inspired, unique, great-playing guitars can be built from sustainable and repurposed materials. A brand-new California company called HeliArc Guitars showed off their resonator-inspired
aluminum electrics. And the fast ascendant mad scientists from
EarthQuaker Devices added another bunch of intriguing pedals to a line that’s become the talk of stompbox nuts everywhere.
Regional stars shined bright in Nashville, too. Tennessee’s Mario
Martin showed off several beautiful Fender-inspired solidbodies crafted from lightweight, resonant paulownia wood, while
Mississippi’s Juliet Collective brought some of the most creative
stompboxes at the show.
More experienced hands did their thing at Nashville, too. A stroll
through the Martin and Korg USA booths demonstrated how restless those very established companies remain. Electro Harmonix’s
Ravish Sitar pedal deliciously reaffirmed that there’s almost nothing
the New York-based stompbox pioneers won’t try. And there were a
few milestones to celebrate, too, as Santa Cruz Guitars did with its
head-turning 35th Anniversary Cowgirl.
We found a lot of other cool stuff down in Nashville, too. You
can check out just about all of it via the dozens of videos we’ve
made available at premierguitar.com (they’re marked here with
play-button icons). We’re guessing you’ll be hard pressed to find
something that doesn’t stoke your gear lust, because regardless of
what anyone might say about Summer NAMM being a smaller,
more relaxed show, it’s brimming with wares that we’ll check out
in even greater detail in the review pages of Premier Guitar and
premierguitar.com in the days to come. In the meantime, enjoy
these snapshots of our sweet times in the sweltering south.
1. The Ryman Auditorium, original home of
the Grand Ole Opry, is right across the street
from the Nashville Convention Center where
Summer NAMM 2011 was held.
Guitar marketing manager Nick Ireland talking
with PG fans at our swag-filled NAMM booth.
3. Lower Broadway is Nashville’s famed
honky-tonk district and home to such popular
attractions as The Stage, Full Moon Saloon,
Ernest Tubb Record Shop, and Gruhn Guitars, which is at the corner at the intersection
in the middle of this photo.
4. An unidentified
fan of cow-print clothing checks out a B.C.
Rich guitar at the Hanser Music Group booth.
5. Tele master James Burton, pickup god
Seymour Duncan, fingerstyle legend Muriel
Anderson, and Sage Benado—personal
assistant to Duncan and head of Benado Effects—ham it up for the cameras.
aces Brent Mason (one of the most recorded
guitarists in country music) and up-and-coming steel guru Randy Kohrs jam at the Cole
Clark NAMM booth.
7. Kenny Greenberg—
another Nashville go-to session cat—chats
with PG senior editor Andy Ellis and our
latest hire, video guru Steve Worthington.
8. Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, one of Lower
Broadway’s most storied honky tonks, was a
regular haunt for country legends like Waylon
Jennings, Patsy Cline, and Willie Nelson.