I shall be going down to Roberts Hall in Lynn Haven this coming Sunday afternoon, July 17, when my niece ‘Mean Mary’ James will be performing, kicking off a month-long Florida tour (she resides in Nashville these days). Chances are I’ll perform two or three songs also, assuming my allergies don’t close up my throat again.
Probably be taking my inexpensive Kramer acoustic, a cutaway dreadnought. It’s a decent enough guitar, solid cedar top, and essentially an Epiphone by another name. What I like most about it is that it is well suited to my uniquely inept style of finger-picking — nice wide shallow neck that is easy to play. Much like my nylon-string acoustic-electric, which I would play if I could hear myself better there. I learned not to use it at Roberts Halls some time back. And its built-in pickup sounds pretty awful.
Another guitar I do not use for performing is my ancient cheap Ovation Celebrity. Twenty-five years old and still as solid as ever. Built like a tank and sounds only slightly better, with its thickly polyurethaned plywood top. But the sound is not why I don’t play it much anymore; no, it is the narrow neck. I just don’t feel comfortable with it.
Actually, if I slap in a magnetic sound-hold pickup, it can do a reasonable imitation of an archtop. If I ever get out playing rock again some day — which I kind of doubt — I might break it out for that. But it is also a bit uncomfortable to wear for very long, having the deep bowl body. I would be tempted to purchase a better ‘super-shallow’ Ovation for playing out if they did not also have the narrower necks. So it goes.
Anyway, I’ll be there and Mary will be there and her mom, my sister Jeanne, will be there (Mary and Jeanne are also the authors of several novels. Not as many as me, but several.) And of course, our hosts, Maggie and Mike McKinney, aka Lucky Mud, and a large crowd, let us hope. If you are in the area, come on by. Mary starts at Four PM, we open-mikers at Three.
There will be snacks and beer and wine and stuff too!