Erin Detherage has to stop and think when asked how many guitars she has.
"I think 10." She explains that "they all do something different! That's always my excuse. I have a guitar that I play the national anthem with, a guitar that's good for country music..."
Out of her collection, her favorite is a purple Ibanez, "Camille," which she uses mostly for her solo work -- which means Camille will likely take the stage with Detherage Jan. 31 at Joe's Cantina in Fort Smith.
"In my opinion, it's the most versatile as far as sound goes," she says. "I had it set up perfectly, and I always call it my workhorse. I like it so much. [And] I love going to Fort Smith."
The guitar is named for a lesser-known album for which Prince took on a feminine persona, Camille, in 1986.
"I'm a huge Prince fan, as you can tell," Detherage laughs, referring to her Prince tattoo and T-shirt. On her YouTube page, there's a clip of her joyfully playing the late rock star's hit, "Let's Go Crazy," for one of her many solo performances.
While she doesn't sing in the traditional sense, she uses her deft guitar skills to play both the rhythm and the vocal lines of well-known songs by Prince, Gun & Roses and Fleetwood Mac, just to name a few. She describes her solo sets as "a DJ mashup set of familiar songs" that she pieces together with a little help from some recording software.
"I'd seen some of these guitar players kind of mimic vocals mixed in with some of their songs," she says. "So I started adding one or two songs into the mix. It's so cool whenever you see people just sitting there and then their heads pop up. They're like, 'I know that song!'"
To master the technique of weaving together so many sounds, she relied on her years of playing.
"It's all just kind of an ear training thing -- just going through and listening to the vocals and just basically mimicking the sound and matching the pitch that way," she says, as if it's an easy thing to do.
Detherage has been playing guitar for decades. She began in high school with a beginner guitar class but really began to hone her skills while working at a guitar store in Fayetteville after she graduated college.
"At that point, I was still very, very green. I could strum a few chords," she says. "But working there and being around other musicians inspired me to want to learn to play more."
Now she's referred to as "Dr. Shred," a nickname she picked up from her friend and drummer of 12 years, Scott Varady. Previously they were in a band with Mary Heather Hickman.
"We got to do a lot of really cool gigs. We played at AT & T Stadium for three years in a row before some of the Dallas Cowboys games. We opened for Hank Williams Jr., Toby Keith, Eli Young Band, and we just got to do a lot of really, really cool things with her," Detherage says. "She moved to Nashville -- that was her goal when she graduated. She's doing a great job. She's doing some songwriting and stuff over there."
After Hickman's departure, Detherage and Verady joined up with Abbey Pierce through House of Songs in Bentonville. The group, Abbey Pierce and the Sinners, have been playing for a little over a year now. Also in the band are Corey Flowers and Caleb Bundrick.
Together they've been working on songs and booking shows. Detherage enjoys the collaboration of combining lyrics with music.
"From the ground up you get to get to create something," she adds. "I'm also working in an acoustic duo. That's called A & E music [with Amanda Smith]," she says. Detherage is also planning to record and perform her own solo music too.
"I love this area and playing the circuit but working on branching out to and booking in some of the different markets and just making a little a little go out of it," she adds.
To keep up with Detherage, find her on social media or follow her website at www.erindetherage.com.
Jan. 31: Solo at Joe’s Grill and Cantina (Fort Smith), 7 p.m.
Feb. 10: Abbey Pierce and the Sinners at Indigo Sky Casino (Wyandotte, Okla.), 8:30 p.m.
Keep up with Erin Detherage at erindetherage.com