Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 17 - Jul. 2004
OM-40 Rory Block
The road is one of the blues' most powerful images. When C.F. Martin created a signature guitar to honor blues artist and long-time Martin devotee Rory Block, the road theme proved irresistible. The new Martin OM-40 Rory Block Signature Edition is road worthy in every sense of the word.
One of the most highly regarded blues musicians of her generation, Rory Block knows the road well. As a teenager, her travels took her to meet many of blues' founding fathers. As a performer, she played as many as 250 shows a year during the late 1970s and early 1980s, recording 22 albums and receiving four W.C. Handy Awards. Martin OMs has been her guitar of choice for years and the Martin Signature Edition is an honor well deserved.
The OM-40 Rory Block Signature Edition's road motif begins at the headstock, where the polished African black ebony headplate features both the "C.F. Martin & Co." script logo and an image of a 1930s Hudson Terraplane, the car in the legendary Robert Johnson song "Terraplane Blues," inlaid in mother of pearl. The road runs down the African black ebony fingerboard, inlaid in mother of pearl, and is punctuated by unique road sign position markers: "traffic light ahead" at the 5th fret, "crossroad" at the 7th fret, "railroad crossing" at the 9th fret and "yield" at the 15th fret. The railroad tracks are inlaid in mother of pearl at the 12th fret, as is Rory Block's signature between the 19th and 20th frets.
Block's personal preferences are reflected in the guitar's premium tonewoods and in its appointments. The top of beautiful Engelmann spruce is delicately matched to Sitka spruce top braces for effortless response and impressive dynamic range. Bold herringbone top and blue paua pearl rosette inlay shine brilliantly against the amber of the vintage toner on the top. The back and sides are handsome East Indian rosewood.
In the last year or so, Rory has been joined at home and on the road by Beauregarde, a dog whose adoption inspired her to select the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to receive her entire portion of the proceeds generated by her Signature Edition Martin.
Left-handed guitars can be ordered at no additional cost: factory installed electronics are extra. Delivered in a Geib™ style hardshell case, Each OM-40 Rory Block Signature Edition guitar includes an interior label personally signed by Rory Block and Martin Chairman C.F. Martin IV, numbered in sequence and showing the total number of guitars in the edition. Martin dealers and distributors will accept orders for the OM-40 Rory Block Signature Edition for 60 days from the model's announcement, after which the size of the edition and the names of participating Martin dealers will be posted on the Martin website, www.martinguitar.com.