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Spotlight: Courtney Marie Andrews

HAILS FROM: Phoenix, Arizona USA
PLAYS: Solo
SOUNDS LIKE: Dreamy, slow-burning crooners
LATEST DROP: Old Flowers (LP out now via Fat Possum)

What’s your current go-to guitar?
My current go-to guitar is a ‘90s Takamine Nylon. I was on the hunt for a mid-priced nylon-stringer, and a friend found this at a small vintage guitar shop in Nashville. They’re very underrated guitars, and a lot of the country guys have them in their arsenal. It has a very warm and balanced sound, and the neck is the perfect size.

How did you initially fall in love with the instrument?
With acoustics, the love generally lies in how the guitar resonates and how balanced it is. I fell in love with the way it feels to play it. My first guitar was, funnily, a cheap nylon-string guitar from Mexico that my uncle got me for my birthday one year.

What inspires you as a player?
I am a big fan of fingerstyle guitar, so early on I loved Jose Gonzalez, Joni Mitchell, Leo Kottke Elizabeth Cotten and Mississippi John Hurt. Songwriters who play the guitar with open tunings and with great inventive style are of great interest to me. More recently, I’m very into Hawaiian slack-key guitar. I incorporated flatpicking and fingerstyle techniques so I could perform more dynamically as a solo artist early on.

Are you much of a gear nerd?
I wouldn’t call myself a gear nerd. I like workhorse-type gear. If I find something I like, I generally stick with it for a long time. I love vintage Fender amps – the classics – and Strymon makes great pedals.

Do you have any ‘white whales’?
No. I use gear as a tool to summon songs and creativity, and am very rarely enamored by the gear itself. Sometimes the greatest guitars can be $100 no-name thrift store finds.

What would your signature model look like?
I’d probably make a D-18 dreadnought with a thinner neck for smaller hands, Brazilian rosewood, and a pretty pearl inlay on the fretboard.

If you could jam with any guitarist, dead or alive...
I’d play with Elizabeth Cotten and ask her to show me some pickin’ tricks.