It is the wood that the rock greats have sworn by—swamp ash, in the form of their Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars—for more than 70 years. If you have ever listened to rock, you have probably heard a solid-body swamp ash guitar. But now climate change is threatening the wood that helped build rock and roll.

In today’s podcast, veteran guitarist Jim Campilongo takes us through the finer points of swamp ash and what it would mean to lose it. 

Bonus material: Here’s Campilongo showing the difference between the sound of a solid-body swamp ash guitar and a hollow-body one. 

And here’s a little information about Campilongo’s latest project: He teams up with his longtime collaborator Luca Benedetti on the album Two Guitars. Check it out.

Editor’s Not (2/16/21): This podcast incorrectly stated that the article on climate change and swamp ash in the February 2021 edition of Scientific American was authored by Priyanka Runwal and Andrea Thompson. The author was Runwal alone.