Chris Kirby

Chris Kirby plays an old Gretsch Resonator that dates between 1929 to 1935. (Heather Barrett/CBC)

A musician's instrument is often their pride and joy.

In the seventh part of our summer series about musicians and their guitars, Central Morning's Leigh Anne Power spoke with musician Chris Kirby about his guitar that is known for producing an iconic blues sound.

Kirby plays an old Gretsch Resonator.

"I can't date it; I think it's somewhere between 1929 to 1935," says Kirby. "It smells like everybody's grandfather's basement."

Kirby bought the guitar in Halifax about three to four years ago on his way back from the East Coast Music Awards in P.E.I.

He bought the guitar after playing one note. Kirby's always wanted a resonator guitar because he's a fan of blues music. He plays his guitar with a brass, cylindrical slide on his little finger.

Gretsch Resonators originally had all-metal bodies. The only company that could build them was the National Cash Register company.  

"So only rich store owners got these guitars because they gave them away with cash registers," said Kirby. "If you bought a top of the line cash register you got a free guitar. That's how all the stores in the States got them. The store hands, the poor and the slaves wound up with the guitars because the store owners didn't use them. The guitar became synonymous with the blues because they were gifted to the people who worked with the rich store owners."

Kirby considers his Gretsch Resonator an irreplaceable instrument and his pride and joy.