guitar purse

  • Top Ten Guitar Gifts for Guitar Players from Violettes by Becky

    All New List of Gifts for Guitar Players (Plus 1)

    Or "Gifts for Music Lovers or  Twelve Days of Christmas!

    Top Ten Gifts for the Guitar Players or Top 20 Gifts for Guitar Players (Just get 'em 2 of Each)

    These are gifts for any die hard Music Fans, so for Mothers Day and Fathers Day Gifts for Music Lovers - Make Gift Baskets for anyone by filling Guitar Purse (or Man Bag) with picks, spare strings, CD's Concert tickets, a poem you wrote...

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    Top Handbag brands, Guitar Purse, Gifts for Guitar Players, Guitar themed gifts Top Handbag Brands - Win Guitar Purse
    The top gift you can get a guitar player is... a new guitar, most likely. However, since that may be too expensive... Here are Violettes by Becky picks from all price ranges. -Top Ten Guitar Gifts
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    1. At the Summer NAMM, Violettes was introduced to the TRAVEL GUITAR. Violettes continues to hear stories from folks having trouble traveling with guitars. There are many brands to check into. They are scaled down guitars or fold up or collapsable in some way.

    But if worst comes to worst - it's not so bad. Get a Guitar Purse and fill it like Spring Gift Baskets because it's time to start planning your Mothers Day Gifts!! Fill with a poem for Mom, CD's and Chocolates! Or Music Festival tickets!!

    Spring Gift baskets, Mothers Day Gifts, Guitar Purse, Music Gifts Spring Gift Baskets - Mothers Day Gifts can fit in the Guitar Purse so nicely!
    Sunflowers, Music Lovers, Mothers Day Gifts Another idea for Music Lovers Mothers Day Gifts is one of our Sunflowers

    2. Hancrafted Guitar Wallet made from "Designer" US Leather. At $19.99, they are sweet affordable Music Gifts. Put a gift card or two inside! Find them in our Gifts for Him.

    Gifts for Guitar Players, Music Gifts, Valentines Gifts for Her, Valentines gifts for Him Black Electric Leather Guitar Wallet
    Music gifts, gifts for guitar players, Valentines gifts for her Handcrafted Leather Red Guitar Wallet

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    Bluegrass festival Hand made Mandolin hard gig bag case.

    3. The next best gift:

    Presenting the Awesome and Beautiful Handmade Custom Designed Instrument Case by Deena Bailarina.

    Find her web site at: DBMM: More Than a Pretty Case. See Interview with Deena here.

     

     

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    4. Gig Bags to keep spare strings, cards, repair tools, fingerless gloves, a few loose wires and picks. You can request a band logo or initials or even a unique painting for your bag from ViolettesbyBecky.com. Go thru "Contact us" for special requests.

    Top Ten Guitar Gifts; Gifts for Guitarists Top Ten Guitar Gifts
    Top Ten Gifts for Guitar Players; His Guitar Gig Bag
    Top Ten Gifts for Guitar Players Gifts for Guitar Players

     

     

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    5. His and Hers Guitar Bags - Gifts for Guitar Players Or Valentines gifts for Die Hard Music Fans

    Top Ten Gifts for Guitar Players His and Hers
    Top Ten Gifts for Guitar Players He got His bag first.

     

     

     

     

     

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    6. New at Violettes are Guitar Bras!! Yes, these Guitar Accessories are guitar covers for playing outside. They protect your guitar from the sweat, but don't affect your sound. Order a custom size to fit your guitar. They come in three fabrics, and are hand made in Tennessee!

    Guitar Accessories, Guitar Covers Guitar covers - Guitar Bra!
    Guitar Accessories, Guitar Cover Guitar Themed Fabric Cover

     

     

    Purchase Guitar Bra HERE!

     

     

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    7. Spectacular GUITAR ART from Denise Silva. Go to the Silva Gallery.

    Gifts for Guitar Players; guitar art

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    Guitar Art by Denise Silva - Gifts for Guitar Players

     

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    8. Tie Dye Tee Shirt, as tie dye is IN again. Or a Tee from a favorite band. Such as the Black Lillies !

    9. A GUITAR PURSE for traveling to music festivals whether it's for Mom or a girlfriend it will be a hit. Fill it with concert tickets, a song you wrote especially for her...Check Violettes' "Music Gifts and Cool Crafts" Section for more Holiday selections. All purses are hand painted in Tennessee, so if you don't wait too long, you can make special requests. In addition, very popular, are Violettes by Becky DIY Bags to paint the guitars yourself (with instructions) for those that love crafts!

     

    Guitar Purse, guitar themed gifts Guitar Purse - Gifts for Guitar Players
    Guitar Purse, Gifts for guitar Players, Valentines gifts Guitar Purse - Gifts for Guitar Players or Valentines Gift for Her
    Ukulele Gifts; gifts for ukulele players Pineapple Ukulele Purse is fun for Uke players.

     

     

     

     

     

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    10. Fun BUSINESS CARDS for her or his band or music gigs from www.pikcard.com. The cards are made of plastic that pops apart into guitar picks, with your contact info on each pick.

    11th Bonus Music Gifts for Guitar Players ----- A SESSION IN A RECORDING STUDIO. Here in Knoxville, we are lucky enough to have DIgitrax Entertainment SoKnox Studios. Check what's available in your area.

    12. Well this is a bonus too! Guitar gifts on your list? We now carry bags for Motorcycle Cowboys who ride like the wind!

    Guitar gifts, Motorcycle cowboys,  Ride like the wind Guitar Gifts for Motorcycle Cowboys and Girls! Request any color or even any painting! 
    Guitar gifts, Guitar Purse, Motorcycle cowboy Guitar Gifts for Beach Rider. For Motorcycle Cowboys and Girls who love guitars.

     

    There you have it - our Top Ten Guitar Gifts plus 2.

    Go to Violettes by Becky Home Page. Top Ten Gifts for Guitar Players                                                                                                                         Top Ten Guitar Gifts for Guitar Players Or Music Gifts for Music Lovers
     
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  • Violettes goes to the International Bluegrass Festival

    International Bluegrass Festival -

    Meeting Deena Bailarina

    Violettes by Becky attended our first music festival in Raleigh, North Carolina. The International Bluegrass Festival was great fun with so many Gift ideas for Music Lovers! Never had so many people called me a genius before! Can’t beat that. But I also met so many wonderful people. One of which was Deena Bailarina, who came into my booth, wearing a mandolin with a stunning fabric gig bag. She said “we should refer folks to one another”, handed me her card and disappeared into the evening. Deena has a company, “DBMM: More Than a Pretty Case”, that makes handmade, designer musical instrument gear (mainly hybrid and hard gig bags but also straps). They are uniquely stunning.

     

    1. Violettes: How did you get started with the idea to make musical instrument gear?

    Bluegrass festival Hand made Mandolin hard gig bag (from DBMM) worn by Deena at the International Bluegrass Festival.

    Deena:  Well, I was living between the Netherlands and Mozambique (in southern Africa) for some time and fell in love with the bold, beautiful wax print fabrics that are a part of daily life in many African countries. These gorgeous fabrics are used for everything from clothing to carrying babies and are incredibly heavyweight and durable; like no cotton we really use or produce here in the US! After doing some research, I realized that the oldest and most reputable company producing these fabrics for the African market is actually…Dutch! The Dutch company, Vlisco, has been around since 1846 and their fabrics are truly head and shoulders above any other fabrics of this type that you’ve ever seen or felt.  They’re the backbone of all my creations.

    So when I got back to the USA and realized that the one official North American distributor of these fabrics was in Virginia (wholesale only), I of course had to sign up for a wholesale account.  But what to do with all those yards and yards of Vlisco fabric?

    I’ve always thought it sad, the way most people take it for granted that functional things (like gig bags) need to sacrifice beauty for utility.  And, equally sad, most people automatically think that beautiful things are purely ornamental.  So Deena Bailarina’s Musical Miscellany (DBMM for short) was born in summer 2013.

    Just like beautiful folks everywhere have to prove to the world that they’re “more than a pretty face”, my gear has to teach people that it’s “more than a pretty case”! Beauty AND utility. It exists in the musical instruments themselves, so why not in the cases that protect and carry those beautiful instruments?

    2. Violettes: You say that you have lived in 7 countries on 4 continents, and are settling in one place for the first time in Raleigh North Carolina. Where do you come from, where have you been and why?

    Deena: Life has definitely led me all over and, like most stories worth telling, it’s a long and strange one! The condensed version: I mostly grew up in PA (an hour outside Philadelphia), thumbing my way to northern California when I was 19.  I started playing Capoeira (a Brazilian martial art and dance form) in California after having been a dancer my whole life.  It was then that I moved to Brazil to play and train Capoeira in 2002.  The “Bailarina” in my business name is actually my Capoeira nickname.  I’ve danced my whole life and that’s a big part of why I wanted to make gear that would allow me to work and play at the same time! What better place to “have to go” to do business than music events? Dance the night/weekend away to beautiful music AND share my art with other artists:

    So after living in Brazil for a few years, I was back in the USA for a year, then off to Europe.  I lived for years in the UK and Italy (also Hungary for a brief time).  During those years, I decided to go to grad school and that’s what had me living between the Netherlands and Mozambique.  When I first got back to the USA after about a decade abroad, I had quite a bit of culture shock! I ended up in DC for a year and quickly realized it just wasn’t my kind of place.  North Carolina was exerting this pull on me so…here I am!  “And if I die in Raleigh, at least I will die freeeeeee”!

    3. Violettes:  Your web site says you have a PhD – in what (and from where)? My guess is textiles.

    Deena:  Good guess! But no; my Phd is actually in International Development Studies (I focused on global health and HIV in southern Africa).  It was an international program with partner universities all over the world and administered from Trento, Italy (northern Italy, at the beginning of the Alps on the eastern side).  During the PhD, I was a visiting researcher for a bit in The Hague which is how I began the wonderful experience of living in the Netherlands, later moving to Amsterdam to have my home-base close to some great friends.  I adore Holland and most things Dutch!

    I suppose, from the outside, my life seems a bit eclectic and mysterious, and it has been an ongoing adventure, for sure! Intellectual creativity is just as important to me as artistic creativity (in dance, music, textiles, etc.) and these things actually all come smoothly together in my mind to make me the creative and quirky person that I am! Global health research and Dutch/African designer fabric gig bags? Sure- why not? It’s like the phenomenon of living in lots of different countries; the more far-flung places you live, the smaller you realize the world really is.  Same with interests; the more things you’re interested in and do, the more these things come together into a coherent whole.  It all fits.

    4. Violettes: Tell us a little about your business.

    Deena: Well, you’ve probably gotten the gist of my textile obsession and creative compulsions from the above! Basically, my business is all about erasing this perceived trade-off between beauty and utility in music gear.

    In this day and age of tons and tons of mass-produced, plastic (aka: nylon) stuff, I think people really like knowing that their music gear (gig bag, strap, etc.) was individually handmade by someone they can see and talk to on the street.  My stuff has a soul just like their instruments do!

    Since I design each of my cases from scratch, often working with professional, gigging musicians to understand exactly what they need and want for their specific type of instrument, I have a lot of flexibility.  I often realize mid-way through a custom case that maybe a different kind of foam would be more suited to a certain purpose and my clients are invariably thrilled with the results.  Unlike mass-produced items, if something doesn’t work exactly how I’d imagined or if I get constructive feedback from a musician, I can seamlessly incorporate that into my designs and keep on truckin’.  I’m never locked into anything and that allows my creations to constantly adapt and improve.

    I’m also working hard to show musicians that beautiful items aren’t just ornamental,hence: More Than A Pretty Case! When you met me at the Bluegrass event in Raleigh, I was tooling around with a mandolin hard bag for just that reason! It’s a lot of fun to have musicians feel my cases, both the outer fabric and the thick layers of foam protection and sumptuous lining.  Photos just can’t convey this stuff.  I love seeing their faces when they realize that “wow- this really IS a serious protective case, not just a pretty bag”!

    I’m also really proud of the fact that I’ve sourced all-cotton outer materials so that musicians don’t have to put their babies in plastic gig bags! The thought of all that plastic (nylon) out there carrying so many gorgeous instruments makes me shudder!  I’ve recently added these incredibly durable, finely woven and waterproof cotton canvas fabrics to my collection and am having a lot of fun mixing and matching those with my designer Vlisco fabrics.

    Though I am making some items ahead of time these days to keep up with demand, I really love doing custom work too! I love that moment when a creation is completed and I feel this connection with the musician who commissioned the item. I see the fabrics and style they chose and the final creation is really a joint piece of functional art that we’ve created together.  It’s such an honor to me and my creations that these gals and guys would trust their much-loved instruments to my cases and I’m so happy to be able to make such special and important items that can be so useful to fellow artists and creators.

    So, as you can see, I can go on and on about my business! It’s really my baby and I’m a proud, happy Momma all the way!  Hope to see you at future festivals where I’ll also be showcasing my work come 2015! Rock on!!

    #MoreThanAPrettyCase

    Carolina Chocolate Drops Deena with Hubby Jenkins of the Carolina Chocolate Drops - She made him a "hard bag" for his banjo .

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  • American Flag Purses (Bags) or Why Red, White and Blue?

    Guitar Purse Patriotism with American Flag Purses (Bags) - You can take them on an airplane!

    American flag bags or purses; guitar themed gifts American Flag Purses (or Bags) created by Violettesbybecky.com are unique guitar themed gifts

    I was wandering around the internet looking for an explanation of why our flag is red, white and blue. As you can see by Violettes’ American Flag guitar purses (bags), the colors are catchy. On first guess, one would think that the colors came from an adaptation of Great Britain’s Flag. As that’s what our Founding Father’s knew.
    It’s a good question for this time of year. It turns out that I am not the only one who doesn’t know. Just last year on July 4, Time Magazine printed an article on this. It tells us that it is a little known fact, because it wasn’t made known when the flag was first presented in Philadelphia on June 14, 1777. It was said that the 13 stripes were for the union states and the white in a blue field represented a constellation. At that time the colors had no significant meaning.
    The colors and their significance still trace back to the birth of the country, and had very specific meanings in the creation of the Great Seal a year earlier. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution authorizing a committee to develop a seal for the country. The committee was instructed to draw up a seal that reflected the Founding Fathers’ beliefs and values, as well as the sovereignty of the new nation. Red, white and blue were chosen, and the Great Seal was officially adopted on June 20, 1782.
    From the book "Our Flag" published in 1989 by the House of Representatives...
    Heraldic devices such as seals have specific meanings for each element and color, and the U.S. Seal was no exception. When Charles Thomson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, presented the seal he explained the significance to Congress. “The colors are those used in the flag of the United States of America. White signifies purity and innocence. Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue… signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.”

    From US History.org on the Betsy Ross Homepage-
    According to legend, George Washington interpreted the elements of the flag this way: the stars were taken from the sky, the red from the British colors, and the white stripes signified the secession from the home country. However, there is no official designation or meaning for the colors of the flag.

    Taken from Time Magazine on-line by Nicole Greenstein July 04, 2013 -
    Over the years people have altered Thomson’s original interpretation. Some now say that red represents the blood spilled by the patriots and those who fight to protect our country. President Reagan even put his own spin on the matter when he proclaimed 1986 the Year of the Flag. “The colors of our flag signify the qualities of the human spirit we Americans cherish,” Reagan said. “Red for courage and readiness to sacrifice; white for pure intentions and high ideals; and blue for vigilance and justice.”

    The significance behind the flag’s design is more commonly known than that of its colors. The 50 stars stand for America’s 50 states, while the 13 red and white stripes represent the 13 colonies. But there’s also a lesser-known interpretation for the Stars and Stripes. The House of Representatives’ 1977 book about the flag states: “The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.”

    The most important part of our US flag symbol is its power to evoke patriotism and pride as it represents freedoms of speech, religion and press.
    So in honor of our symbolic flag, Violettes has created 2 American Flag Guitar Purses:
    “American Heritage” Guitar Purse and “Peace Power” Guitar Purse.

    Purchase now to show off your for Guitar Purse Patriotism!

    American Flag Purses (Bags); guitar themed gifts American Flag Purses (Bags) make unique guitar themed gifts!

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  • Mothers Day Gifts - Include your Poems

    Best Mothers Day Gifts -

    Write a Poem & make Spring Gift Baskets

    The best Mothers Day Gifts are Homemade. Whether it's a Mothers Day Poem or a photo Montage or something even more unique. One of my Violettes Composition Competition Finalists tells me he composes songs for Mothers Day gifts every year. Violettes has new personalized gifts to offer, where you send in photos to be fused into the items such as ipad cases, piano music bags, Photo on Slate Grand Piano Frame... See our section on Music Gifts and Cool Crafts/Presents. Most items on our web site make great Mothers Day Gifts - Add a Poem, and you're done.  I have always been fascinated with poems, and have written many for my children in cards as they grew up. I searched the internet to see what I came up with as far aw Mothers Day Poems to give you ideas to get started. - some are just Mothers Day quotes. ENJOY -

    catching a firefly;
    letting it go…
    mother’s day
    
    
    the groundskeeper rests
    against her stone…
    mother’s day
    
    
    i follow her recipe,
    but something’s missing…
    mother’s day
    by ed markowski

     

    For the Mom Who Does Everything (from Squidoo)

    Mom, I know you do the dishes

    And I know you cook the food

    I know you scrub down all the floors

    Even when you're in a bad mood.

    And every night you walk the dog

    While I'm watching all my shows

    On Thursday's you take out the trash

    And every spring you wash the windows.

    Mom, I know you're sad I'll go someday

    And leave you all alone

    But right now I'm only 35

    So what other place could I call home?

     

    For the mom who "gets it":
    Dear Mom,
    You're the bomb.
    Thanks for not raising me in a wigwam.
    (though, to be honest, I could've used some more trees of palm.)
    You didn't force me to pose for pics of prom,
    or play with that snotty neighbor kid Tom.
    I've always admired your sense of calm,
    and you let me stay up til 9 to watch a sitcom,
    Psst -- I'm going to miss you when you're embalmed.
    
    

    (Spoiler alert -- we're totally going to embalm you and put you on the front porch at Halloween.)

     

    Things My Mother Taught Me (from Splitcoaststampers)

    My Mother taught me LOGIC..."If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can't go to the store with me."

    My Mother taught me MEDICINE..."If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they're going to freeze that way."

    My Mother taught me TO THINK AHEAD..."If you don't pass your spelling test, you'll never get a good job!"

    My Mother taught me ESP..."Put your sweater on; don't you think that I know when you're cold?"

    My Mother taught me TO MEET A CHALLENGE..."What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

    My Mother taught me HUMOR..."When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

    My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT..."If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up.

    My mother taught me ABOUT SEX..."How do you think you got here?"

    My mother taught me about GENETICS..."You are just like your father!"

    My mother taught me about my ROOTS..."Do you think you were born in a barn?"

    My mother taught me about the WISDOM of AGE..."When you get to be my age, you will understand."

    My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION..."Just wait until your father gets home."

    My mother taught me about RECEIVING..."You are going to get it when we get home."

    And, my all-time favorite - JUSTICE..."One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like YOU -- then you'll see what it's like."

    Happy Mother's Day!

    Violin purse, guitar purse, paino purse My Mother with her favorite Violin Bag (one of the many Music Gifts that I have given her).

     

    Don't forget that if your Mom is a Music Fan, we have so many Music Gifts for Music Lovers including our custom painted guitar purse, violin bag, uke purse, piano bag, banjo & mandolin wallets. Fill any of them like Spring gift Baskets for a really special surprise.

    Get your Mothers Day Gifts today. Start at our home page.

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  • Support the Arts with SWING for JOY or purchase of UT Football Guitar Purses!

    Violettes by Becky is "Paying Forward" with Guitar Purse

    We sell our UT Football Guitar Purse to benefit the Joy of Music and now watch for details of full blown fundraiser with Target Golf Driving Range of Karns, TN -Save the Date, Sat. June 21!

    "Swing for Joy" is the fundraiser Violettes by Becky is planning with Target Golf for the benefit of Joy of Music of Knoxville, the Non Profit that gives free music lessons and instruments to those in need. Details of event include hitting golf balls, winning prizes and more prizes, food, and Moonbounce for your little ones! Watch for new prizes announced on our facebook page -   and please share to help us get the word out!

    Come out to hit some golf balls on June 21 9AM to 9PM - Target Golf is donating 100% of profits to Joy of Music ......Address of Target Golf Driving Range - 5321 West Beaver Creek Drive, Powell, TN 37849 (It is officially in Powell, however, you'll think of this area as Karns)

    Consider a $500 Corporate Sponsorship.

    In the morning, we will have Starbucks Coffee and Cinnamon Buns while they last!

    In the afternoon, Hotdogs, Mac -N- Cheese, Lemonade and Cookies while they last!

    Eat all weekend at Brixx Pizza in Turkey Creek to have a donation from your order go to Joy of Music!

    Prizes so far include Greens fees passes to Three Ridges, Dead Horse, Gettysvue, Avalon

    Prizes Also include - Bucket of Car Care from Pep Boys, 2 $25 Gift Certificates to Brixx Woodfired Pizza in  Turkey Creek, Schacolad chocolate piano, chocolate golf cart and chocolate golf balls, $50 gift certificate to Sports Academy, Box fresh Cinnabons, Meal coupons from Brazeiros, 2 passes for a Raft Trip with Smoky Mountain Rafting, Free Balls for Target Golf Driving Range - Watch for more to come!

    Guitar Purses Support Joy of Music School in Knoxville with a UT Football Guitar Purse purchase!

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  • Guitar Purse by Nashville Artist Rob Hendon

    Rob Hendon Enthused with New Guitar Art Project

    Notable Music City Artist takes on Violettes Guitar Purses

    What would you like to see on your Guitar Purse from notable guitar artist, Rob Hendon? Violettes is pleased to announce a partnership with Mr. Hendon!

    He is working on a Rob Hendon Signature Guitar Purse to create a high end wearable guitar art gift!

    Introduction to Rob Hendon -
    In 1985, Rob Hendon  took a full-time position with Capitol Records in Nashville.  Since 1989, Music Art, Guitar ArtHendon has held several executive positions on Nashville’s Music Row.

    His love of music soon re-inspired his love for painting. Having painted off and on since childhood, Hendon returned to painting after a lapse of several years. Rob quickly garnered the attention of Nashville art lovers.

    Initially painting beautiful flowers in vases and fields, Rob found much success and notoriety when he chose guitars as his muse.  An intense painter, Hendon’s works reflect his preference for brightly colored acrylic paints. His surfaces include canvas, wood, glass and metal. By using pallet knives to apply the paint and varnishes to coat his paintings, Rob achieves an even richer and more brilliant effect.

    Guitar Art, Guitar Purse, Music Art 35 Ft. Floor painting at Gibson Headquarters in Nashville.

    Rob Hendon’s name is fast becoming synonymous with guitars in the art world. His work covers the United States and several other countries. His guitar art can be seen in offices such as Warner Brothers Records, Warner Brothers Studios Nashville, Sony Records and Sony Music Publishing, Oceanway Studios, Big Machine Records, Billboard Magazine, EA Games, Paramount Pictures and Gibson Guitars. Hendon has had past displays at the Country Music Hall Of Fame and Museum and the Cowboy Hall Of Fame. Hendon’s work has appeared in many television shows on networks like ABC, ABC Family, CMT, HGTV, GAC, The History Channel and Palladia.

    Some of Hendon’s clients include Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Charlie Daniels, Steve Miller, Luke Bryan, Phil Vassar, Dierks Bentley, Eli Young Band and the late Les Paul.

    The Rob Hendon above introduction and guitar art photos are taken directly from his website. 

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    Guitar Art, Guitar Purse, Gifts for Guitar Players Top Handbag Brands - Win Guitar Purse -  See Link for other Guitar Art.
  • Pitch Perfect Trailer 2 Coming Soon Enough

    Pitch Perfect Trailer Photo from VOLume facebook page - contributing to making A Capella popular . Better than a Pitch Perfect Trailer.

    Pitch Perfect Trailer 2

    Perhaps this was like a "Pitch Perfect Trailer" for us. On Saturday, Feb.8, 2014, Violettes and company attended the International Championship of College A Cappella, (ICCA) South Quarterfinal Competition. The Varsity Vocals International Championship of A Cappella is the only international tournament that showcases the art of student a cappella singing.

    The sold out event was hosted for the first time ever at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville in the beautiful new music facility, the Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center. With the growing popularity of this kind of music, a larger facility will be needed in the near future. In my opinion, it was more exciting than the movie, “Pitch Perfect”. A movie that was in fact sponsored by the ICCA for the purpose of catapulting         a capella popularity. And because of the overwhelming success of this movie, there will be, in fact, “Pitch Perfect 2” due out in 2015.

    After recently getting a sample of high quality unaccompanied singing at the Cornell University’s Glee Club performance, when they toured thru Knoxville, it was wonderful to see the competition host students - UTK’s very own men’s a capella group, VOLume, founded in 2009. What a delightful surprise available to hire for corporate events and party entertainment.

    Synopsis of our A Capella outing by visiting Klexmer-Jazz composer, band leader and trumpeter, Paul Brody, who just released a new album with his band, Paul Brody's Sadawi, Behind All Words-Enja Records. 

    A Cappella 2014 Tournament

    While visiting my sister’s family in Knoxville I found something that is, despite globalization, rare in my adopted home of Berlin, Germany. We combed the events magazine to find an evening activity.  Classical music was out, plenty of that in Europe, country music would be too late for our eighty-eight year old Mom, and this winter’s chill prevented anything outdoors. So when we found the A Cappella competition hosted by the University of Tennessee, we struck gold.

    In Berlin my daughter dragged me to the movie, Pitch Perfect. She is half German and half American and loved the language and spunkiness of the characters in the film. Although it’s a Hollywood portrayal of college a cappella groups, after the movie we both felt as if we were missing out on something uniquely American by living in Europe. Was that just the sentimental nerves of Americans living abroad?

    The Knoxville competition was not staged by Hollywood but real students who have worked years to show what they learned in an allotted twelve minutes. Of course Europe offers a rich cultural life, but the energy that we felt in the university auditorium, the spontaneity, the rhythm of the steps stepping together, starting a tune in slow harmony then kicking in a beat box, inventing choreography between street dance, gymnastics and ballet, were far away from what inspires us in Europe.

    I will take some of what I saw back to Berlin. Not necessarily the excitement seeing the of the  winning groups,  The Vanderbilt Melodores and The Beltones of Belmont, both from Nashville,  but the groups that showed some rough edges, students pushing the limits of their dancing and singing capabilities. Not only music students, but chemistry majors, future engineers, historians and teachers from all around the country who love performing, live in another world for twelve minutes. The let’s make something happen thing of Americans.

    As a professional musician I benefit from great artistic opportunities in Europe, and I am happy to raise my children there, but every time I come back to the States I take a piece of American soul back with me, for myself, and to share.

    SHORT BIO

    Paul Brody is an American composer, writer, and trumpeter based in Berlin. He has written and produced programs for NPR and WDR and SWR in Germany, as well as hosted his own radio program in Berlin. He has toured the world extensively as a jazz and klezmer musician. Along with his own solo CDs and productions on EMI, Tzadik, and Enja records, he has performed with performers such as Barry White, Frank London, The Supremes, John Zorn, Shirley Bassey, David Krakauer, and David Moss.     www.paulbrody.net

     

    A Capella Review - Pitch Perfect 2

    PHOTO BY Dirk Hasskarl:  www.hasskarl.de

     

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  • Top 10 Gifts for Guitar Players, their wives, daughters and grand daughters

    Unique Christmas gifts for guitar players and music fans of all genres can be found at ViolettesbyBecky.com. Christmas season is here and it's time to make some gift decisions. We have sold special orders of his and hers guitar bags or orders with band logos. It may cost $5 to $25 extra to have a special order hand painted design.

    1) His and her Guitar bags by ViolettesbyBecky filled with strings and picks, such as the American Flag guitar or the Rock Star Guitar. http://www.violettesbybecky.com/products-violin-bags-piano-bags-guitar-purses/guitar-purses.html?p=2Guitar players are always in need of new guitar strings and picks. Strings break and need to be changed regularly anyway, so you can't go wrong here. Guitar picks are always getting lost, or just plain wear out a bit, so a package or handful of picks will also be appreciated by the guitarist. A slightly larger all black "man bag" is now available, with a cell pocket on the back.

    2) A guitar bag for your drummer to carry her/his drum Keys. Drummers are always losing things, especially their drum keys. Drum keys are used for tuning the drum heads on their set, so an extra drum key would also make a fine gift for the rock drummer on your Christmas list. And, Drummers are also constantly breaking their drum sticks, so a set or two of their preferred stick will also make an excellent Christmas gift. They can be clipped to the strap of the guitar bag. I nice choice for the bag would be the Rock star bag or the Blue Bag. http://www.violettesbybecky.com/products-violin-bags-piano-bags-guitar-purses/guitar-purses/guitars.html

    3) A guitar bag from Violettes to hold hearing protection: Ear plugs for the rock musician or rock music fan in your life is a good idea, whether they wear ear plugs or not. It's time they start - many rock musicians do wear ear plugs at practice and even on stage.  A nice bottle of magnesium supplements will also make a nice gift for rock musicians -- magnesium has been shown to protect the ears from loud noises and help prevent hearing loss. Most musicians don't even know this. Give them some magnesium and instruct them to take 500 mg before and after playing or practicing with their loud rock'n'roll band to help prevent hearing loss. We recommend the Sunset Wolf Guitar or  Long horn guitar for this purpose. http://www.violettesbybecky.com/products-violin-bags-piano-bags-guitar-purses/guitar-purses.html?p=5

    4) A guitar Bag to hold guitar polish:  A great music-related Christmas gift is a can of Gibson guitar polish. Many Guitar players are not aware that they can get guitar polish to bring back the new feel and look of a guitar. A bag filled with all of these goodies would be the Classy Lady or Holiday bag. ViolettesbyBecky has both red and black versions of this bag. See http://www.violettesbybecky.com/products-violin-bags-piano-bags-guitar-purses/guitar-purses/guitars.html 

    5) Microphones and mic cables: many musicians have some sort of home recording studio and are always in need of more microphones and microphone cables. There are many brands of microphones, but the number one pick for rock music is the Shure SM-57 for recording drums and guitars, and the Shure SM-58  which is a vocal mic which works great in the practice studio as well as the recording studio. Violettes has several mics and cables, and we have often had fun at home inviting kids over to give impromtu shows. You could have an open mic birthday party and give a guitar bag as a first prize! Or you could inquire about discounts for ordering quantity. A fun prize for this might be the Vintage Record Bag which comes in several colors, and other colors can be requested. See http://www.violettesbybecky.com/products-violin-bags-piano-bags-guitar-purses/guitar-purses/guitars/vintage-record-guitar.html 

    6) A guitar bag to hold CD's:  blank or not make great Christmas gifts! We have a new lot of guitar bags that are a little bit larger, and easily fit CD's with round cases. If you request these, they are $5 more. For another $5, you can get one with a cell phone compartment on the back. Photos of these coming very soon. Blank CDr discs an individual covers are great gifts for all musicians. Most musicians and music fans like to burn their own CDs of their music and distribute them to friends and family.  (Note: buy the regular "data" CDr discs -- the "music" CDr discs are intended for stand-alone CD burners and will not work on all computers).

    7) Guitar stands: Guitar stands are highly useful for home use or in the rehearsal studio. When a guitar or bass player takes off his guitar to take a break and where does he put it?Leaning a prized guitar against his guitar amp is risking it falling and breaking a head stock.

    8) Band Violettes guitar bags: Here's a novel idea for a Christmas gift -- if the rock musician on your Christmas list has a band with a cool logo, they will definitely appreciate a guitar bag special ordered from Violettes with their logo on a black back ground to carry many of the above Christmas gifts.

    9) A Violettes Guitar bag to carry  fingerless leather gloves: Fingerless leather gloves may be hard to find in stores but easy to find online. They are great to use when loading band gear. And they also fit in a Violettes guitar bag. Not only are they great for loading gear, they are just plain COOL and I guarantee the rock musician in your life will appreciate a pair.

    10) Gift certificates to both Violettes and the Guitar Center or any local music store that your musician likes best: You just can't go wrong with a gift certificate.

    There you have it... ten excellent Christmas gifts.

  • Knoxville News Sentinel - Musical Gift Ideas or Purse Strings from ViolettesbyBecky.com In Sept. 2013

    Musical Gift ideas from ViolettesbyBecky.com is in the news.

    Violettesbybecky.com  was in the Knoxville News Sentinel in September of 2013. There are inaccuracies, but the story is presented nicely. Thank You Knoxville News Sentinel.

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