Pulled into Nazareth…

Growing up in Easton, Pennsylvania, we never gave much thought to the fact that some of the best acoustic guitars in the world were produced just four miles up the road in a sleepy little neighborhood of Nazareth.  The bus that took us to Palmer Elementary School drove past several manufacturing plants along the way: Crayola Crayons, Pfizer, Dixie Cup, Harris, and several massive Bethlehem Steel warehouses.  We also drove past the main Bethlehem Steel plant regularly.  The size and scale of the Bethlehem Steel, Pfizer, and Dixie Cup plants made C.F. Martin Co. look rather modest in comparison.

As an adult, I've always appreciated the sound of Martin Guitars, and in particular their Dreadnaughts.  Countless bluegrass guitarists swear by Martin's brand, but the guitars can also be heard on many iconic recordings and performances.  Below are a few sound examples and some photos of from visits to the Lehigh Valley area.

Psycho Killer-Talking Heads (from the film Stop Making Sense) Not sure how the rest of the band felt about this, but this certainly demonstrates David Byrnes' creativity and quirkiness, both of which I find very endearing.

Bird Song-Grateful Dead (Radio City Music Hall 10/31/80)  Jerry Garcia's Martin guitar can also be heard throughout the live Reckoning album also recorded during the same four night stint at Radio City.


Punch Brothers: This recording on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts provides a great example of the punchiness of Martin's dreadnaught guitars.  Here is another clip of Chris Eldridge playing solo. 

1 comment