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Merle Haggard

Release Date: 01/18/01
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 10 - Jan. 2001
000C-28SMH (Merle Haggard)

In a career spanning five decades, Merle Haggard has built a legacy virtually unmatched in music. Throughout his career, Martin guitars have taken center stage with Merle and now Martin is proud to return the compliment with the introduction of a Merle Haggard Signature Edition. The 000C-28SMH offers the same graceful 12-fret body style as Jimmie Rodgers’ famed "Blue Yodel" Martin 000, only with a cutaway to provide easy access to the upper frets.

Merle Haggard is synonymous with great country music. In a career spanning five decades, he has chronicled a world of hard knocks, pain, love and triumph in songs that show a storyteller’s soul. His music reflects a personal integrity unswayed by trends: honest, heartfelt and deeply personal. After 39 chart-topping country hits and more than 70 albums, he continues to build on a legacy virtually unmatched in music, country or otherwise.

Haggard’s appreciation of tradition includes the guitars he plays. Over the years, Martins have taken center stage in his evocative songs, both in the studio and in concert. He particularly likes the unique sound and character of Martin’s 12-fret guitars, so much so that he has had several custom-built. Now Martin returns the compliment by introducing the 000C-28SMH Merle Haggard Signature Edition model, an instrument that speaks volumes about the man it honors.

Born in Bakersfield, California, Merle Haggard fell in love with country music early. He received his first guitar from an older brother when he was 12 years old and taught himself to play by listening to old records. In and out of trouble during much of his youth, an attempted burglary landed Haggard in San Quentin Prison for nearly three years (he would later receive a full pardon from Governor Ronald Reagan). After parole, he returned to Bakersfield, where he eventually was able to quit his day jobs to concentrate on his music.

During three years of singing in clubs in Bakersfield and Las Vegas, Haggard honed his version of the "Bakersfield Sound," a spare, driving, guitar-based country with elements of western swing and blues far different from the lush, heavily produced Nashville style. In 1964, his first recording for tiny Tally Records, "Sing a Sad Song," became a hit, reaching #19 on the country charts. Soon he was writing his own songs, and songs he wrote helped propel him to stardom. In 1966, he had three top ten hits, including his first #1, "The Fugitive," and was voted "Top Male Vocalist" by the Academy of County Music.

With his band, the Strangers, Haggard rewrote country music history, scoring 27 top ten hits in succession. Songs like "Sing Me Back Home," "Mama Tried," "Hungry Eyes," "Okie From Muskogee," "The Fightin’ Side of Me" and "If We Make it Through December" became instant classics. He won a total of six Country Music Association awards and topped those successes with a Grammy in 1984. Duets with Clint Eastwood, George Jones and Willie Nelson became hits in the 1980s. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.

While the hits have slowed in recent years, Haggard hasn’t. He and his band continue to perform more than 100 shows a year. He has inspired a new generation of country singers, many of whom contributed to two recent tribute albums. Best of all, he continues to write and record great country songs: his "1996" album contains some of his finest work and his latest album, "If I Could Only Fly," has received glowing reviews.

Among Haggard’s musical heroes is Jimmie Rodgers, often called the father of country music. Haggard has paid his respects with an album of Rodgers’ songs, "Same Train, Different Time" and his own song "Blue Yodel No. 13." The Martin 000-28SMH Merle Haggard Signature Edition model reflects their special bond.

The 000C-28SMH showcases the same graceful body style as Jimmie Rodgers’ famed "Blue Yodel" Martin 000-45, only with a cutaway to provide easy access to the upper frets. Premium solid tonewoods contribute to this model’s spectacular good looks. Choice bookmatched Sitka spruce, prized for its full, powerful tone, has been selected for the top. Hand-scalloped braces add to its signature sound. East Indian rosewood back and sides contribute deep, rich timbre and outstanding volume. The rosette features Martin’s Style 45 pearl inlay of colorful abalone. Fine pattern herringbone top trim and grained ivoroid binding complement the light amber, aging toner-tinted top.

Fashioned from genuine mahogany, the modified V-shape, satin-finished neck highlights Martin tradition with its diamond volute and square-slotted, tapered headstock. The polished East Indian rosewood headstock overlay is inlaid with "Blue Yodel No. 13" in mother of pearl, in a style reminiscent of the headstock inlay on Rodgers’ guitar: "C. F. Martin & Co." is stamped into the back of the headstock, as on early 20th century Martins. Waverly W-16 side-mount nickel tuners are similarly vintage-inspired.

The wide (1 3/4" at the nut), unbound fingerboard of black African ebony is inlaid with Martin’s long pattern diamonds and squares abalone position markers. Merle Haggard’s signature is inlaid between the 19th and 20th frets. The black African belly bridge, and pearl inlaid ebony bridge and end pins, match the handsome fingerboard.

The body of the 000C-28SMH is finished in polished gloss nitrocellulose lacquer. The instrument comes without a pickguard, in the tradition of Martin’s original 12-fret guitars. Each guitar comes with an interior label personally signed by Merle Haggard and Martin Chairman and CEO C.F. Martin IV, and numbered in sequence. A vintage Geib™ style case protects each instrument. Factory installed electronics and/or a 1935 sunburst finish top may be ordered for at additional cost.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each of the Merle Haggard Signature Model guitars will be distributed to charitys personally designated by Merle Haggard.

Orders for the 000C-28SMH Merle Haggard Signature Edition model will be accepted by Martin dealers and distributors for a limited time only. The size of the edition plus a list of participating Martin dealers will be posted on the Martin website at www.martinguitar.com.

This information will also be available from Martin customer service at (800) 633-2060 (USA calls only) or at (610) 759-2837.

Keb Mo

Release Date: 01/18/01
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 10 - Jan. 2001
HD-28KM (Kevin Moore)

Keb’ Mo’ is a modern day ambassador of acoustic blues. With his charismatic performing style and fresh, insightful songs, he has expanded the genre in new directions and captured new audiences for a music both evocative and timeless.

A Martin Dreadnought has been one of Keb’ Mo’s main instruments in his rise to stardom, both in the studio and on stage. Now Martin has created the HD-28KM Keb’ Mo’ Limited Edition Signature model. Like the man who inspired it, the HD-28KM combines tradition and modernity in one great instrument.

In truth, Kevin Moore (Keb’ Mo’s given name) didn’t find the blues: they found him. A native of the Los Angeles area, Moore began playing guitar at age 12. He went on to play electric guitar in a variety of jazz, top 40, and rhythm and blues bands during the 1970s and 1980s. He worked as a sideman for violinist Papa John Creach (of Jefferson Starship and Hot Tuna fame), released a record under his own name that went nowhere, and took a job in a studio. He wasn’t singing the blues, but he was living them.

Then fate stepped in. In 1989, he heard the music of blues great Robert Johnson for the first time, and a powerful connection was made. A few months later, he received a call from a theater group looking for an African-American to play a .....bluesman in a production called Rabbit Foot. Moore picked up an acoustic guitar for the first time in years and, with the help of recordings by Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy and Son House, learned a new musical vocabulary.

After the play wrapped, he played in local clubs, wrote songs and adopted the name Keb’ Mo’. The tape he made to sell at shows eventually netted him a recording contract. His self-titled 1994 debut album won a W.C. Handy Award as best Country/Acoustic Blues Album of the Year and stayed on blues charts for more than a year.

His 1996 follow-up album, "Just Like You" did even better, winning a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album and spawning hits like "Perpetual Blues Machine," "That’s Not Love," and "More Than One Way Home." He toured North America and Europe, opening for Celine Dion, Lyle Lovett, Santana and Bonnie Raitt, and soon became a headliner in his own right. He also made appearances on television, including "The Late Show With David Letterman," "Sessions at West 54th" and "Touched By An Angel." His 1998 album "Slow Down" proved another triumph, helping him win back-to-back W.C. Handy Awards for Acoustic Blues Artist of the Year in 1997 and 1998.

Keb’ Mo’s recently released fourth album, "The Door," continues his winning streak. An ambitious album that combines blues with touches of jazz and even soul, it shows an artist growing in intriguing directions.

As you might expect, the HD-28KM Keb’ Mo’ Limited Edition Signature model combines impressive solid tonewoods and appointments. The top is beautiful, straight-grained Engelmann spruce, prized for rich, full tone and responsiveness. The back and sides are flamed Hawaiian Koa, a beautiful wood with exceptionally clear, balanced sound. Scalloped top braces, forward-shifted one inch from the soundhole, enhance the instrument’s vintage character and dynamic range.

The genuine mahogany neck addresses tradition in its diamond volute and square, tapered headstock, and the needs of players in its low profile shape. The wide genuine ebony fingerboard, 1 3/4" inches at the nut, simplifies runs, as do the jumbo frets. An ebony belly bridge matches the fingerboard. Both the nut and compensated saddle are crafted from genuine bone.

Design and wood make the HD-28KM a pleasure to hear and play: appointments make it a pleasure to behold. The vintage toner-tinted top, encompassed by fine pattern herring-bone purfling and grained ivoroid binding, and protected by a polished and beveled vintage tortoise-colored pickguard, approximates the look of a classic Martin Dreadnought from the 1930s. Ivoroid binding, black and white line purfling and a zig zag center strip on the back are similarly vintage-inspired. The soundhole rosette features highly colored abalone pearl flanked by traditional Style 45 black and white line inlays.

The genuine ebony headstock overlay provides a striking contrast to Martin’s traditional gold decal, a contrast matched by its gold Schaller tuners with large ebony buttons. The fingerboard is inlaid with "long pattern" diamonds and squares abalone pearl position markers, with Keb’ Mo’s signature appearing between 19th and 20th frets.

Every HD-28KM Keb’ Mo’ Signature model comes with an interior label personally signed by Keb’ Mo’ and Martin Chairman and CEO, C. F. Martin IV, and is delivered in a Geib™ style deluxe vintage hardshell case. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each HD-28KM guitar will support the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center which has provided homes for captive wildlife in need for more than 19 years.

Orders for the HD-28KM Keb’ Mo’ Limited Edition Signature model will be accepted by Martin dealers and distributors for a limited time only. The size of the edition plus a list of participating Martin dealers will be posted on the Martin website at http://www.martinguitar.com.

Elizabeth Cotten

Release Date: 01/18/01
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 10 - Jan. 2001
00-18CTN (Elizabeth Cotten)

C. F. Martin is proud to honor the rich musical legacy of Elizabeth Cotten with the introduction of the 00-18CTN Elizabeth Cotten limited edition guitar. The 00-18CTN closely approximates the 00-18 Martins produced during the pre-war era, considered by many to be among the finest recording instruments ever made. A commemorative freight train inlay in pearl adorns the octave fret, and Elizabeth Cotten? signature is inlaid between the 19th and 20th frets. Each guitar will feature an interior label numbered in sequence and personally signed by Larry Ellis, Sr., Elizabeth Cotten? grandson, and Martin Chairman and CEO, C.F. Martin IV.

Few songs have demonstrated the lasting power and impact of Elizabeth Cotten? "Freight Train." Originally recorded by Cotten for her first album, "Freight Train" became an anthem of the 1960s folk revival. In addition, a version of the song by English singer Nancy Whiskey became a hit during Britain? skiffle movement in the late 1950s; an early influence on two future Beatles named John Lennon and Paul McCartney. But while "Freight Train" is Elizabeth Cotten? best known song, it is only a small portion of her rich musical legacy, one that C.F. Martin is proud to honor with introduction of the 00-18CTN Elizabeth Cotten limited edition model.

Born in 1895 near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Elizabeth Cotten taught herself to play both banjo and guitar by age 12, the same age at which she composed "Freight Train." Left-handed, Cotten turned the instruments "upside-down" and developed a hallmark fingerpicking style in which the melody was played on the treble strings with her thumb and the bass with two fingers. By her mid-teens, she had mastered an extensive repertoire of traditional tunes to go along with her original compositions.

Cotten married at age 15. Raising her daughter, earning a living, and other factors caused her to set music aside for nearly 40 years. Her remarkable talent might have remained undiscovered except for a chance encounter: while working as temporary Christmas help at a Washington, D.C. department store, she reunited a lost Peggy Seeger with her mother. Mrs. Seeger eventually hired Cotten to do housework, and the Seeger family soon discovered her guitar virtuosity and her treasure trove of songs.

All three of the Seeger children ?Pete, Mike and Peggy ?helped bring Cotten? music to the public, introducing many of her songs at their concerts. Mike Seeger recorded and produced her 1958 debut album, "Folksongs and Instrumentals with Guitar," released when she was well past 60 years old. Sometime during this period, she also acquired her treasured Martin 00-18, which she used throughout her professional career.

Beginning in 1960 and continuing until just before her death in 1987, Elizabeth Cotten became a major draw at clubs, concerts and folk festivals across the United States. She recorded three additional albums, the last of which, "Elizabeth Cotten Live!" was awarded a Grammy in 1985. Artists ranging from Peter, Paul and Mary to the Grateful Dead have covered her songs, and her music continues to captivate players and listeners alike.

The 00-18CTN Elizabeth Cotten limited edition model closely approximates the 00-18 Martins produced during the late 1930s and early 1940s, considered by many to be among the finest recording instruments ever made. Premium tonewoods are featured throughout: genuine mahogany back and sides and a bookmatched Sitka spruce top. These woods combine with the grand concert body, short 24.9-inch scale and hand-scalloped 1/4" top braces to give the 00-18CTN bright, balanced vintage tone. The size and scale also provide unmatched comfort and ease of playing.

Traditional Style 18 appointments on the 00-18CTN include tortoise-color top binding surrounding five plies of black and white purfling, a polished and beveled vintage tortoise-color pickguard, a "through-saddle" ebony belly bridge and "old style" rosette inlay with thin black inner and outer rings. Vintage toner on the top enhances the traditional look.

The genuine mahogany low profile neck also shows vintage heritage in its square, tapered headstock, "old style" Martin decal logo and Kluson-style tuners with nickel buttons. The unbound ebony fingerboard features large abalone dots at the 5th, 7th, 9th, and 15th frets, a commemorative "Freight Train" inlaid at the 12th fret, and Elizabeth Cotten? signature inlaid between the 19th and 20th frets.

The 00-18CTN features a beautifully polished nitrocellulose gloss lacquered body with a satin neck. This model will be setup with genuine bone nut and saddle, and strung with Martin SP phosphor bronze light gauge strings. Factory installed electronics are available at additional cost. A deluxe Geib?style hardshell case is included with each instrument.

Each Elizabeth Cotten Limited Edition model guitar will feature an interior label numbered in sequence and personally signed by Elizabeth Cotten? grandson Larry Ellis Sr., and Martin Chairman and CEO C. F. Martin IV.

The size of the edition plus a list of participating Martin dealers will be posted on the Martin website at: www.martinguitar.com.

This information will also be available from Martin customer service at (800) 633-2060 (USA calls only) or at (610) 759-2837.

Clarence White

Release Date: 01/18/01
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 10 - Jan. 2001
D-18CW (Clarence White)

Through his spectacular bluegrass picking with the Kentucky Colonels, fiery country/rock leads with the Byrds, and hot acoustic licks with Muleskinner, Clarence White rewrote the book on flatpicking before his untimely death at age 29. Admired by musicians across the musical spectrum, from Jimi Hendrix to Mark O’Connor, he was truly unique. Now C. F. Martin pays tribute to this legendary guitarist with the D-18CW Clarence White Commemorative Edition model.

While still in his teens, White drew on influences as diverse as Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, and Django Reinhardt to develop a playing style of lightning runs, syncopated picking and sophisticated rhythms to make the guitar a lead instrument in bluegrass for the first time. The Kentucky Colonels, which he founded with his brother Roland in 1961, showcased his dazzling technique on several albums, most notably the now-classic instrumental album Appalachian Swing!

After the breakup of the Kentucky Colonels in 1967, and while working as a studio musician on both acoustic and electric guitar, White joined the Byrds just as the famed group shifted from folk/rock to country/rock. He played on six Byrds albums and innumerable live shows, remaining until the group disbanded in 1973. Shortly thereafter, a band he created with fellow bluegrassers David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Richard Greene, and Bill Keith for a televised concert became Muleskinner, whose album, A Potpourri of Bluegrass Jam, signaled the beginnings of jazz-inspired progressive bluegrass.

His reuniting with his brothers Roland and Eric to form the New Kentucky Colonels that same year marked a new phase in White’s musical career, but it was to be brief. On July 14th, 1973, he was struck and killed by a drunk driver while loading equipment after a show in Palmdale, California. He left behind a legacy of great playing that continues to influence and challenge flatpickers more than 25 years later.

A bluegrass Dreadnought in the classic tradition, the D-18CW Clarence White Commemorative Edition model draws inspiration from the 1952 Martin D-18 Clarence White used for lead picking in the 1960s (including on Appalachian Swing!), blended with appointments from various instruments he played during his career. The D-18CW features premium solid tonewoods throughout. Rare Appalachian spruce, revered for powerful, clear tone, was selected both for the soundboard and the soundboard bracing, including the 5/16" width scalloped X-braces, forward shifted to 1" from the soundhole. The two-piece back and sides of beautiful genuine rare quilted mahogany contribute outstanding projection.

Crafted from genuine mahogany, the modified V-shaped neck showcases a polished East Indian rosewood overlay on the squared and tapered headstock, an elegant backdrop for Martin’s "old style" gold decal logo. Waverly W-16 nickel tuners with butterbean knobs add to the D-18CW’s vintage look, as does the wide (1 3/4" at the nut) black African ebony fingerboard and matching ebony "through-saddle" bridge. In the tradition of another of White’s Martin guitars, no position markers are inlayed on the fingerboard, only Clarence White’s signature between the 19th and 20th frets.

Other vintage appointments include polished gloss lacquer finish with aging toner on the top to approximate the look of a 1950s D-18, tortoise-color binding with traditional style 18 black/white purfling, herringbone center strip, "old style" polished and beveled pickguard, and genuine bone nut and saddle. The rosette inlay accents a single ring of colorful "heart" abalone pearl trimmed with vintage Style 45 wood fiber lines. A Geib™ style hardshell case is included with each guitar.

Authorized Martin dealers and distributors will have the opportunity to place orders for the Clarence White Commemorative Edition Guitars for a limited time only, after which the exact edition size plus a listing of participating Martin dealers and distributors will be available from Martin Customer Service and will also be posted on the Martin Website at www.martinguitar.com.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Release Date: 01/18/01
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 10 - Jan. 2001
JC-16KWS (Kenny Wayne Shepherd)

Martin honors blues phenomenon Kenny Wayne Shepherd with the introduction of the JC-16KWS Signature Edition. The JC-16KWS combines Martin’s jumbo body size with a rounded cutaway and onboard electronics, but it’s the "blue on black" appointments that make this guitar stand out in a crowd. The soundboard is finished with translucent gloss blue lacquer, while the back and sides are finished in polished gloss black. Each guitar will be numbered in sequence and personally signed by Kenny Wayne Shepherd and C.F. Martin IV. Kenny Wayne Shepherd "Blue On Black"

"...Blue on black, tears on a river..." — blues phenomenon Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s 1998 hit "Blue On Black" is filled with colorful imagery. Martin draws on that imagery in its new Kenny Wayne Shepherd Limited Edition Signature model JC-16KWS, creating a guitar as distinctive as the musician himself.

In five short years in the spotlight, Shepherd has demonstrated his guitar mastery on everything from Delta slide to Texas blues/rock. The results have been singles and albums that have crossed over to become mainstream hits. Already among the hottest young musicians around at age 23, he may just be getting started.

Shepherd has been working towards musical stardom most of his life. Exposed to a wide variety of music as a child, he found his calling at age seven, when he attended a Stevie Ray Vaughan concert. He got his first guitar soon after, and his passion for the blues and natural talent for playing quickly became apparent. He made his stage debut as a 13-year-old: guest appearances and jams with blues royalty soon made him a local legend.

With formation of the band that bears his name and release of his first album, "Ledbetter Heights," in 1995, Shepherd hit the big time. Three singles reached the "top 10" on the rock charts and the album remained No. 1 on the Billboard Magazine blues chart for five months. His playing moved from clubs to stadium gigs, opening for the Eagles and Bob Dylan.

"Trouble Is...," Shepherd’s second album, remained atop the Billboard Magazine blues chart for two years and yielded three No. 1 radio singles, including "Blue on Black," which became one of the most played songs of 1998. The song "Trouble Is..." also received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1999. His "Live On" album, released late in 1999, has continued Shepherd’s hot streak, with the single "Last Goodbye" becoming a major hit in 2000.

Shepherd continues to hone his live act on tour, playing more than 200 shows a year. His work ethic, guitar chops and increasingly confident songwriting mark Kenny Wayne Shepherd as a major force on the blues scene for years to come.

The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Limited Edition Signature model JC-16KWS combines distinctive design and tonewoods with unique appointments. The rich, full tone of the jumbo cutaway shape is enhanced by solid tonewoods throughout; sapele back and sides for clarity and projection, Sitka spruce top for warmth. Martin’s patented "A-frame X" scalloped bracing enhances this unique voice. The genuine mahogany neck features standard 1-11/16th inch width and modified low oval profile for easy playing. But it’s the "blue on black" appointments that make this guitar stand out in a crowd. Black Boltaron® top and back bindings frame unique blue and black purfling on the top, back, and sides. The black Boltaron® endpiece is similarly framed. The soundhole rosette features an inlay of vibrant blue Paua shell, flanked by Style 45 inlay lines accentuated with blue fiber.

The black African ebony fingerboard also reflects the "blue on black" theme. Fretted with jumbo frets, it shines with position marker inlays of blue lapis "teardrops," each bordered with a thin band of pearl. Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s signature is inlaid between the 18th and 20th frets. The polished black African ebony headstock overlay highlights a contrasting silver foil Martin logo and Waverly® nickel-plated tuners with butterbean knobs. The black African ebony belly bridge is fitted with Style 42 black bridge pins with abalone dots. Both the nut and compensated saddle are crafted from genuine bone.

Perhaps the most stunning visual element is the finish: the soundboard of the JC-16KWS is finished with translucent gloss blue lacquer, while the back and sides are finished with polished gloss black lacquer. A polished and beveled black pickguard protects the top. Martin’s Thinline® Gold Plus Natural II electronics are installed in each guitar for impressive sound enhancement.

The interior label on each instrument is personally signed by Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Martin Chairman and CEO C.F. Martin IV, and numbered in sequence. A hardshell case is included with each guitar. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Limited Edition Signature model will be donated to Providence House, a Shreveport, Louisiana shelter and development program for homeless families with children.

Orders for the JC-16KWS Kenny Wayne Shepherd Limited Edition Signature model will be accepted by Martin dealers and distributors for a limited time only. The size of the edition plus a list of participating Martin dealers will be posted on the Martin website at: www.martinguitar.com.

This information will also be available from Martin customer service at (800) 633-2060 (USA calls only) or at (610) 759-2837.

 
 
 
 
 
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