Category Archives: Artists Blogs
Posted: June 21, 2016
Gretsch will officially unveil two new Tom Petersson signature bass models during the Summer NAMM show this week in Nashville, Tenn.
The members of Cheap Trick have reigned as the high priests of hard-rocking U.S. power pop for more than 40 years, with an influential and infectiously ever-youthful sound. The band has recorded countless hits, performed over 5,000 shows and recently released their seventeenth studio album. On April 8, Cheap Trick was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, solidifying their legendary status and entering a new realm amongst their inspirational peers.
On the heels of this pinnacle moment, Gretsch is proud to honor the Cheap Trick co-founder and bassist with the USA Custom Shop Tom Petersson Signature 12-String Falcon™ Bass and G6136B-TP-AWT Tom Petersson Signature 4-String Bass.
Both models will be available in early 2017.
USA Custom Shop Tom Petersson Signature 12-String Falcon™ Bass.
Petersson pioneered the creation of the 12-String bass and has become synonymous with the unique instrument that heavily impacted the band’s dynamic sound, especially enhancing their live shows. The Cheap Trick bassist has been playing his custom 12-String prototype live during the development process, and it has already garnered great admiration and attention.
“Everywhere I go now with my Gretsch bass, people are in shock,” said Petersson. “That’s really why Gretsch has always stood out so much because they are like the Cadillac or Rolls Royce of guitars. They are the flashiest, coolest looking … You show up with that and people are like ‘Oh my god! I don’t even care how that thing sounds, that’s the coolest looking instrument I’ve ever seen.’ But then you plug it in and it’s like, ‘Oh my, whoa, what is going on here?’ So it’s the best of every world. I couldn’t think of a company I’d rather work with than Gretsch.”
Stunning in style and utterly seismic in tone, it puts Petersson’s distinctive stamp on the classic White Falcon Bass design. This first and only Gretsch 12-string bass model is surely the most powerful Falcon ever. Premium features include a laminated maple body, a 12”-radius ebony fingerboard with 22 vintage-style frets and mother-of pearl inlays that sits atop a “C” shaped maple gloss-finished neck, a shorter scale length (30.3″) for comfort and fatter, sweeter tone, dual custom Seymour Duncan® Super’Tron pickups, a specially designed 12-string Space Control™ bridge and Gretsch “Cadillac” tailpiece, gold hardware and pickguard, and more.
Available in Vintage White.
G6136B-TP-AWT Tom Petersson Signature 4-String Bass
Additionally, Gretsch will offer a traditional 4-string model. The G6136B-TP-AWT features a laminated maple body, 12”-radius ebony fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and mother-of pearl inlays, short scale length (30.3”), Adjusto-Matic™ bridge and Gretsch “Cadillac” tailpiece, gloss-finish maple neck with “U” profile, gold hardware and pickguard, and more.
Per Petersson’s specifications, the typical bridge pickup has been replaced instead with a middle pickup (Seymour Duncan® Super’Tron) that pairs with the all-new Rumble’Tron in the neck pickup for an extra bold statement.
“You can get this big, thick sound if you just want that neck pickup sound but if you want more clarity, you’ve got that one in the middle – it’s in the perfect position and then the combination of the two is just great,” noted Petersson. “That’s different than most.”
Available in Aged White.
Petersson will make a special guest appearance at the 2016 Summer NAMM Gretsch booth for a one-hour autograph session at 4:30pm on Thursday, June 23.
Posted: June 14, 2016
James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke has become one of our absolute favorite things to watch as the Late Late Show host has booked some serious starpower to join in the fun — from Adele to Lin-Manuel Miranda to Mariah Carey.
For his latest installment, Corden invited Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Chad Smith and Josh Klinghoffer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers to carpool around Los Angeles, and let’s just go ahead and say it’s pretty epic.
The segment includes Corden and company singing and air thumping through the Peppers impressive repertoire of hits including “Give It Away,” “Californication” and “By the Way,” the television debut of the weed-induced “Heemi Lheemey,” as well a brief “intermission” that had them all sprawling out of the car for a wresting match in some random person’s lawn between Corden and Kiedis. (Any bets on who won?)
Jumping back into the car, additional antics ensued when Flea, Kiedis and Corden began to strip down for “The Zephyr Song.”
Partake in the madness below …
Posted: June 9, 2016
“Fuzzy, bluesy and melodic … it’s as if the Laurel Canyon harmonies of the 1970s spent the glam rock ‘80s in The Viper Room on the Sunset Strip before getting a 2015 update in Silverlake.” – Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine’s editor-in-chief Joshua Jackson could not have described Los Angeles-based quartet the Shelters anymore perfectly, and their updated retro sounds evoke every bit of their homeland. Comprised by singer and guitarist Josh Jove, singer and guitarist Chase Simpson, drummer Sebastian Harris and bassist Jacob Pilot, the Shelters have been tearing up the L.A. music scene for the past few years.
Their infectious beats and energetic live shows caught the attention of legendary music veteran Tom Petty, who welcomed the band into his home studio and co-produced their self-titled debut, dropping tomorrow (Friday, June 10). Petty’s influence is heavily present throughout the Shelters inaugural effort, and it’s hardly a coincidence that Jove and Simpson’s vocals can be easily mistaken at times for Petty’s signature croon.
Having Petty take Jove and his bandmates under his wing was an undeniable dream come true for this young band.
“Everyone knows he’s one of the best American songwriters and I think he has a lot of wisdom in regards to what makes songs do well and what makes people love music,” said Jove during an interview with Gretsch Guitars. “He’s such a music lover himself and he’s studied great music over all these years and he knows what makes a good song.”
Petty is not the only influence at play, though. The Shelters draw from countless other inspirations that include Hendrix, the Beatles, Jimmy Page and the Kinks. Their riffs are reminiscent of hits of the past, pulling from the pinnacle of each era from the ’60s to present day. For instance, anthemic opening track “Rebel Heart” features a jingle from Jove and Simpson’s guitars that can be likened to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson.” These components combine with a supremely catchy chorus: “She’s got a rebel heart/One day she’s going to fall/She’s got a rebel heart/She’s up against them all,” making for a simple and fun instant hit. Elsewhere, track “Liar” opens with a “Smoke on the Water” vibe that progresses into an ‘80s-style chorus, showing the stylistic range the Shelters are capable of.
Throughout the album, the Shelters never really show signs of slowing, keeping their energy high and riffs steady as their ever-present classic elements hold strong. “Gold” embodies quintessential ‘60s surf, while “Fortune Teller” and “Down” ooze Petty-like qualities. “The Ghost is Gone” is perhaps the most complex, modern and musically diverse songs on the record. This cut carries quite a variety of sounds that feature an eerie Doors-esque melancholy melody that builds into a heavier, dynamic classic rock song during the chorus.
Other songs gracing the record are equally inspiring, eclectic and enthusiastic. The Shelters present a simple yet sophisticated collection of sounds that offer a modern take on classic chart-toppers with the right amount of distortion, fuzz and effects. It’s a bold move to tackle vintage sounds and continue the legacy paved by such legendary influences, but this talented young band has found the sweet spot of mixing it up with their own unique updated style. It’s no wonder Petty was instantly drawn to the Shelters and their appealing brand of music that offers a little something for everyone.
Pre-order the album here.
Tags: Chase Simpson, Down, Fortune Teller, Gold, Jacob Pilot, Josh Jove, Liar, New Album, Rebel Heart, Sebastian Harris, The Ghost is Gone, The Shelters, Tom Petty
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Posted: June 3, 2016
Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has scheduled several exciting Gretsch events June to coincide with the Summer NAMM Show, including sessions hosted by Cheap Trick’s Tom Petersson, singer-songwriter Lindsay Ell, musician and author Andy Babiuk and Gretsch’s very own Joe Carducci and Fred Gretsch.
These events also help support the Bachman-Gretsch exhibit, which runs through July 17.
Check out a rundown of events below:
Monday, June 20 – Sunday, June 26
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Creative Zone—Embellished Instruments: Gretsch Style
Gretsch guitars have unique shapes, designs, and sounds. Young designers will learn about guitar design by looking at guitars in the new exhibit American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection. They will apply what they learned to make personalized guitar designs using the Gretsch instruments as inspiration. All ages. Taylor Swift Education Center. Presented in support of the exhibit American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection. Included with museum admission. Free to museum members. Children and up to two accompanying adults may attend the program and tour the museum at a discounted rate.
Thursday, June 23 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Gretsch Bass Demonstration: Tom Petersson
Tom Petersson is a professional singer, songwriter, and bass player who has spent most of his life playing rock music. For over 35 years, Petersson has played bass for the recently inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Cheap Trick, and he has written a few of their biggest hits, including “Can’t Stop Falling into Love.” An avid guitar collector, Petersson will highlight some of his favorite guitars including the 12-string Gretsch White Falcon bass he helped design. Presented in support of the exhibition American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection, this bass demonstration will be streamed live at countrymusichalloffame.org/streaming. Included with museum admission. Free to museum members.
Friday, June 24 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
The Gretsch Fred and Joe Show: The Story of the Gretsch Guitar
Fred Gretsch, President of the Gretsch Company, and Joe Carducci, Gretsch Guitars Product Marketing Specialist, host this multimedia presentation tracing the history of the innovative guitar maker. The company was founded in 1883 when Gretsch started making musical instruments in Brooklyn. In 1985, Fred Gretsch, great-grandson of the founder, bought back the family business from the Baldwin Piano Company, relaunching the brand and ushering in an era of high quality and unique design. This program will discuss the musicians who’ve woven the Gretsch sound into the fabric of modern pop culture by playing the guitars on classic hits, and it will look closely at the instruments on display in American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection. Joe Hudson, 2015 “Thumbpicker of the Year” co-winner, will perform. The event will be streamed live at countrymusichalloffame.org/streaming. Included with museum admission. Free to museum members. Limited seating. Program pass required.
Saturday, June 25 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Songwriter Session: Lindsay Ell
Lindsay Ell began playing guitar and writing songs as a child, in Calgary. At age 13, she was discovered by Randy Bachman, who pushed her to learn new guitar styles as well as co-wrote and produced her first record. Ell moved to Nashville in 2013 and signed with Stoney Creek Records. She wrote her singles “By the Way” and “Trippin’ on Us,” as well as several songs with Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots, including “We Can’t Stand Each Other” (featuring Carrie Underwood) and “Netflix Love Song.” Presented in support of the exhibition American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection, this session will be streamed live at countrymusichalloffame.org/streaming. Included with museum admission. Free to museum members. Limited seating. Program pass required.
Saturday, June 25 1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Beatles Gear: The Gretsch Invasion with Andy Babiuk
When the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, George Harrison played a Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gentleman model, Aspiring guitarists across the United States immediately clamored to get one, sparking a boom in production for the guitar maker. In Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments from Stage to Studio, Andy Babiuk explores the story of the legendary band, as told through the equipment they used. This program will focus on the Beatles’ fondness for Gretsch instruments and the subsequent impact their embrace had on the company. Babiuk is a musician, writer, producer, founding member of the Chesterfield Kings, and owner of a boutique music shop. He is a staff consultant to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and consultant to major auction houses in London and New York. Presented in support of the exhibition American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection, this session will be streamed live at countrymusichalloffame.org/streaming. Included with museum admission. Free to museum members. Limited seating. Program pass required.
Posted: June 1, 2016
Fred W. Gretsch, fourth-generation leader of a family business that has helped shape American music history, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Elmhurst College at the school’s Spring Commencement over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
An Elmhurst alumnus, Gretsch is also president of the Gretsch Company, which was founded by his great-grandfather in 1883 and continues to make guitars and drums for musicians who appreciate “That Great Gretsch Sound,” top-quality craftsmanship, and classic style.
Elmhurst College confers honorary degrees on individuals whose commitments and achievements embody the College’s mission, vision, and core values. Fred Gretsch was recognized for his ongoing contributions to the music industry, as well as to his and his family’s stated mission, which is “to enrich people’s lives through participation in music.”
Fred, his wife and business partner Dinah, his family company, and the Gretsch Foundation have been generous supporters of Elmhurst College and its Department of Music. That support has funded a variety of scholarships, as well as the state-of-the-art Sylvia and William Gretsch Recording Studio (established in 1987 to honor Fred’s parents). In 1993, the Gretsch Electric Guitar Ensemble became a regular element of the music program, and in 2015, arrangements were made for the music department’s ensembles to perform exclusively on Gretsch drum kits. Gretsch has also been a major supporter of the annual Elmhurst College High School Invitational Jazz Festival.
“Fred Gretsch’s support has helped us develop one of the top music business programs in the country, from the Gretsch Music Business Student Scholarship fund to his multiple gifts that have allowed us to build and continually upgrade our state-of-the art Gretsch Recording Studio,” said Elmhurst College Music Business Program director Tim Hays. “The College, the Music Department, and generations of students have benefited from his vision and generosity.”
Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Joseph Emmick added, “We’re pleased to honor Fred Gretsch. Who better to receive an honorary degree than someone who has distinguished himself in his service to the musical community? Fred and Dinah together form one of the music industry’s most formidable teams, and their international success enhances Elmhurst College’s reputation across the globe.”
After receiving his honorary degree Fred Gretsch said, “I’m grateful and I’m honored. When it comes to enriching people’s lives through music around the country and around the world, I recognize that Elmhurst is a great place to start. I look forward to working with the college to create more music-makers in the generations ahead.”
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Keep in touch with the latest Gretsch news, pictures and videos.
New From The Gretsch Blog.
- Watch ‘The Gretsch Sound: A Guitar Pull with Emmanuel, Pennington, Robinson and Striking Matches’
- The Shelters Make Television Debut on The Late Show
- See Richard Hawley’s Rig Tour with Music Radar
- Hillsong United Travels to Israel to Record Of Dirt and Grace
- Stevie Young Talks About Playing Rhythm Guitar in AC/DC
- Tom Petersson on the Eternal Search for Perfect Tone and His New Gretsch Signature Models
- Experience the Fred and Joe Show
- See Tom Petersson Demo His New Signature Bass Models
- Watch Lindsay Ell’s Songwriting Session at Country Music Hall of Fame
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