About Marc

The Musician

“Those of you familiar with the Gary Davis and Mississippi John Hurt approach to guitar playing will find not only has Marc mastered these ragtime gospel styles, but has extended and evolved the tradition with his own haunting original songs.”
– Bob Dylan

“ If Marc Silber seems to play and bend and sing every note like he means it, that’s because he means it. While he may look laid back or aloof, he brings the same passion and sincerity to a ballad or a blues, a spiritual, a country classic or a ragtime ditty that he brings to the standard folk repertoire or his own felicitous, haunting originals. Not only is he a superb performing musician, Marc is one of the all-time great listeners. Nothing gets past his hungry ear. In his calming presence, you can even feel him listening to and feeding his audience. His loving understanding of understatement and silence — when to play sparsely, when to lay out — make him one of the towering masters of artful understatement. Marc Silber is the real thing: an honest, living treasure. ”
– Al Young: Author, music commentator, and California’s former poet laureate

I met Marc in 1962 and he had already mastered the guitar styles of many of the blues men of the 20’s, 30’s and later. Players like Mance Lipscomb, John Hurt and others of that era. When he had the Fretted Instrument store in NYC he would jam with many of the folk guitarist who came to the store. Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt and other of the older blues men came there and some more current players like Maxwell Street Jimmy and Marc played with all if them. There were many young players who went on to have long great careers like David Grisman, Stephan Grossman and David Bromberg who came there and played with Marc. He has kept the folk tradition alive with his unique song writing and blending of songs and styles. Marc is one of the premier blues finger picking guitarist playing today. 
He is one of the finest human beings I have ever known.    
–  Joe Loop

National Treasure, according to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary:
Something (or someone) that is greatly valued by the people of a country.
Okay, I get that, and there are many, many examples of that idea.  But what about someone who SHOULD be considered a National Treasure?  And where would someone go to nominate a person as one?  Since there is not such a place, I take it upon myself to declare Marc Silber as a National Treasure.  Do you want proof?
– Marc is the living repository of information about the history of American acoustic instruments, and the manufacturers of them.
– When Marc plays the guitar, he is basing his interpretations on a wide range of styles by those who have come before, great bluesmen, fine country players and singers.  
– And speaking of singing, when Marc sings you can hear the influence of those folks of tradition that he has fully integrated in his own style.  And as such, his style becomes unique.  

There is no other player or performer like Marc Silber, hence a”National Treasure.” 
Harry Tuft, former owner, Denver Folklore Center

Used Instruments
“ I appreciate the fair deal you gave me on the 1926 Roth fiddle you sold me last January. We had the fiddle inspected by the best luthier in Tucson and he was impressed with the overall condition and upkeep. Also, by happenstance my wife visited the Roth family workshop in Germany last summer and the fiddle is listed in the family archives as the genuine article, as I had no doubt it would be. the Tucson luthier didn’t want to let go of it, but we have it back and it sounds better than ever. I plan to use it in an old-time fiddle contest coming up. I’ll be watching you violin listings to see if you happen upon another one of these vintage Roth instruments. ”
– RB: Arizona

New Instruments
“ I have one of your San Francisco Ukes. Just wanted to let you know that I love it. I have received so much enjoyment from playing it over the years. It hangs on the wall next to my desk so that I can grab it anytime the mood hits and play away my frustrations and get my mind back in gear. thanks for such a great instrument. ”
– BG

Hi Marc. The Montalvo I have was one of the first spruce top, cypress back and sides, full size ones you had made. I believe it was made by Juan Huipe. I used it 4 nites a week for 2 and a half years with a 5 piece flamenco show. The sound is rich, clear, dark and sweet, and is exceptional from the 7th to 12th fret. The balance is flawless, and there are no weak notes. The action is easy and responsive, but not flaccid. You can play this guitar for six hours a nite, and do it again the next nite, and both your hands feel fine, which for a professional guitarist is a godsend. I have flamenco guitars by some of the greatest Spanish masters, and this guitar is their equal in every way, regardless of cost. An exceptional instrument and an amazing value
— An Email from John Sim0pson


Some articles about Marc

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