Cathy Grier NYCSubwayGirl

[embed][/embed] I first met Cathy at the MUNY (Music Under New York) auditions, as she interviewed performers about that inspired them to create. It's always great to meet a fellow artist asking questions and searching for answers. Find out how important her guitars have been in the creation of her art.

  1. Can you remember the first guitar you owned? What was the make and model and how did you acquire it?

The first guitar I owned was a sears guitar, but it frustrated me and I pinned away for the nylon string classical guitar abandoned in my brother Martin's closet when he got a Les Paul sunburst custom. Martin gave the guitar circa 1967ish Del Vecchio (my cousin Peter brought it home from Brazil when he returned from the Peace Corps). By the time I got the guitar it was seriously scratched up from rock n roll picking and I refinished it myself. I still have it. Sounds warm and lovely. The frets are slanted and the neck is thick, so it was a great way to learn.

  1. What are the qualities that matter to you when deciding on buying a guitar, and how has this changed over time?

Because I am not a session player looking for one ability from one guitar, I look for a guitar that has multi strengths: great playing ability in many styles, comfortable action not too low and a neck not too thin or thick, and comfortable. As a small woman I have found many guitars don't fit my build.

What has changed over time even though I haven't purchase a guitar in many years, is in the past I might have bought as a collector would, instead now I would buy for my needs. What sound is missing? And then try and find that guitar.

  1. How did you discover your present guitar, and how did it find its way home to you?

I am fortunate to have many guitars that are equally interesting to write about, but since I currently use a particular guitar for my busking gigs I'll share about that one. It's a Guild Songbird that I bought at Sam Ash on 48th st in 1990 after seeing Julia Fordham play one. It's a lovely thin-bodied acoustic electric and has a great sound. It amazes me because I have worked it so hard. It has never been in a hard case all these years and except for some regular tune-ups it's still in great shape.

  1. What historical aspects, if any, have you unearthed about your present or past guitars?

I had many guitars in my life that I no longer have the enjoyment of owning. I had a wonderful 1978 Ibanez jazz guitar (it was the first year they made them), which was stolen from my van in 1982 after returning late one night from a long tour. I still miss that guitar. Also stolen was a 1962 Gibson Cherry ES-330 (I never learned who owned it before me). I’m still sad to loose guitars to theft. I replaced the Ibanez loss with an '82 George Benson GB10 Ibenez, but sadly sold it for the more important need for cash when I lived in France in 1995. From the theft and also the subsequent sale of a prized guitar for cash I learned not to get attached to guitars. There are great guitars out in the world. Unfortunately the prices for any of the vintage guitars I now have or had possessed are so out of reach today.

  1. What was the most recent song you composed on your guitar, and how did your present guitar tool lead you to discover the right music?

I wrote a song for a documentary film about wild horses. My guitar helped me to find a gritty earthy sound that made me feel like I was out in the open plains of America.

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