PRS Swamp Ash Special: The Sound of My Voice

Music is one space in the imagination where I feel joy. Few things offer such fellowship as standing in a living room with friends who play or sing without attitude. If we only remember our best moments before our death, then most of mine will involve playing songs with my friends. I think of those friends all of the time: Forbes, Gill, MacAleer, Bacon, Henoud and the Toronto groups I played bass on stage and recorded with, but never really got to know. Toronto is a hard town. Ironically, not one single woman I have been in a relationship to this point valued music, singing or playing; perhaps that is why I was never happy before, perhaps that is why I am happier now.

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Last evening found me back at Capsule Music, where I had put my MusicMan bass up for consignment sale. Frankly, I had spent most of my afternoon visiting guitar shops in search of a new voice. Yes, I already own a 2003 American Stratocaster, but as I explained to a friend: every instrument has a spirit as each was a tree before it became a guitar. However, that wood, when connected with a human’s experience takes on a unique voice – sort of like a wand does in Harry Potter. My strat has a sorrowful, desperate voice- good for slide, but not to sing with.
My choice? A 2002 Swamp Ash Special from Paul Reed Smith. With two humbuckers and a Seymour Duncan Vintage Rail in the middle this guitar burns but is subtle enough for jazz and Indie music. In the shop it was good, but plugged into my Mesa Boogie tube amp I become a rock god…again.

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The guys at Capsule Music were really great to deal with, and though I took a loss on the bass by trading it in lieu of waiting for a sale, the peace of mind knowing that I paid a fair price for the PRS guitar, received a more than fair trade-in price, and felt like I was treated like an adult made the loss a true gain.
As I tend to photograph musicians who inspire me for no cost, music also remains a key part of my artistic photography. Like any subject, my own experience with playing informs me intuitively as to when a musician will “show moves” in a song and how she might want to look for fans. I have met more than a few great people in the past four months. Now, as I wait for my cracked Martin to be repaired, I can return to songwriting and playing in a positive way. The little things become big things. Now that I have two electrics, and this have a back-up for the stage, maybe it is time to start playing again.

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3 responses to “PRS Swamp Ash Special: The Sound of My Voice

  1. Enjoy the new axe my friend. Music is probably the one thing I can depend on to get me through the storms of life. Hope you still find time to record too.

  2. Yes!!!!! Fantastic. Also, get a Twitter account. I have been sharing your blog on mine. You are a real artist my friend and deeply fascinating human being.

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