Sunday, June 09, 2013

Picking up the 12-string

I have a wonderful 12-string guitar that I bought from folklorist Barre Toelken when I was a grad student. I stepped into an elevator with him and he flat out said that the IRS needed a mess of cash that afternoon, did I want to buy his 12-string? I used to play it at parties at his house and loved it. I said I didn't think I could afford it. Make an offer, he said, you may be surprised. I think I offered $100, a fraction of what it was worth. I could barely afford that at the time. Sold, he said.

This became my main instrument. It's what I played in my Guthrie show years, touring. I set it down a few years back when I took piano lessons, then later it stayed down when I took banjo lessons.

Lately I've been thinking it's time to pick it up again. Interestingly enough, it's not playing but singing that triggers this energy. I think I have a new attitude about a number of my regular songs that will change and improve them in subtle ways. Record them for my archive. That's all. No public performing. Been there, done that.

So maybe I'll do that after my grades on in. Dust it off. See how the strings are, and if I am interested in playing it, well, surely it's time to buy new strings.

Strange and interesting energy, this. Maybe I'm not quite done with music after all.

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