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Release Date: 06/01/06
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter
00-18H Geoff Muldaur

Geoff Muldaur Custom Signature Edition
Recreates Classic 00 12-fret Martin Design

Fellow musician Richard Thompson said it best. “There are only three white blues singers, and Geoff Muldaur is at least two of them.” To anyone who appreciates Geoff Muldaur, even that description seems inadequate. He ranks as one of the great musical forces to emerge from the folk, blues and traditional music revival of the 1960s. In addition to his one-of-a-kind voice, his encyclopedic knowledge of American music, immaculate guitar playing and impressive songs and arrangements have captivated two generations. Perhaps most exciting of all, his recent musical forays are among the most inventive of his career.

For several years, Geoff’s guitar of choice has been a 1930s Martin 00 12-fret, one originally made for Hawaiian playing (with a raised nut and flush frets) and later converted to standard configuration. C. F. Martin is pleased to honor Geoff Muldaur by updating this elegant design, considered by many to be among the best sounding Martins ever made. The Martin 00-18H Geoff Muldaur Custom Edition takes the elements that make the originals such classics and adds some very tasty touches. The result is a modern classic, like the man it honors.

Originally from New York, Geoff Muldaur was collecting old records, playing solo blues guitar and hitting the road for musical inspiration even before he arrived at Boston University in the early 1960s. Boston was a hotbed of musical styles at the time; and after recording a solo blues album, Geoff became a founding member of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. His fine singing, authentic guitar and rhythmic washboard were an integral part of the group’s four groundbreaking traditional albums. He also appeared on dozens of other people’s recordings – most notably the original Blues Project album - and married band mate Maria D’Amato.

When the Jug Band disbanded in 1968, Geoff and Maria Muldaur collaborated on two wellreceived albums and then went their separate ways. He recorded five solo albums in the middle and late 1970s and also was a key member of Paul Butterfield’s Better Days. Then, as he elegantly put it, “I retired for 17 years.” He still somehow managed to produce albums for artists like the Borneo Horns and the Richard Greene String Quartet, win an Emmy award, and have his recording of “Brazil” serve as the inspiration and title tune for Terry Gilliam’s movie of the same name.

His return to the spotlight began in the late 1990s as a member of John Sebastian’s J Band. He soon hit the road and the recording studio. “Secret Handshake” was released in 1998 and was followed by “Password” in 2000. Both received ecstatic reviews. In 2003 he released two albums: “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere (Live),” an intimate blues and jazz concert recording, and “Private Astronomy – a Vision of the Music of Bix Beiderbecke” by Geoff Muldaur’s Futuristic Ensemble, a reinterpretation of the jazz legend’s music with vocals by Geoff, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright III, and Geoff’s daughters Jenni and Clare. He now tours regularly in Europe, Japan and the United States, providing old and new fans the opportunity to experience his special magic live.

The 00-18H Geoff Muldaur Custom Edition features superb tonewoods and premium appointments throughout. The top of prized Adirondack spruce is strengthened with Martin’s traditional scalloped 1/4” X bracing, also of Adirondack spruce, for outstanding tonal clarity and dynamics. The back and sides are crafted from genuine mahogany for unsurpassed string-to-string balance and definition. The genuine mahogany neck is a traditional – for this model – 1 13/16” wide at the nut but an untraditional and very comfortable low profile shape.

While set up for standard playing, this guitar showcases many of the appointments of the original Hawaiian model that inspired it. A spectacular soft sunburst graces the top, encircled by tortoise color binding and black/white/black/white/black purfling; the same tortoise-color binding is accented by black/white purfling on the traditional dark stained back. The rosette is Martin’s Old Style 18, with single inner and outer rings. Like the original, the 00-18H Geoff Muldaur Custom is a short (24.9”) scale instrument, allowing easy fretting and easy “reach” for difficult chords.

The headstock features tapered square slots fitted with Waverly/Sloane bronze plated side-mounted tuners with ivoroid buttons. The back of the headstock bears the original “C. F. Martin & Co., Nazareth, PA” pressure stamp. Old style graduated abalone dot position markers at the 5th, 7th and 9th on the African black ebony fingerboard are also true to the origi- nal. The belly bridge, heel cap, bridge pins and endpin are all black ebony.

In a beautiful departure from vintage, the headplate is polished African black ebony, the perfect backdrop for the small gold Old Style decal. Nut and drop-in saddle are crafted from genuine bone. The 1935 Sunburst top is protected by a tortoise-color polished and beveled pickguard. The body receives Martin’s flawless polished gloss lacquer finish, but the neck gets a satin finish for playing comfort.

Delivered in a vintage Geib style hardshell case, each 00-18H Geoff Muldaur Custom Edition guitar bears an interior label personally signed by Geoff Muldaur and Martin Chairman C.F. Martin IV and numbered in sequence. Lefthand instruments may be ordered with no additional charge. Factory-installed on-board electronics are available for additional cost. While the Martin 00-18H Geoff Muldaur Custom Edition is open ended, authorized C. F. Martin dealers will begin accepting orders immediately, and participating dealers will be posted on the Martin website.

 
 
 
 
 
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