The Nashville Sound
Jason Isbell signature joins Martin’s Summer launches
Martin announced a brace of new models ahead of the recent Summer NAMM show, and in addition to the previously announced third Ed Sheerhan model, Americana man Jason Isbell gets his first signature in the shape of a custom D-18. Isbell has been touring with custom Authentic series models with the VTS treatment to their tops for a while now. This is the Vintage Tone System – Martin’s method of torrefaction that ages the top wood to achieve some of the character of a vintage guitar. The Isbell model’s top is Adirondack spruce, known for a richer low end, with mahogany back and sides. Isbell has opted for a thin finish and no pickguard to make this guitar louder. “Growing up with my granddad and his brothers and their Martins, whoever had the loudest guitar always had the best,” he says. “So I wanted to make the loudest D-18 we could make.” A custom inlay of one of his tattoos at the 12th fret like his own Martins adds the personal touch. The only rub? It’s five grand.