Lifestyle

Robert Earl Keen on Shotguns & Guitars

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Living in Kerrville, Robert has the chance occasionally to sit back and relax and every now and then go hunting.  Regarding this, Robert, as he was spotted coming out of a guitar shop in Manhattan was quoted in the New Yorker Magazine as saying “You can’t have too many shotguns or guitars.”   So what are Robert’s favorite Shotguns?  And his favorite guitars?

Guitars

Robert Earl Keen on Shotguns & Guitars

Photo: muzicosphere.com

1935 Washburn – This is a restored parlor guitar, originally steel stringed but converted to classical nylon.  The secret to sound quality in an acoustic guitar is hard thin wood and his Washburn is constructed of Brazilian Rosewood.  At its age it is also very fragile.  Robert finds it comfortable.

“It’s friendly, like butter on a hot biscuit.”

Robert Earl Keen on Shotguns & Guitars
Photo: collingsguitars.com

Collings – This is his stage guitar.  He’s played it for years.  Collings is developing a world following for the outstanding quality of his work at his factory in Austin, Texas.  A Collings has an amazing fretboard and as each guitar is custom made, no two are alike.  But having an instrument of this perfection makes one more comfortable on stage.

Robert met Bill Collings through Lyle Lovett. He bought the guitar in 1995 with a royalty check from Hitone records. The producer at Hitone later called Robert and said he’d made a mistake and wanted his money back. But Robert had already spent it on his Collings.

“I told him not to worry, the guitar was in good hands.”

Fender Stratocaster – Robert doesn’t consider himself an electric guitar player. But this Stratocaster is a re-issue of a classic fifties design in cream white. Robert bought it on tour in Norfolk, Massachusetts, and it is special because it has a cheesecake rendering of Ginger from Gilligan’s Island on the back. He likes it for its low action on the fretboard and the confidence it gives him.