NEWS: Greg Howe delivers exclusive Institute clinic

Greg Howe has just wrapped up a clinic tour, and you can see other dates here (including the Jason Becker benefit and a few shows in Russia with Dennis Chambers and Stu Hamm. Following is a press release about his London clinic date.

PRESS RELEASE: The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance was proud to present guitar legend Greg Howe for a masterclass on Thursday, 10th March at their London facility.

During his career he has played on Michael Jackson’s ‘History’ tour throughout Europe and Asia, joined pop star Enrique Iglesias on a tour of Europe and was the lead guitarist on two separate tours of the states for NSYNC, one of which was stadium shows exclusively. In 2003 Greg also performed on a promotional tour with Justin Timberlake, although ultimately ended up having to leave in order to complete work on his 2003 release “Extraction”, the critically acclaimed all-star funk fusion extravaganza featuring electric bass virtuoso Victor Wooten (of the flecktones) and the legendary drummer Dennis Chambers.

Read More …

NEWS: Laguna ‘One Guitar, One Tree’ initiative

Here’s some cool Earth-conscious news from Laguna, the brand sold exclusively through Guitar Center and its affiliates and which offers a signature model for the very awesome Greg Howe.

Laguna Guitars Launches “One Guitar, One Tree” Reforestation Initiative

Laguna Guitars, reflecting the passionate convictions of musicians, celebrates Earth Day by launching their new “One Guitar, One Tree” reforestation initiative. This plan involves planting one tree for every Laguna guitar made. In addition, Laguna continues to deepen its other practical efforts to reduce waste, recycle and conserve the planet’s resources.

For decades, musicians have proudly been socially aware and urged others to take more action, advocacy and awareness in environmental matters. As musicians themselves, those at Laguna have always passionately supported that position, knowing that trees are an economical, long-term solution to many tough environmental problems, including air and water pollution, climate change, wildlife protection, habitat restoration and more. In partnership with AmericanForests.org and their Global Relief campaign, Laguna proudly plants a tree for each Laguna guitar made.

In addition, Laguna’s shipping cartons are designed to provide maximum protection with a minimum of material. Their boxes are made from 100% recycled cardboard that is also 100% recyclable, which they naturally encourage wherever possible. Also, in the interests of conservation, they have decided not to print glossy, heavyweight catalogs as millions from various companies end up in landfills every year. Instead, Laguna provides extensive information online at their website (www.playlaguna.com) and a catalog will soon be available as downloadable PDF’s, allowing users to print only those pages they want.

As with the design and manufacture of their guitars, Laguna welcomes an open dialogue with musicians and encourages them to share their thoughts and ideas on environmental matters including Laguna’s “One Guitar, One Tree” initiative and other earth-friendly plans. All such feedback can be directed to environment@playlaguna.com. Please visit PlayLaguna.com or AmericanForests.org  for more information on the “One Guitar, One Tree” initiative and Global Relief campaign.

For more information, visit their web site at http://www.playlaguna.com.

CLICK HERE to buy the Laguna LE924 (Greg Howe model) in Awesome Orange Transparent from Music123 for $999.99.

NEWS: ProTone Jason Becker distortion pedal

ProTone Pedals is now shipping the Jason Becker Perpetual Burn distortion pedal, which is based on Jason’s favourite Marshall JCM 800 amp, with a little inspiration from the JCM900 he used later in his career for good measure. It also features an additional clean boost channel at Jason’s request, after he said he enjoyed using a higher gain sound later in his career.

CLICK HERE to buy the pedal right now.

At the Shred Academy forum, ProTone’s Dennis Mollan says the design was originally going to include an overdrive channel and an amp emulation channel, but prototype testing sessions with Rusty Cooley led to the decision to use a clean boost channel instead, to be driven by the emulation channel: “The way the boost interacts with the circuit is extremely cool. It adds more bite and tone to the distortion, and obviously adds more volume. The distortion from the emulator really drives the boost into more distortion… this configuration really sounds great. The overdrive going into the distortion is great in the amp world, but here in the pedal realm it really sucked! Was way too noisy. So we scrapped that plan.”

The pedal features original artwork by Jason’s dad, Gary Becker, and is handbuilt in Texas.

In addition to being a solo artist, Jason was guitarist in Cacophony with Marty Friedman, and replaced Steve Vai in David Lee Roth’s band. His performing career was cut short when he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, but Jason still composes music. Shrapnel Records will release The Best Of Jason Becker on November 4, including three new songs written by Jason which feature Marty Friedman, Greg Howe, Joe Satriani, Michael Lee Firkins, Steve Vai and Steve Hunter.

Stay tuned for news of the Paradise Guitars USA Jason Becker limited edition guitar.

NEWS: Shrapnel on iTunes

If you’re anything like me, you probably spent an embarassingly large amount of time during your teenage years searching bargain bins for releases by Mike Varney’s Shrapnel Records, a label specialising in releases by guitar virtuosos like Marty Friedman, Racer X, Cacophony, Greg Howe and Paul Gilbert. Well those days of eagle-eyed pointy-guitar spotting amid the racks at obscure used CD stores are over, with the news that Shrapnel’s catalog has just become available on iTunes. Now you can pick up rare releases by Yngwie Malmsteen’s Steeler, Marty Friedman, Jason Becker, Tony McAlpine, Greg Howe, Richie Kotzen, Vinnie Moore, and many other dudes who spent as much time on haircare as they spent on practicing 8-fingered 4-octave diminished arpeggios – and those dudes spent a lot of time on 8-fingered 4-octave diminished arpeggios.