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Why Midland Is Selling the Guitars That Built Them

Vintage and Modern, Acoustic and Electric, Fenders and Gibsons: All Looking for a Good Home

There is one guitar -- a 2013 Fender Ron Emory acoustic guitar, named for the punk rock True Sounds of Liberty's guitarist who designed it -- that first got country trio Midland off the ground. And now, it's for sale.

In fact, a whole collection of the country band's guitars are for sale in the Official Midland Reverb Shop, which will go live on July 15.

Midland's frontman Mark Wystrach says that that particular Ron Emory guitar was the one that he, Cameron Duddy and Jess Carson passed around on the porch of a cabin overlooking the Teton Mountains in 2013. That was when the band was born.

“Midland was the result of that magical atmosphere mixed with a little bit of alcohol, some nostalgia, and three buddies who are musicians. It was the perfect setting and the perfect chemical reaction to start Midland,” Wystrach said of the night they officially formed their trio. “This is the guitar that started it all and I can’t wait for someone to own this exciting piece of country music history.” The guitar is now autographed by Wystrach, Duddy and Carson. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this guitars and others will benefit the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas.

Here is what will be for sale in the Official Midland Reverb Shop:

1967 Fender Telecaster Custom electric guitar

This is the one Carson played at the very first Midland show and in the band’s “Put the Hurt on Me” music video. “This was just a dream guitar for me. It was my number one guitar for about three years in the beginning when we first formed the band.”

1961 Gibson ES-335 electric guitar

Carson played this one in some of the biggest shows Midland ever played, including the Houston Rodeo. “This guitar is the best-sounding 335 I’ve ever played.”

1965 Gibson Firebird 12-String electric guitar

This is the one that Carson played extensively on the tour that supported the band’s debut studio album On the Rocks. “This is one of probably about a dozen of these 12-strings that are still around. I would play the intro to ‘Electric Rodeo’ on this guitar, so it’s got some cool history and I hope it goes to a great home.”

1964 Gibson J-200 electric guitar

“I’ve always been a J-200 fan, I think they’re the coolest, biggest, boldest acoustics and they have been played by so many people that I love, from Bob Dylan to John Prine. This is a really great example."

1963 Fender Stratocaster

This is the electric guitar that Carson plays in the “Mr. Lonely” music video and on the road for the past three years (before the pandemic).

Carson explained that for him, guitars are meant to be loved and then loved again by someone else. “As much as I idolize people like Bruce Springsteen who are associated with one guitar they’ve played throughout their whole career, the truth is that I find myself falling in love with different guitars," Carson said. "Each of these guitars is older than me -- they had a whole lifetime before me and they’ll have another lifetime or two or three after me. A lot of these guitars were my number one guitars at different points throughout my career and I hope they will go on to be other people’s number one vintage guitars.

"The best thing you can do is play them.”

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