News

Alexander Pedals aims for growth

Alexander Pedals aims for growth

MATTHEW FARROW has navigated these waters before. Back in the early 2000s, he was the circuit jockey behind Pharaoh Amps, which among other things had a successful run of pedal releases. So much so, that Farrow quit his day job to devote his full attention to his MI business. Pharaoh was a one-man shop in Raleigh that produced stomps like the Class A Boost, Jubilee Silver Overdrive and the Echo Jr. He was 24 years old.  more...
Summer NAMM attracts healthy crowd

Summer NAMM attracts healthy crowd

THE NATIONAL Association of Music Merchants’ (NAMM) summer soiree looks to be regaining its former footing after several years of softening attendance prior to its moving to the new Music City Center in 2015. According to the organizers, Summer NAMM welcomed 14,284 industry members to the show, a 2% increase from 2016. Of note, international attendees accounted for a growth of 14% over 2016, and nearly 28% growth over 2015.  more...
Reverend turns 20

Reverend turns 20

IT WAS 1999 when Ken Haas knew that he was destined to be in the guitar business. A chance visit to a Detroit-area Music-Go-Round introduced him to Reverend Guitars — then only a two-year-old company. One of the company’s early guitars was hanging in the shop and Haas noticed the Eastpointe, Michigan stamp on the head stock. Being nearby, he paid a cold-call style visit to Reverend headquarters both to ogle over the guitars and convince Joe Naylor to buy some sand paper. He was successful in both endeavors.  more...
Matthew Sweet kickstarts new album

Matthew Sweet kickstarts new album

IF SEEKING TO exemplify the seismic shift in the music industry, look no further than Matthew Sweet’s career. In 1985, he signed a development deal with Columbia Records, which contracted the making of his first album after six months. Thirty years later, he crowdfunded his new project, Tomorrow Forever, a 17-track CD/double album released on his new Honeycomb Hideout label and distributed by Sony/RED.  more...
Sweetwater’s annual ‘fest of fun!

Sweetwater’s annual ‘fest of fun!

WEATHER threatened for most of the 16th annual Sweetwater GearFest, but it was only the earliest arrivals on Day One that caught the brunt of some nasty storms that rumbled through the Greater Fort Wayne, IN area. After the morning deluge, the clouds broke up a bit and thousands turned out for what has become one of the go-to MI-centric events in the US.  more...
Mike Rutherford takes flight

Mike Rutherford takes flight

Mike Rutherford is backstage in an arena in a “very cold, wet Scotland,” calling before show time to talk about the new Mike + The Mechanics album, Let Me Fly. It’s the band’s first new project in six years, and he is quite satisfied with the results. “I’m pleased with the album,” he says. “I think it’s got a strength to it. How it does, we’ll see.”  more...
At home with McCaffrey Audio

At home with McCaffrey Audio

McCAFFREY AUDIO started much like many other pedal companies across the US. First, there was nothing but some remedial knowledge of how musical instruments operate, mixed with a little passion. The passion pushed just hard enough to pursue self-education, which in turn afforded enough know-how to pour into a product that others were interested in buying. In the early days it was just Ryan McCaffrey and RJM Effects. Then came the push. The push is what makes a builder take the leap from hobbyist to businessman.  more...
Lotus in partial bloom

Lotus in partial bloom

THE PEDAL business isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be as ruthless as it can be rewarding. While the barriers to entry are low, the barriers to success are much more challenging. It takes dedication, persistence and product. Sean Erspamer at Lotus Pedal Designs had all of these when he took the plunge in 2009, but he did so with the safety net of retaining a full-time job at a high-end pro audio equipment manufacturer in northern Minnesota.  more...