Introducing, Luthier Focus

New Luthier: Mark Blanchard

As befits guitars made by someone once based in Montana and now in California, Mark Blanchard's acoustic models bear wonderfully evocative names inspired by trees.

From the smallest "Seedling" to the large-bodied "Sequoia", his acoustics have an organic look and classic tone and feel. Mark is primarily a self-taught builder, but came to lutherie with a background in physics, and worked his way towards designing and crafting his own guitars after a decade spent repairing and restoring. Along the way, he's always worked closely with musicians to develop his designs, and sticks primarily with handcrafting methods and a slow process that results in a refined yet unique guitar each time. Neither a strict traditionalist nor avant-garde in his aesthetics, his guitars have a timeless and earthy (yet refined) vibe that make them easy to love.

Though we've only just recently officially partnered with Mark, his guitars are familiar here at TNAG, as we've had both a pre-owned Tamarack model and a Bristlecone in the shop in the past. In addition to his flattop line, he also crafts archtops and both traditional classical and crossover nylon strings. Just in, we've received his ClassiCool model, made of 20+ year old Honduran rosewood and bearclaw Italian spruce.

A unique guitar in the crossover realm, this one has a wonderful combination of a more traditionally classical sounding tone—warm, mellow and lyrical—with the playability and feel that makes it more accessible to players used to steel-string set-ups. Not to mention, modern features like the side soundport and EVO frets.

We are of course delighted to officially add Mark's name to our roster, and hope you'll enjoy listening and digging more into his work!


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