A Martin Acoustic with Built-In History
Merle Travis, Chris Martin, Fred Gretsch, and Paul Bigsby walk into a bar... OK, that may sound like the start of a really bad joke, but for a recent Martin release, this is the perfect meetup to create a stunning and unique Martin that you will treasure for years to come.
The Martin D-28 Bigsby
is a Custom Signature Edition that pay homage to the legend, Merle Travis. Even if you don't know who Merle is, you know have probably heard of the playing style he made famous (and was named after him), "Travis Picking."
The D-28 Bigsby is built on the re-imagined D-28 guitar platform, equipped with premium East Indian Rosewood for the back and sides along with a Sitka Spruce Top. (Click Here to read more about Martin's re-imagined guitars).
The neck is where the history and the story of this guitar really start to show. Two distinct features of the neck will have you scratching your head. The first is the maple neck construction, the second is the headstock, with the Martin logo missing, and a Bigsby logo adorning the unusual headstock design.
The Maple neck adds a bite to the D-28 that Martin describes as "a unique tonal quality that adds sustain and brightness and pairs nicely with the warmth and depth of rosewood."
So how do Martin, Bigsby, Travis and Gretsch all have a part in this guitar?
The story goes something like this. In the 1940s Merle Travis was making Travis Picking popular. He met Paul Bigsby who started crafting neck replacements for Travis' Martin D-28 guitars that Travis along with a handful of other famous artists took a liking to. These necks were made with maple and had the unique "Bigsby" headstock shape, which is said to be inspired by European Violins ( Stratocaster anyone? But that is a different story, for another time).
As of today, Gretsch owns the copyright for Bigsby, so Martin and Gretsch teamed up to create this amazing guitar, that probably has more history from the factory than just about any other guitar out there.
Each guitar is signed on the inside label by Chris Martin IV and Fred Gretsch.
The Bottom Line
It is not very often that a guitar comes out with so much history built-in. The Martin D-28 Bigsby
is an amazing guitar, that feels great and has that great Martin sound while being extremely unique and will have people asking you about it at every gig. If a D-28 is on your shopping list, you should take a serious look at this Custom Artist Model.