I saw this duo perform at a recent wedding, and was so blown away by their style, talent, tunes, and personalities that I actually bought one of their CDs right there.
“Patchouli” is their project when they have lyrics (named after Julie Patchouli), and “Terra Guitarra” is when they’re doing instrumentals.
And they were always smiling, like they were having the best time.
I open the case and the scent takes me right back, that peculiar musty, dusty guitar smell so evocative of the hot, cramped little practice room in the back of the music shop one summer.
I took guitar lessons when I was in high school, after my parents came back with a Fender acoustic from a rummage sale. I saw a worn black leather case with tan stitching, prone to popping open if I wasn’t careful about the clasps. The cardboard lining was a little worse for the wear, and the cardboard box for picks that rested beneath the neck of the guitar was missing its lid.
The guitar was perfect. I smoothed my hand over the polished toasted-buttery grain with its darkened edges. I had no idea how old it was, but it was all new to me, from the cream-colored pick guard to the thick brass strings.
I’d always loved playing musical instruments. I started with the cello in 4th grade, added the clarinet in 5th and by the time I got to the guitar, discovered I could sing.
Despite my brother having an electric guitar, I’d never considered playing it myself before this one arrived at my house. Suddenly I was taking lessons, strumming naturally in a down-up-down-up pattern, learning new songs. I remember how excited I was when I played “Yesterday,” up there in that little practice room and later out in the yard beneath a tree without the music book.
I even wrote a snippet of an instrumental and proudly played it for my teacher. Probably nothing spectacular, but it was all mine.
And today I’m giving my guitar away.