East Coast Rocker

Putting You in the Front Row

Joe Perry to Receive Les Paul Award at 32nd annual TEC Awards at NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif.

Photos © SUZANNE ALLISON WITKIN

Aerosmith co-founder Joe Perry will receive the Les Paul Award at the 32nd annual  Technical Excellence and Creativity Awards at this year’s NAMM Show in Anaheim.

The annual award is given on behalf of the Les Paul Foundation and honors individuals that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of recording. Perry will receive the award on Saturday night during the TEC Awards gala at the Hilton.

Perry is set to perform live before an audience of pro audio and sound production inventors, musicians and industry friends.

“Anytime my name is mentioned in the same sentence as Les Paul, it’s a huge honor,” says Perry. “Getting an award bearing his name is the icing on the cake.”

A co-founding member of a Aerosmith, whose music repertoire spans four decades, Perry’s versatile musicianship and influence has helped pave the way for a long list of accolades that reach beyond the band’s more than 150 million albums sold.

Joe Perry, recently wrapped a worldwide tour with The Hollywood Vampires - Photo © Suzanne Allison Witkin

Joe Perry, recently wrapped a worldwide tour with The Hollywood Vampires – Photo © Suzanne Allison Witkin

In the role of principal songwriter, lead guitarist, and as producer for multiple tracks featured on several notable Aerosmith albums, Perry’s talent has helped contribute to the super group’s four GRAMMY Awards,  — one of which includes Perry’s guitar-based instrumental “Boogie Man” —  among many others.  In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of Aerosmith, and in 2013, Perry with his songwriting partner Steven Tyler were recipients of the ASCAP Founders Award and were also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

“Joe Perry was a friend of Les Paul and is undoubtedly one of the most innovative and talented musicians of our time,” said Michael Braunstein, executive director of the Les Paul Foundation. “His ability to push boundaries of the electric guitar with his signature sound and deft playing ability embodies the true spirit of what Les Paul and the award given in his name stands for.

The Les Paul Award has been presented at the NAMM TEC Awards to remarkably-distinguished and accomplished individuals from the music industry, including such luminaries as Sir Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townsend, Slash and last year’s recipient, Don Was.

For more information go to the TEC Awards Page of the NAMM Foundation.

NAMM Show in Anaheim: Musicians, Products and Business Converge

Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Mike Campbell has a new signature model guitar  – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

New in 2016: Tech Tracks, Green Talk, Cool Products

By DONNA BALANCIA – Hot topics in news include going green and technology’s impact on our everyday lives. In the world of music, it’s no different as NAMM 2016 kicks off in Anaheim.

Many of the thousands of music merchants represented at the annual Anaheim trade show have an electronic element, a tech element or a green initiative to tout this year.

It may be the year of going green as many of the companies participating in NAMMShow 2016 have a few environmentally friendly tricks up their sleeves.

Familiar names Gibson, Yamaha, Sennheiser, Avid and others will be on hand demonstrating and showing new models to retailers across the country.

New this year is TEC Tracks, formerly known as the H.O.T. Zone, where education reigns supreme and attendees can pick the brains of leaders in business, music and tech.

Don Was - Photo by Gabi Porter

Don Was to be honored at TEC Awards – Photo by Gabi Porter

Daily keynotes feature legendary producers, including Eddie Kramer, who has worked with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to the Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin, and Tony Brown, whose credits include Steve Earle, Reba McEntire, Lyle Lovett, George Strait—and the list goes on.

There will be future-forward sessions in such areas as game, Internet and app audio, as well as the future of the industry as it relates to the latest technologies and breakthroughs. A3E (Advanced Audio + Applications Exchange) will present a full-day program on Saturday, including a keynote, focused on the future of audio, bringing a new perspective to the show.

The theremin always has a NAMM presence - Angelo Moore of Fishbone is a fan - Photo © Donna Balancia

The theremin always has a NAMM presence – Angelo Moore of Fishbone is a fan – Photo © Donna Balancia

TEC Tracks presents something for every type of pro audio professional.

A festival sound engineers panel will gather the experts from this growing market.

For live sound, there will also be a panel on best practices for in-ear monitoring, a master class on getting your studio sound tuned for the concert stage, and also a workshop on audio-video bridging to create compact touring systems.

Slash To Receive Les Paul Award at NAMM

Slash TEC award - story by Donna Balancia

Slash – photo courtesy NAMM

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Superstar guitarist Slash will receive the Les Paul Award during the 30th Annual NAMM Technical Excellence and Creativity Awards, Saturday night, during the National Association of Music Merchants NAMM Show in Anaheim.

Comedian Sinbad will host the evening event.

The NAMM TEC Awards honors individuals and companies across 30 categories, for outstanding achievement in professional audio technology and production.

As a critically acclaimed, British-American musician and songwriter, Slash has amassed album sales topping 100 million copies, a GRAMMY Award and seven GRAMMY nominations. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

Slash, who established a hot solo career in 2008, is known as former lead guitarist for Guns N’ Roses and founded the supergroup Velvet Revolver.  His current album is World On Fire.

Time magazine named Slash second, behind only Jimi Hendrix, on its “Ten Best Electric Guitar Players of All-Time” list. His famous guitar solos in songs including “November Rain” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” are adored by rock fans worldwide.

The Les Paul Award, named for the inventor and esteemed musician, honors individuals or institutions that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of audio and music technology.

Previous winners include Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young and Peter Gabriel. Last year’s recipient was Todd Rundgren.

Rock Stars and Guitars: The East Coast Rocker Interview with Stevie Salas

The Stevie Salas signature Idolmaker is a lot like the artist himself, purposeful with quality, and just a little flashy.

The Stevie Salas signature Idolmaker is a lot like the artist himself, purposeful with quality, and just a little flashy.

 

The Idolmaker, Stevie Salas signature by Framus Warwick —  

By DONNA BALANCIA – Stevie Salas has worked with the best.  But despite being selected to play lead guitar for Mick Jagger, George Clinton and a host of other famous superstars, Salas is true to his humble Southern California roots.

“This is my third signature model in 25 years,” Salas told East Coast Rocker.  Salas’ extensive work as musical director for 19 Entertainment and American Idol inspired the name of the guitar.

“People have told me they think it’s the most beautifully crafted guitar and that’s not because they were talking to me and it’s my signature guitar.  It is extremely good quality. I wanted something different, something that wasn’t a ripoff of a Stratocaster or a Les Paul.”

Sleek in its purple and black with gold tone, the Idolmaker, like the rock star himself, purposeful with quality, and just a little bit flashy. The neckwood is maple, the fretboard is Tigerstripe Ebony with Indian Feather Inlay, a reminder of Salas’ Native American heritage.  It is a carved body top, the bodywood is 1-inch AAA Quilted Maple top with Mahogany body.

Particularly interesting to Salas is Warwick’s devotion to the planet: The company is known to purchase its wood from sustainable sources.

“A few years ago,  I met Hans-Peter Wilfer, who owns Warwick,” Salas said. “I like his views.  Since I have a Native American background, I wanted something that was environmentally friendly.”

Salas said he took a tour around the production facilities in Germany, met the head of production, designer Marcus Spangler and was impressed with what he saw.

“I wanted the precision of German craftsmanship but also the Native American warmth,” Salas said.

Check out Stevie’s Guitar 

CLICK HERE FOR SALAS at FRAMUS NAMMSHOW

— By DONNA BALANCIA

 

Music Industry Experts: Network, Network and Network Some More

East Coast Rocker photo

Industry experts tell aspiring musicians to collaborate, know the audience. BALANCIA PHOTO

ANAHEIM — If “It’s not what you know but who you know,” then aspiring songwriters and musicians are in good company, a panel of music industry experts said at NAMM over the weekend.

During a panel discussion entitled 360 Degrees of a Hit Music Track, a room of 250 songwriters and musicians were told to work the event circuit and talk up their work — to each other — and help each other make it to the top.

“Network with everyone,” attorney Neville Johnson of Johnson and Johnson LLP of Beverly Hills said. “Look around you.  The people in this room are your colleagues. Go to the events, industry meetings, groups for writers. It’s a team effort.”

Panelists included singer songwriter Barry Keenan, A and R executive Don Grierson, producer Matt Forger, publisher Robert Case, attorney Johnson and was moderated by Alex Del Zoppo of the renowned band Sweetwater.

Aspiring musicians must know their audience, take stock in their catalogues and pay close attention to the emotional communication they intend, said panelist Grierson, who has worked with many of the most notable artists in music. It all comes down to the message and the appeal of the message, Grierson said.

Musicians told to collaborate with each other, seek out music partners.

Musicians told to collaborate with each other, seek out music partners.

“I guarantee you this: They will never ask if you recorded on one track or two tracks or if it was analogue or digital,” said Grierson. “They only care about ‘Did it resonate here,” he said, pointing to his heart.

Keenan said competition may be tough, but “Never give up on your dream.”  He added that when the time is right to get your CD into the hands of a producer, make sure the product is good.

Johnson added that with continued efforts, it is possible for a new artist to break through.

“Look at Lorde, she came out of nowhere,” he said, referring to the 16-year-old New Zealand-born phenom, nominated in four categories at Sunday’s Grammy Awards. “And Adele, she’s broken all records…”

The Internet has done a lot to help aspiring and established artists get exposure. Keep networking and posting song, it was advised.

“Find a great song,” Johnson said. “I know a guy who had a one-off song that became a hit, then he bought a nice house, got a nice car, nice wife, nice life.”