Not long before the major-label landscape collapsed in a heap, only to morph into a crud formation of reissue-happy conglomerates, Garrison Starr signed with Geffen. It was 1997, and if ignorance truly is bliss, the 22-year-old singer/songwriter from Hernando, Miss., couldn’t have been happier. Those 15 years feel like a lifetime ago for an older, wiser, slightly more cynical Starr, who’s busy promoting her sixth full-length effort, the self-released, fan-funded Amateur (Radtown Music). It took her some time to come to terms with her sexuality (and others’ opinions of it), and it’s taken her even longer to get comfortable with her creative self. To that end, the angsty-yet-optimistic, stylistically diverse Amateur is a coming out of sorts. Starr will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with her.
Starr: Shortly after I started playing guitar, I discovered the Indigo Girls. I learned to play listening to Emily Saliers. Listening, rewinding, emulating. Listening, rewinding, emulating. In 1997, I played the Lilith Fair, and the Indigo Girls were on the bill. I met their guitar tech, Sully, and we got to talking about guitars, what kind of strings the girls play, etc. I told her I kept breaking strings and was frustrated. I tend to dig in pretty hard when I play—always have. She recommended the Martin SP Acoustic strings that apparently have some kind of core that the string is wrapped around to keep them from breaking as much. I tried them, and I literally haven’t played any other strings since. For all my faults, I’m loyal as shit.