The guitar’s back and sides are made from 40-year-old East Indian rosewood; its neck is carved from Honduran mahogany. The front panel is polished Sitka spruce with an ebony trim, finger board and bridge, inlaid with coral, mother of pearl and turquoise.
When completed, the Pimentel Sunrise will be an acoustic guitar fit not for a king (nor The King), but for an entire state—or at least that was the intention when Pimentel & Sons guitar makers began designing the instrument in 2006.
If the state Legislature passes Senate Bill 52, the Pimentel Sunrise will become New Mexico’s official state guitar. Pimentel says his company plans to donate it to the state and never make another.
SFR solicited the reactions of New Mexico musicians via MySpace.
Do we need a state guitar? That would be my first reaction. ..Maybe we could have a state gang sign. Or maybe a state car … It seems kinda silly. Like the state cowboy song thing, it will probably have impact on the people who made the guitar, but not many other people. I do like that we have a state question [Red or Green?], though, since it's used at least a million times a day in this state.
Matt Worley, Albuquerque
Paper Sleeves, Rock / Powerpop / Indie
At least it's the right choice. Although the concept of a "state guitar" seems a little goofy to me and I'm a guitar player—sorry. I'm sure it will make for good advertising for the Pimentel family and we sure do need any bump in commerce we can get.
Jon Gold, Taos
Unstrung Heros, Bluegrass / Acoustic / Folk
I understand the Pimentel is a nice guitar but I think the state government should do something else rather than wasting their time deciding on a "state guitar." It is nice that they are bringing attention to the state's music industry but they would do much more for us if they enacted legislation to promote the music business similar to the incentives made available for the Film/TV industry. How about some tax breaks and interest free loans for musicians to record their music here in NM? That would help with economic development and really benefit a lot of people here. I think selecting Pimentel as the state guitar is a silly measure aimed to benefit one family, the Pimentels.
Kelly Rudy, Taos
CEO, Petroglyph Records and In Stone Music Distribution
I have played a few Pimentel guitars and they are top notch pieces. I wish I owned one. As for a New Mexico Guitar the Pimentel luthiers are certainly among the best, and they are the only New Mexico luthiers I can think of that really have a line of guitars in production. I think it's a good choice.
Scott Kesson, El Prado
Never Never Band, Experimental / Fusion / Jazz
Many more Stratocasters and Les Pauls are probably played in this state!
Joe Mancuso, Albuquerque
The Teardrops Blues Band, Blues / Rock / Roots Music
Do we really need a state guitar? What's next, state drums? Were any other guitars submitted or considered? Pimentel is certainly a New Mexico institution and they built very good guitars.
I like the concept and the direction of the Pimentel design. How about an electric guitar? New Mexico certainly has a long tradition of electric music. I remember my Uncles playing rancheras on Fender Stratocasters at weddings way back when.
Steven J, Albuquerque
Station, Rock / Experimental
Without a doubt we would like to see the Fender as the State Guitar!!
This "state guitar" is a great way to recognize that New Mexico can produce fantastic musicians. Also it’s a good reminder for families to make music with their children at home or whenever possible. "Lets heal the world with a song.”
Rama and Kenny, Santa Fe
Sky Wolf, Funk/Blues
I think that it is a beautiful piece of work and in my opinion encompasses what a state guitar of New Mexico should be: elegant but simple like the landscapes, the people, and cultures of the state.
Randy Sanchez, Albuquerque/Santa Fe
Nosotros, Latin / Rock / Afro-beat
“State flowers and birds are one thing, but a state guitar? Even as a guitarist of almost 30 years it seems a bit, ummm, manufactured. I mean, what’s next? The state car? (It would have to be a low-rider). The state set of dining utensils as crafted by Nambé?…Having said all that, the instrument itself seems to be well made…Even though I’m more of a rocker, it feels right that it’s acoustic. Although if I were designing it, it would have to be some kind of hybrid: Half hollow body, with both steel and nylon strings (appropriate for Flamenco AND Bluegrass), half solid body (designed for blues noodling, the other official music of New Mexico), with a screaming bridge pickup (for all our fledgling Warehouse 21 and Albuquerque metalheads), and a wide fingerboard for Jazz and Mariachi players. The Zia Sun and Bear inlays can stay, but Black? It should be stained in tasteful shades of Red and Green.”
Mikey Baker, Santa Fe; Moby Dick and the Gluey Brothers (rock / funk)
Honestly, I’m not ignorant to a lot of guitars, but I’ve never heard of that particular one. How old is that senator? The state guitar should be something culturally embedded in New Mexico. Who made the first guitars in New Mexico? Who brought the first and what types were they? A broad variety of music has come from New Mexico and from a broad variety of guitar styles. This question is for a historian who knows the cultures of early New Mexico.
Hunter Lewis, Santa FE
A Band, Punk / 2-step / Thrash
This guitar is NICE!! Really NICE!! You have got to love the good old Zia symbol! I’m not too familiar with guitars, but a good state turntable would be the Technic 1200.
Stevie B, Albuquerque
Fat Fish, Rap / Hyphy / Crunk
Never heard of a state guitar, about time hehe!! I think the Pimental Sunrise is a cool idea. Add the Road Runner fretboard inlays so you can shred up and down the fretboard and it would be good to go!!!
Joe Angel Hernandez, Albuquerque
The Compound, metal concert venue
Pimentel's are gnarly-ass guitars. and this guitar in specific is awesome so i would be totally cool with it being our state guitar.
Alex Sugg, Albuquerque
Nose Whistler, Thrash / Big Beat / Jungle
I'm not sure what elements are being pondered for a state guitar. The concept is somewhat unusual to me. It should certainly, above all, embody the heritage and tradition of this state.
I will say that if I had to choose a musical instrument that represents the proud and rich cultural heritage of New Mexico this one is a masterpiece. I have had the opportunity to play one of the Pimentels' guitars and even their lower end models are a dream to play. The Pimentel's are absolute masters of their craft, and to bestow an honor such as this on them would be a credit to both them and the State of New Mexico.
Rick Fuentes, Rio Rancho
Latin / R&B / Pop
Having only played in bands in this beautiful state of New Mexico for the past 10 years, it is in my opinion that the state guitar should be the Gibson Les Paul. That is the only guitar that I would ever want to play if I had the choice. In Handsome Molly, I played a hollow body guitar and that was fine, but I was always dreaming of the day I would own my own gold top Les Paul.
Willis Wes Berlin , Taos
The Darkness of Country and Handsome Molly, Country / Death Metal / Southern Rock
"That's great the state wants to give us all guitars!"
Carlos Santistevan, Santa Fe
The Late Severa Wires, Experimental / Electronica / Hardcore
I have to admit my first reaction is, "Huh." State flowers and nirds are one thing, but a state guitar? Even as a guitarist of almost 30 years it seems a bit, ummm, manufactured. I mean, what's next? The state car? (It would have to be a low-rider). The state pair of shoes? The state set of dining utensils as crafted by Nambe? I could see having the state instrument BEING a guitar, but defining a particular manufacturer seems odd. The state oboe? The state kettledrum by Ludwig?
Having said all that, the instrument itself seems to be well made... I think it's appropriate that you have to wait 3-4 years to get one (Veeeerrry New Mexican time-frame), and, even though I'm more of a rocker, it feels right that it's acoustic... Although if I were designing it, it would have to be some kind of hybrid. Half hollow body, with both steel and nylon strings (appropriate for Flamenco AND Bluegrass), half solid body (designed for Blues noodling, the other official music of New Mexico), with a screaming bridge pickup (for all our fledgling Warehouse 21 and Albuquerque Metalheads), and a wide fingerboard for Jazz and Mariachi players. The Zia Sun and Bear inlays can stay, but Black? It should be stained in tasteful shades of Red and Green.
Mikey Baker, Santa Fe
Moby Dick and the Glooey Brothers, Rock / Funk
I was hoping it would have Zias on it. The Pimentel gets our vote. We might be more helpful when picking the state sequencer or drum machine.
Paul Groetzinger, Santa Fe
D Numbers, Psychedelic / Live Electronics / Rock
Don't know much about the pimentel...... Man, should it be a strat or a tele?,,, Or a les paul...? Something all-encompassing, universal, progressive and forward looking, reflecting many different styles... an electric or a traditional gut string? I dunno. good luck with that one!
Bil Palmer, Santa Fe
Hundred Year Flood, Rock / Americana / Rock
Pimentel would make a fine state guitar. Their family is gifted as luthiers and players. If we don't have a state song, could you please direct me towards who I could submit one to?
Aaron Hamre, Albuquerque
Singer, songwriter, Rock / Pop / Blues
(The State song was adopted n 1917: “O, Fair New Mexico” by Elizabeth Garrett, however several other songs have been adopted. In 1917, “Asi Es Nueva Mejico,” by Amadeo Lucero, was adopted as the Spanish–language version of the state song. Twelve years later, the Legislature declare Michael Martin Murphey’s “Land of Enchanment” as the State Ballad. Then, in 1995, the legislature adopted “Mi Lindo Nuevo Mexico” as the offical State Bilingual Song.”)