Most great inventions begin with a problem. For Nadene Isackson of Enroute Music, the solution was the Porchboard. “We were doing an anti-drug program for elementary schools,” says Isackson. “We were trying to entertain 300 children with just an acoustic guitar and couldn’t keep their attention. They wanted a rhythm, they wanted a boom,” laughs Isackson. “So, we came up with something that was analog but amplified, and controlled with the feet just like the old blues players who would add rhythm with their foot by stomping on the porch boards.” The instrument is a passive percussion instrument with “no batteries or transistors”. “You put it on the floor and tap on it and it comes out sounding like a really finely tuned bass drum.” Isackson notes that although the instrument was originally designed to accompany solo instrumentalists, the Porchboard is catching on with drummers as well. “You don’t have to mic it, it’s portable and there’s no feedback,” she says.
Kerry Keane was hunched over his desk one chilly day in March 2004, inventorying a large cache of product. Diligently, methodically, he had gotten through 10 of the 56 pieces, which were to be auctioned off to raise money for the client’s worthy cause.
Lessons to be learned in portrait of a state that has seen the best of times, the worst of times
In September of 2006, $500 million was dumped into the California public school arts programs, allowing one band director to buy a new $3,500 tuba – a once-in-30-year purchase. Today that tuba gathers dust in silence because the state government’s harsh budget shortfalls caused cuts to the school’s music program, and the loss of the band director’s job.
Recently completed survey leads to new levels of partnership…The iMSO just wants to talk – you know, about the relationship…”I’ve believed from the get-go that the job was to figure out what was on their minds and what their perceptions of us are,” says iMSO (Independent Music Store Owners) board member Chris Lovell and owner of Memphis’ Strings and Things. “They” are the manufacturers and suppliers whose products move down the pipeline into independent music stores all over the country and, while it would seem that the lines of communications would have always been open and that a clear understanding of their symbiotic relationship was in place, iMSO has learned what many of the members have long suspected: Misperceptions and misunderstandings abound.
The concept of artist and signature series guitars has been increasing in popularity amongst not only major suppliers, but within smaller operations as well. The sheer number of signature series guitars shows that manufactures believe that artist endorsements result in better sales revenues. To get a better handle on the dealers’ perspective, MMR called in the troops. Here are a few thoughts on signature and artist series guitars from MI retailers across the country.