The one thing that I'd really like to share with everyone is a fairly recent acquisition to my guitar harem. Some background troddings though, to set the stage...I've been a huge fan of an artist named Stephen Bruton for years. Dad took me out to see him when I was about a freshman in college and it changed my life. I owe my Dad for my very musical existence, and I consider the first time I saw Stephen play as one of the cornerstones of my musical development. You rule, Dad.
Stephen passed away on May 9, of 2009. We all knew he had been struggling with throat Cancer for some time, but I had no idea he had taken a turn for the worse. He was living in Los Angeles at the time with his old Fort Worth buddy T Bone Burnett, and the two had just completed the soundtrack for "Crazy Heart". I was crushed.
Like all us guitar nerds, Stephen was a bit of a collector of musical instruments. After a while, I started hearing rumblings about his collection being up for sale. After a call to my good buddy Doug Swancy, he put me in touch with a gentleman named Harry Harris. Harry grew up with Stephen and his older brother, Sumpter, who is also a damn fine guitar player. Harry also had connections with representatives from Stephen's estate and had purchased a couple of instruments for himself that Stephen used to own. Harry informed me of what was left on "the list" and I immediately gravitated towards the Jerry Jones baritone guitar that was still available. This was "Froggy", an instrument I had seen Stephen play many, many times.
|Stephen playing Froggy at Antone's in Austin|
Photo by Ron Baker
This instrument is something that will henceforth remain in my family. It's a true treasure. I am lucky to own it, along with Dad. I will cherish it forever. I will continue to take it out on the road and play the guts out of it, just like Stephen did. He would have wanted it that way. Guitars were tools to him, and he felt they were meant to be played - alot. I agree.
Thanks TSB, for all the music, heart, soul, tone and licks you passed our way. You are dearly missed.