Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Market Hall / April 20-22
(Guest Post by Bryan Dumas)

The year was 1978 and Dallas guitar shop owner, Charley Wirz, had a vision — to establish a vintage guitar expo similar to other popular collectors shows. That first event — the Greater Southwest Vintage Guitar Show — was only a modest success. However, Charley remained steadfast in his mission to promote and develop the event until his death in 1985.

In recent years, promoters Mark Pollock and Jimmy Wallace have partnered in carrying out Charley's vision of bringing guitar dealers, manufacturers, collectors, celebrities and music fans together for this annual event (currently known as the Dallas International Guitar Festival) that now attracts over 20,000 enthusiasts.

Touted as "the original guitar show," the Dallas International Guitar Festival recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. Although I personally was unable to attend the shindig, my longtime friend, seasoned music pro, Bryan Dumas did make it. And since he still owes me $25 from back in high school, he "agreed" to assume the responsibility of serving as honorary "Show Biz Guru" correspondent  and share some of his photos and observations.

Bryan Dumas with Teye Guitar rep Vanessa Nicole.
2012 Warrior booth
The Warrior "Jesus guitar" presented Bryan
with one of the show's two "wow" moments.
The orange Textone "Big Tex"
bass was one of Bryan's favorites.
"Creativity and innovation is alive and well," Bryan commented during our phone conversation immediately following the show. And among the estimated 20,000 attendees, he also noticed a larger than usual number of young people and female enthusiasts at this year's event. "They weren't merely wives, girlfriends or product spokes-models; they were fans," he added.

One of Bryan's favorite hangouts was the Warrior Instruments booth. Creating custom, hand-crafted electric guitars and basses, the Georgia-based company's endorsees include legendary guitarist Rick Derringer and the Ft. Worth, Texas "outlaw southern rocker" Glitter Rose.

Texas native, Carolyn Wonderland

Award-winning blues combo, The Bart Walker Band

Glitter Rose — One girl, one guitar, one hot set

Rick Derringer — "Still Alive and Well!"

Bryan raved about the School of Rock performance.

Offering incredible, national and regional live music has been a longstanding Guitar Fest tradition.  Among Bryan's favorite 2012 performances were sets by blues singer and songwriter Carolyn Wonderland, Jonny Hiland, Eric Johnson's Hendrix tribute, The Bart Walker Band, Rick Derringer and the pre-teen combo, School of Rock.

Another one of Bryan's high points of the weekend was meeting Teye, the owner of Austin, Texas' Teye GuitarsWith a "total emphasis on tone and feel," Teye creates work so unique and amazing that it prompted Bryan to call me before he even returned home to Shreveport, Louisiana to rave. Due to his overwhelming enthusiasm, I couldn't quite make out exactly what he was tring to convey other than something about selling a kidney in order to purchase Teye's E Series La India Bass.

Discovering the Teye Guitars booth
made for Bryan's other "wow" moment.
Dan "Peaches" Carlson delighted the masses with
his unique guitar stylings during Saturday's festivities.

Bryan Dumas with rock
guitar legend Rick Derringer.
General Observations:
  • Musicians smoke more than the average person.
  • Considering what you pay for admission, this is one of the best bargains in America.
  • For the most part, music people are awesome — if you can overlook the F-bombs.
  • The time-tested jeans and black T-shirt combo is still the acknowledged rock and roll uniform.
  • The Dallas Renaissance Hotel is awesome!

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