Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you heard right. I am the proud owner of a Boswell dreadnaught acoustic guitar. Brazilian rosewood (sapwood) back and sides and an Adirondack spruce top. This guitar is only the fourth that has ever been made by my friend and master luthier Butch Boswell. It may sound like an oxymoron to call someone a master luthier who has only made a handful of guitars, but alas, it is true.
Butch told me last year that he would be making his first 7 guitars over the course of the next year and asked if I would like to buy one. The price was unfathomably high for someone like me who has always gotten by with relatively cheap instruments. The nicest guitar I have ever had is a $700 Martin DM that I bought 13 years ago. It was a huge splurge at the time and it changed my life. It was the catalyst that got me seriously committed to songwriting and recording, and it made me realize that (relatively) nice instruments are worth it. It has been an amazing guitar and I was not in the market for another. But once he offered one to me, there was something about getting one of Butch’s guitars that I could not pass up. After all, I figured that I might one day get a nicer acoustic and it would likely be a Santa Cruz or a Martin. But I don’t know the people who make those guitars. There would have been no connection. I know Butch. I see him all the time and I know his wife and kids and I know his dedication to his craft and I know he is super meticulous and anal, which is what you want your luthier to be. So last year I gave Butch a down payment and prayed that I might be able to come up with the rest of the cash.
As of last week I had gotten Butch a percentage of what I owed him, but I still owed a lot. However, he knew I had a gig that weekend and the guitar was finished and was just hanging there in his shop, so he told me to come and get it. And suddenly I was terrified. It was time.
I can try to justify the expense until the cows come home. But in the end, the bottom line is that it is just an amazing, beautiful instrument crafted by my friend and I feel very fortunate to be able to have it. It sounds amazing, it plays amazing, and it looks amazing. I will grow old with this guitar. We will age together. My Martin is looking beautifully warn after 13 years of steady playing, and I cannot wait to see how my Boswell ages. As of this writing I am finally a majority owner in the guitar. I only owe 30% and I think I will be able to get him the rest of the money this week, at which point it will be ALL MINE! ALL MINE!! HA HA HA HA!!.
I once heard Robert Earl Keen say the best thing about having several guitars is that there are different songs locked inside of all of them. That stuck with me because I am constantly mining for songs and it gives me immense pleasure to create new ones. My Martin has been a treasure trove of songs. My cheap Recording King has been a wonderful guitar and has given me some great songs. I bought a Yamaha awhile back on Craigslist and she and I never grooved too well, so she is being sold today at a garage sale and will hopefully end up in the hands of the right person. I could never keep that thing in tune. As for the Boswell, she has been put through the paces. She stays in tune. She is sturdy. She plays like butter. She is gorgeous. She is truly one of a kind.
Stay tuned for more pictures and hopefully some new songs.