Photo: Kevin King
It Goes To 11: Samantha Fish's Favorite Piece Of Gear Is A Road-Tested Blues Instrument With A Sound That Sets Her Apart
Blues rocker Samantha Fish shows off her cigar box guitar, an instrument that's been a crowd-pleaser at her shows ever since the day she bought it.
Singer/songwriter Samantha Fish's catalog encompasses an array of different styles, from rock to alt-country to bluegrass. But a major part of her foundation is in blues, and her favorite instrument is a testament to those roots.
In this episode of It Goes to 11, meet Fish's Stogie Box Blues Cigar Box Guitar, a piece of equipment that's been essential to her live show for the past decade. "The beauty of this thing is how durable it's been for me for 10 years," she explains.
The origin story of the guitar — made from an actual cigar box, which once contained 20 premium cigars from Nicaragua — is a memory that's special to Fish.
"I remember being a teenager, and my father took me to my first-ever blues festival in Helena, Arkansas. They call it the King Biscuit Festival. And a lot of the bands and one-man acts were playing this instrument," she recounts. "I remember thinking, 'Wow. So cool and unique.'
"Fast forward, years later, I got hired to play the same festival with my band," she continues. "I saw a guy selling these, and I said, 'Hey, this is kind of circular and perfect and serendipitous. I'm gonna buy one.'"
The first time she tried it out in front of a live audience, the reaction was immediate. Now that the guitar is so special to both Fish and her fans, the singer admits she's not sure what she'll do once it dies. "You find it, and you're attached to it, and it's really hard to replace it, even if somebody makes you a replica," she says.
Even when that moment comes, Fish will still keep it around for sentimental reasons. "I've got some gear on my walls," she adds. "I'm gonna play it 'til it can't be played anymore, and maybe there'll still be some shreds of it to hang up somewhere."
Press play on the video above to see Fish's cigar box guitar — as well as some shots of the instrument in action — and check back to GRAMMY.com every Wednesday for more episodes of It Goes to 11.
Photo: Kelly Samson, Gallery Photography
Photo: Brandon Lee Davis
It Goes To 11: Thuy Reveals The In-Ear Monitors That Have Become Her Guiding Light On Stage
At every performance, there is one item that Vietnamese singer Thuy must have: her UE Live in-ear monitors. They allow her to hear everything — most importantly, her fans.
When Vietnamese singer Thuy hits the stage every night, she has one item that can instantly calm her nerves and ensure a smooth performance: her Ultimate Ears Live monitors.
"They're my everything," she explains in this episode of It Goes to 11. "When I can't hear, I don't do a good job."
Thuy considers the UE Live monitors one of "the best in the game" because of their crisp quality — she can hear her voice and the instrumentals through any frequency. And she can chat with her band through them, which may be her favorite part: "Sometimes, we'll have banter and a little morale during the show."
The UE Live monitors also have face plate customization, so she likes to switch them to match whatever outfit she's wearing that evening. One day, she hopes to have a personalized plate of her dog to feel his presence even when he's not there.
And most importantly, Thuy can still feel the audience with her UE Lives. "You're almost in your own world. With other ears, you feel like you can't connect with fans, but with these, I can hear them," she reveals.
Press play on the video above to learn more about Thuy's beloved UE Live in-ear monitors, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of It Goes to 11.
Photo: Sara Haile
It Goes To 11: Sammy Rae Reveals The Keyboard That "Transformed" Her Writing Process
Singer/songwriter Sammy Rae reveals the story behind her favorite instrument, a Korg G1 Air digital piano that unlocked new "artistic and creative autonomy."
Sammy Rae's favorite instrument is also a milestone for the singer: her "first adult keyboard," a Korg G1 Air digital piano.
When she first set up the keyboard — which was gifted to her by the brand — it made her cry because she finally had something "to write on whenever she wanted."
"It's a gorgeous piece of furniture that lives in my room," she mentions in the latest episode of It Goes to 11. "When I open the door and see it here, I know this is my keyboard, nobody else's."
Rae considers the Korg G1 Air to be the "perfect writing keyboard," as it's able to create grand, acoustic and electric piano sounds. "It really was a missing piece in my writing process that's made things a lot easier…it has transformed my writing process," she adds.
Besides its functionality, her G1 Air was symbolic of "a step towards artistic and creative autonomy." No more heading to her closet to pull out a bulky keyboard — this one is ready whenever she desires.
Press play on the video above to learn more about how Sammy Rae's Korg G1 Air keyboard optimized her songwriting process, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of It Goes to 11.
Photo: Courtesy of Claire Delić
It Goes To 11: Meet Claire Delić's Classical Guitar That Became Her Most Reliable Shrink
Dutch singer/songwriter Claire Delić introduces her favorite instrument, a classical guitar that's helped her understand her deepest fears and insecurities.
For Dutch singer/songwriter Claire Delić, guitar isn't just an instrument she plays — it's a tool for healing.
"When I play the guitar, I feel she has something to tell me. It's not only me," Delić explains in the latest episode of It Goes to 11. "She has something to give me. We have a conversation."
Delić feels nervous communicating her thoughts, but when she has her guitar in hand, it becomes easy to express her emotions. It also helps her understand her fears and insecurities. As she reveals, "Music is my language."
"I was having a hard day, and I took my guitar and started to play. Suddenly, I was weeping," Delić recalls. She continued to play, and something magical happened: her cries began to coincide with her strums. "With no hesitation, I didn't have to control it. They were just being together, dancing."
After many years together, Delić believes her guitar has become her most effective shrink. It knows her most intimate stories and exactly how to heal her. "There's nobody like my guitar," she says.
Press play on the video above to learn more about Claire Delić's powerful bond with her guitar, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of It Goes to 11.