For many years I wasn’t much for naming instruments; they were “the Les Paul”, “the mandolin”, and so forth. Then in my 40s Cecilia came about as a way to describe the desired voice of a mandolin that Steve Gilchrist was building for me; Cecilia Bartoli is a golden-voiced mezzo soprano who sings with gorgeous warmth, verve, and line. I later heard that Steve listens exclusively to bluegrass and probably didn’t know Bartoli from Madonna, but he built a spectacular instrument so it all worked out.
Now, with multiple instruments in process at once, I often name them as an amiable way to think about and discuss them with others. Watson got his name by having English walnut back and sides and a big heart.
- Top: Carpathian spruce. Lynn Dudenbostel describes it this way: like great Adirondack without a decades long break-in time!
- Bracing: 3 fans and bridge patch of euro spruce, tranverses of Sitka, hide glue
- Bridge: Macassar ebony with compensated bone saddle
- Back and Sides: curly English walnut
- Binding: Bolivian rosewood
- Neck: Honduras mahogany. Ziricote headstock overlay with gold MOP moon logo
- Fingerboard: radiused ebony, with bone nut and MOP side dots
- Finish: oil varnish, with light shellac top coat on soundboard
- tuners: Gotoh UPTL
This walnut is almost good enough to eat:
It’s hard to capture in a photo, but the Carpathian top has striking silking, a term used to describe the lustrous appearance of the ray cells that cross the growth rings. Their prominence is an indication of well quarter-sawn wood.
Watson has lived in a loving home, but his owner dreams of an orculele, so he is available on consignment and will be available to audition at Uke U-4 in Bend, or by contacting me to arrange a visit.