Why Players Know Guild: Chris Putnam

There’s a long history behind each member of Putnam’s Guild family. He recalls that his first, the D-25, came from his guitar instructor. Shortly thereafter, he got the D-40 from Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, Tenn., which is where “the disease started.”

Putnam said he didn’t need more guitars, but he was destined to cross paths with the ’95 Bluesbird and the ’99 Starfire, which he bought on eBay. The latter was a lonesome instrument that had been sitting in a storage room for seven years as part of a music dealer’s bankruptcy settlement before it fell into Putnam’s lap and found a cozy new home.

But out of his five models, there’s one that holds a very special place in his heart—the 45th anniversary model he bought online from New Hope Guitar Traders in Fayetteville, Tenn. He owns number 10 out of the 45 limited edition models built.

“Not only is it a beautiful guitar to look at, but the complexity of the tones on this guitar; I’ve never picked up anything by any other brand that was quite like it,” Putnam said. “It’s an extremely nice guitar.”

And when it comes to tone, you can’t fool Putnam. He specializes in audio and acoustic engineering; sciences he’s been practicing for years.

Putnam noodles for fun, but is also a devoted member of his church’s band, in which he plays his second-favorite model, the ’99 Starfire.

“I play regularly in a band at church with my Starfire, so it gets a lot of play,” he said. “It plays well, has a good tone and it’s got the Bigsby® tailpiece.”

Putnam is also a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International.