Best & Worst of Show Awards
The Chesbro Booth was hand-made from actual timbers from an old barn, lending to the authenticity of the display’s “down home,” backwoods cabin appearance.
Best Analysis by a Show Exhibitor
“I opened three new distributors” – Lou Capece, Lou Capece Music
Worst Analysis by a Show Exhibitor
“Morgue on the Mountain…” – Anonymous (by request)
Best Dive Bar
Slightly sketchy, full of character, exceedingly inexpensive ($5 pitchers and $.50 pool table!) – Springwater Supper Club & Lounge offers a comfortable and relaxing way to wind down after a full day on the Show floor.
Best on-time delivery:
Travis Perry of Perry’s Bluegrass Shops (Dothan, Ala.) and first-time NAMM exhibitor (Chord Buddy) left Nashville just in time to welcome a 6lb, 14oz baby boy to the family. Travis reports the new arrival was, “playing a Chord Buddy within two minutes…”
Best Guy in One of Those “Put Your Head Inside This Larger, Fuzzy Head” Costumes
Putting most MLB mascots and your local Chuck E. Cheese “animated characters” staff to shame, Oriolo Guitars’ Felix the Cat made his debut appearance at the Summer Show and was consistently spirited and engaging, throughout the three-day event.
Best Happy Hour
The Hal Leonard booth at 4PM. As Jimmy Buffet once said, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!”
Worst “Industry Growth”
The huge (pun unintended, but it stays…) selection of 2XL T-shirts for sale at the NAMM store. Either NAMM accidentally overstocked that one size or, as an industry, we all need to put the donuts down…
With all due (and well deserved) respect to Jack’s on Broadway, after having made the trek over to the East Nashville/Inglewood area, MMR‘s editorial staff have to say that Bailey & Cato Family Restaurant is hands-down the best BBQ in the city. Locals travel to the little cottage on McGavock Pike as much for the fried chicken and meatloaf as anything else (allegedly, on Sundays after church, the wait to get served is as long as two hours), but it’s the barbecue ribs that really stand out: crisp red/brown skin, slightly fatty (adding tons of flavor), and a deliciously spicy rub. We’ve visited essentially all of the barbecue hotspots in the U.S. and I’m going to have to say Bailey & Cato does it better than anywhere in the country (address your irate “You don’t know what you’re talking about!” e-mails to: email@example.com…).
The silent auction for Nashville musicians yielded a $150 gift certificate to any Palm Restaurant, snagged for a bid of $75 (claimed by MMR‘s Sid Davis).
Best Unusual In-Booth Entertainment
An actual hurdy gurdy being played at the AMV Consulting Booth.
Worst Arrival Time
Delays, delays, delays… The last members of the MMR team to depart Nashville landed in Boston past 1AM.
Best Informal Get-Together
The Bi-annual guitar jam session at the Levy’s Leathers suite, with pizza and great music. We miss you Paul Specht!
No single “winner” here, but as with last summer, it was pretty disappointing to not see a number of heavy hitters at the Show. The economy, the recent Nashville floods, picking and choosing where money is spent, bottom line, Xs and Os – we get it. We. All. Get. It. Still kind of a bummer…
At the first day’s NAMM Breakfast, the Wooten Brothers performed their signature brand of soul/funk/R&B to an appreciative audience.