Last month we dropped in on Nashville guitarist William Tyler at The Stone Fox, the restaurant he operates with his sister, Elise, for one of our Martin Guitar sessions. There, we heard Tyler perform “We Can’t Go Home Again,” a song from his new album Impossible Truth that he wrote and recorded on his Martin acoustic.
Tyler’s uncle gave him the guitar as a gift, about five years ago. “He had just gotten it out of his attic and said, ‘I haven’t played this in like twenty years.’ The neck was almost off, so I had to take it to a luthier to get it repaired. When I got it, it really wasn’t a playable guitar, but I just recently started traveling with it and it’s my main acoustic now.”
Tyler wasn’t sure of the guitar’s year or model number, only that it came from the ’50s, but the staff at Martin believe it’s a 1955 00-18.
“This guitar, there’s just something about it,” Tyler said. “It’s so warm sounding, and I started tuning it down a whole step to relieve a little of the tension on the neck. And the first time I did that on the guitar, I was like ‘Wow, it opens up a lot.’”
“I don’t have a lot of guitars, Tyler said. “I’ve never been able to afford to collect them, so they’re all pretty personal. And the fact that this was a family inheritance meant a lot.”
About the filmmaker: Nashville musician turned filmmaker Houston Mathews completed his first feature film, Music City Underground, a documentary on Nashville’s rock music community, last year. He has since been producing and directing music videos and live sessions.
Audio recorded and edited by Steve Martin. Text by Caine O’Rear.