Avery Amps musicians Jabo Bihlman and Drew Hale join Ragnar Avery as he facilitates a conversation about custom amps and life on the road.
This presentation is offered online and in-person at CTAC-Petoskey.
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About the Event
To accompany the exhibition Honky Tonk: Photographs by Henry Horenstein, we're kicking off our Coffee @ 10 series with a conversation with custom amp maker Ragnar Avery and Avery Amps artists Jabo Billman and Drew Hale.
Avery Amps is about "Great Tone One Amp at a Time." Ragnar Avery is a long-time tone junkie that has taken his mechanical engineering background and put it to use for making great amps. Ragnar's custom-built amps are built with attention to detail and performance.
Conversation topics will cover the reasons for creating custom amps, the creativity of the build, and the unique sounds created with this equipment. Each artist will talk about their own creative work and music, as well as their relationship with Avery Amps.
About the Artists
Ragnar has been playing guitar for over thirty years. It's that time playing guitar that has made Ragnar come to appreciate the tone of an all-tube guitar amplifier. Being an engineer, Ragnar is always curious about how things work. He had a remarkable chance conversation with an amp builder that sparked his interest in building guitar amps. Ragnar spent about four months soaking up any amp-building information he could gather. He then started his amp-building journey with a classic Fender Tweed 5F2A Princeton in 2009. The 1950’s Tweed Princeton is a simple amp with an amazing history for inspiring great music. The build took several days and when it was complete, it didn’t work. Ragnar found the process of troubleshooting the amp very stressful and extremely rewarding when the problem was solved. The amplifier sounded great and Ragnar was hooked. Over the next four years, Ragnar would continue other amplifiers and expand his knowledge of the craft. Finally, in 2014 with a basement full of amps, Ragnar connected with Traverse City Guitar Company to start consigning his amplifiers and Avery Amps was born. The greatest satisfaction that Ragnar can receive from one of his amplifier builds, is hearing what a great player can do with his amp. This is the spirit that drives Ragnar to continue building amplifiers one at a time with great tone.
Jabo (Jay-bo) Bihlman is an Emmy award-winning guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer. His music has appeared on every network in shows like The Good Guys, All my Children, Burn Notice, Manifest, Big Sky 211, and Sons of Anarchy. As an artist, he is the former lead singer/guitarist for the popular rock band The Bihlman Bros. He is also the lead guitarist for the Metalville Records artist Grinder Blues, with his brother Scot and legendary King's X frontman Dug Pinnick. Their first record debuted at #8 on the Billboard Blues Rock Charts and their second, El Dos remained in the top 20 for weeks.
All over the Midwest and around the country, the name Drew Hale is synonymous with soaring vocals, haunting melodies, and high-energy live shows. A native Texan, Drew’s style of music (a sun genre of country and rock called ‘Roots Rock’ pays homage to his roots in the red dirt and southern rock scenes of Texas and the Southwest, while his lyrics speak to his deep affection for the lifestyle and culture of his home in Northern Michigan. Drew is the winner of the 34th annual Country Showdown national championship, which took place at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in 2016, and earned him the title of "Best New Act in Country Music."