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Manufacturers are mostly alike in their choices of music at shows and consumers aren't much more adventurous either. Which is interesting because at home we listen to large and diverse libraries, truncating them only for shows.

I think we hear and play the same things at shows for two reasons: it helps consumers evaluate equipment easily, manufacturers can play it safe.

Customers come to shows to hear and see the best of the best, manufacturers come to meet people and show off their products in advantageous light. It's kind of like going to a Sunday picnic where everyone puts on their best clothes to say hello.

I must admit that I carry with me a number of non-traditional tracks I play to see what people's reactions are, but the playing of them typically clears the room, though a few music lovers stay put, transfixed by the music.

I am always appreciative when folks bring their own - especially if it is good, new and worthy of the crowd's appreciation.

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Paul McGowan

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