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Kenny Sultan has played ragtime, old time and even folk during his career - both as a solo artist and with musical partner Tom Ball - but his true passion is acoustic blues. For more than 25 years, he has shown an uncanny talent for taking various blues styles - from Chicago and Kansas City to Delta and Piedmont - and making them his own. A noted teacher, consummate performer, and unsung hero of countless soundtracks and commercials, he and his blues are accessible, engaging and downright fun.
Over the years, Kenny has accumulated an impressive collection of small-bodied Martin guitars from the 1930s and 1940s, including one that has become his favorite: a 1936 Martin 000-18 Sunburst. He bought it more than 20 years ago and it has been his primary instrument for concerts and recording. When approached regarding a namesake Martin guitar, Kenny was quick to suggest a modern version, but one with a definite "old school" character.
"I really pushed toget it as close to the original as possible," he noted."We added a few eye-catching appointments, but the new guitar duplicates all of the essential elements that make my vintage 000 great."
The 000-18 Kenny Sultan Custom Edition's solid premium tonewoods include back and sides of rare fiddleback mahogany, a top of Adirondack spruce and a neck carved from genuine mahogany. Scalloped 1/4" width Adirondack spruce top braces give this guitar impressive tone, with uncommon power and clarity for its size.
The rosette features a single ring of herringbone pearl inlay flanked by black/white/black fine line inlays. Traditional tortoise-color binding is accented by multiple black/white fine line purfling on the top and black/white purfling on the back. But the real showstopper is the unique "Kenny Sultan Sunburst" top, which is narrow and dark around the perimeter, and quickly feathering to amber.
The solid, square tapered headstock on the 1-3/4" (at the nut) modified V neck features a headplate of polished ebony, a stunning backdrop for the "C. F. Martin & Co." script logo inlaid in beautiful mother of pearl. The fingerboard and belly bridge also are black ebony, the former accented only with short pattern "diamonds & squares" position markers.
The Martin 000-18 Kenny Sultan Custom Edition is outfitted with Waverly nickel open-gear tuners with butterbean knobs, a polished and beveled acetate nitrate laminate vintage-style pickguard, bone nut and compensated bone "drop-in" bone saddle, and plain black ebony bridge pins and end pin to approximate the vintage character of Kenny's 1936 000-18. Vintage-appropriate dark stain on the mahogany and Martin's polished gloss finish allow the beauty of this new classic to shine.
Delivered in a Geib-style hardshell case, each Martin 000-18 Kenny Sultan Custom Edition guitar bears an interior label personally signed by Kenny Sultan and numbered in sequence without total. Left-handed guitars may be ordered without additional cost and factory-installed electronics are an extra-cost option.
Authorized C. F. Martin dealers will begin accepting orders for the open-ended 000-18 Kenny Sultan Custom Edition immediately and participating dealers will be posted online at the C. F. Martin website
For more information, visit their web site at www.martinguitar.com