Ah, Summer NAMM; what a great trip! Part bass hang, part gear-filled business trip, part summer vacation, the Nashville Show is a very different experience than the “big show” out in Anaheim. Once again, the Bass Gear Magazine team started off the experience with the (5th) Annual D’Addario Pre-NAMM Party, held at the Soundcheck Annex building. It’s a great way to get in the mood, with great food from Jack’s BBQ, great music from local musicians, and lots of cool D’Addario gear.
Douglas Corner Café was, again, “the place for bass during Summer NAMM.” Roy Vogt put together the 6th Annual Thunder Row Bass Invitational at the Café on Thursday and Friday nights. The killer lineup included Ryan Madora, Brittany Frompovich, Jon Von Boehm, Jared Lees, Roy Vogt’s Urban Legends, Nicolas Golder and Josh Townsend, Blake Branch, Luke Putney and the Monks of Funk, Brian Shind, Norm Stockton, Michael Dimin, Dave Pomeroy, Bill Clements and Jaymi Millard, The Roy Vogt, Tim McDonald and Chester Thompson Trio, Bobby Vega, Vuyani Wakaba and Friends, Mario Sangermano, and more.
I continue to feel that moving the show into the (relatively) new Music City Center has breathed new life into the Summer NAMM Show. This is just a great venue, and it brings its own artsy, organic vibe to the Show. As with most NAMM Shows (summer or winter), we were able to find numerous smaller luthiers/manufacturers whom we were not previously aware of. But the big news this year was that two companies we are all very familiar with made a return to the Show floor. I am talking about Fender and Peavey, both of whom had large displays and a strong presence. Fender, especially, had a well-organized, well-timed, on-going presentation of products, with different product lines being hyped at different times throughout the Show. Ernie Ball (who had been absent for some years) also had a nice presence on the floor. Seeing these titans of the industry invest themselves in the Summer NAMM Show seemed to not only add some gravitas to the Show, but it also seemed to buoy everyone’s optimism, across the Show floor.
In addition to our Best of Show winners, there was a lot of great gear on display. We are very interested in getting our hands on the new Smith US Classique basses, the Quilter Bass Block 800, the Amptweaker Bass Jr. pedals, Rocco Prestia’s new Eden rig, and much more. Plus, it’s always great to hang with cats like Bobby Vega, Tom Peterson and Chuck Rainey! Gotta love Summer NAMM!