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Thursday, January 24, 2019

NAMM is underway! Day One of the world's biggest congregation of all things musical. Thu Jan 24 2019.

Hardly anyone ever uses the full name -- the National Association of Music Merchants  -- they just say NAMM. That's not as much because the acronym is handy, as it because the very global NAMM Show outgrew the idea of merely national status a long time ago. There are people from 127 nations playing roles at this year's NAMM event.

Running for four days, Thursday through Sunday, it has again arrived as a very welcome invasion at the cavernous Anaheim Convention Center and in every square foot of meeting and convention space in the matrix of surrounding hotels. While NAMM is a massive trade show, it is so much more. 

Live performances are everywhere. You find them on the plaza stage, where the arena "stage package" of sound and lights equals anything in any stadium or spacious meadow hosting a concert for a couple hundred thousand fans. You find stages in all the hotel lobbies, and at night, in the big meeting halls. And you find exciting live performances in exhibitor boots, from some, like Taylor Guitars, that runs a full-fledged standup venue to even the booths of modest size, blooming with sound throughout the packed exhibit halls. There artists play in the booths of their sponsors. 

A quick heads-up for acoustic Americana music fans at the show -- today at 1:15 pm, the Deering booth presents "OLD TIME BANJO, AND ITS RESURGENCE. That's in the Deering Banjo booth, 2206 in Hall E. The artist is DAVID BANDROWSKI.

While we're talking about Deering, you can catch their 3:45 pm event, "HOW VERSATILE CAN THE BANJO BE?" with artist BOB HAMILTON demonstrating a variety of 6- and 5- string banjos, showing a vast range of styles from trad bluegrass to jazz, and swing to rock 'n roll.

Already this morning, the US MARINE BAND SAN DIEGO performed on the plaza to officially open NAMM, while NANCY WILSON of the legendary sister duo HEART was being interviewed and receiving a top award at the first daily breakfast session.

"NAMM U" presents a dazzling array of education sessions, all day, each day. These range from a NAMM Polict Forum: International Trade Policy" to lighting, live recording, wonky tech immersion in "Dynamic EQ with Parametric Filters," "iZotrope RX7 Training," "Dante Level 2 Certification," "Alteros 6.5GHz BY A Intro and Training," to preparing for Today's darker possibilities, in "Emergency Preparedness: Exceptional Focus, Performance and Control in Extreme Situations."

Tonight at 5:30 pm, thousands will turn out for the "Industry TributeRemembering Those We Lost in 2018"  to be held on the Yamaha Grand Plaza Stage. 

While respectful moments lkie these look back, everything else is celebratory and looks forward. Whether that's about techniques for a mom-and-pop music store to build a better program for music lessons, or the dynamics of an instrument -- or audio or sound, or lighting -- manufacturer to develop a better product. 

The theme at this morning's breakfast set the tone: "Originality."

Right now, some of our readers are gasping or laughing, with big corporate recorded music constantly cranking-out more of the same interchangeable pop tarts with their peculiar affectations. We'll take heart -- the banner slogans, projected before Daniel Ho dazzled with his six-string baritone ukulele expressed things like, "I'd rather fail at originality than succeed at sameness."

The spirit of the artist is alive and well at NAMM.

Performing artists in attendance face scrambles and tough choices, with offerings that include "Propelling Your Career: Marketing, Media, Endorsements and Music," "Effective Video Strategies for YouTube, Instagram and Facebook" which rates a double-session time block, "The Musician's Business Canvas: Create a Business on a Single Sheet of Paper," and many, many more sessions, trainings, workshops, and demos, some quite interactive some more standard classroom in nature. 

If you get the idea that this doesn't happen anywhere but NAMM, you're right.

Fortunately, they publish "The 2019 Show Guide" as a slick-paper booklet, and this year's "NAMM App" is today's most-downloaded creation in the OC. 

Both those also provide schedules for performances on the principal stages. Which, as we noted, are really only a few of the performances happening at any given moment while the halls are open. 

Much here has expanded, as incomprehensible as that seems. The 2019 NAMM complete campus includes the new "ACC North," and we don't know yet what that is. For those here, with a need to know -- and those elsewhere, wishing they were here, everyone can virtually navigate the show with "My Show Planner" online at, as well as download the new mobile app. Just search “NAMM Shows” in the App Store or Google Play for access to 3D navigation, a complete listing of events and exhibitors, and much more.

We'll spend most of our day in the labyrinth with the exhibitors, getting information and interviews to bring you in upcoming editions. 

Here are few on our "hit list."

Audeze, maker of the of the world’s most accurate and detailed high-end headphones, showcasing their comprehensive, award-winning product lineup at NAMM. 

IK Multimedia's unveiling of their new iLoud MTM reference monitor, a compact monitor with high-end design that they say "re-invents nearfield monitoring for professional and home studios."

LEE ROY PARNELL performing at 2:30 pm on Gibson Guitar's "Gibson Experience" stage.

The Avid Stage, with its daily "eight or more compelling sessions," ranging from how-to tips and tricks in Mix with the Masters, to live interviews. Booth 15502, North Hall

Epiphone,  for a sneak peek at brand new instruments and signature artist models including::
Ltd. Ed. Peter Frampton “1964” Texan Premium Outfit and Les Paul Custom PRO
* Ltd. Ed. Slash Firebird
* Ltd. Ed. Joe Bonamassa ES-355 Outfit
* George Thorogood – Epiphone Ltd Ed Thorogood “White Fang” ES-125TDC
* Jared James Nichols – Epiphone Limited Edition Jared James Nichols ‘Old Glory’ Les Paul Custom Outfit
Dave Rude – Epiphone Limited Edition Dave Rude Flying V Outfit

Of course, We'll chat with old friends at Saga Instruments, and capo competitors Shubb and Kyser, and too many more that we'll try to see and won't get to until tomorrow.


That's all for this edition. Remember our current annotated Guide to CONCERTS, FESTIVALS, CLUB GIGS, SPECIAL FILM EVENTS, MUSICAL THEATRE, and more is still available, too, at:



We'll be back again tomorrow with more from NAMM, and as always, back frequently with music news and more "News of the Non-Trumpcentric Universe." (c)



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...


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♪ The ACOUSTIC AMERICANA MUSIC GUIDE endeavors to bring you NEWS – and views of interest to artists everywhere – more specifically to musicians and the creative community and music makers and fans of acoustic and Folk-Americana music. That includes both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues (now undergoing a major update), and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues from the monumentally large to the intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops, conferences, and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the swamp water roots of the blues and the bright lights of where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell. The cyber porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.

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