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Experience PRS 2009

The story of Experience PRS 2009

Ever the tone connoisseur, Paul Reed Smith has the best seat in the house as David Grissom closes a long night performances

See a photo gallery with the details on the new guitars announced at the event, including the Starla X, Carlos Santana SE One Abraxas and Modern Eagle III
See a photo gallery of performance highlights from the event.
Watch video of the new gear and musical performances.
The annual celebration of all things PRS took on new meaning this year as the company threw one helluva party while taking care of some new business.

The party included performances by the likes of Carlos Santana, Buddy Guy, Dweezil Zappa, David Grissom, Johnny Hiland, Nick Catanese, Howard Leese, Tony McManus, and many others. The business end of things involved rolling out many new pieces of gear, announcing the discontinuation of 14 models, and showing the world its new multi-million-dollar factory. In other words, for PRS fans, artists and dealers, this was the one event of the year that was not to be missed. The fact that PRS is celebrating its 25th year as a company focused the significance of what was happening. To think that a young tinkerer could go from a ballsy tone nerd to the leader of the country’s third-largest guitar company by focusing on quality instead of quantity is proof that passion still matters in this industry. At the end of the day, it’s all about the tone.
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Mdou Moctar has led his Tuareg crew around the world, but their hometown performances in Agadez, Niger, last year were their most treasured.

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

On the Tuareg band’s Funeral for Justice, they light a fiery, mournful pyre of razor-sharp desert-blues riffs and political calls to arms.

Mdou Moctar, the performing moniker of Tuareg guitar icon Mahamadou “Mdou” Souleymane, has played some pretty big gigs. Alongside guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane, drummer Souleymane Ibrahim, and bassist Mikey Coltun, Moctar has led his band’s kinetic blend of rock, psych, and Tuareg cultural traditions like assouf and takamba to Newport Folk Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival, and, just this past April, to the luxe fields of Indio, California, for Coachella. Off-kilter indie-rock darlings Parquet Courts brought them across the United States in 2022, after which they hit Europe for a run of headline dates.

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How do you capture what is so special about Bill Frisell’s guitar playing in one episode? Is it his melodies, his unique chord voicings, his rhythmic concept, his revolutionary approach to pedals and sounds…? It’s all of that and much more.

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