Wednesday, May 11, 2016

39th ANNUAL DALLAS INTERNATIONAL GUITAR FESTIVAL (Guest Feature)

39th ANNUAL DALLAS
INTERNATIONAL
GUITAR FESTIVAL
(By Bryan Dumas)
_________________________

Longtime "Show Biz Guru"
correspondent, Bryan Dumas,
recently found himself back in
good ol' Dallas, TX. Although
this adventure did not involve
any J.R. sightings or glimpses
of world-famous cheerleaders,
he did get the scoop on 2016's
International Guitar Festival.
_________________________

Guitar players and music enthusiasts numbering in the thousands converged on Market Hall from April 29th through May 1st for the annual Dallas International Guitar Festival (aka. DGS). Having relocated back this year from Fair Park, the event once again possessed a friendly and familiar feel. And at just $50 for a three-day pass, DGS still offers maximum bang for the buck — especially for old school muzos such as my buddy, Kerry, and myself.

(L) The custom-painted Les Pauls
were beautiful. Regrettably I don't
remember the company name.

(R) I loved the Reso-Phonic guitars,
built by Austin-based, Christian-owned
Republic Company.
Guitar legend Eric Gales kicked-off
the festival's live music showcases
on Friday afternoon.
My festival sidekick, and fellow guitar
enthusiast, Kerry McDonough (L), with
Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford (R).


This year's event was one of the best ever, with near-countless highlights. Seeing Brad Whitford  together again onstage with Derek St. Holmes after too many years was incredible — but to see him wandering the show floor, checking out guitars and talking to fans, was even cooler. Experiencing Eric Gales' performances throughout the weekend was also a thrill — he truly keeps the mantle of Hendrix alive! As a something of a restaurant connoisseur, I've always enjoyed the endless array of amazing eateries that Dallas has to offer — spanning cultures and styles, for sure. But for me, THE #1 highlight this year was seeing Salvation From Sundown. These talented tweenagers actually out rock many of the bands that they emulate — miles ahead of where I was at 13! And if they keep their heads on straight, stay focused, remain grounded, and don't take bad advice from any idiots, they could have quite a bright future ahead.
(L) For a cool $3,500 I could have taken
 home this incredible one-off custom
Bootsy Collins bass built by Corbow.

(R) The tag on this classic says it all.
And at a mere 70K, I shoulda bought two!
As usual, this year's DGS was
about more than just guitars.

(Top) If I'd had a spare 2K, I'd have ridden this
1973 Schwinn all the way back to Shreveport!

(Bottom) I was thrilled to discover this
impressive selection of bootleg vinyl.
When Kerry played this custom, V head
stock Gibson Les Paul, it was love at
first feel - despite the $4,000 price tag.
The Dallas International Guitar Festival gets better each year. The vendors and performers change, while the heart of the musician community continues to flourish. And of course, I'm already jazzed for next year's event.

-Bryan Dumas
(May 2016)
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