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Dan Tyminski's Favorite Dreadnought Inspires A Powerhouse Bluegrass D-28 Custom Edition

Release Date: 07/17/09
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 27 - Jul. 2009
D-28 Dan Tyminski

Dan Tyminski's career has taken him from Vermont to Nashville and even included a side trip to Hollywood, but his music remains firmly rooted in the hills of southern Appalachia. He ranks as one of the most recognizable and popular musicians in bluegrass; his impressive instrumental chops and singular voice are key components of Alison Krauss and Union Station, his stand-in singing and guitar playing for George Clooney in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? are credited for giving old time music a major boost, and his own Dan Tyminski Band has enabled him to take center stage. Quiet and unassuming away from the spotlight, Tyminski lets his music speak for him with a passion that is undeniable.

For many years, Dan's primary guitar has been a wellworn 1946 Martin D-28. However, his concerns about continuing to take his "go-to" instrument on the road and his desire for a Dreadnought designed to meet his personal needs brought Dan and the Martin Guitar Company together to create the new Martin D-28 Dan Tyminski Custom Edition.

"I am very excited to be involved with Martin," Tyminski noted. "This is surely the biggest honor of my career."

The Martin D-28 Dan Tyminski Custom Edition showcases all the power and panache that have made Martin Dreadnoughts the definitive bluegrass guitar. Back and sides of East Indian rosewood combine with a top of Adirondack spruce for warm, ringing tone, impressive projection and extraordinary headroom. A comfortable genuine mahogany 1 11/16" (at the nut) "modified V" neck with long diamond volute contributes to player comfort, while the black ebony fingerboard and belly bridge add classic beauty and longevity.

Tyminski makes his namesake Custom Edition his own with distinctive details sure to appeal to flatpickers. Scalloped 5/16" Adirondack spruce top braces cross in the non-forward "rear-shifted" position to provide uncommon balance and clarity. Special 2 1/4" string spacing at the bridge and hand polished "bull nose" (i.e., rounded) fret ends speed both strums and runs.

The appointments are equally distinctive: bold pattern herringbone around the top, a headstock featuring Martin's Golden Era® decal logo on a polished East Indian rosewood headplate, Martin's historic pressure stamp on the back and nickel Waverly™ tuners with oval buttons. Long/Wide Pattern "Diamond & Squares" abalone pearl fingerboard position markers run from the 3rd fret to the 17th fret, with a unique, oversized "wide diamond" at the 9th fret.

Dan Tyminski's attention to detail on his namesake Martin reflects a life devoted to performing bluegrass and old-time music. He began learning guitar and mandolin at the age of six and played in a local bluegrass band while still in high school. In 1989, at barely 21 years old, he joined the Lonesome River Band. Except for a short hiatus in 1992-1993, he stayed with the band for five years, during which Lonesome River Band emerged as one of the most influential acts in modern bluegrass.

Although he briefly joined Alison Krauss and Union Station (sometimes abbreviated to the acronym AKUS) during the previously mentioned hiatus, Tyminski signed on full-time as guitarist, lead and harmony vocalist and occasional mandolinist in 1994. As a member of AKUS, he contributed to a string of commercially successful - and usually Grammy winning - albums, including So Long So Wrong, New Favorite, Live and Lonely Runs Both Ways. He also played on Krauss' solo albums Forget About It and A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection, plus her multi-platinum compilation Now That I've Found You.

His first foray away from AKUS came in 2000 when he released his first solo album, Carry Me Across the Mountain, and toured with the first incarnation of the Dan Tyminski Band. The year also marked release of the Coen Brothers' hugely popular film O Brother, Where Art Thou? in which Tyminski supplied the singing voice for George Clooney. Featuring two Tyminski renditions of "Man of Constant Sorrow," the soundtrack album sold an impressive seven million copies and won five Grammy Awards in 2002, including Album of the Year.

Tyminski was invited by Eric Clapton to play at his Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2004 and also performed in the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival with Alison Krauss and Union Station. He won Male Vocalist of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2001, 2002 and 2003. In 2008 he released Wheels, his second solo album, which received very positive reviews and a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. His plans for 2009 include touring with the Dan Tyminski Band, which is scheduled to play several major bluegrass festivals and venues during the spring and summer.

Several classic Martin features complement the D-28 Dan Tyminski Custom Edition's distinctive elements. Aging toner gives the top a beautiful vintage patina that shines under Martin's polished gloss lacquer body finish, and Golden Era® Style 28 rosette and Golden Era-style nitrate tortoise-colored pickguard add to the vintage vibe. Top, sides and back are bound in grained ivoroid, with the latter accented by fine black/white purfling and a zig-zag back strip. The nut and dropin saddle are crafted from genuine bone, while the bridge and end pins are made from black ebony.

Delivered in a Geib™ style hardshell case, each Martin D-28 Dan Tyminski Custom Edition guitar bears an interior label personally signed by Dan Tyminski and numbered in sequence. Left-handed versions of this Custom Edition guitar can be ordered without additional charge and factory-installed electronics are available as an extra cost option. Orders for the D-28 Dan Tyminski Custom Edition may be placed with your local authorized Martin dealer and specifications may be found in the Custom Artist edition section of the Martin website.

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