Folk Notes

Kate’s Guitar – Read about SoCoFoSo member, Mark Weddle’s article in Fretboard Journal

February 23, 2024

An article about the guitar Mendocino luthier David Matlin built for Kate Wolf written by SoCoFoSo member, Mark Weddle, appears in the latest issue of Fretboard Journal. Kate, and longtime accompanist, Nina Gerber, met David while touring Mendocino where David had his guitar shop. At the time, Kate played a Martin D-21. When she mentioned to Nina that her guitar was a bit too large, Nina recommended Kate have David build her a guitar. After David completed the guitar in 1984, Kate played it for 28 months, including her performance on Austin City Limits, before succumbing to Leukemia in 1986. During her last days, she gave the guitar to Nina. Considering herself the guitar’s “caretaker,” Nina plays it regularly at local shows. (If you’ve seen Nina perform with an acoustic guitar, you’ve seen Kate’s guitar.)

“Kate’s Guitar” features photos by Irene Young, the Freight and Salvage house photographer with hundreds of national magazine photos to her credit, and two rare photos, one a signed photo Kate sent David after she received the guitar, and one of David in front of his shop taken in 2000 by Mendocino High School photography students. (David passed away in 2015.) It includes interviews with Nina and individuals who worked with David including former Byrds drummer and StringBender creator, Gene Parsons.

“Kate’s Guitar” is not published online, however, and local bookstores no longer carry Fretboard Journal. Mark will bring a few copies to the Bluegrass and Folk Festival on March 9. You can also order the magazine at this online location.

Related Posts

Letter from the President

Letter from the President

Greetings, I want to touch base with you all on two topics. First, I thank everyone who has ever volunteered, played at, or otherwise helped out at the Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival. This past festival will be my last as event director. I am hoping that...