The first time Matt Hampton went looking for Red spruce, he, quite simply, “searched Google Earth for dark patches on top of tall mountains.” Matt and his brother Nate are now continuing the legacy started by Ted Davis and John Arnold and making a full-time living hunting down Adirondack red spruce for luthiers and larger-scale guitar manufacturers. Red spruce, as you may know, was used for tops on nearly all Golden era Martin guitars until the company switched the Sitka.
Matt describes the process and how one Red spruce tree can yield up to 500 tops, their unlikely start in the world of guitarmaking, their relationship with John Arnold and more. We also hear about the brothers’ quest to find quality domestic back and side tonewoods. It’s a fascinating story, they sound almost like the American Pickers of trees.