• 2007 Blueridge BR1060P Carter Stanley Memorial guitar
  • Body: Sitka spruce top with pre-war forward X-pattern bracing, solid Indian rosewood sides and back with centre “zig-zag,” ebony bridge
  • Neck: Mahogany/Ebony fretboard
  • Hardware: Grover tuners, bone nut and compensated bridge saddle, Mitchel’s Plate Mate brass bridge plate
  • Pickup: Fishman Matrix Infinity

Given to me by Saga Music when I was performing in the Barter Theatre’s production of Man of Constant Sorrow: The Story of the Stanley Brothers. It might be a prototype, because there was no serial number.

It’s a limited edition “tribute” to Carter Stanley‘s original 1956 Martin D-28. Carter had hexagonal fretboard inlays as well as the enlarged pick guard put on around 1964, the latter to hide the deep scratches in the top — he was an old style thumb-and-fingerpick player — and it became something of a trademark (Blueridge also offers this model with a standard dalmatian pick guard). I had Chuck, my guitar tech in Virginia, remove the three-ply pick guard, but it was just too boomy, so I had him replace it with a single-ply pick guard, which calmed it down without affecting the tone as much. The Plate Mate protects the bridge plate from damage from the ball ends of the strings, and acts as something of a tone enhancer.

Deep and rich, like you’d expect a rosewood backed acoustic, and has aged in well. Not quite as good for recording if there’s a lot going on in the track, but works well in acoustic ensembles with small diaphragm mics.

Some guitars have songs in them, others don’t. I’ve gotten quite a few out of Carter, especially for The Nymphs recording project.

I mainly use it as my road guitar, plugged in and running through a Fishman Aura Spectrum D/I. Loaded with D’Addario NB1252 Nickel-Bronze or EXP16 Coated for long tours, both in .12-.53 gauge.