Acoustic Nation with Dale Turner: The Essential Acoustic Cuts of Yusuf Islam, a.k.a. Cat Stevens

These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the March 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

Born Steven Demetre Georgiou, Cat Stevens rose to fame in the early Seventies with an impassioned and groovy folk-rock sound that put him in step with singer-songwriter legends like James Taylor, Carole King and Van Morrison.

In 1977, a near-drowning experience—coinciding with his receiving a copy of the Koran—prompted Cat to convert to Islam, change his name to Yusuf Islam and retire from the music business.

Stevens resumed his music career in the Nineties, and today he’s back on the prowl, touring the U.S. for the first time since 1978 and armed with a new record, the Rick Rubin–produced Tell ’Em I’m Gone, featuring Richard Thompson and harmonica ace Charlie Musselwhite, among others.

In this lesson, we’ll look at a few of Cat’s classics—acoustic “chord-based” gems, ripe with internal moving voices, ornaments and strums—all of which he performs to this day.

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Dale Turner

A singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/film composer, Musician's Institute instructor, and author of 50+ transcription/instructional books, Dale Turner is also Guitar World's "Hole Notes"/"Acoustic Nation" columnist, and the former West Coast Editor of Guitar One magazine. Some of Dale’s old, weird, rare, and/or exotic instruments are featured in his score for WEEDS, the first animated short completed within the Filmmakers Co-op at Disney Feature Animation. His most recent CD, Mannerisms Magnified, was praised by Guitar Player magazine for its "Smart pop tunes that are crammed with interesting guitar parts and tones ... Like what the Beach Boys might do if they were on an acid trip that was on the verge of getting out of control. Yeah!"