LFR races for its season in Duel LCQ

first_imgDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –- Wally Rogers doesn’t look at a clipboard when he wants to see some of the notes associated with the setup of his team’s car.He looks at his hand.”It’s all right there,” Rogers, crew chief for the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford, said, laughing as he pointed at the numbers etched in ink across the palm of his left hand.Old school? Yeah, Rogers is that. He’s driven, optimistic and talented. He’s also waging one of the more difficult battles inside the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage these days. “I don’t see how it’s going to fail. It can’t fail. We have too many good people in place to make it right.”—Scott Speed, driver of the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford Along with team owner Bob Leavine and driver Scott Speed, Rogers is attempting to build and field a competitive race team with far less funding and far fewer employees than the majority of the teams filling the Cup garage here this week at Daytona International Speedway.There are teams here that have more engineers than LFR has employees on its payroll.A year ago, the upstart Leavine Family Racing team added road courses to its itinerary and attempted 19 races, with Speed qualifying for 17. This year, they’ve added a superspeedway program, and based on their finish in the Budweiser Duel, may or may not find themselves competing in the biggest race of the season come Feb. 24.A disappointing qualifying run –- Speed was 35th fastest on pole day –- means there’s no room for error when the first of two qualifying races get under way today.”We had some issues, some mistakes we made as a group that kind of held us back a little bit,” Rogers said. “We kind of dug ourselves in our own little hole.”I guess if there’s a bad side of the good window, I think that’s where we’re at. The biggest thing working against us right now is that there are only two cars behind us in (owner) points … our speed is mediocre. If one of those other two guys (Brian Keselowski and Mike Bliss) race their way in, that’s going to put us in a tough spot.”That being the case, Rogers says the team has a simple game plan. “Go like hell,” he said. “Nah, we need to be cautiously aggressive and see how it all plays out. From what I saw (in practice), the car in drafting is pretty good. We stopped early because we didn’t want to put ourselves in a bad spot. … As long as we have a good enough position in the (qualifying) race, we should have a good finish.”Sleepless NightsLeavine admits he is “apprehensive” about what the 2013 season holds for his young team. “There are nights I lay in bed and question myself,” he said. He knows he started his own construction business more than 35 years ago with $2,500 seed money and built it into one that now generates just under $100 million a year. “We worked hard. People believed in us,” he said. “And little by little, the company grew.”Racing, however, is expensive. And without sponsorship, the money he has earmarked to get the program off the ground will be gone.”At the end of the year, if we don’t have a sponsor, I guess we’re not offering something they want,” Leavine said. “I didn’t get it right. Then I’ll spend x number of years trying to make that money back. Because I know how to work. I’m not real smart at times, but the good Lord gave me the ability to work.”Qualifying for the Daytona 500, he said, isn’t so much about the potential for exposure; it’s about the challenge.”We’re a small team; for us, it’s our best chance of placing well. So that convinced me of that. But it’s also our biggest chance of (wrecking) cars, too. But if you survive … .”Failure Is Not An Option”I don’t see how it’s going to fail,” Speed, who spent two years with Red Bull Racing before that program folded, said. “It can’t fail. We have too many good people in place to make it right. “Speed likens the move to LFR to that of leaving a “big ship for a little speed boat,” and that because the team is small “it feels almost like you have a vested interest in it.”It’s way more personal,” he said. “I’m super lucky to have something, be involved with Bob and now Terance (Mathis).”Mathis, the former Atlanta Falcon all-pro, came on board this season, and is the guiding force behind helping to “build a buzz around the team.”Previous attempts to ingrain himself in the sport failed to pan out, Mathis said, in part, because he had little to offer in terms of a team or program.”Nobody’s going to give me money to build from scratch,” he said. “Now I have something to sell, it’s proven, it’s growing, and it has great potential. Now, I do what I do.”Speed had a best finish of 17th last season as the team raced when the funds allowed and called it a day early when they didn’t.”It’s just a matter of not overstepping our reach, not spreading ourselves way too thin,” Speed said. “I think we’ve done a reasonable job with that. Just stick to what we can do and do that as well as we can and then when the opportunity comes, which I’m sure it will, we’ll be ready to grow and build off of it.” Leavine Family Racing seeks Daytona 500 berth for full-time future ___________________________________________________________________________________________We apologize. We are having technical issues with our comment sections and fan community and it is temporarily unavailable. We are actively working on these issues and hope to have it up and running soon. We are also working on enhancements to provide a better forum for our fans. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience.last_img read more

Watch Pro-Shot Footage Of Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi & Warren Haynes Playing ‘Space Captain’

first_imgEric Clapton routinely hosted the Crossroads Guitar Festival, showcasing the many talented musician who play the six-stringed instrument. With such great artists coming together for these events, it’s no surprise that Clapton is planning to release a best-of compilation from his Crossroads Festival, spotlighting some of the top performers who have ever played the guitar.With the new release due out on July 1st, Clapton and his team have been sharing footage from Crossroads Festivals past. Naturally, our jaws dropped when we came upon this newly-released video of Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes jamming out on the classic tune “Space Captain,” written by Matthew Moore but popularized by Joe Cocker. Taken from the 2010 Festival, Tedeschi, Trucks and Haynes are joined by some elite talent in their band, including David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, Chris Stainton and more!Check out the “Space Captain” jam session below.[H/T JamBase]last_img read more

Marcus Rezak Gets Us Excited For His All-Star Birthday Jam With Members Of The Disco Biscuits & RAQ

first_imgOn October 13th, guitarist Marcus Rezak will celebrate his 33rd birthday. Naturally, Rezak called up a few friends to celebrate his birthday – as one does – and turned the occasion into an all-out jam celebration. Cue to SuperNatural Beings, a Rezak-led supergroup that will come together on the 13th for an all-star birthday throwdown.The show features Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits), Todd Stoops (RAQ/Electric Beethoven) and Allen Aucoin (The Disco Biscuits), each bringing some serious heat to the table. “Performing last year with Marc Brownstein and Todd Stoops at Brooklyn Comes Alive was a blast, and Allen Aucoin and I have performed several times with the Stratosphere All-Stars and at Magic Beans Festival this year. I’ve played with Stoops the most out of all three over the last two years, he is one of my most trusted keyboardists to perform with. Finding the time with everyone’s busy schedules was tough, but I am thrilled to have us all together to make a special night of music to ring my 33rd trip around the sun in my hometown of Chicago.”The show will take place at the Emporium Arcade Bar, with prog dance rock group Thinner Teed kicking off the night. Supernatural Beings has seen a lot of musicians through its numerous incantations, including members of Umphrey’s McGee, Lotus, Particle and more, but the 5th version will keep it tight with the four members. “This Supernatural Beings show will be an epic night of high level improvised dance rock n roll! Previous SB shows have featured 8-9 people on stage, but this show is condensed for a smaller tighter ensemble easily shift to explore sonic territory.”The theme of the night is “Where The Wild Things Are,” which Rezak calls typical of the fall season in Chicago. All in all, he can’t wait to get this group together. “The best gift I could ask for is to throw down some heavy sonic propulsion with everyone in my home town and transcend into another year of life doing what I love and why I am believe I am put on this earth.”With guest appearances on the table, including Chicago native Emily Nichols on vocals (who has worked with Manic Focus, Russ Liquid, and more), this looks to be one incredible night of jamming! Tickets are available here, so don’t miss out.last_img read more

Blues And Brews Festival To Bring Bonnie Raitt, Steve Winwood, Taj Mahal, And More To Telluride

first_imgThe Telluride Blues and Brews Festival will be returning for its 24th year in September. This year’s festival lineup is slated to be one for the books, with Bonnie Raitt, Steve Winwood, Anders Osbourne, and a supergroup named TajMo, which will bring together Taj Mahal and the Keb’ Mo’ Band headlining the event. Benjamin Booker, The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Magpie Salute, Tab Benoit, and others will also be making appearances at the festival. True to its name, the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival will still honor its roots in craft beer, hosting one of the premiere beer tasting events in the Southwest, with 57 breweries registered to present over 170 craft beers and ciders. The three-day festival will fall from September 15th through September 17th. Tickets and more information are available on the event’s website. 2017 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival Artist Lineup: Bonnie Raitt Steve Winwood TajMo: The Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ BandAnders Osborne TBA Benjamin Booker The Blind Boys of Alabama The Magpie Salute Delbert McClinton and Self Made Men Tab Benoit The Record Company Chicano Batman Samantha Fish Ben Miller Band Eric Lindell Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers Robert FinleyAlabama Slim Jack Broadbent Delgres Monkey Junk A.J. Fullerton featuring Stud Ford & Nic Clarklast_img read more

PREMIERE: DJ And Producer Maddy O’Neal Debuts Stunning Sophomore EP, ‘Parallels’

first_imgIt’s been a great year for Maddy O’Neal thus far. The Denver electronic producer and DJ has been building hype and making a name for herself since breaking out as a solo artist a little over a year ago. Her sound is effortless and fiercely creative, with her bass-driven and genre-blending tracks synthesizing tastes of hip-hop, rock ‘n’ roll, funk, the blues, and jazz to create a sound uniquely her own. Characterized by lyric overtones, gorgeous production, and resounding bass, O’Neal is by no means timid in the way she crafts her music, and her fearlessness is continually rewarded. This year alone, she has been tapped for huge lineups nationwide, with Lightning in a Bottle, Summer Camp, Euphoria, Gem And Jam, and Sonic Bloom already under her belt and Camp Bisco, Pretty Lights’ Episodic Festival 6 and 8, Infrasound, Arise, and Big Gigantic’s Rowdytown VI at Red Rocks on the horizon. More good news is on the way for fans new and old, as Maddy O’Neal drops her highly anticipated sophomore EP, Parallels, today via Super Best Records.EXCLUSIVE: Maddy O’Neal Talks Personal Growth, Getting Big, And Girl Power“Wanna Know,” Parallels’ opening track, is patient from its onset, taking its time as it swells into its laidback, borderline-psychedelic groove. As the song unfolds, the song moves into an increasingly glitchy sound, though still maintains its initial spaciousness with an echoing combination of piano, electric guitar, and synth. Moving into “Going Down,” a favorite off Parallels, the album takes a distinctly heavier turn, with “Going Down” sporting a darker, more decisive bassline, though still maintaining the unhurried tone of the album’s opening track. “One And The Same” grows out of its sparse introduction, slowly building its volume with layered samples of horn and airy vocals before it drops its bass, with the unpredictable and dynamic number characterized by the diverse sound it offers across its length. After “One And The Same” tapers off, Parallels moves into “Everyday” — a more assertive song with a decisive tone driven by its hitting bassline and eerie orchestral samples. Closing out the EP is “Follow The Sound,” another favorite off the album, featuring Emily Clark on vocals. Opening with Clark’s soulful vocals soaring over a stripped-down synthy riff and orchestral swells, the melodic bass eventually drops in. At first featuring a bouncing, laid-back bassline, the song amps up into a glitchy, aggressive peak before shimmering out at its end with a return to its more expansive groove.Parallels, is a stunning display from Maddy O’Neal, highlighting the wide range of inspiration she draws on and — through her talents in production and her own meticulous ear — her ability to harmonize these influences into impressive, bass-driven electronic songs. Live For Live Music is proud to premiere this latest effort from the producer and DJ. You can stream Parallels below via O’Neal’s Soundcloud, and check below for her upcoming appearances. You can also peep her website for more information, including upcoming details about when she hits the road this fall with Pretty Lights.MADDY O’NEAL 2017 TOUR DATES7/8/17 – The Loft, Minneapolis, MN7/14/17 – Camp Bisco, Scranton PA7/15/17 – Infrasound Music Festival, Highbridge WI8/4/17 – Arise Music Festival, Loveland CO8/5/17 – The Gorge w/ Pretty Lights – George, WA8/18/17 – Northerly Island w/ Pretty Lights, Chicago IL9/30/17 – Red Rocks w/ Big Gigantic, Morrison COlast_img read more

Jon Cleary To Bring New Orleans Ethos To Brooklyn Comes Alive This Weekend

first_img***Tickets Are On Sale Now!***To find out more about ticketing, VIP options, and lodging, head to the festival website. Grammy Award-winning, multi-instrumentalist Jon Cleary will be joining this year’s incredible Brooklyn Comes Alive lineup, which takes place this weekend (September 23rd and 24th) in Williamsburg, New York, at Brooklyn Bowl, Music Hall of Williamsburg, and Schimanski. Cleary is scheduled to play two sets on Sunday, kicking things off with a solo brunch piano set at Schimanski followed by a duo set alongside fellow Grammy-winning musician, jazz-rock guitarist John Scofield.Brooklyn Comes Alive Announces Jam-Packed Daily SchedulesBorn in Kent, England, Cleary has called New Orleans home for the past twenty years, and he’s engulfed himself in the music, culture, and magic of the Crescent City. He has collaborated with icons such as Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Taj Mahal, Ryan Adams, and performed organ, piano, and vocal duties on Scofield’s 2009 album Piety Street. He won a Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music Album for 2016’s Go Go Juice, alongside John Boutté, Shannon Powell, Ricky Fataar, and George Porter Jr. (who will also be joining in the BCA festivities on Sunday).Cleary is no stranger to Brooklyn, as he has made several appearances at Soulive‘s annual Bowlive run at Brooklyn Bowl over the years. With the ethos of New Orleans naturally intertwined with the very essence of Brooklyn Comes Alive, along with many co-conspirators ever-present on the Sunday lineup, things could get extremely interesting around these parts in just a few short days.Soulive with John Scofield & Jon Cleary, “Something’s Got A Hold Of Me”[Video: Barry2theB]Inspired by the vibrant musical communities of Brooklyn and New Orleans, Brooklyn Comes Alive is set to take place across three venues in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Brooklyn Bowl, Schimanski, Music Hall of Williamsburg) on September 23rd and 24th. The unique homegrown event puts the focus on the musicians, curating dream team collaborations, tributes, and artist passion projects for two full days of incredible music both new and old.The 2017 lineup is set to include hand-selected band lineups featuring all-star musicians like John Scofield, George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Vinnie Amico and Al Schnier (moe.), Bernard Purdie, Joel Cummins, Ryan Stasik, and Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits), Mike Greenfield and Jesse Miller (Lotus), Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident), Alan Evans (Soulive), Cyril Neville (Neville Brothers), Henry Butler, Reed Mathis (Electric Beethoven), Michael League, Nate Werth, Chris Bullock, Robert “Sput” Searight, and Bob Lanzetti (Snarky Puppy), Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band), and scores of others!last_img read more

Infamous Stringdusters Cover Allman Bros., Marvin Gaye, Daft Punk, MMJ, & More On Upcoming EP

first_imgThe Infamous Stringdusters have just announced that they will be releasing a new EP of covers on Friday, October 27th via Lumenhouse Recordings dubbed Undercover Vol. 2. This latest studio work from the band will feature five renditions of some of the band’s favorite acts, with the song choices spanning genres and seeing the bluegrass juggernauts cover The Allman Brothers Band (“Jessica”), My Morning Jacket (“Golden”), Daft Punk (“Get Lucky”), Marvin Gaye (“What’s Going On”), and The Cure (“Just Like Heaven”). Undercover Vol. 2 comes as a follow-up to The Infamous Stringdusters 2015 release, Undercover, which contained renditions of tunes by the likes of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, and Jimmy Webb.Watch Members of Railroad Earth, Infamous Stringdusters, & More Perform As DrewciferUnlike 2015’s Undercover, with Undercover Vol. 2, the Infamous Stringdusters expand even further out of their genre, eschewing many of the more classic rock covers and instead favoring many tunes that may not so commonly make the rounds in a bluegrass band’s repertoire. As Jeremy Garrett, fiddle player for the group, explained in a press release, “Sometimes you hear a cover that comes from a completely different genre and it works, sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes you just have to try. As an artist, this can be liberating.”[Photo: Brandon Weil]The Infamous Stringdusters Upcoming 2017 Tour Dates*Fri      10/13               Eureka Springs, AR    Hillberry — The Harvest Moon FestivalSat       10/14               St. Louis, MO              Old Rock House (co bill w/ Leftover Salmon and Keller Williams)*Sat     10/21               Bowman, SC               Yonder FieldFri        10/27               Denver, CO                Ogden Theatre (support from Pert Near Sandstone)Sat       10/28               Denver, CO                Ogden Theatre (support from Midnight North)Thu      11/9                 Kansas City, MO        Madrid Theatre (co bill w/ The Travelin’ McCourys)Fri        11/10               Minneapolis, MN         Fine Line Music Café (co bill w/ The Travelin’ McCourys // support from Ryan Young & Erik Berry of Trampled by Turtles)Sat       11/11               Madison, WI           Majestic Theatre (support from Ryan Young & Erik Berry of Trampled by Turtles)Sun      11/12               Kalamazoo, MI            Bell’s Eccentric Café (An evening with…)Tue      11/14               Detroit, MI                   St. Andrews Hall (support from Wire in the Wood)Wed     11/15               Pittsburgh, PA             Rex Theatre (support from Buffalo Rose)Thu      11/16               Buffalo, NY                  Tralf Music Hall (support from Intredpid Travelers)Fri        11/17               New York, NY             Irving Plaza (support from Cris Jacobs)Sat       11/18               Baltimore, MD             Rams Head Live (support from Cris Jacobs)*Fri-Tue 12/8-12/12    Puerto Morelos, MX    Strings & SolThu      12/14               Chattanooga, TN        The Revelry Room (support from Dangermuffin)*Fri      12/15               Hickory, NC                Music In The MillSat       12/16               Charleston, SC           Music Farm (co bill w/ Dangermuffin)Thu      12/28               Berkeley, CA               UC Berkeley Theatre (co bill w/ Keller Williams)Fri        12/29               Berkeley, CA               UC Berkeley Theatre (co bill w/ Leftover Salmon)Sun      12/31               Aspen, CO                  Wheeler Opera House (An evening with…)*Festival appearanceslast_img read more

Members Of Galactic & Dumpstaphunk And New Mastersounds & Soulive To Team Up In Denver

first_imgNew Orleans has gained a reputation for raising some of the best musical talents in not only the U.S. but the world. In the spirit of New Orleans, Jazz Fest, and the overall vibe that The Big Easy embodies, in a couple of weeks, the Rocky Mountain region will throwdown real-deal N’awlins style with the Dragon Smoke and Green Is Beautiful double-header at Denver, Colorado’s Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom on Saturday, December 2nd. (Purchase tickets here).Eddie Roberts Honors Grant Green In Denver With Special “Green Is Beautiful” Run [Photos]During 2003’s Jazz Fest, Dragon Smoke was born at the famed Dragon’s Den, becoming an annual must-see super-jam performance at the iconic music festival each year since. Consisting of Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), Rob Mercurio (Galactic), Stanton Moore (Galactic), and Eric Lindell, the project centers around Lindell’s southern soul, Neville’s funk and R&B, and the Galactic members’ deep pocket groove. Besides a few trips to the East and West Coast’s over the years, Dragon Smoke has been strictly played in New Orleans. With everyone in the band being a leader in their own right, it is a rare treat to get this act together—though, from the interplay between the members, you’d think that Dragon Smoke has been playing shows forever.Dragon Smoke, “Country Livin’” — One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, LA, 4/28/2015[via Marc Millman]Green Is Beautiful is a tribute to none other than Blue Note Records jazz legend Grant Green. The New Mastersounds guitarist Eddie Roberts and Soulive drummer Alan Evans have first debuted this tribute project in NOLA at back during Bear Creek Bayou in 2016. In addition to these two legendary jazz-funk-fusion icons, this iteration of Green Is Beautiful will see a bevy of special guests musicians who will help in honoring Grant Green and his prolific catalog featuring iconic tunes, such as “Upshot”, “March On Selma”, “Farid”, “Ain’t It Funky”, and more. Earlier in the year, Roberts and Evans brought their Green Is Beautiful side project to Colorado, much to the delight of the Colorado faithful (read a review of the show here), marking one of the most talked-about runs of the spring.Green Is Beautiful, “I Am Somebody” — Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans, LA, 5/7/2017[via ginsengbob]Tickets for Dragon Smoke and Green Is Beautiful’s doubleheader at Cervantes on Saturday, December 2nd, are currently on-sale and can be purchased here. For event updates and additional information, join the Facebook Event page.last_img read more

Dr. Dog Announces New Album, Extensive North American Tour

first_imgBeloved indie rock outfit Dr. Dog has confirmed the release of their latest album, Critical Equation. Due out on Friday, April 27 via Thirty Tigers, the 10-track effort finds the band exploring the age old question: what do we really want?“We’d been touring and making records for our entire adult lives, and I think we just needed to take a step back,” reflects bassist/singer Toby Leaman, who splits fronting and songwriting duties with guitarist/singer Scott McMicken. “It was important for all of us to figure out if we were actually doing what we wanted to be doing, or if we were just letting momentum carry us down this path we’d always been on.”In addition to revealing the album’s release date, Dr. Dog has unveiled the LP’s first single, a pulsating slow-burner called “Listening In”. The band has also announced the details for their first tour in two years, which is scheduled to bring them across much of the United States in April, May, and June.You can check out Dr. Dog’s new single, the tracklisting for Critical Equation, and the band’s upcoming tour dates below.“Listening In”Critical Equation tracklistingListening InGo Out FightingBuzzing In The LightVirginia PleaseCritical EquationTrue LoveHeart KillerNightUnder The WheelsComing Out Of The DarknessDr. Dog Tour Dates:3/2 Phoenix, AZ – McDowell Mountain Music Festival4/6 Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom4/7 Knoxville, TN – Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival4/8 Columbia, MO – The Blue Note4/9 Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic Lounge4/10 Oxford, MS – The Lyric4/12 Mobile, AL – Soul Kitchen4/13 Orlando, FL – The Plaza Live4/14 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – The Culture Room4/15 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL – Ponte Vedra Concert Hall4/17 Charleston, SC – Music Farm4/18 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle4/19 Richmond, VA – The National4/20 Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater5/2 Boston, MA – House of Blues5/4 Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre5/5 Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre5/6 St. Paul, MN – Palace Theatre5/8 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom5/10 Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom5/11 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater5/12 Austin, TX – Moody Theater5/13 Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall5/14 San Antonio, TX – The Rustic5/16 New Orleans, LA – Joy Theater5/17 Birmingham, AL – Iron City5/18 Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle5/19 – Black Mountain, NC – Pisgah Brewing Co.6/1 Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory6/2 San Diego, CA – Observatory North Park6/5 Los Angeles, CA – The Theatre at Ace Hotel6/7 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater6/8 Portland, OR – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall6/9 Seattle, WA – The Moore Theatre6/11 Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot6/13 Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre6/14 Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre6/16 Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room at Old National Centre6/17 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE6/19 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel6/20 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel6/22 Vienna, VA – Wolf Trap6/23 Philadelphia, PA – Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing[Photo: Andrew Dolan]last_img read more

Gibson Guitars Files For Bankruptcy To Save Company

first_imgGibson has been one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric guitars for years. Throughout their century-plus of existence, countless musicians–from famous rock stars to local barroom heroes–have used Gibson guitars to create the soundtrack to our world. Now, after years of wrestling with declining sales and increasing loan debt, Gibson has filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a turnaround plan that shifts equity ownership stakes to noteholders in an effort to keep the company afloat.As Bloomberg reports:Support from senior secured noteholders will help Gibson repay bank loans while going through a “change of control” transaction, according to papers filed Tuesday with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware. The petition shows the company owes as much as $500 million and that lenders will provide a new loan of up to $135 million to keep Gibson in business.The change in control will give noteholders equity in a new company, replacing current stockholders such as Chief Executive Officer Henry Juszkiewicz. According to court filings, current noteholders include Silver Point Capital, Melody Capital Partners and funds affiliated with KKR Credit Advisors.Various factors may be affecting the shrinking electric guitar market. Some feel it’s a result of a shift in the music zeitgeist away from guitar-driven music and toward more digitally-produced styles like EDM and hip-hop. Others speculate that the increased durability and decreased prices–while great for those looking to buy and sell used gear–have begun to cripple the company’s ability to sell new instruments.Gibson representatives have noted that the company’s offshoot consumer electronics brand, Gibson Innovations, has been the main source of their recent financial downfall. Juszkiewicz purchased a line of Japanese consumer electronics in 2014 as part of a plan to rebrand and relaunch Gibson Guitars as a “music lifestyle” company. The move was intended to help the brand diversify and adapt to a changing market that had led to decreased sales. However, in addition to the largely negative reaction to the move from Gibson’s core customers–actual musicians–the purchases burned through capital and the saw lukewarm consumer response. This left the company with looming loan debts and not enough earnings to cover them. The restructuring will also allow the instrument business to “unburden” itself of this struggling portion of their business, which the company hopes will help them get back to their core musical instrument business.“Over the past 12 months, we have made substantial strides through an operational restructuring,” said Mr. Juszkiewicz in a press release, “We have sold non-core brands, increased earnings, and reduced working capital demands. The decision to re-focus on our core business, Musical Instruments, combined with the significant support from our noteholders, we believe will assure the company’s long-term stability and financial health. … Importantly, this process will be virtually invisible to customers, all of whom can continue to rely on Gibson to provide unparalleled products and customer service.As Bloomberg notes, “Juszkiewicz, who has found himself at odds with creditors in recent months, will continue with the company upon emergence from bankruptcy ‘to facilitate a smooth transition,’ according to the agreement. Court papers call for a one-year consulting deal and compensation package for Juszkiewicz.” There is no official word on whether or not he will remain with the company following the transition.While filing for bankruptcy is hardly on any business’s bucket list, this restructuring deal seems to be a best-case scenario for Gibson’s customers. Not only will the company live on, but they’ll also get back to focusing on what they do best–making musical instruments.[H/T Bloomberg]last_img read more