

Flatpicking Guitar for the Complete Ignoramus! instruction book by Wayne Erbsen

Clarence White and the Roots of Bluegrass Guitar in Southern California

By Wayne Erbsen In the early sixties I lived within earshot of the Ash Grove, a legendary folk club on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. As I recall, Monday night was called “hoot night,” and the house band was “The Country Boys.” When I first heard the band in mid-1962, it consisted of Clarence White… Read More »


Lovesick Blues

By Wayne Erbsen It was Saturday night, June 11, 1949, when 25-year-old Hank Williams walked onto the stage of the Grand Ole Opry for the first time and began singing Lovesick Blues. The audience was electrified. No other performer had ever been brought back to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry for six encores,… Read More »

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