Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA 706-724-1172 Aiken, SC 803-649-1919 NEWS! Jonathan Karow
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Rock Bottom Music NEWS PASS!!!

These are just a few of the articles we
thought you might enjoy.
Rock Bottom Music has been seen in Modern Drummer Magazine, DRUM! Magazine, The Augusta Chronicle, The Aiken Standard, Guitar Player Magazine, Music Trades Magazine, Drum Business Magazine, The Metro Spirit, Stick It Magazine, Harmony Central, Music & Sound Retailer, MMR Magazine, Verge, Lokal Loudness, etc. 



Rock Bottom Music Center
2825 Washington Road Suite D
Augusta, GA 30909

Phone: 706-733-5655

Rock Bottom Music Augusta has moved to our NEW 5000 Square Foot location!!!!

The new location is in Fairway Square across from
HOOTERS on Washington Road.
We have a large parking lot, expanded lesson rooms & much larger showroom. 
It is the second shopping center on the left from I20 headed toward The Augusta National Masters Golf Course.
We are just 5 minutes from our former location via
River Watch Parkway or Washington Road.


Rock Bottom Music Georgia
2825 Washington Road Suite D
Augusta, GA 30909

(Fairway Square Shopping enter across from Hooters at I20)

Phone: 706-733-5655

Rock Bottom Music South Carolina
202 Richland Avenue W.
Aiken, SC 29801

(Corner of Richland & Newberry HWY1 Downtown Aiken, SC) 

Phone: 803- 649-1919

Musical & Sound Equipment, Sales, Rentals, Repairs,
Lessons, Gifts & Concert Promotions! 

Rock Bottom Music Metallica Through The Never Movie IMAX 3D Givaway and ESP LTD Guitar!
Rock Bottom Music is giving away a few Metallica Prize Packages and Movie Tickets
September 27 2013 also some cool door prizes! 95 Rock will be at our new 
Washington Road Augusta, GA location across from Hooters!
ALSO Enter to win a FREE ESP LTD Guitar from ESP & Rock Bottom Music!

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Augusta, GA. "The Home of James Brown"!

Local Art Work
Local artist "Uncle Ben" painting of the historic
Rock Bottom Music before expansion.

Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA 758 Broad Street down from the James Brown Statue!
Above photo is our historic shop formerly in Down Town Augusta, GA.

NONPOINT Live in Augusta, GA Sponsored by Rock Bottom Music & Others

Frank Hannon of Tesla Live in Augusta, GA Brought to you by Rock Bottom Music!

FREE All-Ages Guitar Clinic Doyle Dykes GUILD ACOUSTIC GUITARS (Fender M.I.C.) Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA Tuesday 9/25/2012 Country/Rock/Blues/ Christian/Finger Style. Don't miss this Guitar Icon! As always you could Win VERY COOL FREE Stuff from Guild and Rock Bottom Music!!! PLEASE Let all your friends know so we can keep having these FREE shows! Doyle is only doing three shows on this Clinic Tour and one is at 
Rock Bottom Music 758 Broad Street Augusta, GA 30901

LYNCH MOB with George Lynch and former members of Dokken! 21+ $20.00 Advance tickets at BOTH Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA and Rock Bottom Music Aiken, SC! (3) Great bands! Lynch Mob, Hell’s 40 Acres (A regional super-group from Atlanta, Augusta and Myrtle Beach) and Pit Boss.

Coyotes Night Club 2512 Peach Orchard Rd, Augusta, GA 30906

BREAKING NEWS! Lynch Mob Original lead singer is back in the band and will perform in Augusta GA on March 29th!

 The entire band will be at the FREE all ages meet and greet at Rock Bottom Music Augusta at 6:00 P.M. Rock Bottom Music 758 Broad Street Augusta, GA 30901

  A Jonathan Karow Production.

Hell's 40 Acres also known as "H40A" A regional super-group with
members spanning from Atlanta, Augusta and Myrtle Beach.

Purchase Tickets On-Line from etix

Adler's Appetite Steven Adler formerly of Guns N' Roses Augusta, GA!

A Jonathan Karow Production.

Faster Pussycat & Dizzy Reed of Guns N' Roses with special guests  G-City Rockers live at Sky City Augusta Thursday May 19th. You must be 21+ to attend. ALSO a FREE All-Ages meet n' greet at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA at 5:30 day of show. Tickets at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA & Aiken SC also at  Brought to you by Rock Bottom Music, EAGLE 105.7 Augusta's Classic Rock & Karow Sound. A Jonathan Karow Production.
Faster Pussycat & Dizzy Reed of Guns N' Roses with special guests G-City Rockers live at Sky City Augusta Thursday May 19th. You must be 21+ to attend. ALSO a FREE All-Ages meet n' greet at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA at 5:30 day of show. Tickets at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA & Aiken SC also at  Brought to you by Rock Bottom Music, EAGLE 105.7 Augusta's Classic Rock & Karow Sound. A Jonathan Karow Production.

Brad Davis Flat Pickers Ball Guitar Clinic Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA!
 Brad Davis “FLATPICKERS’ BALL” Guitar Clinic FREE All-Ages Tuesday May 24 7:30 PM at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA. Brad has played with Marty Stuart, Sam Bush, David Lee Roth, Earl Scruggs & many others! Sponsored by Takamine Guitars. We will be giving away FREE STUFF including a VERY NICE Takamine Acoustic Guitar!

Grammy award winning artist Brad Davis spent ten years (1992-2002) performing on stage as a member of Marty Stuart’s road band. For the past six years he has played lead acoustic guitar with Earl Scruggs and Friends, and for the past five years he has play...ed lead electric and acoustic guitar with movie actor Billy Bob Thornton’s rock band. He spent two years (2003-2004) as the guitar player for the Sam Bush Band and also performed with John Jorgenson’s Gypsy jazz Quintet in 2005. He occasionally performs with an exciting new bluegrass band, calling themselves "Greenbroke," consisting of Brad Davis, John Cowan, John Moore, and Dennis Caplinger.

More Info at Wikipedia

More Info at Facebook

A Jonathan Karow Production.

Rock For Peace A Jonathan Karow Production.

Get Your FREE "I Rocked for Peace" high-quality decal or bumper-sticker for attending any of the 3 charity events to support the Peace family, in Loving Memory of Carley Peace! Our little friend!
While supplies last.

Jim Perkins Live with Sibling String
Augusta, GA Home-Grown & Nashville, TN favorite Jim Perkins and Friends (Entire Band) LIVE at Sky City with Sibling String (Super Group) featuring Jacob Beltz, Michael Baideme, Deveran Roof, Henry Winn III and Dave Mercer. This is a DOUBLE CD release PARTY for our friend Jim Perkins! Only $5 to party & you must be 21+. Brought to you by Rock Bottom Music, Splice Media & Sky City. A Jonathan Karow Production.

A Zach Myers of SHINEDOWN & Chris Allen of Ingram hill ACOUSTIC with Augusta, GA Home-Grown & Nashville, TN favorite Jim Perkins Acoustic! FREE All-Ages meet n' greet at Rock Bottom Music Augusta at 5:30 Tuesday March 22, 2011! You must be 21+ to the gig at the VUE. Brought to you by Rock Bottom Music, 95 Rock, Splice Media & VUE Augusta Night Club. A Rock Show Booking & Jonathan Karow Production.

John Corabi Motley Crue, RATT, Union, The Scream, Solo, Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA!
Johan Corabi (Acoustic Gig) formerly of Motley Crue, RATT, The Scream, Union, ESP Eric Singer Project and others with special guest Jim Perkins! Both John and Jim will perform some of their own popular songs as well as cover some great hits! 2-21-2011 at Metro A Coffee' House & Pub in Augusta, GA. Advance tickets at the Augusta, GA & Aiken, SC Rock Bottom Music. Sponsored by Rock Bottom Music, KAROW SOUND and
Eagle 105.7 Augusta's Classic Rock! A Jonathan Karow Production.

Bang Tango Augusta, GA Rock Bottom Music! A Jonathan Karow Production

Adler's Appetite Rock Bottom Music Sky City Augusta, GA!
Jonathan Karow & Rock Bottom Music Present Adler's Appetite at Sky City Augusta
and a FREE ALL AGES Meet N' Greet at Rock Bottom Music, Augusta GA!
Tickets at BOTH Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA & Aiken, SC &

Rock BottomMusic Events Calendar Augusta, GA & Aiken, SC! CLICK IMAGE!
For More Information Please Visit

Drivin N' Cryin Rock Bottom Music Sky City 12 Bands of Christmas Golden Harvest Food Bank! One can CAN HELP!
Please support these events by offering canned food donations to The Golden Harvest Food Bank.
FREE TICKETS at either Rock Bottom Music location!
12-17-2010 FREE The Gathering featuring music of the Trans Siberian Orchestra at Curtis Church.
PLEASE BRING CANNED FOOD for the Golden Harvest Food Bank!

12-18-2010 FREE All-Ages Drivin N' Cryin gig at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA 5:30 PM
PLEASE BRING CANNED FOOD for the Golden Harvest Food Bank!

12-18-2010 Sky City Festivus of Bands featuring Drivin N' Cryin.

12-18-2010 The 12 Bands of Christmas at The Imperial Theatre.
Featuring 12 great local bands and more! All for the FIGHT AGAINST Pediatric Cancer!

Dead Confederate in Augusta, GA at Rock Bottom Music
International Recording Artists DEAD CONFEDERATE!
FREE ALL-AGES Acoustic Performance & Meet N' Greet
at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA Saturday 11-27-10 at
5:00 PM!
Then a full show at Sky City with Shaun Piazza Band.
Tickets at Sky City. 21+ only.

Please visit
for more info and great events!

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Mad Margritt from Atlanta, GA will join us at the Free All-Ages Meet n' Greet for a live
performance in the late afternoon!
Be sure to check out The Official L.A. Guns Web Site!
TICKETS are on sale at BOTH Rock Bottom Music locations
for L.A. Guns with Jemani (doing their LAST ROCK SHOW)
and Rhese Reevs & The Midnight Moon Band!
That's (3) Great bands for only $15.00 ADVANCE!
Be sure to visit Coyotes Web Site at:

Jonathan and Jeanie Karow's Wedding Party at Sky City Augusta, GA Rock Bottom Music All-Star Jam Session, Dirty Blue Dress, Shotgun Opera! FREE 21+
Please visit
for more info and great events!

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Come visit with members of the Rock Bottom Music team as well as some very special guests!

KISS EXPO Kreatures of the South 2010

Mark Schulman drummer PINK!
Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA!!!

Thursday September, 9 2010 at 7:00 PM!

FREE Door Prizes to some lucky patron including a Gretsch Snare Drum, Gibraltar Bass Drum Pedal, Mark Schulman DVD's, Cool items from Sabian, ETC! You MUST attend to be eligible to win! No purchase necessary!

Mark Schulman is a first call drummer for World Class rock,
pop and jazz artists. Most recently, he has been the drummer for
P!NK and her ‘I’m Not Dead’ and ‘Funhouse’ tours. His resume
reads like a “Who’s Who” of international Rock n’ Roll royalty
...including acts such as Sheryl Crow, Foreigner, Stevie Nicks,
Destiny’s Child, Billy Idol, Cher
(Mark was drummer on the
‘Believe’ and ‘Farewell’ tours, two of the most-attended tours
in music history), Udo Lindenberg and Eikichi Yazawa. He has
drummed with Velvet Revolver (SLASH) at Ozzfest and for crowds of
200,000 at the Glastonbury Festival with Simple Minds.

Mark has just produced his first DVD in his studio entitled,
‘A Day in the Recording Studio;
A Do-It-Yourself Guide to
Recording Great Drum Tracks for Drummers and All Musicians
distributed by Hudson Music (Hal Leonard).
Mark is a classically trained cellist and as a teen, played with the
Los Angeles Junior Philharmonic. He is actually playing cello
on the P!NK tour! He is also a music producer, trained audio
engineer and studio co-owner of West Triad Recording Studio
in Venice, CA.
As an active educator, Mark taught at the Los Angeles Music
Academy and is one of the world’s most sought after drum
clinicians hosting clinics around the world. His love for inspiring
others is shared through his seminars. His meaningful message
and his unique delivery create an experience that changes his
audiences forever!

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DEFTONES Tickets on SALE at ROCK BOTTOM MUSIC! $32 ALL-AGES! We have a limited supply of tickets at the $32 face-value! Foot traffic only! Hurry in and we hope to see you at the show & at Rock Bottom Music! Deftones will headline the Jessye Norman Amphitheatre at Riverwalk in Augusta, GA on August 28. Special Thanks to Steve Hall & 95-Rock!

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We still have a few ALL AGES and OVER tickets at BOTH Rock Bottom Music Locations
for OTEP! ALSO OTEP will be at Rock Bottom Music for a FREE autograph signing on
July 9th at 4:00 PM! This is an all ages event!!!

Rock Bottom Music Voted Best Music Store 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009!

Thanks to everyone who is cool enough to
loyally support local music
, Rock Bottom Music
and what we are ALL about! You ROCK!

Augusta Chronicle Augusta Family Magazine GA Music Lessons!
Thanks to the readers of Augusta Chronicle & Augusta Family Magazine for voting
Rock Bottom Music BEST PLACE to TAKE MUSIC LESSONS 2 years running!

Cort Gene Simmons KISS Axe Bass Guitar Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA and Aiken, SC
Rock Bottom Music has a few of the NEW Gene Simmons KISS Axe Basses NOW IN STOCK (with Gene Simmons photo gig bag)! We always offer the Rock Bottom Price! We are proud to be one of Cort Guitars and Basses LEADING Authorized Dealers! Give us a call and SAVE! Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA 706-724-1172

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Get your $5 advance tickets for Nimrod (A Green Day Tribute) exclusivly at
Rock Bottom Music. 21 and over only.

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We still have a few ALL AGES and OVER tickets at BOTH Rock Bottom Music Locations
for OTEP! ALSO OTEP will be at Rock Bottom Music for a FREE autograph signing on
July 9th at 4:00 PM! This is an all ages event!!!

B.B. King Gibson Epiphone Lucille Guitar Autographed Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA!
Rock Bottom Music has inducted an autographed BB King Lucille guitar on-to the walls of fame at the Augusta, GA store May 2010! What a wonderful center-piece from a historic musician! SPECIAL Thanks to Matt Plocha, The Metro Spirit, Verge Magazine, Kayla and George from Global Spectrum and The famous Bell Auditorium! We really appreciate and support you guys!
Come check out our NEW décor at the Broad Street Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA! You might think you are at the Hard Rock Cafe’ minus the food and drink! We are VERY proud of these upgrades! Looking around is FREE!
Please see article in Verge Magazine! CLICK HERE!

News CH12 WRDW Rock Bottom Music Augusta Big Game
The winner of The BIG GAME Photo Contest Fender Squier Strat and Fender amp giveaway is.......

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Congratulations to Zachary Bradley! Zachary submitted this photo with over 50 other entries to
WRDW Ch12. He won the Fender Squier Strat and Fender amp from Rock Bottom Music!

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Rock Bottom Music was a close runner-up in the Rock Bottom Music/WRDW Ch12
"BIG GAME" Photo contest! Keep Rockin' Austin!

Band Aide 1 Rock Bottom Music Metro Spirit Augusta Cyotes Bar

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The Metro Spirit and Rock Bottom Music Present Band Aide 1
Businesses team up for new "no-contest" that aims to support and promote local bands!

AUGUSTA, GA. - The Metro Spirit and Rock Bottom Music have teamed up to present Band Aide 1 on Thursdays at Coyotes.

Band Aide was designed to feature the abundance of talented local rock bands in the area through a miniseries of rock concerts. A minimum of 12 and a maximum of 16 bands will participate.

The idea is to put on a series of shows over a five-week period. Starting Oct. 22 and continuing for five weeks, Coyotes will host Band Aide 1.

Each night there will be a minimum of three bands showcased at Coyotes. Each night a band will be chosen based off of a *set criteria, and that band will move on to the final week. The final night will consist of each chosen band from the four previous weeks.

The Metro Spirit will feature all bands that participate in the event through a full-length story to begin the event and every week the 3-4 bands performing will receive additional coverage.

All bands will receive T-shirts designed specifically for the event. All bands will be included on a compilation CD from tracks submitted by the bands. All bands will receive multiple copies of the CD. Video and photography will be shot and posted on

Band Aide 1 will be marketed using a variety of media. The Metro Spirit will promote the event using full- and half-page ads leading up to, during and following the event. The Spirit will use web marketing and an e-mail database of over 11,000 people. Rock Bottom Music will utilize its own database of contacts. Radio and television will be utilized to some extent. Social networking sites and other methods of marketing will also be a key component to getting the word out. Each band participating will also be expected to use all means possible to get the word out.

A winner, selected from the final night’s performance, will be a band that the judges believe is ready to make it big and with a little Aide could get it done. The Final 4 will also receive prizes. One will be acknowledged for overall performance, one for how tight the sound is, one for best crowd participation and the Band Aide Winner for being so close they can taste it.

Prizes will include:

$2,000 store credit from Rock Bottom Music, retail value for items in-stock at either of the Rock Bottom Music locations.
• A complete promotional package from The Metro Spirit that will include banners, photo shoot for posters, T-shirts, bumper stickers, one year’s worth of Constant Contact e-mail database support and continual follow up marketing from the Spirit.
• More prizes will be added. The items mentioned above have a value of over $5,000.

To be considered for Band Aide you must drop off a demo to Jonathan Karow at Rock Bottom Music by the deadline of Oct. 2. A committee will choose the bands, who the band performs with and what week the band will perform.

Set criteria

  • The criteria taken into consideration for the band to be chosen to move on to the final week is:
  • The band has solid sound and delivers a good stage performance.
  • The crowd is into the show.
  • The band is tight, vocally sharp and in sync.
  • The performance is strong and with some new equipment and a marketing/PR campaign should draw big crowds.

Some bands may already show and have the abilities listed. Maybe marketing and PR is the only thing missing. Bands participating in the show the final week could be the recipient of one or more of the above-mentioned prizes. 

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Greg Koch live at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA Oct 8th 7:00 PM
All Ages, FREE!
Check out Greg Koch with his Fender Guitars and Amps!

Check out his many Hal Leonard books and DVD's INCLUDING the
Stevie Ray Vaughan DVD's!!!
These are some of the world's best sellers and ALL by Greg Koch!

Let All Your Friends Know about this fun show Brought to you by FENDER!

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Greg Koch

 Greg Koch has been called a “twisted guitar genius” and “eclectic virtuoso” by guitar pundits. Tucked away in Midwestern obscurity, Greg Koch was a diamond in the ruff, the best kept secret in the guitar firmament. But nine years ago, Koch decided to make his move and conquer the world with his unique brand of guitarmaggedon.  

Koch’s fascination with all things guitar began early. After getting his first guitar at age 12, Koch learned by copying records. He studied jazz guitar at the University of Wisconsin and his Milwaukee-based band, Greg Koch and The Tone Controls, has become one of the region’s most popular and acclaimed bands. The release of his 2001 Favored Nations debut, The Grip, was met with a flood of rave reviews which alternately described Koch as “a twisted guitar genius” and “fiendishly talented.” And suddenly the Milwaukee guitarist was obscure no more.

 In the last nine years, the towering Koch has moved well beyond local hero status in the upper Midwest by becoming an internationally renowned guitarist, session ace, top-selling guitar instruction book/DVD writer, magazine columnist, radio personality, and comedian.

 Koch has travelled all over the world and has grown to become an in-demand, world class guitar clinician for both Fender Musical Instruments, and Hal Leonard Publishing Co. As a premier clinician for Fender, the world’s largest and most prestigious guitar and amplifier manufacturer, Koch has developed an exceptionally effective clinic style by bringing together world class chops and a humorous ability to articulate sounds and techniques with a genuine devotion to all things guitar.

 Koch’s relationship with musical publishing giant, Hal Leonard Corporation, has resulted in an extraordinarily successful catalog of guitar instructional materials including the rewrite of the Hal Leonard Guitar Method with the original author, Will Schmidt, which has become the top selling guitar method in the world.  His latest Hal Leonard guitar instruction book, “Guitar Clues: Operation Pentatonic,” is geared towards guitarists of all levels where as his latest DVD, HLGM “Guitar Licks: Lead Lines and Phrases in the Style of 25 Great Guitarists” demonstrates tricky licks by everyone from Albert King to Steve Vai. Koch’s many books and DVDs that are published by Hal Leonard sell hundreds of thousands of copies each year.

 Getting back to his roots, Koch is currently fronting The Greg Koch Trio, taking on the role of lead blues vocalist and maniacal guitar showman. Once again, Koch exhibits not only his versatility, but his raw vocal talent, clever song writing, and commitment to the blues genre. Koch succeeds in playing out his vision of pushing the blues to new limits, while at the same time remaining mindful of its past. 

 Over the years, Koch has released 11 CD’s. Five have been released internationally and feature predominantly original material; 2 with Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label, 2 with Europe’s Mascot-Provogue Records, 2 currently out on Peppercake/ZYX Records, including the recently released CD Nation Sack, which was a collaboration between the Greg Koch Trio and Texas vocal legend, Malford Milligan.


 “Greg Koch is one those players with chops to spare. But he’s also got a wonderful sense of humor and despite his talent, doesn’t take himself too seriously. Great chops, great imagination, and again, his sense of humor. It doesn’t get much better than this.”- Vintage Guitar Magazine, John Heidt, Editor

 “It seems Greg Koch can do the impossible. Not only can he rotate your head in a full Linda Blair 360 with his fiendish guitar chops, but he can also render spot-on imitations of favorite players while managing to assert a powerful artistic identity all his own.” - Tom Wheeler (Former editor-in-chief, Guitar Player Magazine, author “American Guitars,” “The Stratocaster Chronicles” and “The Soul of Tone.”)

 “Greg Koch is one of those rare guitarists that can blend various styles with a light hearted approach and a tremendous amount of technique. Hearing him play is inspiring to a guitar player to try to achieve greatness on the instrument.” - Steve Vai

 “I believe Greg Koch is pound for pound the best guitar player in the world today. His tone, feel and style are unrivaled in today’s guitar playing community. He is scary good. It was a true honor to do shows with him.” - Joe Bonamassa

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and Shotgun Opera Acoustic Show/Autographs and CD Release Party! Saturday, August 29th, 2009 3:30 PM at Rock Bottom Music Augusta FREE All Ages.

Uncrowned, Dear Enemy and Shotgun Opera CD Release Party Saturday, August 29th, 2009 at Sky City. Doors open at 8pm, Music at 10pm 21+ only. Advance tickets are on sale for $5 at Rock Bottom Music and $8 day of show.

“Get ready to rock harder than a ton of concrete”! Rock Show Booking, Augusta Custom Concrete and Rock Bottom Music present SHOTGUN OPERA, Saturday, August 29th, 2009 at Sky City, Official CD Release Party with national recording artists…UNCROWNED and special guests DEAR ENEMY.

Doors open at 8pm, Music at 10pm 21+ only. Advance tickets are on sale for $5 at Rock Bottom Music and $8 day of show.

Join your friends at Rock Bottom Music on the corner of Broad and 8th at 3:30pm day of show for a FREE all-ages acoustic performance with Shotgun Opera and Uncrowned. Plus be the first to get autographed new release CD’s, band merchandise and $5 advance ticket sales. For more information visit

Boozapalooza The Hotrods Atlanta, GA The Issues, Rocket 350, Joe Graves and the Dirty Left Hand Augusta, GA Sky City Rock Bottom Music Metro Spirit
July 24th 2009! Do not miss this event at Sky City Presented by Rock Bottom Music
and The Metro Spirit!!! Four great bands and PARTY till you....... need a cab!

 Fender Bench Check Day Guitar Set-up by Jack Schwarz. Gilden Harvest Food Bank, Eagle 105.7, Metro Spirit, Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA!
God Bless everyone who supported our Fender Guitar Bench Check & Golden Harvest Food Drive at
Rock Bottom Music in Augusta, GA! Together we generated about 750 Pounds of food (550 Meals) in just 6 hours! This will help the people in our community who are in need of food! THANKS!
Jonathan Karow Owner/Founder/CEO.

For the first time ever, Fender had a Bench Check (Guitar Set-up) day HERE in Augusta, GA at Rock Bottom Music 758 Broad Street! The event was FREE but we did ask patrons to bring at least 10 non-perishable food items for the Golden Harvest Food Bank. Thanks for supporting our sponsors on this successful event: Fender Musical Instruments, Rock Bottom Music, Eagle 105.7 Classic Rock Radio, Metro Spirit and the Golden Harvest Food Bank.

METRO SPIRIT Issue #20.41 :: 05/06/2009 - 05/12/2009

Rock Bottom
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The long and winding road that led Jonathan Karow to create one of the best-known businesses in the area

BY Josh Ruffin
AUGUSTA, GA - Your standard initial encounter with Jonathan Karow may lead you to mistakenly interpret his calm, laid-back demeanor for a reflection of his true persona, one of a man who runs his business in much the same way that he seems to walk from one place to another: with only a loosely-defined purpose, and just enough of an attention to detail to avoid stepping on any cracks. Because, you know… why take chances?

Jonathan, however, does not roll this way. Underneath that surface-layer calm lies the soul of a man who is nearly hyperactive in his passion and drive for music, his business and life in general.

His mind is constantly ping-ponging back and forth from one concern to the next, and while one might be tempted to label such constant divisions of attention the downside of a scatterbrained psyche, Jonathan somehow manages to focus on everything with equal amounts of intensity, scrutiny and care; it’s as if he has tunnel vision, but is able to somehow work with about nine different tunnels.

And if he worried about taking chances, he’d have never been able to open up Rock Bottom Music, downtown Augusta’s mainstay equipment dealer and one of the cornerstones of the area’s increasingly vibrant music scene. That, however, comes at the end of our story; to really get the full scope of RBM and how personally invested Jonathan is in it, we must start at the beginning — which, according to Julie Andrews, is a very good place to start.

Jonathan Karow with Duff McKagan and his band LOADED
with Jeanie Goodwin, Chris from Capitol Records, and
Chuck Williams of 95Rock.

Unlike most of us, Jonathan had a pretty good idea
of what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, and credits his early upbringing with catalyzing his near-obsession with music.

“I definitely didn’t just fall into this,” he says, fidgeting behind a desk in his backroom office. “As a child, even when I was around 3 or 4, my father had very eclectic listening habits, and just generally a very good taste in music. The Beatles were obviously around a lot, though we did tend to disagree on Sabbath and KISS.”

Here, his ever-present grin slightly widens: “Though I guess that was to be expected.”
His formative years also fostered a formidable work ethic that has yet to wane. His father (who passed away in 2007) ran a business that he had started from the ground up, and while the Karows’ table was never wanting for food, their financial situation was nonetheless such that, in Jonathan’s words, “I spent a lot of time wondering why so many other kids in my neighborhood got new bicycles every year and I didn’t. I started mowing lawns pretty early on to earn money. We didn’t have very much but, believe me, I had great parents.”

Not that bicycles were typically high on his list of priorities; while other boys his age were finding their interest in sports piquing, or staging mock battles with plastic army men, Jonathan was pretending to be a radio DJ as early as 7 years old. It was pretty shortly thereafter, however, that he would discover his first true creative — and later inventive — outlet.

“When I was 7 or 8, a kid in my neighborhood went off to college. He had a blue sparkle drum kit and, in exchange for sweeping their driveway and whatnot, his parents let me borrow it and play it whenever I wanted. Thanks to my mom, though, that kit disappeared pretty quickly.”

Undeterred, Jonathan worked long hours at a Japanese restaurant, eventually saving up enough money to buy his own used drum kit and continuing the love affair that has lasted to this day. The motivations, appropriately enough, hinted at the kind of man he would become.

“I was attracted to drums, I guess, in a way similar to how other kids were attracted to toy stores; no two kits were set up the same way. Every one was unique.”

That gravitation towards uniqueness and resourcefulness is partially what led him to invent the first-ever two-ply Kevlar electronic drum head, on which Roland now officially owns the patent. Oftentimes, however, inspiration is born as much out of demand and practicality as it is out of whims and hunches; this occasion was no different.

“I was playing in this band at the time,” he says as he rummages through a couple of boxes, “and I needed something I could practice on in a hotel room without disturbing anybody. Clint Black’s drummer happened to need something similar.” As if this is no big deal.

As he’s talking, Jonathan fishes something that looks like a prototype for a Nerf product out of a nondescript cardboard box, and hands it to me: the original Kevlar drum head, still in pristine condition. The material is distinctly trampoline-like, but with much less give and the color of neglected gold jewelry. I turn it over and over in my hands, press my fingers against the material, its intricate weavings belying its capacity for punishment. Jonathan takes it back when I’m done and returns it to its corner among the clutter, where it will stay for the remainder of our conversation.

“Roland (Drums & Percussion) now officially owns the patent for a two-ply electronic drum head,” he continues, settling back in behind his desk and unwrapping a Snickers bar. “And I gotta say, it’s pretty cool to open up a magazine nowadays and see the drummers for Linkin Park and No Doubt playing the products I developed!”

Pretty cool indeed.

Our main concern, however, is Rock Bottom Music; still, we can’t even discuss the origins of that particular institution without drums coming into the picture. By the early ’90s, Jonathan had already created his first Web site — Electronic Drum Web — during what was basically the Paleolithic era of online evolution, and it was through this that he got his first break: coming into contact with the then-owner of Pintech Drums (a company that now makes a name for itself through simple, easy conversions of acoustic drums into electronic) Larry Easterday, who discovered Karow through the Web site.

In Jonathan, Easterday saw a man whose diligence was propelled not by a desire to get ahead or make a buck, but by a true passion for the industry. Similarly, Jonathan saw in Easterday a kindred spirit, though one that could really help him hoist his business further off the ground.

“I convinced Larry that, as a secondary income, he could front the money and I’d build the site. You have to remember, too, that this was 1998, and the Internet was still pretty new, so the prospect was a novel one. So I built the site, along with the online catalog, and came up with the name ‘Rock Bottom Music.’”

The moniker was appropriate enough; Jonathan had essentially built the business from the ground up, assisted by a good number of connections, but with only $247 of real capital and no inventory of which to speak. Still, within 24 hours of beginning the site-building process, he was already taking orders. Essentially a phone-in mail-order service at the time, he had plenty of opportunities to deal with customers one-on-one, thereby establishing a rapport. Amusingly enough, however, Jonathan admits that the business at first was a little misleading for the customers.

“Everyone thought that this was a multi-departmental outfit, that there was a huge warehouse and a full staff. The reality was that these companies I was working with were drop-shipping stuff and trusting me, personally, to pay them once a month.”

To be sure, it’s a definite testament to the efficiency and dedication with which Jonathan ran, and still runs, his business that that sort of perception was projected without any kind of subversive marketing. It’s this same work ethic that led to the purchase of a small shop in downtown Augusta, various expansions and the opening of a second location in Aiken.

Today, Rock Bottom has garnered enough of both a regional and nationwide reputation that it has become a must-visit location for collectors, musicians and just general aficionados alike.

“We’ve had people come from places like Las Vegas and Memphis just to stop by our store,” Jonathan says, still nearly unable to believe it himself. “We’ve been compared to a lot of the well-known West Coast retailers, too.” Then, after a moment’s contemplation: “Y’know, I should’ve grown up on the West Coast.”

The Augusta location has also become a magnet for artist appearances and performances; Sevendust and Duff McKagan are two such high-profile examples.

“They get excited about it, man. Rock musicians seem to want to have us on their résumé, as much as singer-songwriters like to have the Bluebird Cafe on theirs.”

That reputation is evident in the décor as well. In case you were wondering, yes, all of the signed instruments and memorabilia is either one-of-a-kind or came from the artist firsthand. There are autographs from the Beatles, the Doors and Avenged Sevenfold, as well as guitars signed by Toby Keith, Melissa Etheridge and Zakk Wylde (of Ozzy/Black Label Society fame); this writer is particularly enamored of a cream-yellow Gibson Les Paul Jr., autographed by members of Buckcherry.

And what of the product quality? While it’s everything you’d come to expect from an inventory that resides in a store of that obvious caliber, Jonathan points out that RBM and other independent stores actually have a leg up over chain stores on quality control.

“It’s a market fact that independent stores like us receive higher-quality products than the big chains; the companies’ warehouses are actually divided up like that. And if we get what we think is a sub-par product, we send it back at their cost.”

The history of Rock Bottom Music is a short but charmed one, and while Jonathan takes his success in stride, he can’t help but be occasionally awed by the opportunities that his hard work, not to mention that of a dedicated and knowledgeable staff, has afforded him.

“I remember stuff like hooking up with Eddie Van Halen to talk about a product he was developing, or meeting with the Gretsch family. It’s all quite surreal. Believe me, I’m very aware of my blessings.”

METRO SPIRIT Issue #20.41 :: 05/06/2009 - 05/12/2009

Why local retail is better

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AUGUSTA, GA - Jonathan Karow began his business as an Internet operation — — back in 1998. With $250 in capital plus his own Web site and eBay, Rock Bottom Music was up and running. Every day he filled his Mustang with boxes and drove them to UPS to be shipped.

Little by little, it grew. He hired Brannon Galloway to help ship boxes on Tuesdays. Then Tuesdays and Thursdays. “When it got crazier, we decided to get a warehouse,” Karow said. “But we said, ‘Instead of putting the products in a warehouse, let’s open it up to the public.’”

That’s how Rock Bottom came to have its first brick-and-mortar store on Eighth Street.

“The idea was that if the local community didn’t buy a lot of stuff, we were still on eBay and the Web site,” he said.

Working on a shoestring budget, Karow placed a few classified ads in the Metro Spirit, as well as some eighth-page ads with strong visual icons “to let people know that we existed other than on the Internet.” (For the record, he also placed some ads in Iwanna, paid someone to distribute fliers around downtown and later advertised on radio.) The response was amazing.

“Brick and mortar began to outdo the Internet,” Karow said. “That was a big surprise.”

Not only does Karow say he got a huge return from his local print advertising, which pleases us immensely, he discovered the advantages of local sales. “We are local musicians. We are local people,” Karow said. They treated people well and the community responded.

Plus, he discovered an unusual advantage. Manufacturers often ship their best products to independent stores, not online retailers. They know that stores will tune the products, shine them up and put them on display. They have to look good and sound good, not just come in the appropriately labeled box.

Manufacturers use “minimum advertised pricing” contracts to prevent Internet price wars from breaking out. It restricts Karow’s advertising, but allows him to offer better deals over the counter.

“All you have to do is ask. I cannot print prices as low as I sell them,” he said. He recently sold a guitar to one customer who shopped around the world, but found he could get it from Rock Bottom for $1,000 less than the biggest Internet contender.

Now Karow’s Internet business is only about 5 percent of his overall volume. Some say businesspeople have to move to the Internet, but Karow knows local can be better. And he’s proof that print advertising works.

That’s why the Metro Spirit has been here 20 years. That’s why you should expect to learn about Karow and other local retailers in these pages for years to come. They’re not only local. They’re better.

The Hot Rods from Atlanta, GA LIVE at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA! Fred McNeal Pat Turner.....
Come see The Hot Rods Live, FREE, All Ages acoustic gig at Rock Bottom Music in
Augusta, GA. Meet the band! Get autographs. Enter for your chance to
See The Hot Rods later that night with Pretty Things Peepshow
at The Loft Night Club on Broad Street in Augusta, GA.

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K.K. Downing (Guitarist for Judas Priest) with Jeanie Goodwin (far Right) of Rock Bottom Music
& her friends Dawn, Sandy, and Beth at The Augusta Richmond County Civic Center
(Now The James Brown Arena) Screaming for Vengence World Tour in 1981.
K.K. Downing said "I keep spillin' me bloody wine on me bloody boots"!

Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses & Velvet Revolver
Duf McKagan's LOADED at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA
Thanks Duff McKagan and LOADED! We had the time of our lives!

Duff McKagan, Jonathan Karow, Jeanie Rock Bottom Music April, 11 200*
Duff, Jonathan, & Jeanie (Photo by Michael Johnson)


May, 9 2009
By Matt Plocha

(Continuing.........) Yeah – it’s been a busy month. And I’ve done all this without leaving the comfort of my office/home.

Actually, once I tore my face away from FaceBook, I entered the real world and had the distinct pleasure of actually seeing something really phenomenal in downtown Augusta. I saw Duff McKagan
(Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver, Loaded) perform an acoustic set at Rock Bottom Music, a rare treat for music fans, with his band Loaded. One of the songs they sang was "Wild Horses" by the Rolling Stones. Apparently the first time ever in public. Search YouTube if you want to see it. But live and in person was really cool. Even cooler was the band staying afterward for almost two hours signing autographs and chatting it up with fans. The band was so pleased with their visit to this downtown staple that, later that night, they paid tribute by playing a riff or two of "Rock Bottom" (by the band UFO) to show their appreciation. Now how cool is that? (end)

Note from Jonathan Karow about Matt Plocha: THANKS Matt and Verge Magazine for helping promote this great event quite a bit and supporting beautiful Downtown Augusta, GA out of sheer dedication and the kindness of your heart!

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Duff McKagan Guns N; Roses, Velvet Revolver, LOADED at Rock Bottom Music! 95Rock Steve Hall Productions
Duff McKagan of Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver will be performing a FREE, live, all-ages acoustic set at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA on the corner of Broad at 8th street with Duff’s band of over 10 years, “Loaded” on Wednesday April, 22 at 5:00 P.M.!!!! This will be a very rare acoustic performance and a real treat for Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver/Loaded fans! Members of the 95 Rock team will be present. Duff McKagan has sold tens-of millions of albums throughout his career and has performed on “The Rock Album of the Year” numerous times! Duff will be autographing a Fender Duff McKagan signature series bass to be inducted into the “Rock Bottom Music Walls of Fame” and placed on display with many other rare music artifacts at our 758 Broad Street location in Augusta, GA. “The Home of James Brown”. THANKS VERY MUCH to 95 Rock, Steve Hall, the many music fans and supporters in the C.S.R.A., and the staff of Rock Bottom Music! Without you guys, Augusta just wouldn’t ROCK the same! “Welcome to the Jungle Baby”!

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Duff McKagan and his Fender Duff McKagan signature bass.

To The Pearl Morgan Rose Snare Drum Winner!

Sevendust Pearl Morgan Rose Snare Drum Contest!
Congratulations to Jordan Leopard of Augusta, GA
for winning the Pearl Morgan Rose/Sevendust
Professional Snare Drum with groovy, green
glow-in-the-dark “Alien-Freak Heads”!

Morgan Rose of SevenDust looking throught one of the windows at Rock Bottom Music at all the happy fans!

Morgan Rose, SevenDust Drummer, looking throught one of the windows at
Rock Bottom Music at all the happy fans!
(Photo by Joe White)

at Rock Bottom Music!

Black Stone Cherry at Rock Bottom Music
Black Stone Cherry with the Rock Bottom Music team. Photo: Michael Johnson

Metro Spirit


By Jason Craig, Metro Spirit March 12th 05:43mp 

After the overwhelming success of the acoustic show that Sevendust put on at Rock Bottom Music last month, owner Jonathan Karow decided to do it again. This time it was Black Stone Cherry's turn to rock the house.

 "Independent music stores are few and far between and it's cool that the neighborhood store is bringing in bands and making it free for people," said Ben Wells, lead guitarist for the Edmonton, Kentucky based band.

 The guys were very eager to meet and interact with their fans, telling stories about their hometown of 1500 people and playing Freebird in the barn where they used to practice growing up. They even took several requests from the crowd.

 "Just don't try and throw us off with some obscure song from like seven years ago" they disclaimed.

 The band looked as comfortable in the stripped down acoustic set as they would in their own living room. That type of intimacy is something that a lot of bands strive for and is very hard to replicate in a club or bar. It is a completely different experience to see a good band face to face on a sunny afternoon playing for less than 100 people. When the band seems to be just as happy to be there as the fans they are entertaining, it is a real treat for everyone involved.

 Chuck Williams of 95 Rock told the crowd that these acoustic shows will be a regular occurrence at Rock Bottom, located on the corner of 8th & Broad Street. Just keep your ears open.

  Black Stone Cherry Live at Rock Bottom Music by The Augusta Chronicle
Black Stone Cherry played a free show at Augusta's historic Rock Bottom Music
before a show Thursday night at Sky City on Broad Street in Augusta, GA.

Photo by Jackie Riccardi/Staff The Augusta Chronicle

Black Stone Cherry this Thursday March 12th LIVE, FREE, Acoustic,
ALL AGES 4:00 PM at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA!!!!!

Black Stone Cherry LIVE at Rock Bottom Music Augusta Georgia
For those of you who saw Sevendust live at Rock Bottom Music a few weeks ago, you know it was a real treat. For those who missed out, your friends probably “rubbed salt in the wounds” deservingly! Now it is time for Black Stone Cherry this Thursday March 12th LIVE, FREE, Acoustic, ALL AGES 4:00 PM at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA. Black Stone Cherry has recently been on tour with AC/DC. In fact, Sevendust has opened for Black Stone Cherry a few times! They have been compared to bands like Brother Cain, Thin Lizzy, Cry of Love, The Cult, Zakk Wylde Pride and Glory Band, and Led Zeppelin. Be sure to visit and for updates. DO NOT MISS THIS Opportunity to catch a great touring act in rare acoustic form!!! THEN check em' out at SKY CITY on Broad street later that night in full live form! Thanks to Rock Bottom Music Productions, Steve Hall Productions, and 95Rock!

Black Stone Cherry signing autographs at Rock Bottom Music in Augusta, GA. (Photo by Sharon Orourke)
Black Stone Cherry signing autographs at Rock Bottom Music in Augusta, GA.
(Photo by Sharon Orourke)

Jonathan Karow & the Great Louie Bellson.
Jonathan Karow with the Great Louie Bellson
Sad News - In Memoriam - February 15, 2009
We regret to announce the unexpected passing
of Louie Bellson on Feb 14, 2009.

God Bless. We already miss you!
Louie Bellson July 6, 1924 - Feb. 14, 2009

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Duke Ellington, Louie Bellson & "That Great Gretsch Sound"!
Referred to by Duke Ellington as “not only the world’s greatest drummer...
(but also) the world’s greatest musician!”, Louie Bellson has expressed
himself on drums since age three. At 15, he pioneered the double bass
drum set-up. At 17, he triumphed over 40,000 drummers to win the
Gene Krupa drumming contest.

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1969 James Brown Soul On Top record. James Brown
(from Augusta, GA) Sings with the Louie Bellson Orchestra.

Sevendust LIVE at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA!

Sevendusl LIVE at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA

SevenDust Meeting Jonathan Karow with Limo at Rock Bottom Music
The meeting at Rock Bottom Music before the gig! (Photo by Joe White)

Sevendust Live at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA

Sevendust Live at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA

Sevendust Live at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA

Sevendust Jonathan Karow Morgan Rose

Sevendust Vince at Rock Bottom Music Augusta, GA
Wednesday, February 11th, at 2:30, Sevendust will be doing a special acoustic performance at Rock Bottom Music!

Tell all your friends so we can continue doing these succesful events!

You will also have a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show that night at the James Brown Arena with Disturbed, Sevendust, and Skindred! 

EVH 5150 III Tube Amp by Fender Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen EVH Gear Georgia South Carolina
Eddie Van Halen with Joanthan Karow & Jeanie of
Rock Bottom Music January, 2009.

Rex Brown Pantera Spector Basses
Jonathan Karow with Rex Brown of Pantera

Jonathan Karow with Vinnie Paul of Pantera (Drums)

Jonathan Karow with Vinnie Paul of Pantera

Corey Feldman The Lost Boys, Ben Powell Fender Guitars
Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys Movie, etc.), Ben Powell, Jeanie

Corey Feldman The Lost Boys Movie (guitar)
Jonathan Karow, Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys Movie, etc.), & Jeanie

Lee Oscar Harmonica
Jonathan Karow, Lee Oscar (Harmonica pioneer), & Jeanie

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Jonathan, Claude Schnell (Dio, Y&T,) "One of the coolest people on Earth", & Jeanie.

Back-stage at the BuckCherry gig at the James Brown Arena, Augusta, GA!
Back-stage at the Avenged Sevenfold/BuckCherry gig at the
James Brown Arena, Augusta, GA!

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Congratulations to Michael Ulmer of North Augusta, SC for winning the Fender Stratocaster Guitar that was autographed by major rock recording artists, Avenged Sevenfold, Buckcherry, Shinedown, and Saving Abel! This was another FREE guitar given away by Rock Bottom Music and all you had to do was come in! Don't miss out on our next event!!!

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95 Rock announced the winner (
Michael Ulmer) of the autographed Fender guitar
live at the Augusta Rock Bottom Music store on Monday December 22nd, 2008!

Skid Row Augusta GA Rock Bottom Music
Skid Row with the Hamer autographed give-away guitar for the
South-Eastern Burn Foundation donated by Rock Bottom Music!

Rachel Bolan SKID ROW QuasiMotors
Rachel Bolan (Bass: Skid Row & QuasiMotors) with Jonathan & Jeanie

Skid Row Concert Augusta, GA
Get your Skid Row Tickets at Both Rock Bottom Music locations!

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Salt (Salt n' Peppa) with Rock Bottom Music Owner Jonathan Karow

Henry Wynn III Earl Scruggs
Rock Bottom Music Instructor Henry Wynn III with legendary
banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs.
Henry can make any banjo SQUEEL!

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Jonathan Karow with legendary banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs.

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Another Successful Event by Rock Bottom Music Productions!

Capitol recording artists
HURT will "Hit Rock Bottom" AGAIN!

We will have a FREE SHOW on May-13-2008 in our Augusta store!
Rock Bottom Music is also selling tickets for the
HURT show at The Red Lion Pub!
Those dates are 5-13-08 & 5-14-08!

Don’t miss the Terry Bozzio Drum Clinic LIVE in Augusta, GA (Home of James Brown)! Be sure to tell all your friends!
All ages show on December 13, 2007 at 8:00 PM!

$10.00 per-patron Advanced-Tickets-ONLY and receive a FREE Limited- Edition Terry Bozzio Attack Drumhead (Over a $10.00 value)!

Drumhead/Tickets are ONLY on sale at both Rock Bottom Music Center locations in Augusta, GA and Aiken, SC!

HURRY! Seating is Very Limited! 

Zakk Wylde (Guitarist: Ozzy Osbourne & Black Label Society)
hanging out with the Rock Bottom Music team and our
friends at the 95Rock studio in Augusta, GA
on March 2nd 2007. 
Congratulations to the winner of the autographed Zakk
Wylde "Buzz-Saw" Les Paul guitar!
The autographed Zakk Wylde "Bulls-eye" guitar
is currently on display at the Augusta, GA
Rock Bottom Music Center!

Jonathan Karow (Rock Bottom Music Owner) & Zakk Wylde.

Ken Gabriel of Rock Bottom Music & Zakk Wylde.

The 2006 Summer NAMM show in Austin, Texas was a great success. The above photo from left to right is Jonathan Karow, David Ellefson (Megadeth bass-guitar), and the beautiful Jeanie Goodwin from Rock Bottom Music hanging out at the NAMM Trade-Show. The below montage is Jonathan Karow (Drums), Gary Hoey (Guitar), and David Ellefson (Bass-guitar) playing at the world-famous Antone's Club in Austin where artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Guy have graced the same stage!   

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Don't fret; there'll be room to play

Rock Bottom Music will expand into vacant shop next door

By Laura Youngs| Staff Writer

Thursday, April 19, 2007

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Rock Bottom Music crew, Henry Wynn III (kneeling), Noel Rhoads, Ken Gabriel, Jeanie Goodwin, Jonathan Karow, Jason Guy (kneeling), Chuck Reddic and Ray Hutto, stand in front of their expansion on Broad Street. The store will double in size by connecting its current location to the now-vacant coffee shop on the corner.

Aiken Standard South Carolina Jonathan Karow & Geronimo

December 6, 2005

Rock Bottom Music Opens New store branch in Aiken

By: Suzanne R. Stone

Staff Writer

Aiken Standard

One of Augusta’s favorite music establishments now has a branch in Aiken.

Rock Bottom Music Center opened the door of its Aiken location on Pine Log Road in the Bi-Lo shopping center Thursday. The store held a grand opening with door prizes and a live remote by Eagle 102.3 FM on Saturday.

“It’s crazy how fast word gets out,” said owner Jonathan Karow. “It’s our first day and we’ve already got customers coming down from Columbia.”

The store carries all kinds of stringed instruments, including acoustic and electric guitars, violins and other classical stringed instruments; a full line of drum and percussion instruments; and instrument cases and accessories. They also sell and install pro audio live and studio sound systems; give lessons and do rentals of classical band instruments for school band students.

“We want to make the local music scene grow,” Karow said. “We advertise the fact that we’ll meet or beat any online, discount or big box store prices. Actually a lot of our success has been based on our employees. We’re all musicians and we’re energetic about helping the local community find great deals and learn music. Everybody at either store will be knowledgeable in any department though they might specialize in one area.”

Most of the store’s stock will be unique to the Aiken store, Karow said, and items rotate between the two locations. The store also grabs up liquidation items as special buys when opportunities come their way, and offer them at clearance prices at the shops.

“Aiken is a beautiful city, a growing city,” Karow said. “Just today I’ve seen customers come in that we haven’t seen in a long time, and when we ask why, they say they liked dealing with us but it was such a trek to get over to Augusta they didn’t do it often. I figured it was now or never. I had the monetary funds I’d been saving to open a new store; the Augusta store’s downstairs was packed to the hilt. I had about 80 percent of the inventory to fill up another store already in storage there.”

Although he will remain involved with the store, Karow will manage the Augusta location and leave Aiken’s day-to-day operations to resident and longtime Rock Bottom employee Brannon Galloway.

For more information about Rock Bottom Music Center visit the shop’s Web site at or call the Aiken shop at 649-1919 or the Augusta shop at (706) 724-1172.

Aiken location means move up for Rock Bottom
By Tony Lombardo/ Staff Writer Augusta Chronicle
Photos by Michael Holahan/Staff Augusta Chronicle

Friday, December 2, 2005

Owner Jonathan Karow decided to open the shop so he could bring his products to people who were driving long distances to the Augusta store. 

Jason Guy unpacks microphones at Rock Bottom Musics's new Aiken, SC second location. 

Rock Bottom Music is steppin' up.

The Augusta-based music instrument store opened a new shop in Aiken this week thanks to increased demand at the store's downtown Augusta location.

"Aiken has really become its own self-contained entity," owner Jonathan Karow said, noting that many customers at his Broad Street store told him they were driving 30 minutes from Aiken to get there.

Though he also considered opening the shop in Evans, Mr. Karow ultimately decided on Aiken because of the long commute musicians have been making to keep supplied with instruments, speakers and accessories.

The 33-year-old Augusta resident created Rock Bottom Music as a Web site in 1998 and opened his first store in 2003. For his second store, he chose a spot behind Blockbuster Video in the Bi-Lo anchored shopping center on Pine Log Road.

The 1,500-square-foot shop will feature name-brand instruments, going-out-of-business items and warehouse overstocks to help keep prices down.

Prices vary. Guitars, for example, cost from $100 to around $2,000, Mr. Karow said.

Mr. Karow developed his knowledge of musical instruments while working at Pintech USA, a drum manufacturer in Greenville, S.C.

Like his Augusta store, the Aiken shop will offer instrument lessons, rentals, and repairs.

Join Our Musical Family!


Everyone has a bad day from time to time. My times of grief are commonly cured by a kind word from a customer or the excitement of a budding musician.

The phone rang for the first time on Rock Bottom Music’s Grand Opening day a few years ago. It was my Mother on the other end saying “Your Father in an ambulance heading to the hospital”! People were pouring into the new store and all I could do is ask God for strength. My Father had a very close call and is now a cancer survivor.

The first store was tiny but we worked hard for it and we felt blessed to have made it to that point. It took years for me to realize what my intention in life was. I should use my knowledge of musical instruments to help others enjoy the spiritual and creative gifts of music. I should establish the inviting music store environment that my friends and family would want to experience. I could not do this alone.

I now look around both Rock Bottom Music stores and feel blessed at the support we have received from the musicians of our community. It has been a lot of fun but also hard work to get to this point. God has blessed us with both strength and motivation. We have been rewarded with growth in our stores and our musical community.

I would like to thank everyone who works at Rock Bottom Music for keeping the faith and providing customers with sincere service, knowledge, and a true friendship that goes way beyond the cash register.

Thanks to Brannon and Jeanie for the priceless support and friendship over the years and not giving up on what was once only a dream. You are the spine and foundation of Rock Bottom Music.

Thanks to all the friends, families, teachers, churches, instrument suppliers, and other supporters who have made Rock Bottom Music possible.

Praise God for this opportunity to be around some of the most wonderful people on this musical journey through life. I look forward to many more years of providing quality products and service to our growing musical family of local musicians.       

Best Wishes,
Jonathan Karow
Owner Rock Bottom Music

Store watch-dog Geronimo (left) & Ryan Dunn (right)!

Jonathan Karow, (Jeanie "Bubbles" shown in background),
Geronimo Karow (puppy), & Ryan Dunn from
the hit comedy TV show and movie "Jackass"!

Ryan purchased a guitar from Rock Bottom Music on his visit!
Jonathan asked him "Are you going to play it or destroy it?"!
Ryan also got a Rock Bottom Music "PBR" T-Shirt

Rock Bottom Music staff Henry Wynn III, Jeanie "Bubbles",
Jason Guy, & Ryan Dunn from "Jackass".

Guitar Player Magazine August 2005

Mike Varney’s Spotlight

Elliot Holden

Age: 30
Style: Progressive rock, blues, neo-classical
Influences: Eric Johnson, Jeff Beck, Wayne Krantz, Jimi Hendrix
Main Guitar: Fender Stratocaster
Location: Augusta, GA

Background: A guitarist since the age of 14, Holden had a musical epiphany upon seeing the movie Crossroads in 1988. “The guitar solo that [film star] Ralph Macchio played [which was actually performed by Steve Vai] changed my musical tastes forever,” he explains. Hearing Eric Johnson was another ear opener, and Holden began to explore instrumental rock in greater depth.

A guitar teacher at Rock Bottom Music in Augusta, Holden saves the weekends for gigging with his band, the Elliot Holden Group. He has released two CDs independently—We Be Delicious (2002) and Radiance (2005)—selling them at gigs,, and iTunes.

Holden is a very melodic soloist with great phrasing and technical prowess. With deep roots in Hendrix and Eric Johnson, he is one of the most promising new guitarists to submit a CD to Spotlight this year.


Famed golf club strikes a chord
From the Friday, October 22, 2004 printed edition of the Augusta Chronicle

Jonathan Karow & The Washburn Augusta Acoustic Guitar
Jonathan Karow, the owner of Rock Bottom Music on Broad Street, plays one of the Washburn "Augusta" model guitars. He ordered two of the acoustic guitars after he found the model is named after Augusta National Golf Club.
Michael Holahan/Staff Augusta Chronicle

Guitar model named after Augusta National
Friday, October 22, 2004
| Staff Writer

  Augusta's musical notoriety is now more than just being home to James Brown.
  Washburn Guitar company has named one of its models the "Augusta," after Augusta National Golf Club.
"It's a renowned place," said Kevin Lello, a Washburn spokesman. "We just wanted a name that kind of has that perception of being higher end."
When contacted, Augusta National had no comment on the guitar.
The dreadnought acoustic guitar is one of the Mundelein, Ill.-based company's higher-end models, with gold hardware, ebony tuners and a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $999.90.
"It's a wonderful guitar," said Jonathan Karow, the owner of Rock Bottom Music on Broad Street.
Mr. Karow said he saw the guitar in Washburn's catalog, which describes the guitar as being manufactured in the "Spirit of the South," and was intrigued by its name.
"I figured they weren't talking about Augusta, Maine," he said.
Mr. Karow inquired about the name and a Washburn representative told him, "We probably have a golfer in the house."
Mr. Karow ordered two, even though the model is significantly more expensive than most of the guitars he normally carries.
The acoustic guitar comes in three styles, and each has the name Augusta emblazoned across the neck.
The Augusta guitars are getting some buzz - customers assume he had the guitars custom made.
"It's nice they didn't put the Augusta name on a cheapie guitar," Mr. Karow said.

Washburn Augusta Acoustic Guitar Rock Bottom Music
The Washburn "Augusta" acoustic guitar, one of the company's higher-end models, comes in three styles and two popular finishes.
Photo: Michael Holahan/Staff

Washburn Augusta Acoustic Guitar Rock Bottom Music
Photo: Michael Holahan/Staff

Sonic Spotlight: Henry Wynn III
From the Thursday, September 9, 2004 printed edition of the Augusta Chronicle

Henry Wynn III Teacher at Rock Bottom Music

Fiddler Henry Wynn III teaches guitar, bass, mandolin, and violin at Rock Bottom Music.
Annette M. Drowlette/Staff

AGE (At time of interview): 28


OCCUPATION: Teaches guitar, bass, mandolin, and violin at Rock Bottom Music

PLAYS: Swiss fiddle from the turn of the previous century. "It's actually my mom's. She let me use it until my other one is fixed; that was seven years ago."

STARTED PLAYING: Age 5, lessons with Suzuki Strings of Augusta. "When I was in kindergarten, I "stole" my friend's violin and told my parents that the teachers had bought them for us. They said 'OK, that doesn't make sense' and they called the school. A year later I started playing."

PLAYED WITH: Josh Pierce Group, early 2004 to present; Hellblinki Sextet, summer 2003 to present; Turtleneck, summer 2003 to present; Shaun Piazza Band, mid-2002 to present; Doug and the Henrys, late 1990s to present; and Wormbelly (in Charleston, S.C.), 1996 to 2001.

FIRST CONCERT ATTENDED: Van Halen with Autograph at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center in 1985

PERSONAL BEST: "I'd say it's a split between the Hellblinki CD release show at the Imperial Theatre on July 16 and the Shaun Piazza release show at The Soul Bar on Aug. 14. We got the best responses ever; Sean sold about 100 CDs, and Andrew (Benjamin) put together such a huge production."

IF HE COULD PERFORM WITH ANY ARTIST: Beck. "I'm just really into his albums. I'm really into his Sea Change album; next week it might be someone else. Or whoever pays the most."

PRESHOW RITUAL: Absolutely none

Compiled by Patrick Verel

Music store moves into bigger home
From the Wednesday, April 21, 2004 printed edition of the Augusta Chronicle

Rock Bottom Music has moved from its Eighth Street location to a larger, more visible spot in Broad Street's 800 block.

The music store's quick expansion during its first seven months required more space for displaying inventory. Store owner Jonathan Karow said the new location offers private rooms devoted to music lessons and instrument repair and basement storage.

"This is a music store, not just four walls and instruments," he said.

Jonathan Karow

Store offers alternative for instrument players
Friday, October 10, 2003 printed edition of the Augusta Chronicle
| Staff Writer

Jonathan Karow Owner and musician Jonathan Karow at his new music store, Rock Bottom Music, on Eighth Street in downtown Augusta.


Jonathan Karow & Terry Hamill of Aiken, SC
Owner Jonathan Karow (left) talks with customer Terry Hamill, of Aiken SC,
about a guitar at Mr. Karow's new music store, Rock Bottom Music.

The wail of electric guitars, the beat of drums and even the hum of harmonicas are common sounds downtown since the opening of Rock Bottom Music at the corner of Eighth and Ellis streets.

Jonathan Karow, who grew up in Augusta, has been selling musical instruments for a few years through eBay and is listed as a "Silver Power Seller," meaning he has sold more than $3,000 in goods per month through the online auction site.

He was so successful that other area music stores sought him out to liquidate slow-moving merchandise and scratch-and-dent items.

Rock Bottom is the next step in his retail evolution.

"I felt it was time to do my own thing and for downtown Augusta to have a music store," Mr. Karow said. "I've done my test markets, but I've never had a storefront before."

Mr. Karow said he chose downtown because it is the heart of Augusta's music scene and because young people hang out at the music clubs.

"The kids are down here almost every night," he said. "And if they've got $100 to $300 to spend on a guitar, I've got it."

Rock Bottom features budget-minded, quality instruments that are mainly liquidation items from warehouse overstocks, going-out-of-business merchandise and manufacturer one-offs.

"Maybe the factory tried a new color to see what it would look like and they thought the blue would sell better," he said.

Selling close-out instruments lets Rock Bottom keep the cost down.

"I think probably my most expensive guitar in here currently is under $400," he said.

Mr. Karow developed his extensive knowledge of musical instruments while working at Pintech USA, a drum manufacturer. While there, he worked with artists such as Reba McIntire, Kid Rock and Poison.

Rock Bottom will cater to musical novices and experts alike by offering music lessons and a place for local musicians to meet, Mr. Karow said.

The store intends to rent musical instruments to band students next fall and hopes to expand its inventory to used and consignment instruments. Mr. Karow said he can special order almost any instrument, including banjos and mandolins.

"I want more and more people to play music," he said. "I think a lot of people are musically talented that don't think they are."  - Jonathan Karow, the owner of Rock Bottom Music


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