A launch party was held Thursday night, May 1, 2014, at the Guitar Center store on Old Country Road in Carle Place, New York, marking the release of the new NYXL electric guitar strings from D’Addario. Jim D’Addario, CEO of D’Addario & Company, the largest manufacturer of fretted and bowed instrument strings in the world, invited a few friends over to celebrate. Make no mistake, as they say, the rafters were rocking.
Who stopped by to say hello? Only former David Bowie guitarist and John Lennon session player extraordinaire Earl Slick, legendary Living Colour axe man Vernon Reid, six-string blues maestro Robben Ford and metal shredder/ jazz burner, Alex Skolnick. Take a deep breath, because there was a whole lot more, including young gun Oz Noy and Nashville fret slinger Guthrie Trapp.
While the sound crew and techies calibrated the amps and pedals, Reid had some fun with the crowd. He coaxed the audience into singing the refrain from Jimi Hendrix’s “Crosstown Traffic.” “C’mon, you can do better than that,” he joked. Moments later, Reid and Slick ripped into the Hendrix classic with resounding power and might.
An Army of Guitars
What followed was an evening of solid rock, blues, jazz and funk. In honor of D’Addario’s NYXLs, most songs had a New York theme. Slick and Reid carried out an earsplitting rendition of Jimmy Reed’s “Bright Lights, Big City.” Slick, who sounded sharp as ever, advised he is getting ready to release his own line of guitars. “This one I’m playing tonight has a P-90 type,” he explained to MusicInterviewMagazine. He was referring to the guitar pick-up.
Not to be outdone, Alex Skolnick cranked out an airtight performance of Steely Dan’s “Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More.” Keep in mind the bass player and drummer never missed a beat the entire evening. There was never a dull moment. After Skolnick, Oz Noy, Robben Ford and Guthrie Trapp came out picking and strumming. By then, the entire guitar-army had landed and clearly staked out its claim.
A Home Grown Product
D’Addario & Company, which has been making instrument strings for the last 300 years, is family owned and operated in Farmingdale, New York. All of the company’s engineering and manufacturing is done onsite at its Long Island location. D’Addario believes the NYXLs are revolutionary and the next generation of electric guitar strings. “These are much stronger than any string we’ve made,” said CEO Jim D’Addario. He pointed out, “That means better tone.”
Later on, someone in the store was overheard saying that he always used D’Addario strings. “The new ones sound really great,” he said. If his reaction is any indication, it looks as though the NYXL strings will be a huge success for D’Addario. In the meantime, everyone gets to hear some fine guitar music.
Photos ©Neptune Marketing LLC.