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When you watch Joe Satriani play guitar, at times you think you’re watching someone who could have invented guitar playing.The guitar virtuoso’s flair, style, technique are effortless, even at his most frenetic. He is almost second to none as far as his overall mastery of the instrument. So it would make sense that he would also be a renowned guitar teacher as well, a mentor to some of rock’s greatest axe men. Who does he give the credit to for his guitar teaching vibe?“I’d probably have to give credit to my mother,” Satriani told me during a recent break in his tour. “She was a professional grammar school teacher her whole life and had an office in our basement where they used to let me rehearse when I was a young drummer at age 9, so the idea of teaching seemed kinda natural. So when I was younger and somebody asked me for lessons, I thought, I can do that. And I remember going down to the little corner of the basement that was her office and getting, you know, couple of pencils, a ruler, and some paper, and then going up to my room to teach a lesson thinking, OK, this is what you do when you’re a teacher.”[Photo by Jon Liuni]And what a magnificent and revered teacher and player he would become from there. Joe Satriani has been at or near the the top of the list of innovative, groundbreaking, virtuostic rock guitarists since he released his first solo record Not Of This Earth in 1986. Amidst teaching riffs to some of hard rock’s best guitarists, including Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Primus’ Larry LaLonde, Testament’s Alex Skolnick, Third Eye Blind’s Kevin Cadogan, his high school buddy Steve Vai and many more, he has released 14 more mesmerizing solo records, as well as playing in rock supergroup Chickenfoot, who are mulling a reunion. Satriani brings his “From Surfing To Shockwave” show to the Lincoln Theater in DC on Saturday April 2nd.Ironically or not, it was a music teacher that Satriani hooked up with as a teen that really carved the path he would follow his entire career. After a dissapointing semester at a Long Island music college after high school, someone suggested Satriani hook up with an eclectic music teacher in Queens, not too far a drive from his Long Island home. So he took the plunge, and never looked back.“I wanted to know the secrets of music and I just wished there was someone that I could find to teach me that would not force me to change my style,” the 59 year-old Satriani said. “I knew I was a rock and roll kid, and just thought, I don’t want to just drop that and become a jazz head or a classical head or something, why can’t I just stay the way I am, ya know? So a friend says to me, call Lennie Tristano, he’s the father of cool jazz, he teaches every kind of instrument, every kinda musician, he’s the weirdest most intense guy you’ve ever met in your life. I thought, I’m game, so I started taking lessons from him, and those lessons with Lennie really changed my life, because he approached music in the way you would imagine a Yoda or Zen Master would. He was the roughest around the edges Be-Bop-era musician, and he was totally blind, he didn’t even have pupils in his eyes. He was just the most unusual character, but taught me lessons that I still work on to this day. He taught me what it was to be a musician and how to practice and what improvisation really was, and those were great lessons to learn as a teenager, they were essential.”Satriani eventually moved out to California, where both his playing and teaching careers flourished, beginning with an ultimatum from a store owner that set the stage for his next phase of successful instruction and mentoring.“I moved out to California and lived across the street from a guitar store,” Satriani said. “I’d go in there and hang out but never buy anything. So the owner came up to me one day and said, ‘If you’re not gonna buy anything, you have two options. Get out, or why don’t you teach some lessons?’ And that turned into ten years of like 60 students a week, while playing in a local band at night. But I was basically teaching guys like Kirk Hammett, Charlie Hunter, Larry Lalonde, all sorts of players that wanted to change the world in a few years. They came to take lessons after seeing me play. It was quite an interesting period there in Southern California.”After joining up with a Green Day-esque power trio in the early 80’s, what could have been bad luck turned very good when Satriani cut his own solo record during a break from his band.“I recorded a very avant garde solo EP while on break, I did all the instruments, I put together my own label, my own publishing company, I did this whole thing as like a personal project. And when I presented it to the band, they were pretty discouraged by the whole thing, and that made me really look at what I was doing with these guys in a different light. I wound up leaving the band, and I thought well, I’m gonna maybe pursue this and try to make a real record with real drums and keyboards and bass, and that became Not Of This Earth. It turned out to be the right choice, to do my own thing, although it was the product of being unlucky, as a musician, ya know. That sort of unluckiness turned into a bonanza of sorts.”Satriani’s most recent effort, the 2015 concept-album-of-sorts Shockwave Supernova, was conceptually a new foray for the guitar ace. The idea came to him from a feeling he had on stage as one of his tours was ending, and he took it and ran with it.[Photo by Chapman Baehler]“The idea basically came to me cuz I was playing with my teeth too much,” Satriani said with a likely smile, “and I thought, who’s making me do that, and obviously it was me. I’m not a lead singer type guy, I’m more of a shy retiring serious guitar player type, but one time onstage, at the end of the last tour in Singapore, I was walking on stage thinking, remember what your dentist said, don’t play with your teeth anymore. But of course I did, I did everything, I pulled out all the stops. Then I was thinking a few days after the tour that it would be an interesting concept if I was having a crisis of personality, there was a struggle inside of me, the alter ego Shockwave Supernova who would do anything to become popular, including make up a goofy name like Shockwave Supernova, would start to take over and it would have to be a struggle. And if it was musical concept, how would using guitar instrumentals, how would the two personalities battle it out. And they would basically have to argue their case through music. And so I thought, this is a great concept for me, I thought it was too complicated for the general public, but I thought if I use it just to get the project crystallized, it would be enormously artistically satisfying, and I think it would yield something very interesting for the fans. For me it helped focus the composing and the playing. It also gave me this artistic license to play freely in terms of representing different periods over the last 30 years. So I could really go retro for a reason, to tell a story.”As it has been since the beginning of his illustrious career, Joe Satriani’s creative process and philosophy is a simple one: don’t think too hard, and go with the flow. And that seems to still be working better than ever.“I do kind of just try to be as natural as possible. If I wake up in the morning and I think, the music that I write today has got to be danceable or something like that, then I just go with it. I don’t really second guess myself, because you never know, sometimes you may start out like, well, I’m gonna write a country song cuz I feel like it, and then you wind up writing music and you realize, oh this would be so much better if it was metal sounding. One thing leads to another but you really can’t anticipate how the creative mind leapfrogs from one idea to another. I’ve learned just to not discriminate against myself when I’m in a creative mood. I’m always searching for something new and exciting, so I guess that feeds the confident change in direction.”Joe Satriani performs Saturday April 2nd at the Lincoln Theater, 1215 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009. For tickets, click here.
Widespread Panic wrapped up their three night stand at the Chicago Theatre yesterday, celebrating the Chicago-area run by bringing some of their best efforts for three great shows. After kicking off the run with an unexpected “Sharon” and continuing it with a smokin’ performance on night two, the band got down to business with some amazing highlights to conclude the run. The show started with a rocking “Let’s Get Down To Business,” bringing out some of their classic tunes throughout the set. “Rebirtha,” “Ride Me High” and more kept things rolling, before the group dipped into a double dose of The Band classics, “Ophelia” and “The Shape I’m In.” From there, the group welcomed Jerry Joseph, who lent his hand on guitar and vocals for the song “North.” With a fun Mother’s Day rap, Joseph was a welcomed addition to the performance.Things kept rocking through set two, but certainly one of the highlights from the set was a bust-out version of the Grateful Dead’s “Cream Puff War” sandwiched in the middle of “Proving Ground.” They also played “You Should Be Glad” for the first time with drummer Duane Trucks, and worked in a versions of Talking Heads’ “Life During Wartime” in a “Fishwater” and “Drums” section.Panic ended the set with “Postcard,” before coming back for their first version of “Gradle” with Trucks. Finally, they ended the show with two great tunes, “All Time Low” and Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home.” What a night!Last night’s show was the band’s final night of the spring tour; they’ll be back on the road come June 17th for more rock and roll! Check out the full setlist below, courtesy of PanicStream:Setlist: Widespread Panic at the Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL – 5/7/16Set 1: Let’s Get Down To Business, Rebirtha > Stop Breakin’ Down Blues, Last Straw > “I know You Rider” JAM > Ride Me High > Ribs & Whiskey, Porch Song, Ophelia > The Shape I’m In, North*^Set 2: Greta > JAM > Blue Indian, Conrad > Proving Ground > Cream Puff War** > Proving Ground, Pilgrims, Disco > You Should Be Glad^^, Blight > Fishwater > Drumz > Life During Wartime > Fishwater, PostcardEncore: Gradle^^, All Time Low, Can’t Find My Way HomeNotes: * with Jerry Joseph on guitar & vocals / ^ Mother’s Day Rap by Jerry Joseph / ** LTP 6.27.15 Red Rocks ~ 61 shows / ^^ FTP with Duane
It’s official. You heard it here first.— Eric B and Rakim™ (@EricBandRakim) October 20, 2016Needless to say, this news is extremely exciting. Eric B’s beats were ahead of his time in the late 80’s, and Rakim’s skills on the mic are still unparalleled. The combination of these two artists should give any true hip hop fan goosebumps. With the pair planning this world tour, here’s to hoping all true fans have an opportunity to catch this exciting reunion.We’ll keep an eye out for tour dates when they are announced. In the meantime, refresh your memories with these classic songs by Eric B & Rakim. First watch the music video for “Paid In Full”, “Follow The Leader”, “Microphone Fiend”, and “Don’t Sweat The Technique”.“Paid In Full”“Follow The Leader”“Follow The Leader” “Don’t Sweat The Technique” Eric B. & Rakim are reuniting for a world tour….I must be dreaming, because this can’t be real, can it?According to Rakim’s social media page, this is as real as it gets! The seminal hip hop duo, who broke up shortly after the release of their classic 1992 album Don’t Sweat The Technique, will get the band back together for a world tour in 2017. Rakim’s social media pages have been lighting up with teases of a reunion for a few days now, and today his Facebook page dropped this video confirming the rumors.The group even went out of their way to start a new Twitter account (@EricBandRakim) and have been posting not-so-secret details about their return.Where do we jump off this new tour?— Eric B and Rakim™ (@EricBandRakim) October 22, 2016
Once people get the chance to see Brad Parsons, the Portland-based singer-songwriter, they don’t easily forget him. As an Artist-At-Large for both Winter WonderGrass and the Northwest String Summit this year, Parsons has been enrapturing audiences across the country with his almost-unreal powerhouse of a voice and his genre-bending blend of psychedelic rock and Americana. And, it’s not just his steadily growing fan base that knows that he’s got something special going on. The former member of Horse Feathers gets a lot of love from other musicians, including being tapped as a special guest for Fruition for last year’s Jam Cruise.To get folks excited about the upcoming debut of his new full-length album, Hold True, in January, Parsons is previewing a track off it, “Stay Close,” before it becomes available to the public on digital stores tomorrow. The bluesy song showcases Brad’s soulful vocals and skills on the guitar and keys, and also features Fruition’s Tyler Thompson on drums and vocals, Jeff Leonard on bass, and Jay Cobb Anderson on electric guitar.Listen to the previously unreleased track, “Stay Close,” below.Make sure to keep an eye out for the full release of his album, Hold True, which features members of Fruition, Trout Steak Revival, and the Drunken Hearts.In addition to a tour in the works to accompany the album drop, friends in the Pacific Northwest can check Brad Parsons out with the Lil’ Smokies and Head for the Hills tonight at the Star Theater in Portland. He and the Lil’ Smokies will continue onto the Green Frog in Bellingham, WA on Friday and the Tractor Tavern in Seattle, WA on Saturday.
BUKU Music + Art Project is returning to New Orleans to take over Mardis Gras World this spring. The festival has just finalized their 2017 lineup with Grizmatik, the pioneering electro soul/funk duo comprised of Griz and Gramatik, hip-hop super group Run The Jewels, Norwegian DJ and chart-topping producer Cashmere Cat, mysterious electronic producer K?D, Berlin-based microhouse group M.A.N.D.Y; New Orleans DJ/producer Unicorn Fukr; New Orleans livetronica duo ROAR!; and many more.Taking place on March 10th and 11th, the festival will see headlining sets from Deadmau5 and Travis Scott, but the party doesn’t stop there. The full lineup posting includes Zeds Dead, Young Thug, Zhu, Tycho, Jauz, 21 Savage, Sleigh Bells, Vince Staples, Nina Kravitz, Lil Dicky, Troyboi, Washed Out, Lil Yachty, Malaa, Slushii, Thundercat, The Floozies and more! It’s a great party that’s sure to keep fans dancing throughout the weekend. Check out the full lineup below and head to the festival’s website for more information.Enter to Win VIP Tickets + Limited Edition Poster:
Friday nights at Brooklyn Bowl are special already, but adding Joe Russo’s Almost Dead for their fifth show of a six-night residency just turns the knob even higher. This weekend’s run features Oteil Burbridge on bass for all three nights, while Dave Dreiwitz is on tour with Ween. While the seamless energy between Joe Russo, Marco Benevento, Tom Hamilton, Scott Metzger, and Dreiwitz is impossible to deny perfection, Burbridge is filling the shoes quite beautifully – finding his own pockets of creativity and delivering stand-out moments throughout the night.The night fittingly opened with “Sitting On Top Of The World,” before heading into a flipped version of “Easy Wind.” One of the night’s first stand-out highlights was “Eyes Of The World,” a song Burbridge has famously made his own through unforgettable bass solos with Dead & Company. This version included teases of Marvin Gaye‘s “What’s Going On” and the Allman Brothers Band‘s “Jessica” mixed in. Toward the end of the set, the band went into a cover of The Doors‘ “LA Woman,” played through, though without lyrics, for the first time ever. The first set closed with a sing-a-long favorite, “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad.”Check out the set-opening “Sitting On Top Of The World” below, courtesy of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead:The second set opened with “Alligator,” in which Marco Benevento took the opportunity to surf the crowd, before heading into a partial version of David Bowie‘s “Fame.” As if the energy wasn’t already contagious, a “Brown Eyed Women” into “They Love Each Other” into “Brown Eyed Woman” reprise, which hadn’t been played since Suwannee Hulaween on 10/29/15, brought the hearts back on the same level, as the celebration of the Grateful Dead continued.Watch the second set-opening “Jam” > “Alligator” below, courtesy of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead.Oteil Burbridge took lead vocals on “Turn On Your Love Light,” another stand-out version for the newly added temporary member of the synergistically-charged band. “My Brother Essau” contained a “Flash’s Theme aka Flash” (Queen/Brian May) jam, before the band brought the energy through the roof with a “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire On The Mountain” set closer.Friday night’s encore with The Band‘s “The Weight,” which featured verses sung by Tom Hamilton, Scott Metzger, Oteil Burbridge, Joe Russo, then closed with all five.Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will return to the Brooklyn Bowl with Oteil Burbridge tonight for their final night in NYC. Then, the band will be heading to Fool’s Paradise on March 31st and April 1st in St. Augustine, FL, with special guest keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. Oteil Burbridge will also be there as an artist-at-laref, making fans wonder if perhaps there is a Joe Russo’s Almost Dead & Company collaboration in the future. Burbridge will also be hosting an “Infinity Jam” with Eric Krasno, leaving no limits in question. The Grateful Dead enthusiasts will join hosts Lettuce and bands like The Floozies, The Motet, and The Main Squeeze. More information can be found here.Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | Brooklyn Bowl NYC | 3/17/17Set One (9:43PM – 10:51PM)Sitting On Top Of The World (TH) ->Easy Wind @ (SM)Eyes Of The World # (TH) ->Drums ->Samson & Delilah (SM)Mission In The Rain ** (TH) ->Loser $ (TH) ->LA Woman Jam % ->Going Down The Road Feeling Bad ^ (All)Set Two (11:31PM – 12:56AM)Jam & ->Alligator & * (SM) ->Fame + (MB & TH) ->Brown Eyed Women (TH) ->They Love Each Other @@ (TH) ->Brown Eyed Women Reprise ## (TH)Not Fade Away $$ (All) ->Turn On Your Love Light (OB)Cream Puff War (TH) >My Brother Esau %% (SM)Scarlet Begonias (TH) >Fire On the Mountain ^^(TH)ENC:The Weight && (All)Dave Dreiwitz is on tour with Ween.Entire show with Oteil Burbridge on Bass & Vocals.OB is Oteil Burbridge Lead Vox.Oteil played 4 string bass for the majority of the night,but played 6 string bass on Eyes. (& I think that’s it.)@ – “Flipped” Version – Opened with the last verse sung first. With a Black Throated Wind Tease (SM). Proceeded by blues jam connecting Sitting on Top with Easy Wind that probably included a “Vampire Blues” (Neil Young) Tease (Band)# – With a “What’s Going On” (Marvin Gaye) Tease (SM), a “Jessica” (Allman Brothers Band) Tease (TH) & an Oteil Bass Solo** – Not played since 2016-03-24, Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY 2016-03-24 a gap of 35 shows.$ – With a Tennessee Jed Tease (MB)% – Doors cover, first time played by Almost Dead (Has been teased before). No lyrics sung.^ – With a “Duo Jam” & without the usual instrumental “We Bid You Good Night” ending& – With Marco Crowd Surfing* – With a Truckin’ tease (SM)+ – David Bowie Cover, First Time Played By Almost Dead, Partial Version. (Has been teased before.)@@ – Partial Version, 2 verses(?) sung## – Not Played since 2015-10-29 at Suwannee Hulaween, Live Oak, FL, a gap of 53 shows$$ – With a “Fat Mama” (Herbie Hancock) Tease (MB), China>Rider Transition Tease (TH), a “Fat Mama” (Herbie Hancock) Jam (MB), a “Hoedown” (Aaron Copeland) Tease (MB), an “I Want Candy” (Bow Wow Wow) Tease (MB) & probably more, including for sure an ‘80s tune by a female vocalist that I can’t quite place that’s driving me nuts. %% – With a “Flash’s Theme aka Flash” (Queen/Brian May) Jam (MB)^^ – With a “Borderline” (Madonna) Tease (MB)&& – TH – Verse One (pulled into Nazareth), SM – Verse Two (picked up my bags), OB – Verse Three (Go down, Miss Moses), JR – Verse Four (Crazy Chester) & All – verse five (Catch the Cannonball)Enjoy the full gallery below, courtesy of Steve Olker! Load remaining images
This year, String Cheese Incident will return yet again for three magical nights at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. String Cheese Incident is slated to perform for July 21th, 22th, and 23rd, with special guests Jyemo Club, Analog Son, and Grant Farm, respectively. However, in keeping with tradition, Cheese’s keys player Kyle Hollingsworth will throw his annual charity beer festival and concert, Kyle’s Brew Fest, on Thursday, July 20th, to get fans primed and ready for the Red Rocks run that starts the next day.The String Cheese Incident Announces Red Rocks Run, Festival Appearances & MoreKyle’s Brew Fest will serve as the official pre-party for String Cheese’s three-night Red Rocks run, with the proceeds benefitting Conscious Alliance. The festival will go down at Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver’s RiNo district, and is setting itself up to be quite the party. In addition to performances by Kyle Hollingsworth Band, a bunch of special friends are slated to make appearances. Plus, we certainly have no qualms about the 60 craft beers from over 30 breweries that will represented at the event, in addition to the collaboration brews between Kyle and a handful of breweries. For the first time ever, Kyle’s Brew Fest will also feature food pairings, so you can get properly nourished ahead of String Cheese’s Red Rocks run.Certainly, this is not a bad way to kick off your Red Rocks run with String Cheese Incident—especially when considering that it’s for a noble cause. Tickets for the event go on-sale Thursday, May 11th, at 10 a.m. (MST) here, with a limited number of early-bird general-admission and VIP tickets available. VIP tickets include early entry, a tasting and a private brewery tour with Kyle Hollingsworth himself, a signed Red Rocks poster, and a bunch of other goodies.[Cover photo courtesy of Ojeda Photography]
This past weekend from October 6th-7th at Pisgah Brewing Co in Black Mountain, NC, red-hot “psychedelic southern rock” stars The Marcus King Band hosted their first ever two-day festival, dubbed the Marcus King Band Family Reunion. In addition to two headlining sets from MKB, the event brought together an eclectic group of artists ranging from legends pushing 70 to youthful prodigies like King himself (the youngest, Brandon “TAZ” Niederauer, rounded out the low end of the spectrum at the ripe age 14). But age seemed to be of little importance at the Marcus King Band Family Reunion. All that mattered was whether your chops, and judging from the results, its clear that this inter-generational gathering of musicians meant business, top to bottom.The “family” aspect of the inaugural Family Reunion event remained at the forefront of the festivities throughout the weekend, as guest sit-ins abounded. On Friday night, Marcus and company were joined by both Marcus’ father Marvin King (an acclaimed guitarist in his own right) and founding Allman Brothers Band percussionist Jaimoe for a pair of songs including a searing rendition of the Allmans’ “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed.”The collaborations ramped up from there for Saturday’s jam-packed schedule, which featured excitedly-received sets from People’s Blues of Richmond, Muddy Magnolias, Ron Holloway Band, and more. Marcus came out to join The Revivalists’ Dave Shaw for his solo set. TAZ made good on his “Artist-at-large” billing, as he also came out to sit in with Shaw, as well as George Porter Jr.’s Runnin Pardners. Marcus King Band Family Reunion ft. TAZ, George Porter Jr., Dave Shaw, Muddy Magnolias, Marvin King | Pigsah Brewing Co. | Black Mountain, NC | 10/6-7/17 | Photos by Bob Forte [Photos – Bob Forte]However, it was TAZ’s appearance with the host band that produced some of the day’s most memorable highlights. As Brandon said in a FB post ahead of the headlining Marcus King Band & Family set on Saturday evening (along with a photo of the two young guitarists), “It’s about to go down!!!! Getting ready to hit the stage with The Marcus King Band — Thank you Marcus King for inviting me to play with you and your band. I always hoped this day would come. #OneLove #BlessedBeyondMeasure”The Marcus King Band & Family performance served as the weekend’s centerpiece, as the band had settled in and was playing at the top of their game. MKB also welcomed a slew of sit-ins over the course of the nearly three-hour long set, including a particularly memorable rendition of the Allmans’ “Dreams” featuring fiery back-and-forth between the King and Niederauer. Taz’s guest sit-in marked the first time these two young guitar luminaries had connected onstage, and the results were as entrancing as one might hope. With young talents like these two on the rise, the future looks bright for the craft of live music.Watch Brandon “TAZ” Niederauer join the Marcus King Band for a cover of the Allman Brothers’ “Dreams” at the inaugural Marcus King Band Family Reunion below (via YouTube user Patrick Cullum; video h/t ShowTheShow)Finally, to cap the set, Ron Holloway, David Shaw, Taz and George Porter returned to the stage for the big finale, as the “family” all gathered to play together one more time.[Photo – Bob Forte]Below you can check out a beautiful gallery of photos from the inaugural Marcus King Band Family Reunion courtesy of photographer Bob Forte (Instagram: @40_photography). You can also Listen to full audio of Marcus King Band’s 10/6/17 set via taper Gordon Wilson, and check out an assortment of clips and photos from the weekend below: Load remaining images
The last weekend in January brought over 115,00 people to Anaheim, California for the annual National Association of Music Merchants convention, better known as NAMM. The annual event brings together vendors, musicians, and industry professionals from around the globe to show off their latest innovations, talk shop, and test out the newest line of instruments from a multitude of merchants. Nearly 7,000 brands and 2,000 exhibiting companies were on display for attendees to check out.NAMM not only featured the latest music industry products but also held over 500 educational classes throughout the four days of the conference. Classes ranged from such topics featuring safety and security in the live music industry, audio science, and rigging and lighting safety to wireless technology panels and marketing and online presence. The wide variety of educational topics allowed for everyone to learn something that was specific to their career.NAMM was spread out between the Anaheim Convention Center & Arena and spilled into the neighboring Mariott and Hilton hotels. It not only made for a lot of sore feet but provided endless displays to check out. The Grand Plaza, situated between the two hotels, featured a main stage for events throughout the day, as well as shows when the convention closed in the early evening. Music was also featured at stages within the hotels throughout the day and well into the late night.Larry Morton, president of Hal Leonard, described the trade show best for those who are not familiar with the event. “NAMM’s the global gathering place. It’s where you go to find out everything about our industry on a global basis. The diversity of the companies that are here are from technology to traditional musical instruments, to publishing to artists, to management, to labels you’ve got it. I mean, it’s the one place you can go and touch all facets of the music business.” International attendance at this year’s show reflected global representation of over nineteen thousand people from over 100 countries. With such a vast mix of domestic and international retail distributors, buyers, media, and artists, it made for the perfect place to converge new ideas and forge new relationships around the globe. Andy Zildjian, of Sabian, stated it perfectly by saying “You have four days to meet the world. Anybody who has a stake in the industry is here: whether it’s distributors, manufacturers, retailers, players, everyone.”Each morning of the conference began with “The Breakfast of Champions” which featured speakers discussing various parts of the industry—everything from “Future-Proofing the Music Industry” to “The Digital Consumer: How Buyers Have Changed and What To Do About It.”On the opening day of the event, The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir was honored with the NAMM “Music for Life” Award. It honored his work spanning five decades for not only influencing musical styles for musicians worldwide but it recognized his work in sound design and the music business in general. Presented by NAMM President and CEO, Joe Lamond, Weir’s achievements were acknowledged with the following:The Grateful Dead inspired a movement by taking incredible risks musically, culturally and in terms of how they approached the music business. They did so out of a passion for music making and, as a result, continue to inspire musicians to this day. We’re honored to present Bob Weir with the Music for Life Award for his unabashed passion for music making, support for music education and so many more achievements in his long career.Award events scattered throughout the conference included the debut of The Parnelli Awards, which honored event tech professionals across 22 categories. The She Rocks Awards recognized outstanding women in the industry who’ve made great strides. This year’s event honored such artists as Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge, and Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson of the B-52’s, to name a few.The NAMM TEC Awards recognized 31 areas within the areas of Technical or Creative Achievement, and individuals, companies and technical innovations used in film, television, video games and sound recording. Jackson Browne was also honored at this event with the Les Paul Innovation Award which is presented to those who have shown the highest standard of excellence in the “creative application of recording technology in the spirit of famed audio pioneer, inventor and musician, Les Paul.”At his acceptance Browne stated:It means so much to be honored by you because I’ve relied on the kindness of engineers and their knowledge in the studio and equipment my whole life. These people know everything I don’t know but they put their technical expertise at the service of the music – at the service of the song. I am indebted to them and I’m indebted to you all who make the gear.After four days of endless classes, panels, gear to drool over, sights, sounds and visuals that filled each sense to the gild, sore feet were the departing gift for many of the attendees. After pockets were crammed full of business cards, connections made, meetings set, and conversations discussed over a tall cold one, everyone left with a renewed sense of purpose and energy in the industry. For more information about the NAMM show, and their non-profit association, please visit their website.Words and Photography by Sarah Bourque Load remaining images