Any anniversary celebration is special. But when it’s a double anniversary, that’s extra-special. And when one of those anniversaries marks 130 years…well, that’s unique.
So it was with the Gretsch 130th Anniversary celebration, which was held this past May 4 at Randy Wood’s Pickin’ Parlor in Bloomingdale, Georgia. The location was appropriate, since Bloomingdale is just “down the road a bit” from Pooler, which is where my wife Dinah and I reside. And the Gretsch USA Custom Drums factory is located just across the river, in Ridgeland, South Carolina.
The setting for the event had a somewhat rural... Read More
Gretsch Excitment at 2010 NAMM
February 05, 2010
Gretsch Excitement In Anaheim
Each January the music world gathers at the Anaheim Convention Center in California for the annual NAMM musical-instrument show. This event, sponsored by the International Music Products Association, is America’s largest trade show for the showcasing of musical instruments and accessories. The 2010 edition was held this past January 14 through 17, and Gretsch Drums played a big part in it.
Gretsch Drums On Display
To begin with, there were plenty of great new Gretsch drums to showcase at this year’s NAMM show. Here are just a few highlights:
USA Custom Kits Two new Limited Edition USA Custom kits headed up the new-product introductions. One featured an 18x22 bass drum, 8x10 and 9x10 toms, a 16x16 floor tom, and a 6½x14 ten-lug snare—each with a black lacquer finish and silver-sparkle inlays. The other featured a 14x18 bass drum, an 8x12 tom, a 14x14 floor tom, and a 5½ x14 eight-lug snare—all in a classy white finish with a gold sparkle inlays and gold-plated hardware. Each configuration will be limited to thirty total kits worldwide.
New Renown Maple Finish The Gretsch Renown Maple series now offers a terrific new finish called Ruby Sparkle Fade. It features mixed-size sparkle flakes that catch and reflect light differently so as to give the finish extra depth and richness. Three sizes of flakes are carefully applied in descending size—large to medium to small. Then each drum is hand-sprayed with a customized ruby red-to-ebony black fade paint. A highly detailed, multi-step lacquering process provides the final touch for a gleaming finish.
Stanton Moore Signature Snare Gretsch artist Stanton Moore has developed a reputation for his distinctive blend of New Orleans-influenced funky snare-drum grooves. Now Gretsch has collaborated with Stanton to create a snare drum that projects that swampy, nuanced style. The Stanton Moore Signature snare features a single-ply solid-maple shell with reinforcement hoops, thirty-degree bearing edges, eight tuning lugs, a Dunnett throw-off, 42-strand snares, and a gloss natural finish emblazoned with Stanton’s signature. The drum is designed to provide quick response, varying timbres, and a distinctive overall tonality.
Stephen Ferrone & Gretsch Drums In Concert
An annual highlight of the NAMM show is an after-hours concert called Sabian Live!, presented by the Sabian Cymbal Company, Gretsch Drums was a proud co-sponsor of the event, which opened and closed with Gretsch artists.
The opening act was a band of teenage musicians from the Little Kids Rock music-education program. Their performance was powered by a young drummer playing on a Gretsch Catalina Ash kit. What the band lacked in experience they made up for in enthusiasm, and their two-song set was well received by the audience. At the absolute opposite of the experience scale was the evening’s closer: Stephen Ferrone & The Master Volume All-Stars. Made up of the cream of LA’s studio scene, the band was anchored by its namesake drummer, whose credits include the Average White Band, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and hundreds of studio projects.
The evening’s audience was treated to a widely varying repertoire that included songs from all of Stephen's previous groups, as well as tunes by guest artists. These included “You Need A Man” and “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” led by surprise guest Jimmy Messina. The evening closed with a spirited rendition of “Man In The Mirror,” in tribute to Michael Jackson. Throughout the entire set Stephen provided his legendary combination of groove, drive, and taste.
GRETSCH 130th ANNIVERSARY
Gretsch Drums is proudly celebrating its 130th Anniversary with a series of Limited Edition American-made drum sets
and snare drums. These drums will be released throughout the year and each will include a specially designed 130th
Anniversary interior shell label and a hand-signed Certificate of Authenticity. The labels and certificates will be numbered
to indicate the production sequence of each drum.
Carefully developed to produce tones that explode a balanced amount of warm low end frequencies
The Catalina Maple series starts with the Gretsch maple formula shell. We carefully developed the maple shell specification to produce tones that explode with attack and volume and project a balanced amount of warm, low-end frequencies. All Catalina Maple shells are 7-ply, 7.2mm.
The Catalina Maples are available in two configurations - a 6-piece shell pack set and a 5-piece shell pack set. Add-on drums are also available to allow for further drum set expansion.