Archive for the ‘Music Industry News’ Category

Joe Robinson’s Houdini Tour Going Strong into the New Year

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Since kicking off his “Houdini Tour” in early November 2010, Joe Robinson, “Australia’s Got Talent” and “World Championships of Performing Arts” winner, has been busy astounding sell-out crowds with his jaw-dropping instrumental stylings. Dates were originally planned throughout Europe and Australia but as more shows were added including some in Japan, it quickly became a bone fide world tour for the young guitar virtuoso.

Gretsch 6122 Guitar on Display at Shibuya Show

Attendees at the show in Shibuya, Japan on December 7 were amazed by Robinson’s technique, commenting on their surprise at how much talent a musician could possess at such a young age.  Show-goers in Shibuya also received an extra treat as a Gretsch 6122 guitar was on display at the venue and Robinson performed with his Gretsch guitar on several songs.  Robinson also graciously stopped for photographs with some special show attendees that evening.

Robinson and Friends

Robinson has been earning rave reviews not only for his extraordinary ability and music but also for his superb new band.  The nineteen-year-old prodigy was voted “Best New Talent” in Guitar Player Magazine’s annual Reader’s Poll last year and is widely known for his solo acoustic tour de force instrumental prowess.  Robinson, however, has spread his wings musically by adding vocal selections and touring for the first time with a band–a duo of stellar musicians.  “Almost all of the touring I’ve done over the last 2 years has been as an instrumental soloist . . .  so this time around, I wanted to give people a completely different show,” said Robinson. “Houdini was a crazy escape artist, and in a way I wanted to ESCAPE any preconceived ideas people might have about a Joe Robinson show . . .  I have BERNARD HARRIS playing Bass, and MARCUS HILL playing Drums . . .  and I’m sooo excited about bringing these guys with me. This is going to be a fun, fun show.”

Based in Nashville, TN Robinson is working a new project to be completed this year. His critically-acclaimed release “Time Jumpin’/Midnight In Nashville” is available on iTunes.

Remaining Houdini Tour dates include:

January 18, 2011 Newcastle, Australia
January 19, 2011 Central Coast, Australia
January 20, 2011 Dee Why, Australia
January 21, 2011 Sydney, Australia
January 22, 2011 Katoomba, Australia
January 23, 2011 Cronulla, Australia
January 25, 2011 Wollongong, Australia
January 27, 2011 Ulladulla, Australia
January 28, 2011 Canberra, Australia
January 29, 2011 Melbourne, Australia

For more information please visit www.joerobinson.com.

USA Today Features the Gretsch Custom Shop G6128T-GH George Harrison “Tribute” Duo Jet

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

From the Gretsch Guitars Website:

Take a look at today’s USA Today (1/10/11) for an article on the Gretsch Custom Shop G6128T-GH George Harrison “Tribute” Duo Jet, a limited-run tribute model of the instrument Harrison described as his “first really decent guitar.”

“I’ve never seen a more precise and detailed replica of any guitar in my life,” says Harrison’s son, Dhani in the USA Today piece.

Read the entire article for more details here.

Update from Christmas 4 Kids

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

From the organizers . . .

Dinah & Fred Gretsch with Auction Winner David Owen

This year’s Christmas 4 Kids (C4K) Benefit Concert, held on Monday, November 22, was bigger than ever; one of the most special elements was the personal attendance of the Gretsches themselves.  Fred and Dinah Gretsch got a chance to tour backstage, see the concert, and even appear on stage.  Of course, the highlight of the night was the Gretsch Guitar Auction, which brought in a record $4,000.  The winning bid came from David Owen.  David is an avid guitar collector and had his eye on this special edition Gretsch, which was signed by each of the artists that entertained that night—Montgomery Gentry, Jake Owen, Sawyer Brown, and The Charlie Daniels Band.

The success of the Benefit Concert with the Gretsch Auction, the Tour Bus Show, which was held on Monday, December 13, and the Children’s Shopping Day, which was Tuesday, December 14, enabled 2010 to be a successful year—from record numbers of attendees to lots of extras for the children.

C4K wants to extend their deepest gratitude for the support that the Gretsch Foundation continues to show through their donation of guitars for the concert auctions.  Most importantly, Christmas 4 Kids appreciates Fred and Dinah Gretsch’s personal commitment to the children and their valued friendship.

Congratulations CoverBand 2011 Contest Winners

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Winners earn fame, fortune…and a gig in California!

Gretsch Drums is proud to be a sponsor of CoverBand 2011—America’s most exciting and unique contest for performing musicians. The online competition was held this summer, with popular voting that closed December 1.  Tohbias Juniel’s drum solo won him the coveted first place spot as the winner in the drumming category.  Gretsch congratulates Tohbias and all the other winners of this year’s contest.

The CoverBand contest was inaugurated last year to  great acclaim and response. And that’s not surprising since the competition offers musicians and singers the opportunity to perform online for thousands of music fans world-wide. The fans vote for their favorite performances in order to determine the contest finalists. Celebrity judges ultimately select the winners from among those finalists.

Gretsch Renown Four-Piece Kit

Just as in 2010, Gretsch is providing the drum prizes for CoverBand 2011. Tohbias will be receiving a Gretsch Renown four-piece kit in a classy Satin Black finish, along with a Full Range Hammered Steel Shell snare drum (a total retail value of $2,615). DanCarusoSound, the runner-up, will receive a Gretsch Catalina Birch five-piece kit in a striking Silver Sparkle finish (retail value $1,200). Each kit will be complemented with a terrific cymbal package from Sabian and road-tested hardware from Gibraltar.

Tohbias will join the winners in the percussion, guitar, bass, keyboard, and vocal categories to form CoverBand 2011. In addition to receiving a bevy of musical-instrument prizes, they’ll get  to play a once-in-a-lifetime, all-expenses-paid gig on stage at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California this coming January. In all, the prize package for the CoverBand 2011 contest comes to $40,000, including air fare and accommodations.

Tohbias will also receive an additional prize: the opportunity to enjoy a personal meeting with Fred and Dinah Gretsch at the NAMM show. Fred Gretsch represents the fourth generation of Gretsch drum makers—a legacy that goes back more than 127 years. Considering how few drummers ever get to talk with a living legend of drum history, this is a special prize indeed!

Fred & Dinah Gretsch Honor John Lennon

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Gretsch Guitar Placed at the Imagine Memorial in Central Park

Gretsch Guitar and Beatles Gear Book Placed at Memorial in Memory of John Lennon

Representing the fourth generation of Gretsch musical-instrument manufacturers, Fred and Dinah Gretsch made a visit to New York City’s Central Park on December 8—the 30th anniversary of the assassination of legendary singer, composer, and musician John Lennon. The couple was there to place a Gretsch Historic Series acoustic guitar near the “Imagine” memorial within the Strawberry Fields area. The guitar was inscribed with the word “Imagine” as well as being signed by Fred and Dinah. It was their way of paying their respects to John Lennon and to all his fans.

Although the Gretsches have lived in Georgia for many years, Fred Gretsch spent his boyhood in the New York City area. “I was here in 1964 when the Beatles came,” says Fred. “Coming back to New York, where my family roots are, always kindles many tender reminiscences. But coming this time to honor John Lennon’s memory makes this visit especially poignant.”

Inside the tribute guitar placed by Fred and Dinah was a copy of a photo that’s near and dear to their hearts. It shows John Lennon playing a Gretsch guitar during the recording session for the Beatles’ classic hit “Paperback Writer” in 1966. The following reference to that guitar appears in the Beatles Gear book by Andy Babiuk:

Dinah and Fred Gretsch at Lennon Memorial

“Keeping in step with their scheduled LP and 45 releases, the group set out to record a new single, ‘Paperback Writer.’ The April 13th session was photographically documented for The Beatles Monthly Book providing detailed information on the instruments used. New to their guitar line-up was a Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120 that Lennon used. The early-1960s orange-finished double-cutaway 6120 hollow body guitar had gold-plated hardware apart from its aluminum-colored Bigsby [vibrato tailpiece].”

Fred Gretsch adds, “Aside from the fact that John Lennon played that guitar, it’s special to me for another reason. It would have been made in the 1960s at the Gretsch factory in Brooklyn. My uncle, Fred Gretsch Jr., was running the company at that time. And ironically, Uncle Fred died in 1980—the same year in which John Lennon died.

“John’s music made an impression on millions of people around the world,” Fred concludes. “And it continues to do so, generation after generation. We placed the guitar at John’s memorial as a symbol that we hope will remind people of the power and importance of his music.”

See video clip of an interview with Mr. Gretsch here.

Dinah & Fred Gretsch Being Interviewed at Memorial

Dinah and Fred Gretsch

Stanton Moore Packs PASIC Performance Halls

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Stanton Moore Performs at PASIC

PASIC (Percussion Art Society International Conference) attendees were treated to a double helping of Stanton’s down home “Groove Alchemy.”  On Friday, November 12, Stanton performed an afternoon clinic and then again at an evening concert with his trio (featuring Wil Blades on B3 organ and Scott Metzger on guitar).  The clinic performance hall was packed full with a standing room only crowd and was among the most highly attended PASIC clinics of 2010.  For both the clinic and concert, Stanton used a Gretsch USA Custom kit in Twilight Glass Glitter, a new finish that will be released in 2011.  The kit included a massive 14″x26″ auxiliary bass drum that Stanton incorporated when he wanted access to maximum tonal impact.  He also extensively used his signature 4.5″x14″ solid birds eye maple snare drum for both performances.  When not in use by Stanton, PASIC show goers were able to check out the complete drum set and snare drum at the Gretsch drum booth in the PASIC product hall.

The clinic performance included Stanton’s trio and focused on Stanton’s ability to distill classic funk patterns with sticking pattern breakdowns.  He then demonstrated how those basic sticking patterns are applied to the drum set and morphed to create further beat evolutions.  “Groove Alchemy” printed materials with graphic drum set beat notation were provided to all in attendance.  Stanton’s beats were supported by full band performances, which allowed the audience to experience how the beats are used in a full-band context.

The Friday evening clinic was an all out groove assault that showcased the drummer’s prodigious musical talents.  Stanton’s trio performed a collection of instrumentals that ranged from straight-up funk to a traditional New Orleans dirge to swinging shuffles.  While the emphasis was on the overall musical interplay, each musician applied a liberal amount of solo time.  It was during these moments that Stanton inspired the drum-centric crowd with his press rolls, angular, syncopated rhythmic patterns and bombastic, over-the-bar fills.  After the last note had been played, the audience demonstrated their appreciation for Stanton and his trio by responding with a standing ovation.

Guitar Virtuoso Joe Robinson and ‘The Houdini Tour’

Thursday, November 18th, 2010
Joe Robinson

Joe Robinson, with his Gretsch Guitar, unveils ‘The Houdini Tour’

With the first leg of his ‘Houdini Tour’ well under way, guitar virtuoso Joe Robinson has been astounding sell-out crowds with his unique style and unbelievable technique. The ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ and ‘World Championships of Performing Arts’ winner has been earning rave reviews not only for his extraordinary playing ability but also for his music and superb new band.

The tour which started in the United Kingdom on November 3rd includes dates across Europe and Australia and such has been the incredible reaction to the shows that more dates are quickly being added in Asia and the United States.  The Houdini Tour is rapidly becoming a world tour for the nineteen year old prodigy recently voted “Best New Talent” in Guitar Player Magazine’s annual Reader’s Poll.

Widely known for his solo acoustic tour de force instrumental prowess, Robinson has spread his wings musically by adding vocal selections and touring for the first time with a band. Robinson is being supported by a duo of stellar musicians.  “Almost all of the touring I’ve done over the last 2 years has been as an instrumental soloist… so this time around, I wanted to give people a completely different show,” says Robinson. “Houdini was a crazy escape artist, and in a way I wanted to ESCAPE any preconceived ideas people might have about a Joe Robinson show… I have BERNARD HARRIS playing Bass, and MARCUS HILL playing Drums… and I’m sooo excited about bringing these guys with me. This is going to be a fun, fun show.”

More dates are being added every week with the tour continuing into 2011. Recent months have found Robinson based in Nashville, TN writing a new project expected next year. His critically acclaimed release ‘Time Jumpin’/Midnight In Nashville’ is available now on iTunes.

The Houdini Tour confirmed dates include:

November 3, 2010 Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
November 4, 2010 Melle, Germany
November 5, 2010 Kaarst, Germany
November 6, 2010 Leverkusen, Germany
November 7, 2010 Dresden, Germany
November 8, 2010 Dresden, Germany
November 10, 2010 Freepsum, Germany
November 13, 2010 Mellerud, Sweden
November 15, 2010 Berlin, Germany
November 16, 2010 Dortmund, Germany
November 17, 2010 Wuppertal, Germany
November 18, 2010 Varnsdorf, Czech Republic
November 19, 2010 Prague, Czech Republic
November 20, 2010 Pardubice, Czech Republic
November 23, 2010 Budapest, Hungary
November 25, 2010 Bratislava, Slovakia
November 27, 2010 Vienna, Austria
December 2, 2010 Vignola, Italy
December 4, 2010 Rome, Italy
December 7, 2010 Tokyo, Japan
December 10, 2010 Osaka, Japan
December 11, 2010 Kobe, Japan
January 5, 2011 Eumundi, Australia
January 6, 2011 Toowoomba, Australia
January 7, 2011 Gold Coast, Australia
January 8, 2011 Brisbane, Australia
January 9, 2011 Byron Bay, Australia
January 12, 2011 Sawtell, Australia
January 13, 2011 Port Macquarie, Australia
January 15, 2011 Taree, Australia
January 18, 2011 Newcastle, Australia
January 19, 2011 Central Coast, Australia
January 20, 2011 Dee Why, Australia
January 21, 2011 Sydney, Australia
January 22, 2011 Katoomba, Australia
January 23, 2011 Cronulla, Australia
January 25, 2011 Wollongong, Australia
January 27, 2011 Ulladulla, Australia
January 28, 2011 Canberra, Australia
January 29, 2011 Melbourne, Australia

For more information please visit www.joerobinson.com

Bigsby Vibrato on Permanent Display at USPTO

Friday, November 12th, 2010

For over 200 years, the role of the United States Patent and Trademark Office has been to promote and encourage the progress of science and the useful arts through the issuance of patents and trademarks.  Through the registration of trademarks, the agency assists businesses such as those in the music industry in protecting their investments, promoting goods and services, and safeguarding consumers against confusion and deception in the marketplace.

The Bigsby Division of the Gretsch Company has regularly been invited to participate at the prestigious USPTO Expo in Alexandria, VA.  Bigsby has presented information on the company’s history and has showcased the importance of Bigsby trademarks and the impact they have as source identifiers in the marketplace.  Like most effective trademarks, the very shape of Bigsby tailpieces identifies them, even at a distance when the brand name cannot be read.  This allows Bigsby-equipped guitars to be recognized on concert stages and video broadcasts worldwide.

Bigsby Vibrato Display at USPTO Headquarters

Currently, Bigsby and the Gretsch Company are honored to have an authentic Bigsby Vibrato tailpiece on permanent display at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria.  The display also includes a counterfeit tailpiece to help demonstrate the type of imitation products that can be found in the marketplace.  Appearing similar at first glance, counterfeit products undermine and devalue genuine products.  The display serves as a reminder of the battle and value of protecting patents and trademarks.

According to company owner Fred Gretsch, “The USPTO team enthusiastically supports rights owners through attendance at NAMM shows, their national expo, and an extensive online web site.  We encourage the music industry to make good use of these exceptional resources.  We are also very pleased to have a Bigsby Vibrato product on permanent display at their headquarters so that visitors can see the challenge that counterfeit products present.  We take the protection of intellectual property rights very seriously and appreciate the USPTOs assistance by providing information and education to the public.”

In addition to their ongoing intellectual property protection efforts, the Gretsch Company, along with other leading musical instrument manufacturers, is a member of the Electric Guitar Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition—a group of like-minded organizations that came together with the goal of stemming the proliferation of counterfeit instruments and goods wherever they are manufactured.

The Gretsch Company plans to continue working closely with the USPTO in an effort to strengthen trademark and patent protection for music industry manufacturers while eliminating the proliferation of counterfeit instruments wherever they may be produced.

For more information on the United States Patent and Trademark Office, go to www.uspto.gov.

For more information on Bigsby, go to www.bigsby.com.