The Current's Guitar Collection: Greg Holden, 1972 Martin 00-28

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Greg Holden performs in the Forum at MPR. (MPR photo/Leah Garaas)
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After playing a captivating session in MPR's Forum, Greg Holden stopped to talk to us about the guitar he played during the performance. Here's what he has to say about it.

You were playing a Martin acoustic guitar.

Yes, it's the triple-O 28 from 1972.

Where did you get it?

I bought it at Chicago Music Exchange, which is a really dangerous guitar store because everything they have in there is amazing. I'm going to be in Chicago this weekend, too, so I'm a bit nervous about what's going to happen. Although I am going to check out Willie's American Guitars in St. Paul later today …

How did you get introduced to Chicago Music Exchange?

I was on tour, and one of my friends that I was on tour with told me about it. We visited the place, and it's been true love ever since.

Did you go there looking for a Martin?

I usually buy Gibsons actually, and that was the first Martin that I ever bought. It looked cool, so I picked it up and starting to play it. It sounded amazing and I was like, "Ah, I guess I'm going to get one of these." But I'm generally more of a vintage Gibson guy.

When you're writing songs, do you typically work on one of your Gibsons?

Usually whatever is out, because I don't keep all my guitars out because the weather is so different in New York. I like to keep the guitars in their cases. So whatever I've got out at the time is usually what I'll write on. I have a couple of really old ones that I like to write on, just because they're more inspiring. The newer ones that I have, I sort of just use for when I'm touring, because they're a bit less fragile.

In your interview with Jill Riley, you described the songwriters who have inspired you. Who are your guitar-playing influences?

That's a good question; I've never really been asked that, actually. I never even really thought about it. I think Blake Mills is a really amazing guitar player; he's a young guitar player who played on one of my albums a few years ago. The way he plays is really great because it's very technical but it feels very organic. You know when sometimes you watch some guitar players and it's a little stressful? It's like, 'What's going to happen?' With Blake, it's very controlled in a very relaxed way. I like that because it's very rhythmic, but it's not typical strum patterns. I'm inspired by how unique his playing is.

I would never consider myself an accomplished guitar player; it's a tool that I use to write music for sure. I wish that I could be Mike Campbell or something like that, but I try to concentrate more on writing songs.

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3 Photos

  • Greg Holden's 1972 Martin 00-28 in its case
    Greg Holden's 1972 Martin 00-28 in its case (MPR photo/Leah Garaas)
  • Greg Holden's 1972 Martin 00-28
    Greg Holden's 1972 Martin 00-28 (MPR photo/Leah Garaas)
  • Greg Holden's 1972 Martin 00-28 in the Forum
    Greg Holden's 1972 Martin 00-28 in the Forum at MPR. (MPR photo/Leah Garaas)

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