Featured Videos: In the Studio

Peter Rowan Remembers Preston Thompson

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The songwriter and roots music icon talks about buying the second guitar Preston Thompson built, and plays a few songs on that 000-42 style instrument.

by Dan Gabel
July 11, 2019

Songwriter, singer, bandleader, guitarist, Grammy-winner . . . there are many titles Peter Rowan rightly holds, as evidenced by a career that includes a stint with Bill Monroe, collaborations with Tony Rice and Jerry Garcia, more than 25 albums under his name, and current projects with the Free Mexican Airforce, the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, and others. 

Peter recently stopped by the Peghead Nation studio to tell the story of buying one of the first two guitars that luthier Preston Thompson made, a 1980s 000-42 style 12-fret, which was a copy of a Martin guitar that Hot Rize guitarist Charles Sawtelle owned. Preston Thompson passed away in April, and as Peter says in this video, he is still having a conversation with Preston through this guitar, which Peter has toured and recorded with since 1982. 

Peter talks about playing the guitar for the first time at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, and how Charles Sawtelle was the middleman in the negotiation between Peter and Preston regarding the price of the guitar. He also plays and sings “Jimmie Brown, the Newsboy,” “Old Santa Fe,” and “My Blue Heaven” in this video. 


Category: Featured Video

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Jul 01, 2020
The songwriter and multi-instrumentalist performs an original song live in the Martin Museum, on a 1942 Martin D-45.




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