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July 25th, 2017

Autographed Guitar Returns to Local Musician After 10-Year Journey

Pictured left to right: Tom White, Bobbi Sleeper, Ernest Garcia, Sophie Hale, Jim Miller, Sam Fleurrey, Katie Sweeney. Photo by M. Donavan

Pictured left to right: Tom White, Bobbi Sleeper, Ernest Garcia, Sophie Hale, Jim Miller, Sam Fleurrey, Katie Sweeney. Photo by M. Donavan

The fabulous, almost serendipitous ReSOURCE Store in Barre gave native son and musician extraordinaire, Jim Miller, one of the biggest surprises of his life – a “cheese slicer” guitar that he and many other local musicians had signed back in 2004 when it belonged to Riverwalk Records on Langdon Street in Montpelier.

The guitar showed up recently at the ReSOURCE Store and employee Tom White knew that one of their frequent customers might be interested and able to shed some light on this hard-to-play yellowish guitar that had been dropped off by someone in a car with a Pennsylvania license plate.

As soon as Miller looked at the guitar, one autograph stood out – his own!

“At first, I was puzzled…It had been so many years (January 2004). I almost didn’t remember doing it,” said the proficient CD producer and music mixer. “I was playing the accordion at the time for Patrick Mulligan, then owner of Riverwalk Records, which is now Sweet Melissa’s at 4 Langdon Street. Before moving his business to State Street, he would ask area musicians to autograph this house guitar,” explained Miller.

Some of the other autographs are from Dave Keller, Mark LeGrand, Starline Rhythm Boys and the late David Scott Dean.

Miller now hopes to track down Mulligan who has moved out of state to reunite the former owner and guitar – and maybe to learn more of its history.

“The non-electric guitar was called a “cheese slicer” because the high distance of the strings to the bridge would cause players to have bleeding fingers and maybe even a nose bleed,” according to Miller.

Miller is also once again volunteering to be the stage manager for the Barre Homecoming Festival. His latest CD will span 35 years of music mixing.

He worked for nearly 25 years at Play It Again Sam in Montpelier and hopes to return somewhere into the retail field in the near future.

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