NAMM 2017 – Music Unites America
By Dave Schwartz

It was the funniest thing.  The week before NAMM 2017 opened I was sitting home and chatting with a friend.  This was going to be her first NAMM experience and she had many questions, including “Do you think there will be any protests?” The question was more poignant than I had initially realized.  I reassured her that she would be safe.  Each year NAMM is visited by the Christians with their message of salvation.  These are hardly people with intent to disrupt, cause damage or inflict injury to anyone.  It wasn’t until that Thursday, walking up to the Anaheim Convention Center on the opening day of NAMM that I fully realized the context of her question.  On following day, Friday, January 20th, a new President would take the oath of office and a significant portion of America wasn’t too pleased about it. 

If NAMM is anything, it is a collection of voices.  These voices express themselves in many ways – some through a microphone, some through their guitar amplifier, some in a shirt and tie; while others at benches in small factories creating all this wonder musical gear.  On that Friday, in a location filled with all these wonderful voices, one could argue that it would be a tinder box for open expressions, each trying to outdo the next.  And it was.  But in the place of protests there were negotiations.  In place of ruin there was creation.  In a massive convention hall filled with people from many nations and the voices of every race, creed and color - music united. 

It was a cool experience.  Perhaps the only thing missing was Hendrix playing the "Star Spangled Banner."  Now let’s check out all the cool gear from NAMM 2017!  

Taylor Guitars  Taylor Guitars
DaBelly visits the Taylor guitar booth. We check out several guitars including the Grand Concert, a left-handed 800 Series Deluxe, the GS Mini Bass and The 214 Deluxe Koa!
Tama Drums  Tama Drums
DaBelly visits the Tama booth and checks out the STAR Maple and Star Walnut series, the STARCLASSIC Bubinga, STARCLASSIC Performer B/B, the SLP Series of snares including the Peter Erskine Edition and the Lars Ulrich Edition and others.
Gibson Guitars  Gibson Guitars
DaBelly stopped in the Gibson booth to check out what's new for 2017.  We looked at the Les Paul Standard (USA) in Blueberry, The HD Acoustic, the Epiphone Master Built Series of acoustics, Cerwin Vega CX speakers and Neat Bee Line microphones.
Ibanez Guitars  Ibanez Guitars
DaBelly stops at the Ibanez booth every years to see what's new and cool. This year we look at the RG1070 Premium, the SR Aerium Bass and their Premium Limited Edition Series.
  Andy Manson Guitars
Andy Manson is a guitar Luthier from Portugal.  He has a long list of clients that include the legendary John Paul Jones who acquire Manson’s creations for the playability as much as the artistic statement.  This year at NAMM he displayed some of his more artistic creations including a Mermaid Guitar.  Check out the video!
Joey Sturgis Tones  Joey Sturgis Tones
DaBelly checks in with Joey Sturgis of Joey Sturgis Tones. We checkout the Gain Reduction Deluxe and ToneForge - Jason Richardson model.
DiDonato Guitars  DiDonato Guitars
DiDonato has been making custom stringed instruments in Venice, Italy for many years.  With a great passion for legendary guitarists and the stifling rigidity in following the “Ancient Myth” of classical lutherie, Didonato brought the concept of new instruments free of every restriction without any limitation of shapes and materials, coupling wood with aluminum, which is already used for its tonal properties.
  Orn Guitars
Gunnar Orn began tinkering with guitars when he was 12 years old.  In 2000 his passion turned professional and he began building custom guitars in his native Reykjavik, Iceland.  Today he is a well know luthier building guitars and doing repair work for the top musicians in Iceland.
Orn Custom Guitars
Plus Pedal  The Plus Pedal
Plus Pedal is a music effects unit that generates sustain for notes, chords and other sounds played on the instrument.  Can be used on Guitars as well as other instruments.
McSwain Guitars  McSwain Guitars
From our humble beginnings in an L.A. garage over 20 years ago, McSwain Guitars has sought to make its mark on the guitar world one build at a time.
Marc Poulin from VAGORA, Robby Bloodshed and the band Argyle Goolsby and the Roving Midnight. 

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