000C-MR Steve Miller
Steve Miller has eclectic tastes. It shows in his music, which - in a career that has spanned more than four decades - has ranged from blues and psychedelic to pop and rock, and back. And it shows in his Martin guitars. The Martin 00-37KSM and 00-37K2SM Steve Miller Signature Editions from 2000 highlighted classic 12-fret style and distinctive - Engelmann spruce and flamed koa - tonewoods. The Martin 000C Steve Miller Pegasus Signature Edition from 2005 paired a rounded cutaway with Engelmann spruce and quilted mahogany. For more information on these Signature Editions, see Volumes 9 and 18 of The Sounding Board at the Martin website: www.martinguitar.com.
Now comes the Martin 000C-MR Steve Miller Custom Artist Edition. Again featuring a rounded cutaway, this one combines Adirondack spruce and Pacific bigleaf maple for brilliantly clear tone and impressive dynamic range, but the appointment most will notice first is the color; highlighted by Martin's polished lacquer finish, both the body and neck are rich Burgundy red.
Why a red guitar? "I've always been bothered by the need to have blemish-free, 'perfect' looking spruce for guitar tops," Miller commented. "It seems wasteful and I've found some of the less perfect-looking wood sounds better than perfect, fine-grained spruce. With that thought in mind I wanted to choose a color for this guitar that would mellow with age and become truly beautiful to look at and play, and that color is blood red."
Miller was similarly forthright regarding the tonewoods for his new Custom Artist Edition. "I've had the opportunity to play guitars with a variety of different spruces and my favorite sounding spruce is Adirondack. It has a tight, springy feel that gathers a guitar's tone together in a warm, energetic way that sounds great and projects evenly. It took me a while to discover Adirondack spruce, since it isn't considered cosmetically desirable. When I finally played a guitar with Adirondack spruce, I was knocked out by its properties. The maple back and sides were chosen to give this guitar a bright sound perfect for country, blues and rock."
Making music - and plenty of it - has been Steve Miller's focus during the last five years. In 2005, the Steve Miller Band toured for the first time in several years, with a stop in Los Angeles for Steve Miller's induction into the Hollywood RockWalk. A short tour in 2006 coincided with release of the Fly Like an Eagle (30th Anniversary Edition) CD/DVD, which includes three previously unreleased tracks and a recent concert. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, the Steve Miller Band tackled increasing long summer (and in 2009, winter and autumn) tours of the United States and (on a couple of occasions) Canada. In 2008, Steve Miller Band - Live from Chicago was released - a blistering three-DVD set that captured the band at its fiery best. That year, Steve Miller also received the ASCAP "Gold Note Award" for lifetime achievements. In addition to touring, the Steve Miller Band has been in the studio during the last two years recording a new album; scheduled for release in 2010, its working title is A Pocket Full of Pics.
The 000C-MR Steve Miller Custom Artist Edition's stylish appointments look spectacular against its deep red hue. A Style 45 rosette with a center ring of select abalone pearl is matched by a colorful Style 45 wood mosaic back strip. Intricate multi-layered black/white fine line purfling encircles the top and black/white/black fine line purfling accents the sides and back; all are protected by grained ivoroid binding.
The 1 3/4" (at the nut) modified low oval two-piece maple neck is topped by a polished ebony headplate that features the exquisite and rarely offered "alternative" torch inlay from 1902 that has been featured on every Steve Miller guitar edition to date, and nickel Gotoh open-back tuners. The fingerboard also is ebony and is absolutely plain - without position markers or a signature. Both headstock and fingerboard are bound in grained ivoroid, and elegantly accented by mitered black/white fine line inlays.
The ebony belly bridge is fitted with a compensated bone saddle. Pearl dot-topped black ebony bridge pins, a beveled and polished black pickguard, and a chrome strap button complete the 000C-MR Steve Miller Custom Artist Edition's unique look. Befitting a guitar with extraordinary stage charisma, the 000C-MR Steve Miller Custom Artist Edition is factory-equipped with Fishman Matrix Infinity electronics. Featuring an advanced, "next generation" undersaddle transducer, soundhole mounted controls and an internal endpin pre-amp, it produces impressive, lifelike "plugged-in" sound for both live performance and studio recording.
Delivered in a vintage Geib™ style hardshell case, each Martin 000C-MR Steve Miller Custom Artist Edition guitar bears a special red interior label personally signed by Steve Miller and C.F Martin Director of Artist Relations Dick Boak, and numbered in sequence. Authorized C.F. Martin dealers will begin accepting orders for the open-ended 000C-MR Steve Miller Custom Artist Edition - including for left-handed instruments, which are available at no additional cost - immediately and participating dealers will be listed on the Martin Guitar website.