Friday, November 18, 2005

Shawn Colvin On Martin Guitars

Shawn Colvin played a benefit at Club Passim in Cambridge last night. A small, intimate show (just 145 fit in the room!) Her voice was amazing and her playing is really great; a good rhythm player with a percussive feel, she uses a lot of muting and mixes in enough finger-style to keep it interesting.

She told a lot of stories about her early days as a performer playing at the club. During a moment of intense guitar tuning she invited the audience to ask a question and someone shouted out ‘What’s that Martin you’re playing?’

Well she positively gushed about her Signature model Martin. She said that when she started out she had always wanted a Martin – she used to play a Yamaha that were just terrible she said – and she and a friend would go to the local guitar store and “play the Martin’s.” She eventually got enough money together to buy a used D-28 (a 71 model) in 1975.

“Martin came to me and said they wanted to make me a signature model,” she continued, “so I told them I wanted a neck that I could wrap my hand around, I wanted it to ring like a D-18, but have the bottom end thump of a D-35. Can you do that?” Then she turned over the guitar and showed the three-piece back and then pointed at the headstock that mimicked it and said “they did that, I had nothing to do with it.”

She was definitely happy with the guitar. “I gave one to Jackson Browne because he gave me a Gibson a while back,” she said.

“I was looking at the book of signature guitars they’ve made,” she continued, “and the thing I regret now is, I could have had my name written along here,” and she waved her hand along the fingerboard, “but I said ‘No, I want it very spare.’ It doesn’t even have fret markers. I was so stupid!”

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