(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
It's worth about $9,000. It's embellished with pearl and made of the finest koa wood. And Hunter Hayes will be wearing it around his neck when he's on tour with Carrie Underwood this fall. The designer? C.F. Martin & Co. It was announced yesterday that Hayes is the latest Martin Ambassador. At just 20 years old, he's the youngest one yet to partner with the acoustic guitar brand. And even though Hayes has been playing Martins for a while, he collaborated with their custom shop to build this new guitar to exactly his own specifications. The people at Martin told me Hayes likes the old school feel of an OM (orchestra model) but now he wants a smaller parlor-sized guitar. I can't wait to see how it looks and hear how it sounds. But if you've seen Hayes' "Storm Warning" video, you may have noticed that he plays five instruments throughout the song: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, keyboard and drums. So what I really want to see this fall is how he does all that in a live show.