Friday, February 20, 2009

Mysteries of the Cotton Queen

Here she is, what do you think of her? She's a vintage Gibson LG-2. I picked her up at Willie's Guitars in St. Paul a few years back. Nice small body, with surprising volume and very mellow tone and sustain. And the neck, my goodness, what a neck. You should run your left palm up and down that neck. You could melt butter doing that. This guitar was built for the songwriter in you, and no doubt she has helped write a few.

There's an old decal on the top of the soundboard that reads "Cotton Queen'' and takes you to mysterious places you've never visited, whispering stories you've never heard. There was a girl, maybe 15, who ran away from home in Alabama and made her way down Mississippi, along the Natchez Trace. She got away for good. And one day she became the Cotton Queen...

There was a surprise waiting for me the next time I walked into Willie's. Molly, who had sold me the guitar, handed me a World Traveler magazine. "I've been meaning to send this to you, but I figured you'd be back,'' she said.

Inside the magazine was a page spotlighting Willie's Guitars with a large color photo of Molly, sitting in the acoustic room, holding the Cotton Queen. Of all the beautiful vintage guitars in that crowded picking parlor, she had chosen that one for the photo shoot.

It was painfully cool, just like Willie's guitars.

1 comment:

  1. The men are playing Gibsons and they always have and they always will. That is a nice one.