Watch Out Neighbors!

I just got a new (old) guitar, and I'm going to learn how to play it!

My husband and I have been guitar shopping for, well, most of the time we've been together. First we were searching for an electric guitar to replace the well-worn Fender Stratocaster he'd been playing since he was a kid. That journey lasted nearly two years during which we trolled fancy guitar stores stocked with dinged up vintage Telecaster Thinlines and shiny cherry burst Gibson 335s, crummy guitar stores crammed with cheap Fender Squiers and, usually, at least one classy Epiphone Zakk Wylde Les Paul Custom. It was fun, playing all those guitars!

So when I decided I was ready to take the plunge and get a small acoustic guitar of my own, we started the process again.

We already have a big, boomy Martin dreadnought, but it is better suited to bluegrass hootenannies and too unwieldy for me to learn on. I wanted something small, cheap enough that we'd feel okay tossing it in the backseat of a car or leaving it perched next to the couch. I wanted a guitar that sounded beautiful and would age well. Small, cheap, sounds good - a tall order.

We played parlor guitars, both vintage and new, but they fell short on sound, ringing with a boxiness that felt wimpy and closed-in.

We played cheap and mid-priced Taylors, Takemines and Alvarezes, but they were all too blahhh... mousy-haired wallflowers.

We were tempted, so tempted, by a stunning 1941 spruce top Kalamazoo with guts and mojo and soul. Oh, that Kalamazoo!

The winner? A Gibson B15 from early 1968, a tender, sweet little mahogany acoustic guitar that I like to think was strummed by an earnest young folksinger with long blond hair and a peasant blouse, in parks, university courtyards, at protests, around campfires.

And I love it!