National, C-series Roundneck Green Duolian Resonator Guitar, 1934 - Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes)


C-series Roundneck Green Duolian Resonator Guitar
Serial Number: 
C 7791
Ebonized maple
The Story Behind

The National Duolian Resonator guitars where produced between 1930 to 1938. They had either Squareneck (D), or Roundneck (C). This is a great sounding single cone National which was produced in large quantities due to the low price at that moment in time ($32.50 brand new). This was National's basic and least expensive resonator guitar model at the time.

This guitar, a single cone resonator with a steel body and wood neck, is a C serie model owned by guitarist Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes. This was one of Rich's favorite guitars. He purchased it sometime in the early 1990s, and first used it during the recording sessions for the Black Crowes' album The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. Rich loved it so much he would eventually use it on every Black Crowes's studio album thereafter – including on such songs at "Hotel Illness" and "Wiser Time".

Sometime in the mid-2000s, Rich had a pickup installed on the guitar and used it live on the last few Black Crowes' tours, including all of the sessions at Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble in Woodstock, New York, in 2009.

The guitar's original cone was damaged at some point during the last Black Crowes tour. Nashville's Joe Glaser of Glaser Instruments very carefully repaired the original cone to its original state. Mr. Glaser lived up to his world renowned reputation as one of the world's best luthiers and worked his magic on it, restoring it to its original glory without any issues.

From The Guitar Magazine 8/96:

  "Black Boxes"  
The Crowes fetishism is legendary, and the recording of Three Snakes saw the band dusting off some old favorites as well as breaking in some new tools. Robinson's most renowned guitar is the natural finish '68 Telecaster he's been associated with for years. He also has a reissue rosewood tele built for him by the Fender Custom Shop, plus a B Bender equipped Tele and Fender Electric XII. His collection of regular strummers includes a '61 cherry Gibson 335, two '63 Les Paul TV Juniors, a limed mahagony finish '73 Special (nicknamed 'Bob Marley' after Robinson saw the regaae legend playing a similarly finished Special on TV), a black '61 Gretch Duo-Jet, a Gretch White Falcon, a Travis Bean 5 string, a 1928 National Resonator guitar (played with a slide on AMORICA's Downtown Money Waster), an early '50s Les Paul goldtop with a Bigsby tailpiece and his main accoustic recording guitars, two Martin D-28s and a D-45. But this tasty lot was apparently deemed insufficient for Three Robinson has recently been on another guitar shop-a-thon.....'I just bought another 15 guitars! I bought this Gibson Charlie Christian set from the '40s-a semi acoustic guitar, a Charlie Chrisitan amp and a Charlie Christian lapsteel. I also bought a real cool Greetch, white with the sorta Cadillac green binding a a neck position pickup. I bought 2 SG's-one really cool Les Paul SG, one SG Junior, plus this really rich sounding old accoustic Gretch 12 string (used on Bring On, Bring On). I also got this new guitar made by this French luthier James Trussart-I bought one of his guitars when we were in Paris once and then he came overto San Francisco and I bought that one too. Now I've ordered three more. I've also bought an old '60s Tele Bass which sounds amazing-those bass are normally very iffy-sounding, it seems, but this one's great. I also bought a fantastic old Rickenbacker 12 string - I haven't had one of these in about 12 years and I used my new one on One Mirror Too Many.' Three Snakes also sees Robinson getting to grips with two Apalacian Dulcimers (elongated figure-of-eight instruments with five strings, held on the lap and played with a pick). He playes brother Chris's regular dulcimer on Better When You're Not Alone, and a bass version once belonging to Joni Mitchell on his solo vocal track How Much For Your Wings. 'I just always thought they were cool 'cos we were brought up listening to folk and bluegrass. I find them quite easy to understand because I play so much in open tuning, and open tunings are pretty much based on major chords. Whatever instrument I'm playing I don't find it too limiting. I can go more places in open G, say, than I can in regular tuning.' I have 60 or 70 guitars now' he laughs, 'but after all that I narrow it down to about 5 or 6 for actually recording with. I mean, on top of that we have a whole bunch of amps we use. Even Chris buys amps for us to try out.'

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