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NAMM 2010 - Day Four Wrap up

  01/25/10 16:39, by , Categories: NAMM 2010, NAMM 2010 Music, BFMN Exclusive , Tags: 000 guitar, 109, 110, 999 guitar, carol kaye, cisco robles, d-100, dan grigor, frank butler, jorma kaukonen, mark goveney, martin guitar, namm

That’s It… It’s All Over

Barefoot and a little sore, we walked to the car in the rain. It was cool, the rainwater on my feet and the whole experience of NAMM 2010. I would like to thank the entire population of the convention for putting up with my antics and letting me do whatever I wanted. I would like to mention the convention staff:  the blue shirts, the yellow jacket folks, the red jacket folks, the black shirt folks, the black vest folks, the security team and sound control techs (shakes tiny fist) and all those not in uniform. Hundreds of people that made it safe and fun and easy to attend this event, thank you from all of us there.

Click through for the whole story.

I would also specifically like to thank my buddy Catfish, who wrangled once-in-a-lifetime interviews with icons of the music industry and kept me out of trouble.  That’s not an easy job. 

Day Four update. Frank stayed out a little late the night before at an after party, but that’s a story he should tell. I started the night in a jacuzzi and spent some quality time with my wife and some wine. Needless to say, we arrived a little late Sunday morning, but we both hit the ground running. When we could get off the ground, we went in and got to work.

We Spoke with Martin Guitars

It was a full day. We skipped the canned  Martin Guitars presentation and set up an exclusive, in-depth tour of the entire line of Martin instruments at the show. They had one of the best setups there. It was huge, with a ton of guitars hanging on the wall. We looked at practically every style of stringed instrument that Martin makes. They had classic styles, new tricks, a few bizarre surprises and each one was crafted by artisans and experts in the field.

Our appointment was with Chris and we gave that kid a workout. I never stumped him. He knew every instrument in the room as if it was his own and together we will take you on a video tour around the busy booth for a barefoot guitar guy’s perspective of the entire Martin line.

After that we sat down and talked about the history of the company, the guitars, the wood and the mechanics of sound. A fascinating interview, Chris shared CF Martin with us: not just the wooden things with the strings on them, but the philosophy of the man, the company and their dedication to making the best-sounding, purtiest guitars money can buy. Even better, they create them with material and craftsmanship that ensures that not only will they last forever, but every single day the wood ages, the tone warms a little and they sound better and better and better.

Then we got to play a few. I played Jorma’s signature 6-string and I have to say it was a thing of beauty and it plays like butta’.  The wood, the sound, the cool tribute to an amazing guitar player, it is even appointed as if it was his own: same wood, tuners, pick guard and inlay, including his signature inlayed into the fretboard.  For fun, I got to play the double-neck. It is stunning; I want one. They are not for sale. They only made two. One is untouched under glass in the Martin Museum and the other was making its debut appearance at NAMM, having never before left the Martin building. It may have been touched by many, but it was played by only one: BareFootMusicNews’ barefoot journalist Dan Grigor. Chris said it had never come off the wall and I was the only guitarist at the show that had been allowed to play it.

Martin Doubleneck 12-string

If that isn’t cool enough for you, try this. Next I asked to play the D-100 that sells for 109 thousand dollars and change. Once again, your BareFootMusicNews barefoot journalist Dan Grigor, was the only person at NAMM 2010 that played the Martin Classic Limited Edition D-100 Deluxe. Who’s your daddy?

As cool as that was, it wasn’t the coolest thing we did that day

While hanging around the Ibanez booth we ran into Carol Kaye. If you don’t know who that is, that’s ok. You certainly know her music. This woman has played bass for everyone. She has created bass lines for just about every one of your favorite TV shows from the Brady Bunch to the Cosby show, and most of your favorite movies too; a body of work so broad it covers every genre of music and every genre and size of screen.

She is still one of the most sought-after bassists and teachers in the industry. She’s incorrigible. Before we were done, she made me promise to put down the camera, get out on the road and play more. We got up close as she jammed with a friend she hadn’t seen in 8 years. They played as if they play together all the time, laughing and smiling, and you could not keep your foot from tapping along and joining in the fun as the changes came quick and spot on. Delightful to hear, delightful to watch, those cats knocked us out. We also got to hear one of her students play and let me say, Carol, “Look out, this one could be trouble!”

We also sat down with Mary Faith Mary Faith Rhoads-Lewis of the John Pearse Company. John has passed on, but if you don’t yet know of him, he is credited with single-handedly making the UK into a guitar nation. He was huge there as a player, teacher, author, inventor and string maker extraordinaire and he was dedicated to the fact that people were happier and healthier when they had music in their life.

Let me tell you I have, more than once, driven hundreds of miles to buy their strings; they are all I play. They offer some other cool stuff too. Mary Faith showed us a very smart John Pearse invention: an armrest for acoustic guitars. Similar to a chin rest on a violin, it allows a comfortable place to rest your arm without dampening the soundboard of your guitar. Interesting concept, she gave us one to try and we’ll find out how it works. Last, but not least, we looked at some all-corner picks that are really smart and a Django button pick crafted to the size of a trouser button just like the one  Django Reinhardt used. His 100th birthday is this year. What a cool tribute to an awesome player.

Cool stuff and more: we heard Mark Goffeney play with his bare feet (toe bump) and Tallan ‘The T-Man’ Noble Latz and HeXx Henderson and Steve White and more.

Oh I almost forgot we met and jammed with Cisco Robles and in another stunning world exclusive; Dan Grigor was the only other person at NAMM that got to wear the purple hat. How cool is that?

After that I actually sat down and played a booth downstairs just for fun and ended up signing CDs in the aisle afterwards for nervous fans and making new friends from faraway places. I may have a place to crash in Canada for the Olympics. That was fun.

Frank and I had the time of our lives. We ran 100 miles an hour, chewing up video after video to bring you not just the New Toy News but, we hope, the complete experience of attending the biggest music convention on the planet. It is amazing and I think we take you there to see it for yourself. We chose a format that was comfortable to create and easy to watch, providing an as-if-you-were-there peek from the other side of the “not open to the public” sign.

Stay tuned. We’ll begin posting as they are put together. It was a lot of work gathering the footage. Now we need to do a lot more to get them cut to size, edited and uploaded. We really want to get everyone’s name spelled right and the from-the-floor-sound cleaned up a little. It was loud in there, man!

It was awesome in there, man! So there ya go, that’s a wrap. I’ll leave you with this, a little trailer of some of the music we heard and captured for you while we were there.

StayTuned! DanG

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