After spending a few weeks in the greater Lake Tahoe area in Northern California performing at various venues, it was really nice to get a dose of warm weather down in Anaheim, California during The NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center. NAMM stands for “National Association of Music Merchants” and represents nearly the entire manufacturing and retail list of “who’s who” in the music industry. It’s an absolutely huge production that takes place twice a year (once in Anaheim, CA and once in Nashville, TN) and is a terrific hang, a great way to see what’s new in the biz, a chance to drool over gear, and an opportunity to get slimy and schmooze.
I was selected as an official showcasing artist for The NAMM Show this January and was stoked to play a set on Friday, January 23rd in front of an audience of industry folks, fans, and friends. This particular stage, however, was not my friend, apparently, as one piece of gear after another on the signal chain started failing after the second song. First, we thought it was a cable (so we replaced that). Then, we thought it was my tuner power supply (so we removed that). Later, we thought it was another cable (so we swapped that). Then, I just plugged directly into the DI and STILL had issues, whereupon I just completely unplugged and played acoustic. While it wasn’t exactly how I had envisioned this set going, and while it certainly was a hair-raising experience in front of an audience, it still was pretty fun(ny). I and the folks out front had more than a few laughs and made the best of it… And, if nothing else, it was a good test of my composure on stage when just about everything that can go wrong, in fact, does.
I got a chance to hang with the folks at Taylor Guitars, Deering Banjos, and Elixir Strings, which was terrific. I also got to reconnect with some long-lost music friends I hadn’t seen in ages, tried out some cool gear, made a wish-list of stuff that I could really use and some that would just be fun to have (I mean, who doesn’t want a battle-axe shaped guitar with skulls and glowing red eyes?!), and just enjoyed being around all the energy that comes with a trade show. To boot, there were some remarkable performances from some larger, national acts that were a blast to hear in person (my favorite was Trombone Shorty on the GoPro Stage on Thursday night, January 22nd).
Anyway, trade shows and conferences are nice and all, but it was time to “hit the road before this rolling stone gathered moss” (as Jimi Hendrix would say), so I made a marathon drive overnight to Truckee, California after the show last night and am now in the process of getting geared up for another gig today in the mountains, then another down on the coast this Sunday. Got to keep on keepin’ on! So, stay tuned to my Shows Page and come on out and see me sometime!