International readership increasing at One Man’s Guitar
Welcome to our friends from abroad
I am happy to report that One Man’s guitar is now getting more visitors via search engines than links posted on guitar forums. Many of them are on overseas networks. While we are most popular with Americans, international readership will hopefully continue to increase as more people learn about the site.
I have received email over the years from many people over seas and from every continent but Antarctica, seeking my advice on guitars, or asking me if I could go play a guitar in a local shop that someone was thinking of buying. It is gratifying that so many new people from all over America and the rest of the world are discovering the new website and are hopefully finding worth their while.
An exquisite recreation of the very first Martin D-28
Recently purchased from movie star Richard Gere, for the Martin Museum
The Ur D-28 was copied in minute detail to create its doppelganger, the D-28 Authentic 1931
“The D-28 Authentic 1931 is big guitar that has a big voice, yet it is agile and graceful and truly a thing of beauty. It has a lot of air and open space inside that expansive tone bubble that effortlessly glows out around the guitarist as a strummed chord is left to swell and waver. The trebles are fat but pure, the bass is robust and warm as a bearskin coat, and the mid-range stays up front in a way 14-fret dreads never quite manage…
Lighter than one might guess a rosewood guitar can be, it produces an enormous amount of rich, yet open tone with little effort, but loves to be strummed hard as well. Having played the “Gere guitar” on different occasions, I can say the prototype of the D-28A 1931 actually has more horsepower under the hood. And it has perfect intonation up the neck, something pre-war Martins never quite achieve.”
Our second in a series of reviews on the new Martin Authentics features a very special guitar indeed. More reviews will follow after the Holiday Weekend. Happy 4th of July everybody! We are pleased to kick off our holiday festivities with this in depth look at the recreation of one of the most historic guitars made by one of America’s oldest family businesses.
No ordinary guitar…this OMC-44K LJ has an Orchestra Model body size, with a Cutaway and it is made in a modern version of Martin’s Style 44, with back and sides of Hawaiian Koa wood, known for its unique combination of clear trebles, warm harmonics, but with a more open mid-range compared to other rich tonewoods like rosewood. Just the way Laurence Juber likes it.
In a word, the voice is huge … a good example of a Bluegrass banjo killer with focused trebles that cut through the stout, strong bass of its pronounced bottom end … If you are familiar with the brand, I can say this guitar is warmer, fatter and more resonant than even some rosewood Huss & Dalton offerings, as that dense tonewood and reflective spruce reverberate and amplify each note and every strum. It still sounds like mahogany, but mahogany that has been working out in the weight room …
Who didn’t get goosebumps and have the hair stand up on the back of their neck at least once during a viewing of Richie Haven’s Handsome Johnny, and the iconic Freedom (Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,) when he was the opening act at Woodstock?
Who else in popular music picked up a guitar and made the most out of doing the songs of other well-known artists, but could still be defined as a one of a kind original?
That rich, fertile baritone voice is now forever silenced. That amazing fretting thumb that turned Open D tuning into an ocean of ringing tone, and the phrasing that made each song seem like his was the way it was always meant to be, have rang the walls for the last time.
Rest in peace, Richie. I am grateful we will have a record of your art, even if it is but a tiny collection of your many, many performances.
Like this one, when you appeared on a bill with the biggest stars of your era and came out to play one, solo song at Columbia Records Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Garden, and showed them what it meant to have true class and genuine style all your own.