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Gibson Garage Gets Ready to Open Its Doors in Nashville (Part 1)

by Rich and Laura Lynch

We had the extreme privilege and honor of attending a media sneak preview for the opening of the Gibson Garage on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. The first stunning impression from those attending this event was that this new venue and retail outpost for the guitar giant at Cummins Station in Nashville is one part Disney Store, one part Build-A-Bear and all tied together with a design element borrowed from your neighborhood dry cleaning service.

James "JC" Curleigh, CEO and President of Gibson Brands introduces the Gibson Garage.

In his opening remarks, CEO and President of Gibson Brands James "JC" Curleigh welcomed visitors and special guests by saying that it is time to make Music City even more important to the future of the music business moving forward. He added that he understood what that statement implies given Nashville's role in the realm over the past century. Still, the remarkable vision represented by the Gibson Garage - where guitar aficionados can come and design their own axe even as 190 of the iconic instruments move overhead on a continuos spell-binding loop - proves that there are still more tricks up the sleeve of this magical and growing metropolis.

Joe Bonamassa led a "Future of Live Music" panel.

Curleigh had some help from a guitar god and instrument preservationist Smokin' Joe Bonamassa who was tasked with leading a panel of musicians to discuss the "Future of Live Music" - a timely topic since concerts and festivals are fast returning following the shutdowns of the previous year. Joe introduced his friend Jared James Nichols recently relocated to the 615 from Los Angeles as "part of the problem". But, we had no problem watching him exhibit qualities that both Page and Plant would be proud of during his "a star is born" set on the new venue's stage.

For Maggie Rose and Marcus King it was all smiles in Nashville.

Other performers included Maggie Rose who announced that she was soon to reveal 60 dates of an upcoming tour that actually had her a bit scared. But, she looked more relaxed when she was joined on stage by young gun Marcus King to perform a new song they had recently composed together. Striking Matches from Nashville struck all the right chords with a fiery performance that represented their first time back together after the long and agonizing break. Celisse was a revelation introduced by Bonamassa as a multi-talented threat more familiar to Broadway in New York City than the one lined with honky tonks. But, it was clear that her time has come and she is a force to be reckoned with.

Striking Matches were a hot guitar based duo formed at Belmont University.

There were plenty of celebrity sightings as the doors opened on the Gibson Garage. Local producer Jacquire King was on hand to help with the pre-show tours of the establishment. Nashvillains Guthrie Trapp and John Oates both seemed impressed with the iconic new musical mecca in town. With the first event in the books it is actually a bit mind-blowing to comprehend the level of emerging and established talent that will enter the Garage as the months and years unfold. As Jordan Sromek, Retail Director of Gibson Garage who was our personal tour guide of the space for the afternoon told us, "the best is yet to come!"

Brand President Cesar Gueikian; Jared James Nichols; celebrity guests Guthrie Trapp & John Oates; and Celisse.

ABOUT GIBSON GARAGE: The Gibson Garage will officially opens its doors on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 on Les Paul's birthday. Fans across the globe that are unable to visit Nashville can experience the Gibson Garage global grand opening via the global virtual concert "Gibson Live: A Celebration of Artists to Benefit Gibson Gives" airing worldwide at 6:30p CT/7:30 ET via Gibson TV: Here. The concert will features performances from Warren Haynes, Margo Price, Kip Moore, James Bay, Sergio Vallin of Mana, Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger of Halestorm, Marcus King, Orianthi, Samantha Fish, Morgan Wade, Sadler Vaden, Tak Matsumoto, Celisse, Emily Wolfe, Jared James Nichols and Joe Bonamassa, and more. The event will benefit Gibson Gives--the 501c3 charitable arm of Gibson--which supports musicians worldwide and is committed to making the world a better place by creating and supporting other non-profit organizations in their efforts to advance musicians, as well as youth-focused education and wellness initiatives.

The "Future of Live Music" panel helped kicked off Gibson's exciting future in Nashville.

Related Links: For more information on the GIBSON GARAGE and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- Gibson Garage | Gibson Grows Its Brand and Expands Corporate Footprint in Nashville | Gibson Garage Gets Ready to Open Its Doors in Nashville (Part 2)


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