Bardela played the Rusty Nail Stage at Tres Amigos in Stowe. In spite of the fact that the crowd was small (apparently Friday nights of holiday weekends in ski towns are spent checking in to your hotel and then hitting the hay to be rested for the next day) it was a great night. It was universally one of the most positive experiences I’ve had as a gigging musician. The entire staff was friendly and supportive, the green room was unbelieveable, the food great, my rig was firing on all cylinders, and the sound guy paid attention. Worth every minute of the slow, snow-hampered drive to get there.
My general rule of thumb at NAMM when I see something I covet is to ask myself, “Do I already own something that does what this does (if I read the manual)?” MOST of the time, this serves me well. I did see something I really want/need.
Although they didn’t have an official presence at NAMM the Stick was still represented (I met a bunch of Stick players – some of the best and brightest). In conjunction with all the other festivities, there was an evening of Stick music presented at a nearby watering hole. Emmett was there and playing a Railboard, the next evolutionary step for the Stick. Railboards are made out of hard-anodized or metal plasma coated aluminum. This is really appealing to me since I live in a climatologically-volitile area of the country (in other words, the weather here sucks for a good chunk of the year) and wood instruments are vulnerable to these conditions. Being made out of metal, the Railboard would be immune to the barometric changes we have to deal with ’round here.
At the gig, I made another important discovery about the Railboad that amplified it’s appeal. If you are playing a gig with multi-colored lights, you get an added bonus to the visual impact of the Railboard, thanks to it’s reflective fretboard. Pretty awesome.
Well, It’s that time of year. Time for the pilgrimage to Annaheim for the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show. Here are the highlights:
My friend Juanito Pascual was here doing his thing in the Cordoba/Guild room. So nice to hear him play whilst not sweating over the sound.
My Guitar Circle/touring buddy Brad Hogg was also in the Cordoba/Guild room. That was a pleasant surprise.
Talked about frequency of Stick string changes with this guy. Tony something. I hear he’s played on a couple records.
One of the few instruments I was drooling over. No idea what it sounds like but look at it!
My “Nicko moment”* – Running into Dug Pinnick at the Tech 21 booth. He said, “Get this man a bass” and directed me over to test drive his new signature pedal (which is awesome). There is nothing like playing a Dug Pinnick bass through a Dug Pinnick pedal while standing next to Dug Pinnick to remind you that you will never be Dug Pinnick.
And the big highlight – meeting Emmett Chapman. It’s a pretty special and rare occasion for a musicain to meet the person who invented the instrument they play. I thanked him profusely and tried not to fawn or gush. I think I walked away with my dignity intact.
* A “Nicko Moment” is when I meet a person of a certain notoriety/fame who has had an influence and impact on my life and I lose restraint over my fanboy tendencies. Named after the occasion of meeting Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain last year.