Makes Beautiful Sense: Strumming by the Surf

If you play guitar, you know the peace of mind, body, and soul when you sit down with your instrument; the hours wile away in a soothing fashion. If you don't, you probably, on occasion, linger in front of a guitar shop window, eying the pretty wooden forms while deciding if this is finally the year you take lessons.

And if neither of those things apply, you certainly have heard a song played acoustically and enjoyed it. Now you can spend two days doing just that at the LA Acoustic Music Festival, which is very nice by itself, but it only gets better, much, because the whole party goes down next to the ocean.

Like, right next to the ocean, on Santa Monica Pier. Waves, fog, seagulls, expansive thoughts, and strummy, singy tunes by Nanci Griffith, Bruce Cockburn, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Eliza Gilkyson, Richard Thompson. There are many more artists playing the festival, too. It's a big list, one you'll want to peruse at your leisure, with some soft guitarage on the headphones to complement the looking.

And we have to say it : "Last Night of the World" by Bruce Cockburn is a very fine, very plainly told paean to love and simple pleasures. Very fine indeed. Plus, how often do The Friends of Dean Martinez get a shout-out in song? We're trying to curb how often we blithely toss "cool" around but that is cool indeed.

LA Acoustic Music Festival happens June 6-7 at Santa Monica Pier.

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