Videos by American Songwriter
Six years ago, Leroy Powell walked into Norman’s Rare Guitars, in Tarzana, California, and started playing everything in the shop.
“I tested and tested a lot of guitars,” said Leroy, whose band the Stone Jack Ballers fuses psychedelia with classic country music. “I needed something right away at the time because I was on tour so much.” He eventually focused his attention on parlor-size guitars. “I must have played 15 or 16 of those bastards.”
Once Leroy tested the 1955 Martin 0-18, he didn’t have to look any further. It was the best choice.
“It’s the coolest little guitar and I love it,” he said. “It has Brazilian rosewood and all sorts of wood they can’t use anymore. I also got one of those L.R. Baggs pick-ups to put in it. It captures the sound really good.”
The guitar has special significance for Leroy because it was financed with his first royalty check, for the song “Busted In Baylor County,” a tune he co-write with Shooter Jennings for the Dukes of Hazzard movie.
Over the last six years, the guitar’s seen a lot of action at home and abroad. “It’s my main axe that I play with around the house,” he said. “I even took it out when I toured with Kid Rock … it’s held up pretty good for how old it is.”
Watch the video below of Leroy playing his ’55 Martin 0-18 for the song “Driving Me Out Of My Ever-Loving Mind.” – Caine O’Rear
About the filmmaker: In the last 10 years, Seth Graves has become known about Nashville as a musician, journalist, blogger, actor, visual artist, filmmaker, and most notably, director of countless videos for fashion designers, and both local and national bands.