Every January, the world's largest music merchandiser's conference takes place in Anaheim called NAMM. It is a big deal in that world and every year includes all of the new products from major manufacturers and many small ones. The halls of the Anaheim Convention Center are filled with an odd mix of Asian business people representing huge manufacturers, American companies large and small, representatives of music stores, old rockstars living off past glory, a few current rockstars checking out the new gear or signing autographs at booths where they endorse gear, lots of lookers with tenuous ties with various of the above, and "product placement specialists" i.e. attractive women with very little clothing at the vendors who aim at young male wannabe rockstars. And all of those people are moving to the cacophony of sound coming from thousands of drums, guitars, keyboards, wind, and string instruments being demonstrated or examined.
The last few years, I got to attend as a guest of Lowden Guitars. Again this year, George outdid himself with some amazing instruments.
This O50 made me drool... look at the gorgeous koa... and the sound and playability was just as wonderful as the craftsmanship.
and one more... a Brazilian rosewood S38...
All the while, Thomas Leeb was dazzling the crowds with his amazing playing on his Lowden F35C.
The baritone that appears on the new Lowden website was also there and was just stunning. Another player friend who was present referred to it as "the best baritone he has ever played or heard." Thomas just said, "it is MINE."
I also got to see and hear lots of other guitars and amps and I think I even saw Bono walking by but the best part was getting to spend a few minutes with George and Florence Lowden (such incredibly gracious people), seeing Thomas again, meeting Aaron Lowden (the youngest Lowden working for the company), and connecting with a few of the other folk who work with Lowden.