I had a great time during all three days of this year’s Summer NAMM show in Nashville, TN. The Summer NAMM show is not as big as Los Angeles’ Winter NAMM, but given how focused Nashville is towards music, I have no doubt it’ll continue to grow! I love this city and its general appreciation and respect for musicians. Although it may be known as the epicenter of country music, people would be surprised to know that there is a much broader range of music that is coming out Nashville.
As some of you may know, there are many rock musicians who live in Nashville like Jack White, The Black Keys, Kings Of Leon, as well as many of my friends, who’ve moved out to this great musical city over the last few years. It’s no surprise that the people at NAMM have decided to center their summer show here in Nashville, and I will definitely be attending every year to scope out the new products.
It’s because of Earthquaker Devices that I attended this year’s convention, and it was my honor to demonstrate some of their latest products. I also got to meet a lot of musicians who are expanding their musicianship with pedals. Rob Byus, bassist for Blake Shelton, introduced himself to me and said that even as a country music bassist, it’s important to look for ways to evolve his sound and that Earthquaker Devices was a great place to start!
I also ran into Dave Koltai of Pigtronix to see what new innovations he had for the convention. Dave demoed some of new pedals for me and then let me play with them at his booth (which is almost impossible at the Winter NAMM show). He has a new Quantum Time Modulator that sounds a lot like my trusty and Boss VB-2 vibrato pedal (which is currently priced at around $400.00 on eBay!). I definitely recommend getting this pedal if you love the VB-2, but can’t find or afford one.
Amptweaker’s James Brown was there, too, showing off his new Bass TightFuzz. He’s added a knob on the face of it that really helps maintain the low end for us bass players. I really appreciate how much he keeps our instrument’s fundamental importance in mind when he makes pedals. He understands that if the pedal has no low end, then bassists won’t use it. The Bass TightFuzz is another pedal I’d recommend adding to your collection.
I also had some really fun nights just enjoying the city, hanging out on Broadway Street and checking out the live music that you find in almost every bar. It reminded me of Bourbon Street in New Orleans, where you find one great musicians after another, each of them giving everything they got into the performance. I had some good times with the coolest guys from Premier Guitar, where we hung out after the last day of the show and caught one of Nashville’s best guitarists, Guthrie Trapp, play at a tiny club. Here’s a good video of him ripping it up:
I want to thank Earthquaker Devices again for having me, and thanks also to Ampeg for making such a beautiful demo amp that had people freaking out, asking me where they could buy one! Last, but not least, I have to thank one of my favorite legendary bassists, David Hood of Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, for taking this pic with me!!!
Looking forward to Summer NAMM 2014!