Steve Clayton Blog

Andrew Synowiec

You may not have heard of Andrew Synowiec by name, but chances are you have heard his guitar playing. Whether on the theme to The NFL on FOX, the CBS hit drama Without A Trace, a blockbuster movie trailer or a Billboard hit, Andrew is one of LA’s busiest young session musicians.  Andrew has recorded for an incredibly diverse spectrum of artists  ranging from Aimee Mann to Rob Zombie.  He has garnered five Grammy nominations and contributed to records selling over 10 million copies worldwide.  In addition, Andrew plays on numerous film and commercial music sessions for clients such as Sony, Warner Bros., Universal, MGM, Disney, New Line Cinema and many others.  Productions featuring his performances achieve numerous top positions on the Billboard Charts and continue to be broadcast all over the world. Andrew’s live performances take him around the globe to venues ranging from The Blue Note in Tokyo, Japan to New York City’s own Madison Square Garden.  He has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, MTV, VH1 and performed with a wide range of recording artists from indie rockers A Fine Frenzy to platinum-selling American Idol winner Jordin Sparks.  Andrew is also the youngest member of the acclaimed LA Big Band, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.  He recently recorded their latest album, which features guest artists Lee Ritenour, Chick Corea, and Patti Austin.  As a member of the Phat Band, Andrew has performed with Nataile Cole, Manhattan Transfer, and Johnny Mathis. Andrew’s productions and arrangements have been released by EMI records, performed by the United States Air Force Band, and can be heard on ABC, FOX and MTV.  Andrew holds a Master’s Degree in Music from the University of Miami, where he performed with some of the most renowned artists in Jazz including Maria Schneider, Vince Mendoza, Joe Lovano, David Liebman, Bob Berg, Bob Mintzer, Jim McNeely and James Moody.  He was twice honored with Down Beat Magazine’s Outstanding Performance Award. He is endorsed by Taylor Guitars, Aiken Amplification, Elixir Strings, TC Electronic and Mogami Cables.

http://www.andrewsynowiec.com

(Endorsed with Clayton Since 2010).

CUSTOM DRUM STICKS!!

You’ve been waiting for them, and they’re finally here!! Clayton USA is now offering custom drumsticks! You can check out our new site at: http://claytoncustom.com/drumsticks/. These are professional-quality sticks made of the finest American Hardwood, and they are available in size 2b. All of the custom drumsticks are 16″ in length. They can be used as a novelty items, give-aways, or (of course) for playing! They are available for single color or full color designs. Pricing starts at five pairs for only $44.00!! Quantities of up to 50 pairs are listed on our site, and if you call us we can provide pricing for higher quantities as well. So start designing today, to get your new custom drum sticks as soon as possible!!!

Pick of the Week – Patrick Vega

We have another endorsed artist this week! This time it is for Patrick Vega! Patrick’s pick featured this week is printed on our Acetal material with a lovely colorful design.  Patrick has ordered tons of different designs in the past from us, so he is quite the guitar pick designer. Our custom imprint department talks to Patrick quite often and they all really love him.  Patrick showed the love back by doing a video all about Clayton picks! Which is totally awesome! Check it out below.

A little background on Patraick is that he is a player that is capable of great technique. In general though, he follows the unexpected, adventurous route rather than the (expected) technical/theory route. Alternate tunings, tasty leads and heavy but ambitious rhythm guitar parts that are accessible yet eclectic.

Patricks’s playing and songwriting displays a blend of vintage grace & modern rock/metal attitude. The music is influenced by acts such as Nine Inch Nails, Alice In Chains, Joe Satriani, The Cure, Rage Against The Machine, KoRn, Puddle Of Mudd, Seether, Tool, Classic Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, PJ Harvey, Tricky, Ozzy Osbourne, Vega’s former guitar teacher Brett Garsed and various movie soundtracks.

All I can say is Way Cool! Check out his website at: http://www.patrickvega.com

Pick of the Week – Eldebrock

This week we have a different style of pick.  This is a full black overbleed on our Acetal material.  It looks like a black pick, but it actually is white on the other side.  This is a great option because you get the look of a black pick, but it is printed on our popular Acetal material.  We really loved Eldebrock’s design, plus they are an endorsed band here at Clayton. They have a very cool website at: www.eldebrock.net. Really, it is quite impressive there is some amazing flash animation on their site.  They currently have just released their debut album, which can be downloaded on iTunes. Their music is really unique, and they have clips of it on their website, so make sure to listen.  The band Eldebrock took shape in the early spring of 2009 when founding member, Del Bannerman(rhythm guitar), along with Richard Lalonde (bass guitar), recruited Jay Wegenast from Vancouver B.C. as the lead singer. The spring and summer of 2009 was spent in a small town in Saskatchewan writing the music for the debut album. Barrett Moore (lead guitar), who grew up with Jay in Forestburg, Alberta joined in late 2009 adding his own touch of Zakk Wylde and Slash influenced lead guitar to the tracks that finished off the sound they were going for.

Pick of the Week – Rock Sugar

This week we have a pick from the band Rock Sugar! You have to check out their website at: http://www.rocksugarband.com/. They have an amazing intro on their website. Here is a little description about their live show:

“THE ROCK SUGAR LIVE SHOW IS UNLIKE ANY YOU’VE EVER SEEN. ROCK SUGAR SLAMS 34 OF THE BIGGEST CROWD PLEASING SONGS IN HISTORY AS THEY’VE NEVER BEEN HEARD BEFORE, INTO ONE TIGHT 13 SONG SET. SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT!– “
This lovely pearl celluloid pick is printed with a purple and blank blended logo. It was made for the band guitarist and vocalist Chuck Duran. Also, make sure to check out their facebook page, where they have over 22,000 likes! Wow!

Pick of the Week – Bret Michaels

So pretty much everyone knows who Bret Michaels is.  If for some reason you don’t, he is the guy who is practically everwhere you look! He started his career as the lead singer of the metal band Poisen. He also starred in the hit shows, Rock of Love with Bret Michaels , its sequels, and was the winning contestant on NBC’s reality show Celebrity Apprentice 3.  He is also known for his signature bandanna.  Bret is an endorsed artist here at Clayton.  We have done a couple different picks for him, which are shown below.  Also below is a picture of him on stage using our picks. Currently Bret has a new show on VH1 called Bret Michaels: Life as I Know It., which is on Monday nights at 10/9 central, and repeats countless times a day on VH1. If you have not seen it yet please click this link to see a full episode of his amazing new reality show: http://www.vh1.com/shows/bret_michaels_life_as_i_know_it/series.jhtml Bret is also currently touring right now on his ROSES & THORNS TOUR. To check out if he is coming to a venue near you please check out his tour date schedule: http://www.bretmichaels.com/2010/schedule_files/schedule.htm

Pick of the Week – Ian Lee

This week is a nice full color imprint on our white pearl celluloid.  Pearl Celluloid is a great choice for your custom picks. Especially if you are looking for a great promotional pick that will get peoples attention!  Ian Lee has a solo project rather than a band and is located in Montreal Canada.  His genre is English and French Pop Rock. His  single ”La fin du monde” went to #1 of the ADISQ  Rock Billboard in 2009, which is amazing.  Also he has a new record that came out in stores and itunes on nov 9th. The new single ”Ta dependance” can be heard on radios throughout canada as well as satellite radio. His English album ”Crash” with the hit ”fallen” from 2007 is already on sale on iTunes. To find out more details on Ian Lee, make sure to check out his website at: http://www.ian-lee.com/

Thanksgiving Sale!!

We wanted to let you know that we are having our Clayton Custom Guitar Picks annual Thanksgiving Sale!! We sent out our e-mail blast today with the discount code, but in case you did not get it, the code is NOV10. This discount is for 15% off any order of custom guitar picks, and it is for three days only (November 15th-17th)! All you have to do is visit our site at www.claytoncustom.com to design your pick. You will be able to place your order directly online, and there will be a prompt for the discount code. Enter in NOV10 (all capital letters, no spaces) to receive your discount. Pricing for custom picks starts at only $24.99! This offer only applies to orders placed with us online. If you have trouble using the discount code, please contact us directly. Also, bear in mind that orders placed using the code can sometimes have a longer production time than what is listed on our site. Happy Thanksgiving from Clayton!

Pick of the Week – Deadbeat Darling

This is a great logo on a great pick! This simple, yet creative logo looks so nice on our Acetal guitar pick. Below is a description all about Deadbeat Darling. “Equal parts mischief and bliss, eloquence and irreverence, Deadbeat Darling is a New York City-based rock band whose music shimmers with hints of dub and electronica, and has thus far inspired a rabid and eclectic  fanbase solely upon word of mouth. They released their debut full length album “Weight of Wandering”during the Summer of 2009, followed by a sold out show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City and a run of album release shows throughout Texas and the Midwest…” To find out more about this band visit their website.  Also make sure to check out their creative video below.

Pick of the Week – Sixteen Cities

This week we have an awesome White Delrin Guitar pick, with full color imprinting.  The bright colors of this graphic, look really sharp on this pick. Sixteen Cities is a really amazing pop-rock band from Portland, OR.  Not too far away from us here in Talent, OR.  This band, just recently had their album “Pray You Through” featured on a recent episode of the popular WB show “One Tree Hill”.  They are currently on tour with the band Remedy Drive, and will be touring all over the South and Midwest.  If you are in any of those areas, make sure to check out their tour schedule.  For more information on this band visit their website at: www.sixteencities.com or check them out on their Facebook page.

A Guide to Changing your Strings

I once owned a guitar shop, with a repair department, and replaced many guitar strings. Here are a few good tips, I would like to share with you.
Guitar Strings

Removing old strings
Using a string winder, and starting from the low E string, unwind the string, until you are able to
disengage it from the hole in the machine head. Work across the guitar repeating this procedure. This will place the least amount of stress on your neck and body.
Do not simply cut the strings using wire cutters. This method can be dangerous, and places a sudden stress release within the guitar neck. It also makes
for twice the amount of wire to dispose of. Next, using the string puller, ” the notch on the end of the string crank cup” , carefully pull out each string’s peg, keeping track of which peg, came from which string. Wrap
each string back into a circle, and lock loop with one end. Try to make the circle small enough to fit into the envelope, that your new strings will be removed from.
In this way, everything is nice and neat, and there is less change of injury.

Polishing and conditioning your neck
Now is the time to use your favorite guitar polish, and clean your instrument, especially around the sound hole. This is also the time to determine, weather your fret board needs conditioning.
There are many good polishes and fret board conditioners on the market. Personally, I like to remove any dirt and grease that has built up behind the frets. I find that trying to remove all traces
of build up, is unnecessary, and can lead to damaging your neck. Harsh chemicals will dry out the wood, and water tends to swell the wood. So, I just use a clean cloth and gently remove most of the grease, using the fret board conditioner.
Leaving a little grease behind isn’t going to hurt anything. If you get to aggressive, and trying to remove all of it, you may do more harm than good.

Installing new strings
This is the time to find yourself a lead pencil. Before replacing your strings, take the sharp lead pencil, and rub the lead into the string slots on the top nut. This will add a little graphite, and help to release uneven tension when you tune up your guitar. Your guitar will stay in tune better. Un-package your new strings, as needed.  Stay organized. Starting with the bass E string, place the end ball back into the saddle, and orient the slot in the peg to fit the string. Press the peg all the way down while pulling a little tension on the string, with the other hand. You are trying to find the end of your string ball, while pressing the peg into the hole. Take the other end, being careful, wind it around the machine head’s pole 2-3 times, rotating counter clock wise, on the bass side and clock wise on the treble side.   After placing the end of the wire through the hole, pull it tight. Now, begin turning the machine head, placing more tension on the string. No string should be laying over another string. Check to see that the 2-3 windings are holding, and look correctly. Do this with all 6 strings. Using an electronic tuner or pitch pipe, slowly bring the bass string up to full note tension. Do this with all 6 strings. Don’t wast your time trying to tune each string. Relative pitch will work for now.  If your G string is a wrapped, be slow to bring it up to tone. It contains the thinnest core wire within the set and is the easiest to break. Worry about the G string, and then the top E string. Bring all of your strings up to tune, working your way from the bass to the treble. Using a good pair of small wire cutters, cut off the excess wire leaving 1/8′ outside the hole.

Pre-stretching your strings
Your new strings will not stay in tune, until they have had time to stretch out. If you don’t plan to play, tune it up, and leave it for a day or two,  re-tuning when you have a chance. I have rarely done this, as I usually want to start playing. Additionally, I want my guitar to stay in tune, without constantly retuning… Here is a away, to help remove most of the built in slippage from your strings.  Care must be taken, or you will break strings. As the strings become thinner, you must use less pressure.   With your guitar fully tuned to E, place it horizontally on a padded table top, and/or  your lap with the bass string nearest you.  Grasp the bass E string with both hands. The wire should be between your four fingers and your thumbs. Hands spread apart, with approx. a half inch space between your two thumbs, start bending the string.  Pull with your fingers, while bending in the opposite direction. Do this moving up and down the neck. You are working the bindings. You should be very careful bending your G string, especially if it has an outer wrapping. This is the string, which will always break first, until you learn this technique.  Turn your guitar around now, and do the same thing in the opposite direction, starting from high E to low E. Once you have learned this technique, you will be likely use it, as it makes a huge difference in the time it takes to keep your guitar in tune. It might be wise, to purchase an extra single G and E string. In the beginning, your G,B, and high E,  are the strings that break most frequently.

I have been playing guitar consistently for over 35  years, and haven’t broken a string in 20 years. Though in the beginning , I broke them on a regular basis. Remember, take care and be careful. Try to stay organized, you and your guitar will experience less stress. Above all have fun.

Pick of the Week – JamiSun

This week we have a full color sun graphic on our Acetal Rounded Triangle picks. Very cool!  This was created by JamiSun, who is a Charleston guitarist/singer/songwriter.  He is pretty much booked with gigs everyday in his area, which is very impressive. His styles range from John Mayer to Pantera.  He has a great website at: http://www.JamiSun.com/
So make sure to check it out. Also if you live in the Charleston area, check out his schedule so you can go listen to his amazing music!

Pick of the Week – Hot Neon Magic

This is a bright one! Neon Yellow and Pink are the colors on this guitar pick! Wow is it bright! Check out their website at: http://www.hotneonmagic.com/

I love the way the band dresses, and I even love their band bio “Relive the skinny ties, spandex and synthesizers with Vermont’s premier 1980s cover band. Rock out to hours of totally awesome tunes from when MTV was king” It is so great to see such a neat 80’s cover band.  We also love how their guitar pick really gets the message across about who their band is! Also check them out on facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/hotneonmagic

Pick of the Week – Bleu

This week we have another pick on our Acetal material! This one is by a artist named Bleu. His is an accomplished musician and his song “Somebody Else” is featured on the “Spider-Man” (the first one)  movie sound track. That is quite impressive! To find out more about him visit his social networking sites:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bleu/46728493292?v=info
http://www.myspace.com/loudlion

The picks were actually ordered as a birthday gift for him. His crew came up with a very unique way in which to present them to him.  We thought it was such a great idea! Those Clayton picks sure look yummy! 🙂

Muck and The Mires

Band from Boston, Massachusetts signs with Clayton.  Once Evan Shore, from the band discovered we do custom guitar picks he switched the whole band to Clayton custom picks.  On 2004, the group released its first proper album, Beginner’s Muck, on their AMP label.  This band was featured on MTV as they were the co-winners of Little Steven’s Underground Garage Battle of the Bands.  Kim Fowler produced the band and they have had huge success since the start.  We are so happy to endorse such a great rock band.  Bring your rock to Steve Clayton’s custom picks like Muck and The Mires have!  Just click on start now and get your custom picks today!  For more information and shows for the band click on Muck and The Mires.

Pick of the Week – Lynyrd Skynyrd

This week is a pick by the very famous band Lynrd Skynyrd. This pick is a full bleed on our Acetal Rounded Triangle .80mm guitar picks. It turned out really amazing! Almost everyone knows this bands songs. If you were to turn the radio to classic rock you are bound to hear their popular hits “Sweet Home Alabama” or “Free Bird.”  The Lynyrd Skynyrd band is in the rock’n roll hall of fame as they have sold millions of albums.  Robert Kearns, the current bassist asked us to put together his artwork and we place it on his acetal rounded triangle picks.  We think the artwork came out great!  Below are some links to hear more about this classic American band:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynyrd_Skynyrd
http://www.lynyrdskynyrd.com/

Pick of the Week – John Karl

This week we selected a guitar pick by country artist John Karl.  He designed this amazing pick on our white delrin material. We love the detailed design and beautiful shades of blue.  Below is a bio about this talented artist:

“John was a success before even moving to Nashville. Nominated for North East CMA Entertainer of the Year and Best Male Vocalist, John has had a No. 1 on the MP3.com country chart with “There Goes the Neighborhood” and “Small Town” was featured in the movie American Reunion. “If you want to know where country is headed, just give a listen to John Karl,” says Rodney Phelps, a top Nashville attorney who also worked with Garth Brooks and Chris Cagle

John won the local Colgate Country Showdown in Upstate NY and had a song on Christian Country Radio with “Just Love Her” in 2003. He has toured the USA and opened for acts Ricochet, Daryl Worley and Craig Morgan just to name a few. He has played lots of festivals, including Nashville’s CMA Festival and was the house artist in 2008 at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville.

John Karl is the next big thing, with the right attitude, music, and performance style. He can get wild and pull out a tear-jerker right behind it. He knows what the fans want and he gives it to them.

Growing up in Niskayuna, N.Y., John has loved music all of his life and began singing at a young age. After high school he studied Graphic Design, was part of a professional water-ski team called the Coors Light U.S. Water-ski Show Team where he produced and performed the show and was a local Club DJ. While singing at a ski team function, a local funder made him an offer he could not refuse and helped him go to Nashville.

John moved to Nashville on Labor Day of 2002. He spent the next two years learning everything he could about the Nashville music business. He networked and got into writing circles and formed the duo Kalamity Jane. Soon after John went solo and began work on his self-produced album Redneck Rich Hillbilly Happy, released 2007.

As singer/songwriter John has a knack for a well turned phrase and is looking forward to his new CD “Are You Ready For This”. Due out in late August 2010.”

To find out more information about John, please visit his website at: www.johnkarl.net Also, you can download one of his new songs for free on his website! Use code JK1927CBY on the download page and enter you information and the code.

Pick of the Week, El Cheapo

El Cheapo is a rock & roll cover band from Atlanta, GA fronted by “Stuff You Should Know” podcast host Chuck Bryant. They’ve been known to tear apart a basement or two and wake the neighbors in the name of a good time. After years of working day jobs, getting married and having babies, the band formed in 2007 under the original name The Cox Project. After toiling away for a year without a rhythm section, lead guitarist Eddie Cooper, bassist Chris Cox and Bryant landed a score in drummer Jim Issa, and El Cheapo was born.

The guys use Fender and Gibson guitars and amps, and Tama drums. Their original Steve Clayton pick was inspired by their loud, fast and nasty brand of rock & roll, and love of cheap beer. They can be found in various basements playing for their pet dogs, or rocking the house of 40th birthday parties around Atlanta.

Pick of the Week, Trees on Fire

This week we selected a pick on our Green Delrin pick material, by a group named Trees on Fire. The quintet’s first full-length album Organica connects the dots between rock, dance, roots, and pop music. Recorded in Virginia and Louisiana, Organica takes listeners from the heights of the ancient Blue Ridge Mountains to the buzzing swamps and bayous of the bottom-land. Produced by Rob Evans, Eric Heigle, and Trees on Fire, the exciting original music captured on this recording is only a part of the legacy the band hopes to leave behind.

The band has raised awareness and funds for a number of organizations over its four years in existence, including Sierra Club, Appalachian Voices, Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, Building Goodness Foundation, Climate Ride, Chesapeake Climate Action Network and others. Trees on Fire was voted “Greenest Regional Band” by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and had a song featured on Sierra Club’s national website earlier this year. The band will donate 5% of proceeds from its debut album to both Atchafalaya Basinkeeper and Appalachian Voices in an effort to keep their important work moving forward.

What an amazing and inspirational band! Check more out at their website: treesonfire.com

Pick of the Week, Bon Journey

This week we are featuing an amazing pick done on our white pearl celluloid picks.  This is a multi-color imprint with an overbleed print. It is hard to see in the picture, but we use transparent colors on our pearl picks, so you can still see the pearl pattern behind the ink.  It makes the image look almost like stained glass. This pick is for one of our newly endorsed bands, Bon Journey. Bon Journey is a Bon Jovi, and Journey Tribute band. They are awesome. They even won best of Pittsburgh! To find out more information about Bon Journey visit their website at: http://www.thebonjourneyshow.com Don’t forget to check out a video of them below:

Ultem Picks, #1 In Customer Ratings

The ultem picks are my personal favorite guitar pick to play with.  These picks are great because they provide a good grip and are a strong durable material.  They also provide an appealing transparent look.  Just recently we had mentioned about how on our Musician’s Friend’s website the Steve Clayton ultem standard guitar picks are ranked first in customer ratings.  I personally prefer to play my acoustic guitar with the ultem picks as it provides consistent tone and volume.  Recently I have noticed some excellent art work on our ultem guitar picks as pictured.  If you are ordering your ultem custom picks make sure to let us know what color ink you would like.  It does not cost more to put our red, brown and black ink on the ultem pick.  If you haven’t tried our ultem picks out yet, you are definitely missing out.  Place your order today and have fun with our custom ultem guitar picks!   Just go to steveclayton.com and click on clayton custom.

Find More Steve Clayton Guitar Picks Through Our Friends

Did you know that you can purchase Clayton picks at  www.musiciansfriend.com and www.amazon.com?  Both of these sites have a huge selection of our products. Below are some of Musician’s Friends exclusive guitar pick line from us.   If you’ll notice when you go to the guitar picks section in  Musicians Friend’s website you’ll find us first in customer ratings.  Our Clayton Ultem Standard Guitar Picks have the highest in customer ratings. This is because we take we take pride in producing the finest guitar accessories. You’ll find many of our Clayton picks like our acetals, colored delrins, pearls, and other stock picks.  Not only can you find more guitar picks on Musicians Friend, but you can also buy from www.amazon.com.  If you like to collect guitar picks or are looking for a quality guitar pick, be sure take a look at these fine online retailers for our products:

Clayton Products at Musicians Friend

Clayton Products at Amazon

Pick of the Week, The Rick Copus Band

This week we are featuring a full color Acetal pick, by the Rick Copus Band.  We loved the shading of the blue and black in this custom guitar pick.

“The Rick Copus Band formed in the summer of 2008. A group of professional musicians working and playing in bands and various worship teams in Bakersfield formed to make this powerful blend of rock and worship music, to serve our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rick Copus has been a professional musician since the mid 80’s; after becoming a Christian in 1995, Rick joined his church worship team and began serving the Lord with his music. In 1998 Rick formed a band from the worship team in Bakersfield called Formerly Blue, playing in coffee houses and festivals, the band made a CD(Pickin’ Up The Pieces), and was very popular in Bakersfield until their breakup in 2000.”

Now he has gone on to form The Rick Copus Band. We really like this band, as they are putting their music to good use trying to help people with cerebral palsy. It is through disability life experiences, that Rick, the band, and their families are dedicated to disability ministry. Such a great cause!
Please be sure to find out more about the band at their website is: www.therickcopusband.org

Independent Artist Sally Debauchery Signs With Steve Clayton

Sally Debauchery is an independent artist and model that works with many bands.  When she was 17 years old she received her first bass as a gift from her friend, Shavo Odadjian, from the band System of a Down.  In 2009, Debauchery has made a guest appearance, recording bass on Team Cybergeist’s song “Justified.” Debauchery chooses Steve Clayton picks because she has a hard time finding the right size pick in stores. She likes to use our 1.26mm acetal guitar picks.  She has been using our picks for years and claims she is hooked on them.  Debauchery and many other bassist are finding the heavy gauge acetal picks are a great choice. Sally is determined to pave the way for female musicians as she continues to leave her mark on the entertainment industry.  For more information about Sally Debauchery you can find her on myspace, or her website http://www.myspace.com/ddevild0ll

Pick of the Week, The Ray Johnston Band

This week we selected a bright orange delrin pick by The Ray Johnston Band for Pick of the week.  Our colored delrin picks can only be printed with black ink, but they sure can get an audiences attention! The band also ordered their design on our yellow delrin and pearl celluloid picks. You may have noticed we did a blog earlier about this band, here. They are a true inspiration!  This pick was created to help Ray Johnston promote a new web series featuring him.  Below is the synopsis of the program by HDNet: “HDNet is proud to introduce a new series presenting the journey of cancer survivor and former Dallas Maverick Ray Johnston and his band as they travel across the country trying to make it in the music business. The band’s journey is only a part of the story, however. The larger part of this behind-the-scenes series is the uplifting story of the band’s leader, Ray Johnston and his heroic battle with leukemia. While still trying to beat the disease, he is pursuing a new dream, traveling across country with The Ray Johnston Band. Some of the band’s performances will be fundraisers for The Ryan Gibson Foundation or TRGF.TRGF (www.trgf.org) is a Dallas based non-profit organization that supports leukemia research throughout the U.S. Ryan Gibson, like Ray Johnston, had a passion for finding a cure for leukemia. Now, through the talent of he and his band, Ray will be spreading the word about the importance of leukemia research as well as raising funds for TRGF.”

The series premieres on April 25th, 8pm eastern, so make sure to watch his inspirational journey only on HDNet. Or visit his website at: http://www.rayjohnstonband.com/

Supporting Music Makes Music from Steve Clayton

Music Makes Music “MMM” is a non-profit organization that goes to schools to perform and educate students about the importance of music.   MMM inspires students to get involved with music which in then impacts students interest levels to finish their education.  Schools that have a music program are seeing higher attendance and graduation rates.  A 2006 Harris poll, showed that schools who have a music program are getting 97% of students to attend and graduate versus 72.9% for schools without a music program.  Karen Zgonc, the VP of Marketing and Development, contacted us and we are excited to work with them.  Here are the picks we have created for them.  If you would like to support the Music Makes Music organization you may go to their website musicmakesmusic.org

Pick of the Week, Dylan Duncan

This week we selected a beautiful pencil sketch that we reproduced on our Acetal guitar picks by Dylan Duncan.  Dylan explained the purpose of the bicycle on his pick to us below: “The bicycle art and Bicycle on the Ice song on the record, is inspired by an old photograph taken in 1962 by my dad in Vermont. It’s a great photo of a bicycle alone on an iced over lake and the feeling I got from the picture seemed to take on a whole new meaning that related to my own life. At the time I was feeling like I didn’t belong where I was currently living and so when I stumbled upon the lone bicycle on the ice, I realized it, too, didn’t belong where it was. I felt the need to write about it and it became one of the central themes and inspired the album artwork, including corresponding materials like
buttons and these guitar picks.
”  We thought this was an amazing way to let your music be inspired, even by the most unexpected things. Dylan has an album set to be released this summer called What To Keep & Let Go.  He currently has a great blog that you can follow while he creates his album located at: http://www.dylanduncan.com/whattokeep

Or for music samples of his work you can visit his myspace site at: www.myspace.com/dylanduncan

New Featured Artist From Lynyrd Skynyrd “Robert Kearns”

Robert Kearns is now our featured artist!  He is the current bassist from Lynyrd Skynyrd and will be touring with them for 2010. The band talks about his audition and how they were impressed by his talent in the video below. Kearns chooses to play with our acetal rounded triangle picks. He enjoys how they feel when he plays with them and says they create a better tone than other guitar picks. Kearns is also from the south and fits right in with the band. We are looking forward to his year with the hall of famers and wish the best luck! To find out more about Robert Kearns and Lynyrd Skynyrd you can visit their website www.lynyrdskynyrd.com

Pick of the Week, Forgetful Jones

This week we selected a pick from the band Forgetful Jones . They are a really cool band from Boston that plays a eclectic style of Hard Rock, Funk, Reggae, and Blues. They are quoted as their music being a “reflection of their individual and collective struggles, trials and triumphs”  Their music is influenced by legendary artists which include James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers.  Their pick is printed on our white delrin .80mm material. We love this pick, because it really shows how detailed we can get with our printing.  All of those little tiny circles really came out crisp and clean. We also love the red and black combo. It is great pick that really gets the bands name out to their fans.  You can find out more about the band Forgetful Jones on their myspace page at: http://www.myspace.com/fjrock. If you are in the  Massachusetts area please be sure to check this band out!

New endorsed band “Kauze” to hit the scene

Formed in 2005 the band Kauze is a heavy-metal band located in Southern California.  They enjoy using our acetal picks and are big fans of our picks.  They created a debut EP titled “Waiting for the Punch” released in 2006.  They just had their latest EP release “Epiphany.”  The new EP was supported during their 2009 tour and have up coming shows for 2010. Kauze likes to say they sound like old-school hardcore punk and metal.  We look forward to supporting the band and hope the best for them this year.  You can find out more info on the band at www.myspace.com/kauzetunes