Merle Watson Commemorative G-40, #4 of 15
The Merle Watson G-40 Model is a a faithful reproduction of Merle Watson’s first Gallagher guitar.
- Mahogany back and sides
- Sitka spruce top
- BWB trim and rosette but with wood purfling on the back
- Tortoise shell bound body, Unbound fretboard and headstock
- Special rose inlay to recreate the rose that is still affixed to his original G-40
- Vintage amber floss finish
- 1 ¾” neck with jumbo frets
At MerleFest 2022, we had the opportunity and responsibility to receive Merle Watson’s first Gallagher guitar, a G-40. Karen Watson-Norris, his daughter, brought it to us for repairs. It is a unique guitar – not only because of its history with Merle, but also in its appointments. We have never seen another G-40 with those appointments.
After considerable discussions with a number of people who knew and/or played with Merle, and then further discussion with Karen, we have decided to build a limited number of the Merle Watson G-40 model. We do so with great respect to Merle and as a way to honor his place among the great guitar players.
While being in the inevitable shadow of his father, he had his own deserved place on the stage with Doc. They won Grammy awards together in 1974 and 1978. Merle truly established himself as a guitar player. In 1985 Merle was awarded the Best Finger Picking Guitarist for Folk, Blues or Country by Frets Magazine. Tragically, with so much more to offer, Merle left us too soon in 1985.
Karen shared the following thoughts with us: “My family and I are extremely honored and grateful to have a guitar made and named after my father. It is such an honor to his legacy and so special for our family and the next generations to come to have such a wonderful tribute to him and by which to remember him.”
JP Cormier and Jake Lauzon visited our shop in October. After having played at the Station Inn earlier in the week, they shared a show with us on the Gallagher Unplugged stage. Prior to the show, we found ourselves with a special opportunity. We had a 1966 G-50 which would have been very similar to what Doc played. We also still had Merle’s 1968 G-40. I shared the video with Karen. She responded: “The sound of them playing brought tears to my eyes…it sounded so familiar.”