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
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 -
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!
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
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.
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
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
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
DaBelly checks in with Joey Sturgis of Joey
Sturgis Tones. We checkout the Gain Reduction Deluxe and
ToneForge - Jason Richardson model.
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.
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
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.
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.
from VAGORA, Robby Bloodshed and the band Argyle Goolsby and
the Roving Midnight.