Sunday, August 2, 2009

Martin Owner's Club Day 2009

Thom Bresh, son of Country Hall of Fame guitarist, Merle Travis, performs at the 4th annual Martin Owner's Club Day in Nazareth, PA. Podcast is on Dr. M's Radio Show:

The 4th Annual Martin Owner's Club Day once again offered its members fantastic food, fun, gifts and entertainment. Some of the best guitarists in the world play Martins and to help celebrate this event, Thom Bresh, son of the legendary Country Hall of Famer, Merle Travis, put in amazing performance. Also on stage was blues and rag master, Kenny Sultan from California with his signature Martin. Owner's Club Day is a picnic and fair hosted at the Martin Factory in Nazareth Pennsylvania. Martin guitar owners come from all over the world and it is not uncommon to hear many different languages spoken at this event. The day began with a continental breakfast of scrumptious muffins and pastries, coffee and tea. Then a catered lunch was served by a company who specializes in Ox and Pig Roasts. All the picnic favorites were there including baked beans, macaroni and cheese plus a really delicious pulled pork barbecue. There was an open mic performance where Martin Club members signed up to get on stage. There was a lot of talent on hand!

During the day there were guitar workshops, guided factory tours and trips through the museum which houses guitars owned by Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Gene Autry and many, many others. Some, such as the one owned by Roy Rogers have gone on auction at Christies for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Kenny Sultan came on stage after the open mic session and lit it up! He explained simple chords and using a one string baseline for his blues style. Everyone enjoyed his playing as was evidenced by the applause and whistles. Next Thom Bresh took the stage and amazed everyone with his "Travis" picking style with some licks he himself invented. Bresh is a true comedian and did really good impressions of other country artists such as the hard to imitate, Willie Nelson. He also did a very smooth version of Nine Pound Hammer that his father, Merle Travis wrote. He explained that the part in the song that goes, "Roll on Buddy", is actually a call to his mule! Bresh has a new DVD out called Breshman which can be accessed at his photo in the banner ad section to your left.

Kenny Sultan, master of Blues and Rag music performing on stage at Martin's Owner's Club Day

This event is a wonderful expression of Martin's enduring commitment to their customers. Each member received a
"swag bag" of Martin goodies such as picks, a polishing cloth, strings, decals and patches. Additionally last year we also received a free subscription to Premier Guitar magazine and special discounts on newly released LX guitars. This year Martin guitar artist, Robert F. Goetzl had a prototype available featuring his artwork on a new LX guitar featuring factory illustrations showing the stages of crafting a Martin Guitar. One of the highlights of the day is Chris Martin's member address after which he graciously autographed guitars and other souveniers.

Martin Factory Tour

During Martin Owner's Club Day, many members take in the guided tours through the Martin factory. The Martin Factory Tours have been rated one of the BEST factory tours in the U.S.A. It is about an hour long and takes you through the various stages of creating a Martin Guitar. You are also able to stop by the Custom Shop during this tour and see some incredible restoration and inlay work being done. Each guitar takes between 2-3 months to make.

The hour long tour is very educational, showing the intricate steps in the construction of their guitars. For example did you know that Martin invented the Dreadnought guitar? It is the most copied acoustic body in the world but Martin created it first. Also X-Bracing which is used as the industry standard to support the guitar's soundboard was also invented by C.F. Martin. After 176 years, I think they know what they are doing! Membership in the Martin Owners Club is a real value. As a member, you receive the Sounding Board which is a full color magazine of all things Martin plus their yearly catalog and price lists. You also get a Martin full color calendar plus free strings and other specially made Owner's Club merchandise. Want to be a part of the "club"? Get details on how to join at: Martin Guitar

Hanging with the Martin Guitars in front of the Visitor's Center!

Congratulations to John M., winner of our C.F. Martin and Planet Waves Guitar Gear Give-Away. John won sets of Martin light and medium SP strings, Martin Banjo Strings and the legendary Planet Waves NS Capo! Next Give-Away will feature the new Planet Waves Headstock Tuner among the other cool prizes.

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