Vintage Guitar - December 2016 - Open - 93

Photos: Mark Levine.

Charles Esten with
a Gretsch Country
Gentleman.

guy, and as such uses the widest range of
guitars.
"He's a performer - side man and
session player - so he's more-versatile,"
explained Linden. "In his portrayal, Chip
plays my '56 Gibson LG-2 with a Baggs
soundhole pickup for a lot of scenes, and
a '66 Martin D-18. As of late, he's also
playing my sunburst '64 Gretsch Double
Anniversary with a Bigsby. Those have
become Deacon's roots."
Rowe expands on the character's
toolbox.
"Deacon has a '55 J-200 with a pickup
that I grabbed from Carter's. When we
filmed our second On The Record Live,
Chip asked to borrow it and afterward
said, 'I don't think this guitar is ever going
back to Carters',' and he bought it. Prior to
that, he was shown mostly with Buddy's '54
SJ-200, which Emmy Lou Harris had given
him. For slide, he's using a 2012 Goldtop,
and we have a '52 reissue Goldtop with
the trapeze tailpiece. Then there's Buddy's
Gretsch Black Penguin with a Bigsby and
D'Armond pickups, and one I got from
Fender with the original-style tailpiece."
Early on, the Juliette Barnes character,
played by Hayden Panettiere, gifted Deacon a rare Martin.
"That was a '29 OM-28 - an incredible
guitar that sounded unbelievable," said
Rowe. "We got it from Norman's Rare
Guitars. T-Bone flew with it from L.A. to
Nashville and, after, it sold for $50,000."

Aubrey Peeples
with a '35
Gibson L-5.

In the era of "product placement," very
often the appearance of product like
musical instruments happens through
endorsements, but Rowe explained that
is not the case with "Nashville."
"A lot of what we're doing is Gibson
and Fender because it works so well with
the music - Gretsches, Teles, and Gibsons
are just so tasty, and Buddy, T-Bone, and
Colin are finding the voices for the songs.
It's such an Americana vibe."
And when it comes to "Fender or Gibson," well, it's far more often about "old
versus new."
"We love old, sweaty guitars," said Linden. "They have that mojo. We're all out
there - the whole music team - looking at
old stuff. And the funny thing is, we tend
not to buy anything for the show because
we're afraid it will end up in a warehouse
somewhere."
"There are a lot of great new instruments, too," adds Linden. "I've used a
couple of Eastwoods, including a Tuxedo.
But if someone was to ask, 'What's the
definitive guitar of the show,' I'd say my
'51 Gibson CF-100e. It's got a K&K pickup,
so it really does have two outputs. There
are several of them in the 'Nashville' TV
family now; there's something about them
that feels like it's ours."
The organic methods of recording
and performing are carried out beyond
cinematic storytelling.
"T-Bone really values the sound of an
December 2016

93

VINTAGE GUITAR

acoustic guitar played acoustically," says
Linden. "When we did a promotional
performance on 'The View' with Chip,
Sam, Clare Bowen, and Jonathan, we didn't
use pickups; we just put mics in front of
guitars. We even brought an RCA 44 for
the upright. Whenever you see somebody
on the show not plugged in, we want to say
in our own subtle way, 'These really cool
guitar sounds were done with mics.' Even
people who aren't musicians can kind of
tell if something is a crock."
"We don't want to make a show with no
strings on the guitar," Rowe adds with a
laugh. "There's nothing worse than hearing a vibrato bend played when there's no
vibrato arm on the guitar. I talk to a lot of
people who couldn't care less which guitar
that hunky guy is playing... but then there's
guys like us!"
Certainly, when the show's list of fans
includes names like Brad Paisley, Chris
Martin, and Seymour Duncan... "We
wouldn't want to go on the cheap with
anything, especially when people we
respect are watching."
Beyond keen-eyed musicians, though,
Linden points to the bigger picture - and
broader audience.
"We're doing our best to represent this
great music community in Nashville," he
said. "It's so stylistically diverse and versatile,
and we want to put it on proper display."
Other not-easily-impressed people laud
the efforts of Collin, Rowe, and others on


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Contents
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