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2015’s NAMM Show Yields Musical Utopia

posted January 28, 2015, 11:49 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, Live Show Reviews, Music News | comment Leave a Comment

Photo Credit: Jesse Grant/Stringer

Photo Credit: Jesse Grant/Stringer

As we approach the end of January, that means only one thing to a music vendor, biz professional or musician- The NAMM Show! Thousands eager to avoid snow and escape to sunny Southern California (or sit in traffic trying to get there if you live in LA or SD) descended upon the Anaheim Convention Center in search of fun, networking and ware sampling last weekend. Back for my second year, I made sure my agenda for each day included poking and prodding of new products, award ceremonies and checking out acts in the hotel lobbies of two adjacent hotels, filled with musicians of different genres playing until midnight.

Photo Credit: Jesse Grant/Stringer

Photo Credit: Jesse Grant/Stringer

Starting my NAMM show experience by watching Trombone Shorty and ending with Stanley Randolph & No Wonder” featuring the Stevie Wonder Band and seeing Orianthi, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Richie Sambora and Les Paul award honoree Slash all play onstage at the TEC Awards was just a sampling of the good times had. Stopping by the She Rocks Awards on Friday after listening to George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic in the Go Pro Plaza, I connected with rising talent Breanna Kennedy (peep the interview soon) and witnessed Colbie Caillat perform after being honored for her video “Try”. Also receiving the “Mad Skills” Award, Grammy nominee Mindi Abair (who I’ve also spoken with recently, peep the interview soon) jammed with Orianthi on her song “Kick Ass”.

Photo Credit: Jesse Grant/Stringer

Photo Credit: Jesse Grant/Stringer

Suffice to say Starbucks nonfat Mochas aided mini-musical hangovers (early birds could attend NAMM U educational sessions with guests like Steve Wozniak) as I made my way to the Convention Center each day to hear patrons wail away on electric guitars at several corners of each floor. A paradise for any musician or vendor , everything to assist in the musical production and stage show process could be found there i.e. instruments, stands, lights, fog machines, production software, recording gear, how-to books were all available. Interspersed within the product booths, autograph sessions with artists like Dave Mustaine, Ernie Watts, Lee Sklar, Phil X, Robert Trujillo, Wolf Hoffmann, Stu Hamm and Devin Townsend took place with lines wrapping around.

Some of my fav vendors included:

Wood Violins – The company that brought us the first solid body electric violin debuted its new Stingray SVX Series, the latest version of its successful Stingray SV and newly updated for 2015. Celebrating their 25th anniversary, all custom instruments built in 2015 will have a special Wood Violins XXV logo on the neck.

Ernie Ball – Returning with an impressive display of Music Man® guitars and basses, they also displayed their Cobalt Slinkys, M-Steel, Ever Last, and the revolutionary Element Shield Packaging which hermetically seals guitar strings. Offering a loyalty program which rewards with swag, it’s no wonder they’ve been a leader in the industry for over 50 years.

Bass Egg – Selling audio devices in over 40 countries, this company is looking for global expansion. Offering speakers without speaker cones, they send vibrations into the object it is set upon. Connecting with Bluetooth and offering 4-10 hours of battery life, Bass Egg can take anything like a desk at the office, a cooler at the beach, a dining table at the home, a car hood at the tailgate and create a much larger “speaker cone” with satisfying, full range audio.

Fender – Rolling with a slew of Stratocaster guitars, Journeyman basses, limited edition Sand Blast Ash Jazz and American Standard PJ basses, pedals and amplifiers, I couldn’t forget them. A company founded in the 1940’s, they’ve made products known for their unmistakable tone, comfortable feel, durability and overall value — in the hands of artists such as Buddy Holly, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, U2, Nirvana, John Mayer, Radiohead and countless others. Celebrating the American Standard series in 2015, theys displayed American Standard series instruments alongside other examples of equally classic and iconic Americana.


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