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Guitar Goddess

October 4, 2017

Sarah Lightman

Sarah Lightman hails from the East Coast. She grew up in Hightstown, NJ, and later attended college at Temple University to study musical theater. She has been submerged in performing arts her whole life. Much of her family are also musicians and artists. Her dad Aaron Lightman was signed with RCA Poppy Records, her cousin Toby Lightman is also a successful singer/songwriter, and her cousin Jonathan Russell (jazz violinist and movie composer) is featured playing violin on Sarah’s newly released song “Fear.” Sarah just released her EP Friday the 13th of January 2017.

“My music is rooted from personal experiences to help inspire others to heal from day to day struggles. I see so much sadness, pain, and sickness running wild in the world today, especially with the recent shooting in Vegas and the death of Chester Bennington. I feel the need to take responsibility for my own pain in hopes to help others get back on their feet. Suffering is inevitable, but by making the choice to see the wounds we already have, we can start to move forward toward a healthier place.”



September 28, 2017

Olivia Street

Lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter, Olivia Street, was one of the founding members of Juno-nominated reggae band, Souljah Fyah.  She has found her own voice with King of Foxes, and brings the authenticity of an old soul to a decidedly modern sound. After releasing a 4-song self-titled EP in late 2013, which was met with positive reviews from fans and music bloggers alike, King of Foxes was honoured with a Project 10k20 grant from the Jim Pattison Group, which was used to fund Golden Armour. Produced by Stew Kirkwood of Sound Extractor Studios in Edmonton, Golden Armour appeared on the Canadian independent music charts for 17 weeks since its release. King of Foxes has supported Econoline Crush, The Darcys, The Pistolwhips, and recently played the Beaumont Blues & Roots Festival.

“I was a classical violinist for 15 years. When I was 17, I got my first guitar (an American-made Fender strat, which I still own) and assumed the finger skills were somewhat transferable! I taught myself to play a Ricky Lee Jones song, Chuck E’s in Love. (Strange choice, maybe..) I started a punk band, moved to a reggae band, and eventually started fronting my own band.”

September 27, 2017

Katie Ferrara  – Paving Your Own Road to Success: The creative side of the music business

Katie Ferrara is a singer-songwriter with an exciting journey of a music career. With roots as a busker on the streets of Los Angeles, her first big debut was at the Hollywood Bowl where she sang alongside Barbara Streisand, Anne Hathaway, and Josh Groban. In 2015, she was flown to New Zealand to perform after being one of the winners of the Toyota Feeling the Street Competition. In 2016, she was nominated as a semi-finalist in the 2016 International Songwriting Competition with her original song Jackets. This year, Ferrara published the book “Stories from the Street”, a collection of true encounters from her experience as a busker in LA and abroad. She’s traveled and performed in the UK and Italy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Ferrara Busker’s Festival. After releasing three EPs, Ferrara is now working on her first full-length album.

Katie got started in music when she was 17.  She joined her high school choir and learned how to sing with other people. She also taught herself guitar while she was in college and attended open mics to share the music she had been creating. When she graduated, she met a producer and worked on her first EP then released it and started playing shows in the LA area. She wasn’t really making any money off her music as she explains “so I started playing in the street and that experience really launched who I am today as a songwriter and musician. It kind of gave me a job I could do every day to make money while working on my craft as an artist.”

September 6, 2017

Briana Alexis – Female Guitarist, Back In The Day…

Briana got started in music after seeing a video of the Runaways and was hooked!  She started playing Jazz and her influences were John Schofield, Mike Stern, Charlie Parker, Emily Remler, and Jennifer Batten. Her first gig was in 1985 in which she had to pay to play at the Troubadour and sold tickets for her female metal band KrozzKut.  She got into the music business when she began working for Don Randall of Randall Amplifiers while supporting her band.  

Briana explains what she knows now that she wishes she knew when she started is to not get distracted and staying true to the music that influences and inspires her.  Her advice is to not follow musical trends and to always surround yourself with better players. Break out of your comfort zone.

Briana markets her business by staying connected with producers, engineers, managers, attending trade shows, appearances on panels, staying connected as a musician and on the business end of music. Her usual day right now is doing a lot of writing and getting involved in music production on independent products, and building her home studio where she’s been recording and building her library of soundtracks. She is currently in the middle of creating and producing a series of online guitar tutorials.

Interesting fact, Briana with her band ABSINTHE, performed at the purple carpet launch of the Guitar Goddess Magazine at the Gibson showroom in Beverly Hills.



September 20, 2017

Rebecca Sullivan

Rebecca Sullivan was born in New Zealand and came to this country when she was five years old.  She moved around a lot, living in three East Coast states before settling in California when she was in high school.  After a heartbreaking divorce, she decided to pursue her dream of making music and made her first album, Silver Slippers.  She has continued since then, working with various producers, co-writers, and musicians, and is currently working on an electronic project.  She is also pursuing a master’s degree while raising her two boys. Her music and videos are quirky and unique, reflecting her varied life experiences.  

“I would say that it’s important to keep making music/art.  I think it’s easy to make excuses and stop writing when things are hard, but that’s the time when we are potentially the most creative.  Most musicians have played for an empty room, and it can be soul-crushing, but it makes you stronger in the long run.  I’m grateful for the friends (usually other artists) who believe in my music, and tell me to keep making it.”

Susan-TedeschiTedeschi has always been musically inclined, and made her debut public performance as a six-year old understudy in a Broadway musical. Also, she sang for family members and listened to her father’s record collection of old vinyl recordings, like Mississippi John Hurt and Lightning Hopkins. Raised as a Catholic, she found little inspiration in the church choir, and so attended predominantly African-American Baptist churches, feeling the music was “less repressed and more like a celebration of God.” She has played in bands since the age of 13. At the age of 18, she formed her first all-original group, The Smokin’ Section, in the nearby town of Scituate, Massachusetts.

Tedeschi attended the Berklee College of Music where she sang in a Gospel choir. She performed show tunes on the Spirit of Boston and received her Bachelor of Music degree in musical composition and performance at age 20. During that time, she began sitting in on blues jams at local venues and immersed herself in the Boston music scene.

Tedeschi formed the Susan Tedeschi Band in 1994, featuring Tom Hambridge and Adrienne Hayes. In 1995 her then boyfriend, Boston musician Tim Gearan taught Tedeschi how to play blues guitar. It was then she really began to hone her skills on the instrument.

In 1999, Tedeschi played several dates in the all-woman traveling festival, the Lilith Fair, organized by Sarah McLachlan. Throughout 1998 and 1999 she toured extensively throughout the United States and drew larger crowds.

Eventually Tedeschi was opening for John Mellencamp, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, The Allman Brothers Band, Taj Mahal and Bob Dylan. In 2000, Just Won’t Burn reached Gold record status for sales of 500,000 in the United States, rare for a blues production. She recorded two tracks with Double Trouble band members Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon for their album.

She opened for The Rolling Stones in 2003 and played in huge venues, gaining national exposure. Somewhat surprisingly, the gig wasn’t financially lucrative. According to Tedeschi,
“They pay, but it’s not great. I don’t make any money ’cause I’ve got to pay all my sidemen. I’ll be lucky if I break even.”
In 2004, Tedeschi was featured on the PBS show Austin City Limits, flanked by William Green, on Hammond organ, Jason Crosby, playing keyboards, violin, and vocals, bassist Ron Perry, and Jeff Sipe, on drums. The performance was extremely well received.

Susan Tedeschi’s voice has been described as a blend of Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin, which she maintains is not surprising given that both have been her influences. Her guitar playing is influenced by Buddy Guy, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freddie King and Doyle Bramhall II.

In 2001, she married Allman Brothers Band slide guitarist Derek Trucks, who is bandleader and lead guitarist of The Derek Trucks Band.

Tedeschi, with her powerful vocals and Trucks on guitar complement one another, and have toured together frequently under the name “Soul Stew Revival”. This includes the members of The Derek Trucks Band, the members of Susan Tedeschi’s band, and other musicians who travelled with them, including Trucks’ younger brother, drummer Duane Trucks. In 2008, they added a three-piece horn section.

In 2010, both Susan Tedeschi and her husband Derek Trucks announced a hiatus for their respective solo bands, and formed a new group called Tedeschi Trucks Band. The group performed at a number of festivals including Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, Fuji Rock Festival and others. Unlike their previous collaborative project – Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi’s Soul Stew Revival – the Tedeschi Trucks Band focuses on writing and performing original material, and is the focus of both Trucks and Tedeschi for the foreseeable future.

KT-TunsallKT broke into the public eye with a 2004 live solo performance of her song “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” on Later… with Jools Holland. She has enjoyed commercial and critical success since, picking up three nominations before winning a BRIT Award, and a Grammy Award nomination. She is also the recipient of an Ivor Novello Award.

Throughout Tunstall’s 20s, she played in Indie music bands including Elia Drew and Tomoko. She focused on songwriting, as well as performing with members of the fledgling Fence Collective. KT Tunstall had lived with Gordon Anderson, (The Beta Band, and The Aliens), whom the song “Funnyman”, on the album Drastic Fantastic, is about. She toured with the Klezmer band Oi Va Voi, and stayed with them while they were making their album, Laughter Through Tears.

British label Relentless Records heard about Tunstall through their scouts and quickly put forward an independent offer.However, Tunstall had decided to sign with a US major, and initially passed up the offer. That deal did not work out and so she eventually decided to go with Relentless.

Although he recognized the potential in the quality of her voice and songs, Relentless co-founder Shabs Jobanputra’s assessment was that she “wasn’t ready yet” and so together with her manager, Jobanputra discussed “the process of how we saw her happening and how we would work, why we thought the songs were great, why we thought she was great, and why it could really work if we took enough time.” After the signing, a lot of time was spent developing certain songs and honing her live performance before she was ready for release.

Her début album, Eye to the Telescope, was released in late 2004. Tunstall’s style of music varies from folk to pop. In Edinburgh and St Andrews, she played in a band called Red Light Stylus, which was regarded as one of the better bands to emerge from the limited Fife scene.

Tunstall’s first appearance of note was a solo performance of her blues song “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” on Later… with Jools Holland. The performance was notable as she had only 24 hours to prepare after scheduled performer Nas cancelled. Her performance caught the eye of many viewers, although she had previously performed it on French television only some weeks before, upstaging more established acts such as The Cure, Embrace, and The Futureheads; she then went on to top the post-show poll on the website for that episode.

Shortly after the Later appearance, Eye to the Telescope was re-released and shot up the British charts, eventually peaking at (on its first release it had entered at #73); it was nominated for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize. It was released in the U.S. on 7 February 2006.

“Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” was one of the most successful singles and most radio-played songs of 2005 in the United Kingdom. On the UK Singles Charts, the single made number twenty-eight on the charts and on the US Billboard Hot 100, charted at number twenty. The next release from the album in the United Kingdom was “Other Side of the World” whilst “Suddenly I See” was released in the United States and used in the opening credits of the film The Devil Wears Prada. Further singles released from the album were “Under the Weather” and “Another Place to Fall” which were also successful.

Tunstall’s North American break came when American Idol contestant Katharine McPhee contacted her asking to use “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” as her choice for a Billboard-themed week. At the time, the song was #79 on the Billboard charts. Tunstall had not been shy with her opinions regarding shows like Idol saying “The major problem I have is that it’s completely controlled… they’re told what to say. They’re told how to sing.” She chose to license the song as she felt that “no one on that show told Katharine McPhee to sing my song because no one knew it”. Tunstall’s belief was correct—the song was suggested to McPhee by Billboard columnist and author Fred Bronson. The song immediately jumped to #23 on the Billboard charts the week following McPhee’s performance. She has later said “My status as a musician in America is pretty much cemented by Katharine McPhee, which is really interesting and funny for me because I’ve never been polite about how I feel about shows like that.”

corin-tuckerCorin is a singer and guitarist, best known for her work with rock band Sleater-Kinney.In the early 1990s, Tucker attended Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where she studied film, political economy, and social change. Although Sleater-Kinney was formed in Olympia, and later relocated to Portland, Oregon, Tucker still describes herself as “a small-town girl” from Eugene, Oregon. Before forming Sleater-Kinney, Tucker played in Heartless Martin with Becca Albee of Excuse 17. Heartless Martin would release one EP, entitled Tonight.

Tucker was also a founding member of Heavens to Betsy, an influential Riot Grrrl band, which recorded a split single with Bratmobile, and a number of singles for independent record labels. They frequently played shows with Excuse 17, and the two bands both appeared on the compilation LP Free to Fight. Heavens to Betsy would release one album, Calculated, in 1993.

After Heavens to Betsy split, Tucker formed Sleater-Kinney with Excuse 17 member Carrie Brownstein and friend Lora McFarlane. She sang lead vocals and played second guitar to Brownstein’s lead. Tucker released seven albums with Sleater-Kinney over the span of 11 years before going on hiatus in 2006. According to Brownstein in March 2010, Sleater-Kinney may reunite and release an album of new material within the next 5 years.

During her time with Sleater-Kinney, Tucker worked on a side project, Cadallaca, with Sarah Dougher and sts of The Lookers. In 1998, Cadallaca released their first album, introducing Cadallaca. They released an additional EP on Kill Rock Stars, Out West, in 2000.

In April 2010 Tucker announced she was recording a solo album for Kill Rock Stars to be released in October 2010. Working along Tucker on her solo album was Unwound’s Sara Lund and Golden Bears’ Seth Lorinczi. According to Tucker, the album would be a “middle-aged mom record”. [3] The album, entitled 1,000 Years was released on October 5, 2010.
Tucker toured on both U.S. coasts to support the 1,000 Years album, in addition to dates in other parts of the country. On May 3, 2011, Corin opened for M. Ward at the Crystal Ballroom, in Portland, Oregon.

teresarussellDescribed as “the most awesome Female rock guitarist…ever!” this is simply an understatement – Teresa Russell is one of the best guitarists out there: male or female. She has performed all over the world and has shared the stage with guitar rockers such as Johnny Winter, Walter Trout, Carl Verheyen, Corby Yates and others.

Teresa, is the only female to ever qualify” in the top eight” for the national finals in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame/Guitar Center’s lead guitar competition, Guitarmageddon. Competing with over 2000 guitarists across the country, she accomplished this by winning the West regional in Los Angeles where she received “out-of-seat-thumbs-up” kudos from such Grammy award, celebrity judges/guitarists as Steve Lukather (Toto) and Steve Stevens (Billy Idol).

Teresa started guitar lessons at age 7. She was playing teen halls, high schools and navy bases by age 9. At age 12, she was playing on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. With guitar influences such as Hendrix and Clapton, she rocked regularly at Gazzari’s and the Whiskey A-Go-Go. Numerous TV appearances followed as well as writing songs for a movie called The Young Graduates. At age 14, Teresa and her band were contracted to do a six-month engagement in Mexico City, performing at the El Camino Real and El Senior Real Hotels and night clubs.

After attending Northridge University on a guitar scholarship, she hit the road to continue seasoning her rock chops in countless roadhouse bars throughout the western U.S. She later formed an all-female rock band and performed for several years on the Las Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe circuits.

After touring all over the world with Helen Reddy throughout the late 80’s, playing live TV and major concert venues, Teresa decided to pursue projects of her own. She focused on her blues-rock roots with an aggressive style establishing a wide-spread fan base throughout southern California.

As a song writer, arranger, programmer and producer, Teresa is working on a new CD with Cocobilli which continues to deliver electrifying performances featuring raging guitar solos. Her vocal style has been compared to such divas as Janis Joplin, Melissa Etheridge, and Bonnie Raitt, combining a rock-hard edge with a supple warmth that quickly distinguishes her voice as uniquely that of Teresa Russell. Joined in her virtuosity by bassist Billi Breland and drummer Coco Roussel, this popular trio can be seen performing regularly throughout Southern California.

Ruyter has been the Lead Guitar Player of the band Nashville Pussy since 1996, with her husband the singer Blaine Cartwright, and is known for her guitar solos and live performances.
She was named in the Elle list of “12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists” in 2009.

She spent her youth in Vancouver, in a family that appreciated a wide variety of music including rock’n’roll (Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, …). Beginning with piano at age three, she started the guitar at about 8–9 years, referring to the repertoire of Simon & Garfunkel in particular, her parents offered her the first guitar at the end of her primary schooling. In her teens she appreciated bands like the Ramones, Motörhead, Slayer, Metallica, Plasmatics, KISS, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent …. But the main female influences are embodied by Nancy Wilson of Heart and Wendy O. Williams. After High school she moved to Regina where she attended the University of Saskatchewan and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.