Pop Wagner — Pop is one of my favorite performers and oldest friends. We get to perform together from time to time and I always have a great time. A world-class entertainer.
Phil Heywood — One of the Minnesota Guitar Wizards, Phil simply oozes soulful playing. Great guy, too.
Peter Lang — One of the Minnesota Guitar Wizards, Peter recorded with John Fahey in the '60s and was extremely influential in the acoustic music scene. He was out of professional music for quite a few years, but I'm here to tell you: He's baaaaaaaack!
Tim Sparks — One of the true masters of the instrument, I'm proud to call Tim a friend. A real mutant. One of the Minnesota Guitar Wizards.
Dean Magraw — Speaking of mutants, what can you say about Dean Magraw? In addition to being a great player, he's one of the funniest guys on the face of the earth. He gets sounds out of the guitar that nobody knew were there. Another of the Wizards.
Geoff Muldaur — One of the great singers out there today, Geoff really gets it. I've gotten to know him some over the last few years and he never ceases to amaze me. If I were to do top ten lists, which I don't, he'd have two entries on my best of the '90s list.
Duck Baker — A fantastic musician, a musician's musician you might say. The only person I know with a wider range of musical interests than my own, and that's going a step or two. These days he's living in London, teaching, playing some solo gigs and working with his group The Expatriate Game. Isn't that a great name?
Robin and Linda Williams — What can you say about these two? If you haven't heard them already, check out one of their shows next time they're in your area. And they will be in your area.
Peter Ostroushko — The world-class mandolin and fiddle player is another long-time friend of mine. He can play anything. Pretty good cook, too.
Paul Geremia — Paul is nothing short of a national treasure, it's been said, and I agree. He's the guy that turned me on to the wonders of the classic Gibson flattops (the Jumbo and the J-35). and I'm forever grateful.
Charlie Parr — The future of traditional and rootsy music is in good hands if Charlie is any indication. This guy sings and plays the old stuff about as well as anyone ever did and he writes some great tunes in the tradition, too. He gets it. Fly down to your local record store and buy his albums or, better yet, order from him directly (we all like that). You won't be sorry.
Adam Hurt — Another great young traditional player, Adam makes an actual musical instrument out of the banjo, and that's no mean feat. He's too young to be that good.
Sally Rogers — Sally is a great singer of traditional music, writer and teacher. She's been my pal forever and she just continues to get better. She's married to Howie Bursen, the great clawhammer banjist and winemaker.
Takasi Hamada — The Ragtime Ninja! Hamada-san is one of my favorite guitarists anywhere. I'd travel halfway around the world to do a gig with him; as a matter of fact, I have! Check him out!
Artists and artisans from outside the music world but who, nevertheless, make the world a better place.
Dale B. Hanson Photography — Dale took most of the pictures of me on this site except. He's a world-class digital photographer and a good friend. Until he gets his website up feel free to drop me a line if you're in need of his services; I'll be happy to pass your info along.
Nick Lethert & Liz Welch - making beautiful images together in South Minneapolis since 1980. Liz & Nick design websites (including this one), logos, and more.
True Stone Coffee - I recently upped my coffee experience a notch when I discovered these guys. The highest quality beans roasted to perfection. Good folks who are in business for the right reasons. Yum!
David Quinn — A wonderful furniture maker and artisan of the highest quality and a good friend.
Apple Computer — These guys continue to make the coolest, hippest, neatest stuff out there. I don't know where I'd be without my computers and my iPod. Not to mention my phone. And they do it with such grace and elegance. Naturally, this website was made on a Mac.
I'm lucky to live in a town with several honest music stores. In addition, there are some great shops all over the country that I've had the pleasure of doing business with. This list is by no means complete, and I'll be adding to it as time goes on.
Willie's American Guitars — (St. Paul, MN)—The coolest music store I've ever been in. Specializing in vintage electric stuff and tube amps, they also have a formidable acoustic selection including several nice vintage instruments and old and new Nationals. They support my radio show too.
LaVonne Wagener Music — (Savage, MN)—Pete Wagener owns this place and he's the guy that turned me on to the wonders of the acoustic archtop guitar. You won't find a more honest music store anywhere. These guys are great.
Homestead Pickin' Parlor — (Richfield, MN)—All your folk music needs can be found here. Guitars for beginners to advanced players, lessons, and more. In-store jam sessions every week in most genres. Great people, too.
Vintage Instruments — (Philadelphia, PA)—Every time I visit Fred and his wonderful vintage collection it takes him a month to wipe my drool off the guitars. A great guy, a great store, wonderful stuff.
Schoenberg Guitars — (Tiburon, CA)—I've known Eric forever and there's nobody on the planet that knows more about OMs, 000s, 00s and the other classic Martins. He's also probably owned more Epiphone Recording guitars than anyone on the planet. He owned mine a couple years before I got it. Small world.
Carter Vintage Guitars — (Nashville, TN)—A relatively new entry in the field of cool shops, Walter needs no introduction and Christie will make you feel like you're an old friend. Lots of cool old and new stuff.
Gryphon Music — (Palo Alto, CA)—Another wonderful selection of great guitars, one of the best repair shops in the country and a nice, knowledgeable staff make this place one of the best around.
Old Town Pickin' Parlor — (Arvada, CO)—Uncle Kit has a lot of wonderful instruments in his shop. He also offers lessons and a regular concert series.
Elderly Instruments — (Lansing, MI)—The granddaddy of them all, I think you'd have to say. Guitars, mandolins, banjos, you name it, they have it.
Mandolin Brothers — (New York, NY)—Another of the vintage specialists, these guys made their name selling ultra high-end vintage instruments. I always look forward to Stan's inimitable newsletter; it has to be read to be believed.
Denver Folklore Center — (Denver, CO)—I have a soft spot in my head for this venerable institution. When Sean and I were recording North by Southwest in 1978 the Folklore Center let us use their performance area as a rehearsal spot. They were so nice to us. Nowadays they have a great selection of all the folk instruments, lessons and good people.
Matt Uminov Guitars (New York, NY) — An institution in the Village this is a wonderful store and repair shop. Don't miss it.
Record stores, CDs, listening
The Electric Fetus — My local first stop for all my listening needs. This place started life as a head shop in the late sixties and has become the premier record store in the Twin Cities. They do a great job of keeping up with releases and locating hard-to-find stuff and their staff is knowledgeable and friendly—I appreciate it.
Down Home Music — This is a difficult website to navigate, but if you know what you want they probably have it. Located in El Cerrito, Ca., this place is absolutely hands down the best record store I've ever been in. Be warned: leave your credit card somewhere and only take as much cash as you can spend. I learned this the hard way.
Elderly — Another great record store, this one is in Lansing. Filled to the rafters with roots stuff, this is another scary place for me to visit.
Homestead Pickin' Parlor — These guys specialize mainly in Bluegrass and Old-Time stuff and they have a lot of it. They're really passionate about the music and have been doing a great job for years.
Other musical stuff
Frets.com — A truly amazing site for the guitar enthusiast. Frank Ford is one of the country's finest repairmen and offers tons of information on how guitars are made, fixed, you name it. Great information on care and feeding your fine instruments, a gallery of cool stuff and more information added every day. One of the wonders of the internet.