The Barr Brothers Occupy A Bike Shop For KEXP

Canadian folk-rock band The Barr Brothers got the chance to play in an unlikely place during this year’s South by Southwest music festival.

In a performance for Seattle public radio station KEXP, The Barr Brothers brought out ”Give The Devil Back His Heart” at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop.

The cut comes off their self-titled 2011 debut.

Watch the Barrs in action in the video below:

For a full list of tour dates, visit The Barr Brothers’ official website.

Sharon Van Etten Plays KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic

Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten has had a busy week in Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, she spent her waking hours performing on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic before heading to Conan that evening.

Van Etten, whose latest album, Tramp, has received high praise, played sweet versions of the song “Leonard” on each show, both of which can be seen in the videos below.

Want some more Van Etten?  Here is the full MBE performance, and she also recently appeared on Spinner‘s Interface sessionswhich you can watch here.

For a list of tour dates and more information, visit Van Etten’s official website.

Everything Guild: Humidifier and Hygrometer

Humidifier and HygrometerFor an acoustic guitar that you really truly care about, there are two small accessories you need to get that are absolutely worth having—a humidifier and a hygrometer. Your guitar will thank you and reward you with greater health and longevity (for the guitar, that is).

Small and inexpensive (about $12 on up), acoustic guitar humidifiers come in a few different types that go either in your guitar’s case or in the guitar itself. These include the clay-filled type about the size of a film canister (remember film?), the soundhole-cover type and the rubber-tube type, each of which works basically as a saturated enclosed sponge that moisturizes the wood without actually dripping water anywhere on the guitar (hydrating your guitar is good; actually dripping water on it is bad).

A humidifier is a good idea because guitars are made of wood, and wood reacts to changes in humidity and temperature. Really good acoustic guitars are built in humidity-and temperature-controlled manufacturing environments, and maintaining the recommended moisture and temperature levels present during your guitar’s construction will help prevent problems such as fret buzz, warping, cracking, top sinking, etc.

What is the optimal humidity level for your acoustic guitar? About 45 to 50 percent.

Put another way, your guitar is comfortable in the same humidity and temperature range that you’re comfortable in—neither of you comfortably withstands prolonged exposure to extremes of heat, cold and dryness. A good acoustic guitar is built to tolerate a certain amount of gradual climate change, but sudden big changes in humidity temperature can really cause trouble—like leaving a guitar in a hot car and then opening the case in an air-conditioned room, or bringing a guitar that has been sitting outside in the cold into a heated (and likely very dry) room.

This is where your case comes in too, by the way. Besides getting your acoustic guitar from point A to point B, its case also helps protect your guitar from heat, cold and, with the help of a small humidifier, dryness. Keep your acoustic guitar in its case when you’re not playing it, especially if you live in a particularly dry climate. When moving it from cold to warm environments (or warm to cold, dry to damp, damp to dry, etc.), don’t open the case right away—let your guitar acclimate to a different environment for a short period while it’s still in the case.

And if you get a guitar humidifier (and you should), you ought to get a hygrometer to go with it. A hygrometer is a small device that measures humidity. Put it in the room where you usually keep your acoustic guitar or, even better, right in your guitar case (fastened by Velcro to the outside of the accessories compartment, facing the heel of the guitar is a good spot). Really good ones cost $30 to $50, but there are plenty of less expensive ones that work just fine, and they often come packaged together with humidifiers as complete humidity control sets.

Electric Touch Release New Album

Austin-formed rockers Electric Touch released their new Howard Benson-produced album Never Look Back on Tuesday, March 20. Guild recently caught up with singer Shane Lawlor at our Artist Showroom during South by Southwest to chat a little about the new album.

Guild: How do you think you guys have evolved with this album since your eponymous debut?

Lawlor: I think it picks up where the first one left off but I also think it is bigger and more ambitious in every way than the first album or anything we’ve ever done in the past. There are some orchestral arrangements on there. There’s a lot of rock and roll on there, and the songs really go for it. They don’t hold anything back. They are very, very honest. I think it is definitely a progression for us.

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Acoustic Guitar Reviews Guild F-1512E

Acoustic Guitar has posted an online review of our Guild F-1512E guitar, breaking down its specs, history, designs, feel, tone and playability.

“Overall, the Guild F-1512E is an impressive instrument,” sums up AG. “Whether you’ve always wanted a Guild jumbo 12-string but couldn’t afford a US-made version or are simply looking to buy a great 12-string regardless of brand or price, this is an ax worth checking out.”

Read the full review and watch product demo here at Acoustic Guitar.

Dealer Spotlight: Music Emporium – North Bellmore, N.Y.

If you’re on Long Island, you’re in for a treat when you stop by Music Emporium in North Bellmore. The 6,000-square-foot music store and lesson studio has some of the industry’s most exciting gear in stock.

Owner Charlie Lovarco founded Music Emporium in the early 1980s, never suspecting that one of Long Island’s most respected music entities would evolve from such humble beginnings.

“It started off as a teaching facility,” said Lovarco. “One thing led to another, and now we have over 20 full-time music teachers and carry full lines of music instruments.”

And when Lovarco says “full lines of music instruments,” he’s not kidding. When you walk into the shop, you’ll find nearly any instrument series you’re looking for. That includes Guild, and if you’re looking for the GAD series or any other Guild line, Music Emporium will very likely carry it all.

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Guild Fan Spotlight: Michael Rapp

Michael Rapp

Michael Rapp of San Diego is a retired chef with the highest degree of culinary expertise. As such he’s no stranger to the stressful life of the restaurant business—he ran bustling restaurants for more than 25 years, working long, strenuous shifts.

But once the kitchen lights were turned off, Rapp’s chops moved from the cutting board to the fretboard.

“I’ve always worked with musicians in the kitchen,” said Rapp. “After working for 12 straight hours, we’d want to play music. It was great camaraderie, and it was a good way to relax and unwind.”

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