Summer NAMM in Nashville remains a cozy, guitar oriented affair. The freak show element that enlivens winter NAMM is absent in the more tradition-oriented music city version. Still Gator cases provided some photo ops.There weren’t a great number of new things of particular interest to modern guitarists, but the few there were proved pretty exciting.
Current Cure guitarist, Reeves Gabrels was a resident of Nashville for many years. These days, on breaks from touring and recording with The Cure, the former Bowie sideman is prone to perform at the new location of his former hangout, The Family Wash. Last night he took bluesman Jimmy Reed’s tune on a journey into the future. For the Ultimate Reeves Gabrels Interview click here.
After the encouragingly enormous but exhausting winter NAMM, the relative Southern sleepiness of the summer edition was welcome. As usual, it was largely guitar oriented, tending towards traditional, with variations on of vintage guitars, amps, and effects in abundance. There were, however, a few examples of forward thinking.
The award for coolest gear at the show has to go to the Coppersound Telegraph Stutter. Perhaps modern only in a steampunk sense, it is still such a great idea sonically and aesthetically that it wins hands down. See the rest of the report for some of their other offbeat pedal concepts.
The good news is that NAMM keeps growing. The better news is that the amount of gear, well, geared to the modern guitarist is growing as well. This year, Anaheim featured a plethora of pedals that made new and glorious noises, a far cry from your standard Tube Screamer and Klon clones (though there were some great versions of the latter from J. Rockett). Also in evidence were unique guitars that managed to look both modern and retro. Hall E, always the land of new ideas good and bad, this time served up some really good ones.
The only bad news was how difficult it was for my one-man show to cover even the equipment of interest to Guitar Moderne readers. Premier Guitar and Guitar Player offer access to much of what I missed, but here is what I found to be the best of the rest.
Nick Reinhart shows what you can do with some Red Panda pedals and a Line 6 DL-4. Check out the color coordinated strap, sneakers and pedal. The man is talented and stylin’.
Bob Weil of Visual Sound originally designed the Drivetrain Overdrive in cooperation with Joe Naylor for Reverend Guitars back in 2000. I reviewed one of the original Reverends for Guitar One magazine and gigged around New York with it for a couple of years. It is up there among the best overdrives I have ever played. Truetone (formerly Visual Sound) repackaged and updated the Drivetrain II as part of the GarageTone series of pedals, with separate Bass and Treble controls. Unfortunately, too many guitarists follow fashion and hear with their eyes; they could not believe something that cost $59.95 could possibly sound great. Even more unfortunately, Weil & Co. are discontinuing this fantastic pedal. They have 16 left so I suggest you act fast, before they end up at $300 on eBay.