the Fairgame Archive

2009-03-17: Hot Strings
by Emily

A few years ago, my uncle Jamie began a business selling guitars. Acoustic guitars. Going into his shop was like entering a museum of craftwork. From simple classical guitars, with their wide necks and nylon strings good for the complicated fingering of flamenco music or Bach. To Gypsy Jazz guitars, with their lilting sound made famous by Django Reinhardt, the French gypsy child who grew up to become an internationally regarded guitarist, despite the loss of movement in two of the fingers on his left hand due to injury in a fire during his youth. Walking among the redwood and birch of the instruments, the inlay of mother of pearl and ebony was a treat for the eye as much as listening to the music these instruments made was to the ear.

The shop is gone now. Unfortunately, another victim of the downturn in the economy. But the guitars live on, and my uncle continues selling and even making them in his studio. Training a new generation of luthiers to continue the craft and artistry of bringing these instruments into being. My aunt just sent me a link to a video of him playing one. Click and get a taste:

Jamie playing a Crafter TR-06

2009-03-17 17:22:49 MountZionRyan

That grin at the end is great.  A man taking immense pleasure is something he's very good at.

2009-03-17 21:07:09 Meguey

Yet another reason I'm grumpy with the economy. Drat.

2009-03-18 13:55:27 Emily

Thanks, Ryan. Yeah, he really does love it. My father plays too, and it's great when my uncle comes over and they play together. I've got to learn to play (at least a little better!) to carry on the tradition.

And, yeah, stupid economy!

2009-03-18 15:48:08 Brennen

Django was Belgian. I have a cat named after him. A GIRL cat.

That sucks about your uncle's store. It sounds like it was a super cool place. I also come from a family of guitarists, and I now teach guitar for a living. I'm really lucky that Auburn has a great football economy and I can still put ramen in the pot.

I'll be sure to bring my guitar if we're ever at the same con, and I'll show you a few tricks.

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