Guitar music makes you smarter
We’ve all found at least one thing that really helps us unwind—y’know, nooners, martoonis, whatever. For me, it’s kicking back and fingerpicking the acoustic guitar. It was an uneasy match at first, stumbling around in Mel Bay hell after too many years of punk-rock bash ’n’ pop. But two tablature instructional books by Mark Hanson—The Art of Contemporary Travis Picking and The Art of Solo Fingerpicking—set me right. The latter contains a fine bunch of tunes penned by Hanson. He’s one quarter of a Portland-based group called Acoustic Guitar Summit; the others are Paul Chasman, Terry Robb and Doug Smith. That foursome’s two CDs are quite sweet. On the newer one they make even cheesy pop standards like “Mr. Sandman” sound sublime. They’ll be doing it live at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at the Fifth String Music Store at 930 Alhambra Blvd. (at J Street); admission is $12, and you can get tickets at the store. It’ll be an evening well spent, if you fancy that sort of thing. For information, call 452-8282.