Guitar wood and sound quality. Choose the right kind of guitar for acoustic players.

Greg Bennett Regency guitar

Laminate back and sides increases the playability of an acoustic guitar by reducing reflected vibration that leeches some of the mechanical energy from the soundboard, reducing sound. Shown: Greg Bennett Regency 12 with Nato laminate back and sides.

I’ve just come to an understanding that an Ovangkol guitar is very similar to Rosewood. Could this be a very close equal to the Brazilian Rosewood Guitars? Would anybody notice the difference?



Epiphone AJ-18S-LH with solid spruce top

Flexible wood with long, equal ring spacing amplify the sound as it transfers from the strings through the bridge. Shown: Epiphone AJ-18S LH with solid spruce top, rosewood bridge..

Like violins, guitars are a mechanically-driven vibration amplifiers. The top is the soundboard, and the tension of the strings to the bridge drives the energy from the vibrating strings into the soundboard. It is the soundboard that compresses air inside the body cavity, and the sides and back’s job is to not vibrate, but to contain the sound pressure.

Fender Kingman guitar

Custom and limited edition guitars sometimes feature rarer woods for the back and sides. Shown: Fender “Elvis Presley Clambake” guitar with Wildwood (tinted beech wood) rarity owned by me.

Thus, while flexibility is good for the top wood, you want rigidity for the sides and back.
While a denser or thicker wood would bring the resonance down towards the bass end, the effect is very slight. The construction techniques of the back and sides affect the sound far more than the material.

Epiphone mahogany back

Mahogany or other hard, dense wood, is preferred for back and sides. Shown: Epiphone Vintage Himmingbird, Mahagony laminate.

We observe that the light vibrant woods are great for the top, while heavy, denser woods serve best as back and top. The hardest woods, ebony, maple, walnut or rosewood, is best for the non-vibrating parts, such as the fingerboard and the bridge.

Obstructionisis spit in our cup, piss in our well, and trickle down dosen’t really trickle down!

The obstructionists want you to forget history.  Do you remember 2001?  Was that ancient history?  Let us review.

Starting in 2001,  Republicans got everything they wanted. They got the deregulation of Wall Street, banks, commodity markets and by 2004 increased borrowing leverage of 40 to 1. They blocked states from banning the outsourcing of state government jobs to India.

They got mega mergers of energy, banks and health insurance companies, while not bringing a single antitrust action in almost eight years while the bankers and brokers rode the economy into the dirt.  Trillions were stolen from the value of the economy, most notable our home values, trillions that ended up in Republican pockets in offshore bank accounts.

The Republicans were handed huge projected surpluses that would have left us debt free by 2011. On top of the Clinton surpluses, they got huge tax cuts which they claimed would create 24 million jobs and create an economy so good, that we would be debt free of the national debt by 2011. Do you remember all those promises?  Go back to the archives of news interviews, they promised all that and more.

For over ten years they did not enforce EPA regulations.  The Republicans deregulated everywhere, privatizing the military and much of government saying this would reduce cost.  Then they doubled the size of government over eight years.

They got an unfunded PRIVATE Medicare Part D drug program w/o cost controls that locked all Americans into paying five times more for the same drug as in the rest of the world, that cost annually as much as the paid for Obamacare which reduces the deficits while their Drug program is 25% of the remaining deficit.

They got Private Medicare Advantage HMOs, which instead of costing less as promised were paid 15% more while they paid Doctors 30% less than regular Medicare, and if not fixed under Obamacare was going to bankrupt Medicare by 2016.

Defense spending more than doubled. To accomplish all of this they quickly did away with the policy of ‘Pay as you Go’ which had resulted in the surpluses they were handed, with Republicans saying Reagan had proved deficits don’t matter.  Do you remember them saying that on all the news shows?  Go look it up.

The result?  American energy prices increased 400% and food 300% as speculation in the commodity markets increased 400%. Health insurance increased 300%.

Ronald Reagan ran the national debt so high that the economy suffered from 1983 to at least 1995!

Ronald Reagan ran the national debt so high that the economy suffered from 1983 to at least 1995!

The tax cuts did not produce 24 million jobs, but minus one million private sector jobs and an economy losing over 800,000 jobs per month. The Republican tax cuts did not make the economy boom as they promised nor increase wages and increase payments into Social Security and Medicare.  As a result of the Republican mismanagement, jobs dried up, wages went down and deregulation hurting American programs and the citizens who depend on them.

Surpluses were changed into massive deficits. The privatization in EVERY case resulted in higher costs not lower. They continued their assault on Unions and pro outsourcing signing 32 free trade agreements as 60,000 factories closed and ½ of high tech jobs were outsourced. The ones making the money were the wealthy Republicans and their mega-rich donors.

The economic results (after the Republicans got everything they wanted but the complete killing of Social Security and Medicare) was the WORST economic performance in 100 years.  Heck, maybe the worst one ever!

They want us to engage in their same economic ideas that killed a world economy in 2008-20011.  Now, they even want to turn the hands of the clock back even further to 1890, doing away with public schools and universities, an EPA , a safety net that prevented this from being a Great Depression and etc..

Apologies to Bill

after Wm. Shakspeare

Enter the three Witches of MacBeth.

Witches Broom Nebula

Witches Broom Nebula

Through the mists, we heard some crones,
This gruesome chant they eerily intoned.

Thrice the cursed cat hath meowed.
Then the hedge-fox yipped and howled.

The Raven cries: it’s time! it’s time!
Appeared three witches, pale and blind.

Three eyeless witches on brooms did lean,
To cast this spell for Halloween.

Now is Old One come from Hell,
Let us chant to make our spell

Round about the caldron go;
Into the poisoned broth we throw.

The ghastly recipe was slowly hissed
As the three blind crones read their list,

Toad, buried under cold dark stone,
Days and nights counted thirty-one;

Sweated deadly venom, a seeping goop,
Boil thou first in our charmed soup!

For a charm of powerful trouble,
As did the hell-broth boil and bubble.

Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,

Spider fang and scorpion’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

Fillet of a poison snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;

Scale of dragon; tooth of seasprite;
Root of hemlock plucked at midnight;

For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Stillborn corpse cold and drab.
Make the gruel thick and slab:

Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our caldron.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

Witches’ mummy; mouth and throat
Of the ravenous great white shark;

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Finished now the charm of trouble,
From the hell-broth boil and bubble.


Ignorant legislators score cheap publicity victory — by making at least a million citizens suffer!

Dear Legislator:

My wife was in a traffic accident in 2003 and has lived with terrible pain every day.  She is on painkillers and she is careful to just take as few as possible to get through the day.  I have often seen her hold back tears because the painkillers are not strong enough.  She is strong-willed and she is very careful to not take as much as she could, because she fears becoming dependent on the painkillers.

  • In your haste to save a few dozen drug abusers, you have inflicted needless pain and suffering on many thousands Illinoisans.

She has been taking synthetic codeine at a relatively high dose for eleven years now, and has managed to not fall prey to overuse.  She has terrible leg pain, and the doctors know her case well, and her use of the painkillers is well monitored by her doctors.  It is very difficult to get her and the wheelchair out of the house.  We try to schedule medical and dental visits to minimize the number of times we have to get her into the car to go out.

In posturing as anti-drug, you have passed a bill preventing our family physicians from prescribing her medicine.

Now, she has to go see a doctor far away so he can validate her need for her medicine.  This is painful and very inconvenient.  I do not understand why legitimate patients like my wife are being punished for the behavior of others.

Yes, we understand that the Legislature is trying to save the kids who abuse medicine.  I get that you want to minimize the deaths of the few hundred people who overdose each year in our state.

  • In saving a few dozen drug abusers, you have punished hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens who live with serious pain. 

Please rewrite the law so that innocent people who need their medicine are not punished in your attempt to modify the behavior of the fools who abuse drugs.

The measure that was passed that went into effect this month is simplistic and will never achieve your goal of ridding our state of drug users.  What you have done is make my wife more depressed by making her suffer more pain.

I fear there are at least a hundred thousand more like her, who are crying in pain every morning, every night.  Every time you vote on medicine restrictions, please remember the many thousands of innocent people who are crying for pain, at that very moment, who count on you to, if not ease their suffering, to at least not make it worse?

The measure probably looked good for you legislators, so you can posture that you are hard on crime and drug use.  How could you raise the bar for the most critically ill among us?  Despite your good intent, you have imposed a painful sentence on the people who elected you to protect them.

  • Please use your power to ease the pain of your constituents, not increase it.  Please fix this law. 

My wife, and the thousands of others who depend on opioid-based pain killers deserve better from our public servants.

Civic Planning = Civic Transportation = Civic Profitability

Why are New York, Los Angeles and Chicago the biggest cities in America?

Local investment in transit infrastructure.

World-class cities have buses, rail and local service, and the cities that will be the most wealthy in the future are those who invest in big transit projects now, while costs are cheaper then they ever will be again.

Superior transportation is a wealth multiplier for the whole region.

Get educated, your support can make Chicago America’s biggest city in less than a hundred years!

Want to help your friends learn more about this topic?

American Fossils

Avoid Extinction! Fossil Fuels, Just Say No!

Please share this with your social circle.

You can help spread the word: Tell a friend today!  

This is an article

News info


God is Alive

God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot

Leonard Cohen & Buffy Sainte-Marie

 I love this song.  If you have never heard it, look it up.  I am republishing my interpretation so as to help preserve interest in this great, timeless song.


words: Leonard Cohen  music: Buffy Sainte-Marie © Stranger Music, Inc./Caleb Music-ASCAP

Tablature for guitar from the author’s web site:



Quote from Buffy interview:

Leonard Cohen’s book “Beautiful Losers” stole my heart in 1963 and so did the idea of electronic processing on a vocal record.

I had a recording session scheduled and Leonard was in town. I propped two pages of his book up on a music stand and I just sang it out, ad libbing the melody and guitar music together as I went along. I’ve always wanted to re-record it, as I love the way the power of the words obviously commands the music and drives it beyond any consideration of time signature.



God is alive; Magic is afoot

God is alive; Magic is afoot

God is afoot; Magic is alive

Alive is afoot…..  Magic never died.


God never sickened;  

many poor men lied

many sick men lied

Magic never weakened

Magic never hid

Magic always ruled

God is afoot

God never died.


God was ruler

though his funeral lengthened

Though his mourners thickened

Magic never fled

Though his shrouds were hoisted

the naked God did live

Though his words were twisted

the naked Magic thrived

Though his death was published

round and round the world

the heart did not believe


Many hurt men wondered

many struck men bled

Magic never faltered

Magic always led.

Many stones were rolled

but God would not lie down

Many wild men lied

many fat men listened

Though they offered stones

Magic still was fed

Though they locked their coffers

God was always served.



Magic is afoot.

God rules.

Alive is afoot.

Alive is in command.

Many weak men hungered

Many strong men thrived

Though they boasted solitude

God was at their side

Nor the dreamer in his cell

nor the captain on the hill


Magic is alive

Though his death was pardoned

round and round the world

the heart did not believe.


Though laws were carved in marble

they could not shelter men

Though altars built in parliaments

they could not order men

Police arrested Magic

and Magic went with them,

for Magic loves the hungry.


But Magic would not tarry

it moves from arm to arm

it would not stay with them

Magic is afoot

it cannot come to harm

it rests in an empty palm

it spawns in an empty mind

but Magic is no instrument

Magic is the end.


Many men drove Magic

but Magic stayed behind

Many strong men lied

they only passed through Magic

and out the other side

Many weak men lied

they came to God in secret

and though they left him nourished

they would not say who healed

Though mountains danced before them

they said that God was dead

Though his shrouds were hoisted

the naked God did live



This I mean to whisper to my mind

This I mean to laugh with in my mind

This I mean my mind to serve

’til  service is but Magic

moving through the world

and mind itself is Magic

coursing through the flesh

and flesh itself is Magic

dancing on a clock

and time itself the magic length of God.

To pluck wild mountain thyme


F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

F       Em

And we’ll all go together

F      C       Am

To pluck wild mountain thyme

F         Dm       F

All around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?


C   F       C

Oh, the summertime is coming

F                 Em

And the trees are sweetly blooming

F      C      Am

And the wild mountain thyme

F         Dm        F

Grows around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

F       Em

And we’ll all go together

F      C       Am

To pluck wild mountain thyme

F         Dm       F

All around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

C        F      C

I will build my love a bower

F             Em

Near yon pure crystal fountain

F    C       Am

And on it I will pile

F      Dm      F

All the flowers of the mountain

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

F       Em

And we’ll all go together

F      C       Am

To pluck wild mountain thyme

F         Dm       F

All around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

C         F        C

If my true love she were gone

F          Em

I would surely find another

F     C        Am

Where wild mountain thyme

F          Dm       F

Grows around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

F       Em

And we’ll all go together

F      C       Am

To pluck wild mountain thyme

F         Dm       F

All around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

C    F         C

Oh, the summertime is coming

F                Em

And the trees are sweetly blooming

F     C       Am

And the wild mountain thyme

F          Dm      F

Grows around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

F       Em

And we’ll all go together

F      C       Am

To pluck wild mountain thyme

F         Dm       F

All around the blooming heather

F      C     F     C

Will ye go lassie, go?

F      C     F     C


Too High We Die

Too High We Die

Philip S. Hoffman

Philip S. Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman got high. Portraying Icarus, he fell from the sky. Another artist junky had to die. But Why, But Why, But Why?

chorus Another junky died today. A needle in his arm, life gone away. He flew too close to the sun. Like Icarus, he was undone. Heart broken, heart broken, heart broken.

He went down in flames, Heroin couldn’t ease his pain. He flew with the angels on high. Too high, Too high, Too high!

We all have our aches and pains, We hope to forget but we remember again. Some drown their troubles in alcohol. How far we fall, we fall, we fall.

Too easy to slip a needle in, Hide behind white heroin. Narcotic night embraces me again Numb my pain, my pain, my pain.

But I want to live, I want to see it all end. Surviving, after all, Is the best revenge.    Revenge, revenge, revenge.

February 10, 2014 John Rosengarten Copyright 2014

Words BeeGees


Barry Gibb/Maurice Gibb/Robin Gibb

Smile an everlasting smile, a smile can bring you near to me. Don’t ever let me find you down, cause that would bring a tear to me. This world has lost its glory, let’s start a brand new story now, my love. Right now, there’ll be no other time and I can show you how, my love.

Talk in everlasting words, and dedicate them all to me. And I will give you all my life, I’m here if you should call to me. You think that I don’t even mean a single word I say. It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away.

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