With aged Adirondack Over Mighty Mahogany, the D-18 Jason Isbell is more stallion than workhorse
As unpretentious and as powerful as the songs of its namesake.
Specs Include: Solid tonewoods with extra-thin high gloss nitrocellulose finish, including mahogany back and sides, torrefied Adirondack spruce top; 5/16” rear-shifted Adirondack spruce braces with Golden Era style scalloping; satin finished one-piece mahogany neck with 1939 profile, two-way adjustable truss rod, and ebony fingerboard with 1-11/16” width at the bone nut, 2-1/8” at the 12th fret; ebony pyramid bridge with 2-1/8” string spacing at the drop-in compensated bone saddle; custom tattoo fretboard inlay; Ditson style rosette; black binding; Schaller open-back tuners with “clover” buttons; Fishman Infinity Matrix electronics; signed interior label
“Simply put, this guitar sounds huge. Explosive chords burst into the room with near-concussive waves of power and punch, and relaxed, expressive picking lights up an expansive tonal chamber, as if by ballroom chandeliers.”
The Bone Collector by Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge
Mahogany Martins with Adirondack red spruce tops, a 1937 D-18 and a 1939 000-18
While the music speaks for itself, you may want to read more about these two excellent artists, who traveled very different routes to reach the pinnacle of critical acclaim, and are now weaving their different styles into the same music, by checking out this article that was published at the New Yorker, on my birthday, which is probably why I didn’t see it until now.
Love, loss, and faith renewed, as only Janis Ian can render
A touching tale from a brilliant storyteller
Over drinks this weekend, a friend showed surprise when he found out that I had not heard the story of Janis Ian’s lost Martin D-18.
So, he sent a link to the story as published in Songwriter Magazine, now available on her own website.
I happened to visiting my mom when I received the link. For the benefit of my mother’s aged eyesight, I read this story aloud. When I looked up at the end, tears were streaming down my her cheeks and she was sniffling and laughing at her own outpouring of emotion.
But then, emotional impact is something Janis Ian has been providing the general public since she was a teenager, through such songs as “Society’s Child” and “At 17.”
The Classic Mahogany Dreadnought Explored:
Our D-18 Authentic 1939 Review
The time machine Martin closest of all to the priceless pre-war instrument sought after by so many.
The light build on this mahogany/Adirondack is reinforced by rear-shifted braces, with the main X brace placed a bit farther back than on modern Martins. This helps add to the openness of the voice, and reduces the rumble in the bass, so the bottom notes retain great definition while the highs have all the cutting power a Bluegrass flatpicker could hope for.
Whether you are listening to Brownie McGhee singing the Blues, or Kris Kristofferson singing about Bobby McGee singing the Blues, you are hearing a D-18 laying down the rhythm. The folk music of Simon and Garfunkel, Donovan, and Gordon Lightfoot featured the D-18, as did the Rock n Roll of Elvis Presley, Jerry Garcia, and Kurt Cobain. And when it came to Mountain Music, Old Time, and Bluegrass, the D-18 has reigned supreme, especially among the hot-handed pickers.
And no D-18 yet is as like to taking a time machine to the 1930s and buying one, days after the glue has dried.