Video: The ‘Whiskey Before Breakfast’ Cover Martin D-18

Bluegrass greats Bob Minner, Chris Eldridge, Bryan Sutton, and Kenny Smith discuss and play the 1936 Martin D-18 that graced the cover of Norman Blake’s seminal Whiskey Before Breakfast album. They also talk about Blake’s guitar playing (and collecting) and much more.

Says Minner: “Through a series of unplanned events on my end, the 1936 D-18 that was featured on the front and back cover of Norman Blake’s 1976 album, Whiskey Before Breakfast, came into my possession for a few weeks. The owner, Brent Hawley, has owned the guitar since late 1975 when he acquired it via Rob Griffin, a mutual friend of Brent and Norman. Brent wanted me to make a short video with the guitar before he started the selling process.

“With such a historic instrument connected to Norman, it made sense to call up some friends – Bryan Sutton, Kenny Smith, and Chris Eldridge – to celebrate this guitar, the Whiskey Before Breakfast album, and just have a good time playing songs from it and talking shop.”

Filmed by Mike Luckett for the Fretboard Journal; special thanks to Denny Hemingson for help with the audio.

Note: Bob and Cameron Knowler will do a deep dive into the music and playing of Norman Blake at the 2023 Fretboard Summit in Chicago (Aug 24-26). Register here: https://fretboardsummit.org.