Nashville – NAMM Roundup

TK Smith

Just got home from a great week in Nashville. TK and I drove out for the NAMM show but took a bit of extra time to see some sights and hang out with friends as well.

NAMM was better than we expected. We met so many great players, other builders and guitar enthusiasts. It was loud as we did expect, and after three days of talking at top volume, we’re ready to be back in our shop just talking to the dogs.

TK Smith

It was a pleasant surprise that friend and player, Sean Mencher, was going to be in Nashville attending the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society yearly convention that was going on at the same time. He dropped by our booth when Premier Guitar happened to ask TK for an interview. Luckily Sean said he would do a demo on the RoadMaster while TK talked to Shawn Hammond from Premier. You can see the interview here. Big Thanks to Sean and Shawn!

We’re honored that Shawn picked the RoadMaster guitar as one of the Premier Guitar’s “editors picks” during their first day daily roundup at NAMM. You can see it on their Youtube channel here.

Overall, NAMM was a great experience and its likely that we’ll be back.

TK Smith

One of the most exciting things that happened in Nashville is that we met Christy and Walter Carter, founders of Carter Vintage Guitars. Carter Vintage Guitars will now be our exclusive dealer in Nashville. We left a Smith Special and a few other instruments with them so if you’re in the area, go by and check them out. They really are one of the friendliest guitar stores we’ve ever been to and we’re thrilled to have TK’s work there.

TK Smith RoadMaster

On Friday night during NAMM, our good friend McKinley James played at the Exit/In using his RoadMaster guitar. Backed up by Jason Smay and Ray Jacildo, both of JD McPhersons band, the trio put on a great show. Keep an eye on McKinley – at 15, almost 16 years old, he’s a young musician to watch.

TK Smith

McKinley also happens to work part time at historic RCA Studio B and was able to get us in to take a look around on our own. Its a cool feeling to stand in the room where so many great artists recorded what became the Nashville Sound from the late 1950’s through 1977. Above is the famous Steinway used by Elvis and so many other artists who recorded there. We jumped in on a tour while the room was filled with blue light. The colored lighting in the studio was added at Elvis’s request to set the mood while recording. So much music history was made in this room.

TK Smith, Paul Bigsby, Merle Travis, Country Music Hall Of Fame

We went to the Country Music Hall of Fame specifically to see Merle’s Bigsby. It was great to finally see it in person.

TK Smith, Country Music Hall of Fame

Chet’s D’Angelico Excel is also at the Country Music Hall of Fame

TK Smith

We were just walking around the Country Music Hall of Fame when we saw that Tom Doyle, Les Paul’s Luthier and Guitar Tech for 45 years, was going to be performing with his wife Sandy in 10 minutes. That was a nice surprise to be able to meet him and see him perform. Click the link here to see Tom’s website which is full of interesting info and guitar history.

TK Smith

And while driving through Memphis, we had to stop at Sun Studio and take the tour. Just like with Studio B, it’s a special feeling to be in the room where so much of the music we love and have been influenced by was created.

Thanks to everyone who put us up, let us in and showed us around. We’ll be back Nashville!

On a side note, while we were traveling, we realized that the “Contact” link on my website was off line. If you sent a message recently and we didn’t respond, please re-send because we didn’t get it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Black Lacquered Smith Special

TK Smith

Here’s a few shots of a Smith Special in black lacquer that I recently did for Gary Hustwit. Custom ordered in all black with a rattlesnake inlayed on the headstock, I put a lot of hours into it and am really pleased with the way it turned out.

TK Smith

TK Smith

TK Smith

TK Smith

TK Smith

TK Smith

A7 Chord Run

TK Smith

Here’s a nice sounding chord run I got from Tal Farlow. I use it all the time for both solos and comping. He plays it behind Red Norvo over the 2 chord of Sweet Georgia Brown. Each chord is picked once and held for 2 beats and the last chord is held for 2 bars before it goes to the next chord, which in A would be a D7. Tal plays it over Bb heading to Eb. Hope you can use it!

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