My old Takamine EF349 acoustic-electric guitar and "Keepin' It Country"
PICTURES and VIDEO BELOW ARTICLE
It was probably 1993 or 1994, I was living in Stroudsburg, PA. It's where I went to and graduated college,
and remained there after graduating-as my career as a single act (one man band) took off rather quickly.
I remained in Stroudsburg until 2006 when I took a lucrative full time music gig in St Pete Beach, Florida.
Back to the guitar story, picking things up in 1993 again..... It was a Friday afternoon and I was setting up
for my weekly happy hour gig at a club called The Treadway Inn in Pottsville, PA. I'm not really sure why
I had to interrupt my setup to run to nearby Terrace Music Center. I'm thinking it may have been because I
had forgotten to load my guitar into my truck for the gig. There was no time to run back to my house over
an hour away, so I went to what was the only music store around. I was unhappy with my guitar anyway,
a Yamaha APX which played poorly and sounded worse- and loved a reason to buy a new guitar.
I was a Takamine guy, having also an EF340 which was having bridge problems and at that time a broken
element. When I got to Terrace, I was THRILLED to see a Takamine acoustic electric hanging on the wall
behind the counter. I strummed it for a minute, made an offer for near the asking price and bought it.
I used this guitar at every gig for the next 8 or 9 years, probably 1600 times or so. It was 2002 or 2003,
when I noticed then that it was due for a fret job, but I didnt know where to take it and figured just sell it,
take that money plus the money not spent for the fret job, and get a new guitar. Once again, a reason to
buy a new guitar. I decided to try ebay, put it up for sale and sold it. I shipped it in a brown case that
came with the Yamaha guitar 9 years prior.
FAST FORWARD to January 9, 2015. I had decided on the 8th, since having the 9th open, that we would go
to the Alan Jackson concert over in Tampa. Off we went that Friday night. As the show went on, the jumbo
screens would typically show Alan or a bandmember up close, especially if soloing. As the camera zoomed in
on Scott Coney and his reddish brown guitar, I thought the body looked similar to my Takamine (a not very
common full body dreadnought acoustic electric. Most would have a cutaway. Then the camera zoomed in well
enough to see the headstock clearly. It indeed was a Takamine. I mentioned to Sheryl that it looked alot like
the guitar I used to have and sold on ebay 12 years ago. Of course realistically, I felt it was probably a newer
model of some sort. Then later, the camera angle showed the preamp/EQ module in the front top of the body.
WOW! that was the same model preamp that was in my guitar. (A Takamine enthusiast would understand why
this was fairly easy to discern). This model preamp was discontinued maybe 15-16 years ago. (A Takamine
enthusiast would also agree that this preamp was the most naturally sounding preamp Takamine ever made-
wayyyy better that what replaced it). I told Sheryl how it looked exactly how I remembered my own EF349
and have not seen one since I sold mine. I would occasionally see one on ebay, but they are very rare. I joked
how amazing it would be if that were the guitar I had sold.
The next day I researched the band and found Scott on FaceBook. I friended him and messaged him asking if
he was playing a Tak EF349, and that I had one as my main gigging guitar for 8 or 9 years. He replied the next
day that indeed it was, and asked if I still had mine. I told him the ebay story and he messaged back asking me
my phone number and said "I think I have your guitar".
He called me a few minutes later- he did for sure buy my guitar from me through ebay.
He was searching for an EF349 at that time, as he preferred the discontinued electronics and it best suited his
bluegrass/flatpicking styles. We talked for about 20 minutes and had a good laugh at how this all transpired.
He had the guitar refretted etc by a major league luthier/tech. He also replaced the black pickguard with a
dark brown one.
So there you have it- my guitar being played by Alan Jackson's Strayhorn, Scott Coney, for the last 12 years
opening up the shows with "Gone Country", the very song that I open alot of my gigs with !!!
He's a really friendly guy and I hope to meet him and strum my old guitar this summer if and when we visit Nashville.
So if you go to an Alan Jackson concert or see him gigging on TV, look for the brown full bodied Takamine and think of me.
The stage lighting in Tampa gave the guitar a reddish hue as seen in the first pic below, but it has not been refinished to
that extent. I took that picture on the jumbo screen and Scott uses it as his cover photo on FaceBook (without my edits!)
The second pic is from Scott's FB page and shows the guitar clearly. Some videos of Scott playing the guitar are below.
Few guitarists in the business can play like him !!
To email, send to email@example.com . The link sends mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Both of these addresses go to my default email. You can call me direct at (570) 573-2313. The (570) is my Pennsylvania based cell number, which I kept when establishing residence in Florida. If you are in the beaches area of Tampa Bay/Gulf area, you can find me using the schedule at the top of the page. Make sure to spend lots of money on food, drink, my CD's, and bring plenty of cash for my TIP JAR.