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Sugar Ray Inspires DSR Signature Model

Release Date: 07/19/02
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 13 - Jul.. 2002
DSR (Sugar Ray)

Funky rhythms, sweet harmonies, irresistible guitar hooks and a sense of fun have made Sugar Ray a musical powerhouse. In a pop genre all its own, the group has become a popular and critical success in less than a decade by demonstrating creative flair few contemporaries can match.

Martin guitars play a big role in Sugar Ray's sound, providing acoustic accents to hits like "Every Morning" and "When It's Over." Now Martin has created a guitar that captures Sugar Ray's fresh, unique style: the DSR Sugar Ray Signature Edition.

Based loosely on Martin's popular D-17 allmahogany Dreadnought, the DSR Sugar Ray Signature Edition features a range of unique appointments. From distinctly rounded body edges and black ebony trappings to ripple pearl inlays and tinted polished gloss finish, this guitar is as appealing as the group that inspired it.

Sugar Ray became a group in 1992, when Southern California high school buddies Mark McGrath and Rodney Sheppard joined former bandmate Stan Frazier and friend-of-Stan's-sister Murphy Karges to play hardcore Orange County funk. The foursome moved into a house together, partied hearty, played local dives, hooked up with Craig "DJ Homicide" Bullock as a fifth band member and tried out a few names before settling on Sugar Ray. In 1995, the group released its first album, the raucous "Lemonade and Brownies," to muted critical and popular enthusiasm.

Sugar Ray's breakout came two years later, with the release of the reggae-tinged single "Fly." The record went to #1 on the charts, the video went #1 on MTV, the album that followed, "Floored," went Double Platinum, and Sugar Ray went on the road, playing concerts and television appearances across the United States and Europe for a year before heading back to the studio.

The follow-up album, "14:59" (a sly reference to the duration of fame) showed "Fly" was only the starting point for Sugar Ray music. Released in 1999, the album yielded two hit singles, "Every Morning" and "Someday," included some burning rock tracks and went Triple Platinum. Released after yet another tour, Sugar Ray's self-titled fourth album, a seamless blend of pop, rock, ska and other influences, was considered by many to be the best recording of 2001, and has already gone Gold.

Like Sugar Ray, the Martin DSR offers standout looks and sound. Crafted from solid genuine mahogany for clear, bright tone, the instrument's unique rounded body edges confer distinctive appearance and playing comfort. A-Frame bracing under the top assures hallmark Martin resonance. In contrast to the unbound body, the rosette shines with inlays: a center inlay of black bordered ripple pearl, flanked by inner and outer black/white/black inlays. Like the body, the modified low oval 1 11/16" (at the nut) neck is solid genuine mahogany. Translucent red toner enhances the color of the polished gloss finished body and headstock, as well as the satin lacquer finished neck.

Ripple pearl inlays in the black ebony headstock overlay and fingerboard honor Austin the Bulldog, Sugar Ray's mascot and a familiar presence in the group's United States videos. The polished headstock overlay features Martin's gold foil logo above a ripple pearl image of Austin's head. Paw print position markers inlaid in ripple pearl - one at the 5th fret, two at the 7th, and one at the 9th - lead to a dog bone inlay at the 12th fret and the Sugar Ray logo between the 18th and 20th frets. Schaller tuners with large ebony buttons, a polished and beveled black pickguard, a black ebony bridge, black bridge pins and end pin with pearl dots and genuine bone nut and compensated saddle round out the appointments.

Each Martin DSR Sugar Ray Signature Edition guitar bears an interior label personally signed by Martin Chairman and CEO C. F. Martin IV and the members of Sugar Ray, and is numbered in sequence with the edition total. Each guitar is delivered in a #345 Martin hardshell case.

Martin is accepting orders for the DSR Sugar Ray Signature Edition until September 18, 2002. After the order period concludes, the size of the edition and the names of participating dealers will be posted on the Martin website at

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