Tag Archive: Martin


[Read part one, two, three, four, five, six, seven]

My immediate concern following the robbery was to get another guitar – the sooner, the better. Fortunately, my parents’ homeowners insurance covered the loss, but not did not pay enough to replace my Martin.

I flew back to Dallas. The next day I was in McCord Music in Valley View Mall. They had sound-proof rooms in the back. I picked out about six guitars. Four were within the range of the insurance check, and two were in the “if I like one of these, maybe I can talk Dad into it” category.

I was apprehensive because I wanted a guitar then, but I wanted to get the right guitar. I don’t remember what kind the other guitars were. I picked up the first two, played them a bit, and put them back. Then I picked up the handmade bicentennial edition Alvarez. I loved the color because it matched my red hair. It had a clear pick guard which I loved. Then I began to play it. It sounded so sweet and when I sang it complimented my voice. It still does – and it really sounds good now with John Pearse strings. The only other set of strings the Alvarez has had on was whatever was on it when I bought it.

Obviously, I’ve never regretted my decision – or losing my Martin really.  I have three Alvarez guitars now. They’re all three great sounding guitars, although I still call that first Alvarez the “good” guitar. It’s the one I’ve got in the picture above. As you can hear when you listen to River That Flows that is out now from Southern Plains Revisited and other songs to come from that album, the Alvarez became an integral part of the Southern Plains sound.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.(

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

916 Acklen Ave., in Nashville

[Read Part One, Two, Three, Four, Five]

Joel and I worked at a sandwich shop in Nashville called Deli Junction. We worked days so we could play or practice at night. One afternoon while we were working, Joel got a phone call. The look on his face told me something was seriously wrong. We couldn’t both leave. He said someone had broken into the apartment. He said he would let me know what had happened.

What had happened was that someone had broken in and stolen every music and sound device in the apartment. My Martin D35 guitar, cassette recorder, stereo, tv, radio, and so forth. Joel’s room was a small room to the left of the kitchen. His Martin D35 was still there in its case.

As we sat there in the den in silence that night, we figured it must have been somebody who knew Joel, so he didn’t take his guitar. As we talked, I thought about the tv against the wall under a blanket or rug – I don’t remember which.

“They probably just figured it didn’t work, so they left it,” I said. “Let’s try it to see if it works.”

We uncovered it, turned it on, and sure as shit it worked. We laughed and everyone looked at me.

“I didn’t watch Perry Mason for nothing!”

It took a while, but we replaced the stereo, the cassette recorder and so on.

Stay tuned for what I did about my guitar being stolen.

_________________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

As the title says, I am testing Martin’s new titanium core, nickel wound strings. They arrived a week ago this past Monday. I agreed to test them with no hesitation. But having used bronze wound, or phosphor bronze on my acoustics for the last forty years, I was wondering what these new strings would do to/for my sound.

When I had them changed and tuned, I played through a couple of songs. The sound was really bright. I was sitting down and I couldn’t tell if my perception was altered simply because they were silver strings and I was used to bronze.

So I went to play the Monday night open mic at Poor David’s Pub – hosted by Mr. Troll – to try them out live through a sound system. I don’t look at the strings much while I’m on stage, so I could concentrate on the sound. I could get the opinion of the musicians in the audience too.

The first thing they said was the first thing that had struck me – they’re really bright. What I began to notice then and throughout the next few days was that what was different from the  bronze wound was what I liked about the strings. Another thing – I’m used to my Martin being consistently in tune, except due to atmospheric changes. But these strings have hardly gone out of tune at all.

I’m playing out tonight, tomorrow night, and twice on Sunday in different environments. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll let you know.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

Sanger-Harris

Sanger-Harris

[Read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4] As I mentioned in an earlier post, McCord Music was upstairs on the right side of the wing toward Sanger Harris. When our house burned down – see part 4 – I bugged the crap out of my parents to replace at least one of the two guitars that had burned in my room. For some reason, they were a little more concerned about the blackened house on Courtshire Dr. with no roof.

I finally convinced them that my way of dealing with the situation was with a guitar and writing songs. I can be stubborn. So I went to McCord at the mall and bought another Yamaha to replace the one that had burned.

By the end of the school year, we were back in the house. During the summer, I started working at the car wash at Forest Ln. and the Tollway. In front of the Pizza Inn by the Safeway. Then the Pizza Inn became Kel’s Kitchen. It now sits empty. The Safeway is now an Antique Mall. Or was last time I bothered to check.

I was still working there went I started at Richland College before transferring to NTSU, now UNT. When I had some money saved up, I talked my dad into co-signing a loan for a Martin guitar. Thanks in large part to the staff at McCord Music.

A year and a half later, I took a break from school and moved to Nashville with Joel Nichols. One day while we were working at Deli Junction (our day job), Joel got a phone call. One of our roommates called to tell him that our apartment had been broken into and his guitar was stolen. It turned out that it was my guitar that had been stolen, along with anything that you could play music on or with. When Joel looked into his room off of the kitchen, his guitar was still there. We figured it was a friend of his that didn’t want to take his guitar.

Fortunately, my parent’s home insurance policy would cover the guitar and tape recorder. I took the bus back to Dallas. Unfortunately, the insurance wouldn’t pay out enough to replace the Martin. So I took what they gave us and went to McCord Music of course. I sat in one of the listening rooms, surrounded by guitars. Most of them were in the price range. A couple of them were a little more. I’ve always thought positively.

I came to an Alvarez. I played a couple of songs and then called the salesmen back. I told him I’d found my guitar and he could put the rest up. The sound actually fit my voice. It had a clear pick guard and the wood matched my hair. I had my guitar.

That’s my history with McCord Music in Valley View Mall. Although I was in there at least a hundred times over the years. That Alvarez guitar sounds better today than it ever has. You can hear it at my show on Sunday.

Peace be with you.

Tone Shop In case you don’t know, there is a new guitar shop on Midway, just north of Beltline, in Addison – Tone Shop Guitars. Co-owners Tommy Roberts, Grant Sheffield and staff will be happy to show you around. They have one of the few Taylor rooms in the country. For the uninitiated, they have a partnership with Taylor and have a room dedicated to Tayor guitars.

Tone Shop also has an extensive line of Martin guitars in a separate room with other guitars. Then there is the amp room. And the wall of electric guitars, as well as other guitars and basses hung around the showroom. You can see the layout in the pictures. They also have vinyl records.
Tone Shop 2
Having only been open a little over six months, their concentration is on guitars, basses, and amps. The accessories and sound equipment “departments” are works in progress. It is safe to say that they are, literally, just getting started. Tommy refers to it as a “Mom and Pop” operation (although I think “Pop and Pop” would be closer to the truth). Regardless, they are locally owned and operated. Which is a plus in several ways, one of which is the personalized service from a neighbor, who listens to what you’re saying and pays attention to what you need. The Dallas Songwriters Association will be working with the Tone Shop on a special event or two, beginning with a workshop.
Tone Shop 4
So drop in and see Tommy and Grant. Play a few guitars – there is sure to be one, or several, that you like. Test out an amp or two. Pick up strings, replace your humidifier or pouches, and buy that accessory you’ve been considering. Tell them I said “hi.” And follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Peace be with you.

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