Living Ind

Sounding Board

by R. Reese Fuller

Here's a twist: you can play Francis X. Pavy's latest work of art.

Francis X. Pavy's painted his share of guitars. He painted one for Reeves Gabrel during his tenure with David Bowie and another one for local rocker C.C. Adcock. He's even built about eight of them (which he's also painted), and he has another one he's been building for the last couple of years. "It takes a lot to make a guitar play well," he says. "It's not just arranging a bridge and six strings in a certain order. It's really tricky."

So when Louisiana Crossroads commissioned Pavy to paint a guitar for the music series, Pavy focused on the Crossroads theme. He painted an image in oil, divided into four directions with four different elements of earth, sky, fire and water on the front of the guitar. It's a theme he had used years ago in a series of woodcuts. On the back of the guitar he relied on the myth of Robert Johnson at the crossroads, where the seminal blues master was rumored to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his masterful guitar playing abilities. On the vibrant sky background with two lone telephone poles, Pavy wrote his own blues lyrics.

"We have this killer Francis Pavy original," says Louisiana Crossroads Director Todd Mouton, "but then we're also going to have these highly durable copies." The local guitar manufacturer Composite Acoustics has agreed to produce a line of guitars with reproductions of Pavy's work. "Anyone that wants one can buy one," says Mouton. "They're going to be custom order guitars." Composite Acoustics will sell the limited edition Pavy model for $2,999 each, with proceeds benefiting the Louisiana Crossroads series.

After the unveiling of Pavy's guitar and the announcement of this season's lineup for Louisiana Crossroads on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, saxophonists Dickie Landry and Jon Smith open the eighth season of Louisiana Crossroads with Two Tenors: An evening with the Saxophone. The show will feature solo and duo works from Landry and Smith, with a finale featuring the duo's chord-based six- and 24-saxophone approach. Tickets are $8-$12 and available online at or by calling (337) 233-7060.