In contrast to the increased size of Winter NAMM 2018, this year’s Summer NAMM in Nashville seemed a bit smaller than last year’s event with fewer big product unveilings. The fare skewed traditional rather than cutting edge, even more so than usual. That said there were some cool new offerings worthy of mention.
Dwarfcraft enters the granular glitch game with the Grazer $TBA). The ever entertaining Ben (AKA Aen) demos this cool new pedal, which you can preorder September 29th.
Episode 1: Space, is beautifully shot, featuring Jaime Hansen (The Ronald Raygun) and Matt Haapala (The Ronald Raygun, The Heart Pills, Pit Wagon) and Mike Noyce (Bon Iver) improvising in a racquetball court.
This year’s winter NAMM was INSANE! Thursday was as crowded as a typical Saturday and it escalated from there. The noise floor was non-stop jet-engine level. I came home with ears ringing and NAMMthrax. Was it worth it? You bet. Three full days was barely enough to cover all the cool stuff. It opened with a terrific concert band doing a modern composition that incorporated either recorded or live recitations from young people (I couldn’t see from my vantage point) about the difficulties of growing up. This boded well for a forward-thinking show and, in fact, there were ample examples of manufacturers leaving the traditional behind to explore new territory.
Other than the upward trajectory of the business evidenced by the crowd, the only trend I noticed was the invasion of the pedal market by Greece and Brazil. As usual, NAMM often stands for “Not Available, Maybe May,” so stay tuned to the manufactures’ sites and guitarmoderne.com for updates, and, if you would like to hear me talk about this year’s winter NAMM, check out Matt Wakeling’s Guitar Speak podcast featuring yours truly.
After a promising start two years ago, the producers of the Nashville Gear Expo skipped last year and came back strong this year with a display of guitars, amps, effects, and other largely guitar (with a smattering of bass) related gear. Room after room of the Hotel Preston was filled with objects of desire. Telecaster copies and boutique tube amps comprised the majority wares on display, but there was plenty of gear of interest to guitarists who might seek something new. Here is a curated look at some of the new traditional and exotic stuff on hand.