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Gibson Brands Get Back to Business in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Meet the new Gibson, same as the old Gibson. Well, not really but we had to paraphrase guitar god Pete Townsend who became famous in part for his windmilling antics while holding one of this legendary comapany's iconic guitars in his capable hands. On April 23, 2019 we learned that Gibson Brands is itself in capable hands as we met with their new executive team at ANALOG @The Hutton Hotel during a preview of their stunning 2019 line of guitars.

Gibson is in good hands with CMO Cesar Gueikiana and CEO James "JC" Curleigh.

Gibson has emerged from a trying financial time revitalized, re-envisioned, and recharged while paying homage to its storied past. We caught up with their new CEO James "JC" Curleigh who referred to the brand's recent history as an "obstacle course" that he and his team appear to have successfully navigated if the news out of the Winter NAMM is any indication.

The first thing we noticed at the ANALOG was the fresh off the line Les Paul Standard 50s series of guitars that included the famous Sunburst and Goldtop varieties. The array of stunning axes was so impressive that we could easily be compelled to take home one of each. Industry experts were so impressed that these new offerings from Gibson went on to win "Best Electric Guitar of NAMM" from the editors of Guitar, Total Guitar and Music Radar magazines.

The stars of the show - the Gibson 2019 line of guitars.

"Without Les Paul there's no Gibson and without Gibson there's no Les Paul," Curleigh outlined at the ANALOG suggesting that they will continue to seek his influence far into the future. "He's so synonymous with innovation and modernization and he's obviously an amazing artist. We're excited that there's more energy and choice in the Gibson Les Paul, both the original series true to what we were back in the 50s and 60s, right through to the modern collection. Les Paul is the center of who we are and what we do."

But, our tour was just only beginning. There were plenty more instruments to see like the 2019 SG Series that we spotted relatively new to Nashville Tommy Shaw of Styx admiring. Displayed upstairs at the club were the modern line of guitars that incorporate more technical advancements. Gibson's charismatic CMO Cesar Gueikian enthusiastically explained the new upgrades and improvements before leading us back down to the main floor to an exhibit featuring the handiwork of the Gibson Custom Shop team.

In addition to the exciting hardware at the event more important perhaps to the future of the brand was the news that JC shared about Gibson's place in the state capitol as they prepare to join the booming "It City" who's unprecedented growth has been powered in large part by six strings, three chords and the truth.

Striking Matches struck a chord in Nashville.

"We're doubling down on Nashville. We obviously moved our Memphis facility to our Nashville U.S.A. so we've really invested in that. From a production, manufacturing, craftsmanship view we're putting more energy and investment into our custom shop," Curleigh continued expressing the importance of the city to the brand, before revealing, "But, we recently announced to our team that we are going to be moving our headquarters into Nashville central at Cummins Station. You can expect more surprises out of that building from Gibson in the future."

So, there's the big news. Soon, you'll be able get your hands all over the classic Gibson Brand line of guitars from their new flagship outpost in Tennessee just as Nashville's own Striking Matches did at the ANALOG. This capable duo comprised of Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis showed the guitar enthusiasts gathered in midtown just how to work the equipment to perfection during a quick set of compelling blues and searing slide work.

Related Links: For more information on GIBSON BRANDS and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- Gibson Brands | ANALOG @The Hutton | Striking Matches

MCN's Rockin' Rich Lynch joins the Gibson executive team - at least for a moment.


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