Guitar Craft Academy instructor Marty Lanham and his wife, Charmaine Lanham, were recently honored for their dedication to Tennessee bluegrass by the Uncle Jimmy Thompson Bluegrass Festival in historic Granville, Tennessee. Marty’s history with bluegrass started during his childhood in San Francisco, when he first heard the music of Earl Scruggs and became interested in the 5-string banjo.

In his early career, Marty built a banjo for comedian Steve Martin, who went on to use it frequently during his stand-up performances. Marty opened Nashville Guitar Company in 1985 and in the years since has worked on instruments owned by Johnny Cash, Lester Flatt, Marty Stuart and Jimmie Rodgers. Today, he’s one of Nashville’s most renowned luthiers.

Check out this video of his playing to accompany fiddler Blair Joseph: