Traverse City Record-Eagle

Arts & Entertainment

November 15, 2013

Globe-trotting guitars are coming to Motown

DETROIT (AP) — Globe-trotting acoustic guitars have been passing through the hands of songwriters from Helsinki to Haiti, Bogota to the Big Apple. Now, Detroit — home to the Motown Sound, modern techno and the Queen of Soul — has its own ax circulating among unsung musicians.

There’s a different guitar in each city, but the premise of The Acoustic Guitar Project is the same: Give the guitar to a songwriter for a week, in which he must compose and record a song, and upload the recording and a photo with the guitar. The instrument then is signed and delivered to another artist.

The project’s creator, Dave Adams, originally intended for one guitar to “travel everywhere,” but the first one never left New York, where he lives. So the project evolved, incorporating multiple guitars crisscrossing continents, and led Adams to Detroit — the place he was born and raised. Now, Adams is discovering that each collection provides a soundtrack for the cities — especially this one, which is trying to get its groove back.

“It just feels like I’m getting a little piece of Detroit with every musician — like going to a Detroit smorgasbord and tasting all the flavors,” said Adams, who works in advertising when he isn’t traveling the world with guitars.

The fifth town on the project’s itinerary is more than a pit stop. It’s also the site of another project of Adams’, a crowd-funded TV pilot about the guitars. Donors contributed $20,000 and picked Detroit as the destination.

For Adams’ homecoming, he selected the dozen musicians and had a guitar custom-built for the city.

Detroit resident Britney Stoney said once the instrument was in hand, she was inspired to write her song, “My Own Rules.”

“I was sitting right here, and I just came up with the melody for it,” Stoney said from her loft apartment near downtown.

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