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Headlining the afternoon were the Courtesy Tier, fresh on the heels of a pair of EP releases and just ahead of the launch of their full-length record. They’d recently toured the East Coast, and after landing a manager on a recent trip to Austin’s South by Southwest festival, had scored opportunities to record with the likes of Peter Katis (Interpol, The National), Joe Hardy (ZZ Top), and Chris "Frenchie" Smith (...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead). Their blend of blues, rock, and indie music is characterized by intricate chickenpickin’ lines, quick hammer-ons, and the occasional alternate tuning—a triathlon of sorts for an acoustic guitar. In their hands, though, the guitar sounded as clear and full as it would in a studio, supporting—but not competing with—the band’s vocal harmonies. Like all the best musicians, their set ended on a high that left everyone feeling energized and wanting more. But, this being Brooklyn, where there is no shortage of musical talent and everyone is in a hurry, we needed to pack up our gear and clear the room for another show at Pete’s later that evening. Tearing down was as easy as unplugging the Road Series guitar and returning it to its case, and as I did, Ryan came by with the red “TIPS” pail. We’d made a sizeable chunk of change, and everyone decided the best result of an afternoon of good vibrations would be to donate the money to charity. More than a chance to try out a prototype from the Martin workshop, which is scheduled to debut at the 2017 Winter NAMM Trade Show in Anaheim, the back room of Pete’s that day was a place to create warmth. Connected by songs, and by this guitar, the afternoon was a chance to kindle a small flame against the chill of a long workweek, of terrifying newspaper headlines, of all the setbacks and frustrations of working life. It was an afternoon of camaraderie, and openness, and all of the things music has offered us since time immemorial. A chance to make new memories, to warm ourselves; a chance to get drink tickets. Mostly, it was a reminder that wherever you are and however you’re feeling,

AT THE END OF THE DAY, ALL YOU REALLY NEED ARE

YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR GUITAR, AND THE OPEN ROAD. Learn more about the new GPCRSG from Martin’s Road Series at MartinGuitar.com/New and find a local authorized Martin dealer at MartinGuitar.com/Find-a-Dealer.

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MARTIN | The Journal of Acoustic Guitars: Volume 7