Wednesday, 11 December 2013

News: The Women's International Music Network - looking for volunteers to assist with the production of the She Rocks Awards

Dear Supporter of The Women's International Music Network:

We hope you will join us for the She Rocks Awards on Friday, January 24, 2014 from 8:30am to 10:00am at the Anaheim Marriott Ballroom E. Tickets are only $25 and part of the proceeds benefits the Girls Rock Camp Alliance. Tickets

Many of you have asked how you can help and so I'm reaching out to you today looking for volunteers to assist with the production of the She Rocks Awards. Here are some areas we need help:

1. Set Up and Tear Down: Set up is at 6:00pm on Thursday, January 23. We could use 3-4 folks to help, including a couple of people that could help us lift some gear onto the stage. Tear down immediately follows the event. It goes quickly.

2. Ticket checkers for the event: We can use 2-3 people to take tickets and hand out programs beginning at 8:00am

3. Sound Man (or Woman!!): We have a fabulous PA for the event donated for our use by Peavey, but we need someone to run the sound.You would need to be there on Thursday night around 7:30pm for a short while, and must be there by 7:30am on Friday for sound check. Pro level live sound engineers only please :-)

4. Acceptance of shipments: The hotels charge a crazy amount to accept shipments. If any of you are local and wouldn't mind receiving a few packages that you could bring over to the Marriott on Wednesday, please let us know.

5. Photography: We will have a full crew shooting video this year, but could use someone to shoot still photos for us. If you would like to be our official volunteer photographer, please reply!

6. Program printing: If any of you have a press on site, or a great discount with a printer, please let us know.

7. Spreading the word: We want to make sure as many people as possible coming to NAMM know about the She Rocks Awards. Please share info about it on your social media and share with your friends. 

You do not need a NAMM badge to come to the She Rocks Awards!

8. Monetary Support: I know budgets are tight, but producing an event like this is important but costly. Our ticket prices do not cover the full cost of the event (not even close!) If you would like to be a sponsor, even in a small way, please let us know. It is greatly appreciated.

Please reply and let us know if you would like to help in any capacity.

Thanks so much,


Laura B. Whitmore

Jennifer Batten: ZC3 clinician demo series 2010

Ziua Chitarelor was my first chance to see Jennifer Batten live.
The video does not include the onscreen back projections produced by Jennifer to go along with the show... for that you'll need to go along to one of her shows.

I think I would describe Jennifer as a guitar artist, painting with music and media. Her two handed approach along with chain of effects enables her to conjure up swathes of colour and texture, emotion and grace. I would certainly recommend checking out Jennifer's live show, particularly with the media back projections.

 Main web site: and online shop

You can get a selection of Jennifer's releases:

Jennifer Batten: ZC3 clinician demo #1 Cruzin The Nile

Jennifer Batten: ZC3 clinician demo #2

Jennifer Batten: ZC3 clinician demo #3

Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis: a real passion for guitar

Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis: with cat
When Stéphanie received her first guitar at the age of 13, she didn't know that she would end up working on guitars a few years later.  Stéphanie was always keen on guitar, but after a number of years in the fashion business she decided  it was time to change direction and follow her passion. Stéphanie set up a  luthier shop for musical instruments in the Montreal suburb.  In 2003 she launched her very own Workshop Lutherie SD which specializes in repair, maintenance, modification and restoration of guitars and basses modern and vintage gear. We caught up with Stéphanie to find out more about her passion.

[Shreddelicious] 1 When did you start playing guitar?

[Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis]
I started playing at 13 years old, my main reason for wanting to play guitar was because I saw Poison's CC Deville with this BC Rich guitar, with a girl painting on it and the "Every rose has it's thorn" video where he had a Desert Yellow Ibanez Jem.

My cousin had me try his Explorer style guitar and it was SO LOUD!!!I totally flipped and harassed my parents for them to get me an electric guitar for Christmas... Well... it worked, the following Xmas I had my second hand Vantage Avenger flat black with a blood red spider web on it!! :) It was so bad ass!! My dad wanted to buy me a Fender Jaguar... but I thought  it looked like an old man's guitar... well first gear mistake right there! LOL 

This was the last Xmas gift my parents gave me while together, a few days after my dad left the house and filed for divorce... my guitar became my best friend from that moment on. Like BB King says in the song "Riding with the King" he did with Clapton: "I'm gonna play this thing till the day I die..."

[Shreddelicious] 2 What made you decide to take guitar seriously?

[Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis]
All I wanted at first was to be good enough to be able to play without looking at my guitar just like Steve Vai!!lol!! Well, right after I started learning bits and pieces of Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Guns N Roses, Motley Crue, and saw the attention I was getting, I started spending all my free time learning, playing, practicing everything I heard that had interesting riffs and leads. I then got a Tascam 4 track and a Shure SM57... I started experimenting a bit and was very much into Steve Vai, Metallica, Alex Skolnick, Joe Satriani. I wanted to be a metal player just like Skolnick, I then started to get to the city to jam with the metal crowd and formed my very first band: Noxious. Then a series of cover bands and original bands followed.

Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis: close up on a beauty

[Shreddelicious] 3 What are your favourite albums?

[Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis]
My all time favorite albums are:

  • Steve Vai - Passion & Warfare, 
  • Joe Satrianí - The Extremist
  • BB King & Eric Clapton's Riding with the King. 

These are probably my desert island records... Then there's just too many to mention, Poison Native Tongue with Richie Kotzen, Andy Timmons Ear Ecstasy, Motley Crue Dr Feelgood, Ozzy No more Tears, Santana Supernatural, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble... oh god!!, so much great stuff!!

Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis: hard at work

[Shreddelicious] 4 What do you think of the use of social media for promoting your work?

[Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis]
Well, since I'm more active as a luthier and have had my own shop since 2003, social media has been good to me. From Myspace's humble beginnings to nowadays Facebook, I can honestly say that social media is a good thing. As a musician I never thought of it as anything else than a promotional tool to get music out there, but does it translate to record sales, or crowd attendance... at first yes, but now too many bands and musicians are doing it to have any real impact.

Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis: the station for guitar surgery

[Shreddelicious] 5 If you had a chance to play with anyone who would you pick?

[Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis]
Oh my dream band already exists!! They're only missing me!!! Chickenfoot!! I love Sammy Hagar!!His laid back party attitude, Mike Anthony on bass is one of my favorites, Chad Smith on drums is insane and Satch.. come on... it just keeps on getting better!! lol!! Just add me and the room explodes!! lol!!!

Otherwise I would go with Richie Kotzen on vocals and guitar, Nathan East on bass, Alex Van-Halen on drums, Mike Keneally on keys and me on lead guitar... That would be sweet!!!:)

Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis: the gear hound

[Shreddelicious] 6 Have you ever had any live show disasters?

[Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis]
As a musician quite a few, I remember my first endorsement deal was a brand new '57 Mary Kay strat, and that very same night I had a big gig and hired a roadie for the first and last time... He was still high from the night before and while the curtains were opening and I was starting the opening riff... I see all my guitars fall off the roadie and my brand new Mary Kay fall and slide right to my feets... Let me tell you, NEVER AGAIN did I ever let anyone but me handle my guitars...

As a luthier not really, I got moments where I would get a last minute call from guys going to TV gigs with last minute repairs and stuff like that, but nothing I could not handle.

Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis: acoustic moments
[Shreddelicious] 7 How do record your guitar videos?

[Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis]
Well, I'm kind of doing it more for fun than anything else, so I don't invest much on recording gear. I spend a lot on guitars, amps, pedals but my studio engineer years got ruined with ProTools 9... I just shed the money out for the Digi003 rig and then they came out with the 9 version where you could use anything you wanted...

I got pissed and sold everything for a fraction of what I just spent just a few weeks prior... Then a couple weeks ago I bought a Steinberg UR22 because it came with Cubase and had good reviews, I use it along with a Behringer Board and Monitors, CAD GXL2200 Condenser mic, Shure SM57, Hughes & Kettner Red Box Classic on the line out of my Ultimate attenuator plugged into my pedalboard and my trusty Soldano Reverb-O-Sonic.

I use a lot of Wampler pedals, Keeley Compressor, Zendrive 2, AlphaDrive, Marshall drives, Maxon Od808, Line 6 dl4, and a few Boss pedals for tremolo, chorus and eq thru the effects loop.

I have a nice selection of guitars too, so I can do pretty much any tone or very close to it.

Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis: are those all your guitars? (copyright Pink Floyd)
Little first take Improvisation on Guthrie Govan's Chillaxe Jam Track, First time Testing new recording setup:
Ibanez Jem 77 FP2 - Wampler Super Ecstasy - Line 6 DL4 - Boss GE7 - Soldano ROS - Ultimate Attenuator - Hughes & Kettner Red Box Classic - CAD GLX2200 Condenser - Behringer Board - Steinberg UR22 - Cubase

Chillaxe Jam Improvisation / First take, Studio Setup Test

[Shreddelicious] 8 What do you think of illegal music downloading?

[Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis]
Well, I pay for my music, either buying the CD but mostly through iTunes. When I had my production company, it cost so much to produce a quality product, that it is really stealing from the producer, the musicians, the author, distributor, retailer, etc.. to download illegally. The music industry is becoming more of what it used to be before the record industry took over; troubadours going from city to city playing for people who show up for a good time.

If you get lucky you get local, national or international exposure that gives you a chance to play more gigs and make a bit more money. The time when you got Beatles, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Pink Floyd or any household multigenerational record industry made entertainers is definitely breathing it's last few dying breaths. Music is more alive than ever, it's just the monopoly of the majors that is disappearing... that's probably a good thing, since it's the next step of evolution.

Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis: the pedals

[Shreddelicious] 9 Can you tell us a bit about your Guitars and Amps?

[Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis]
Hihihi!!The good stuff!! :)
As a professional luthier I get to spend time with rare, mythic and very valuable instruments. Working on a mint condition Les Paul 1952 or 1959 strat is always a pleasure. But of course I don't get to keep them...

My Gear Acquisition Syndrome is pretty bad... I call myself a Gear Aholic... well... I've owned over 150 guitars, 45 amps, countless pedals and gadgets... When I had the most instruments I had 34 guitars and 8 amps... Mostly vintage Jems, Universes, Musicman EVH, Les Pauls, strats, teles,, Bogner, Matchless, Mesa, Marshalls, 5150, Fenders... Oh god!! I even had the holy grail for me that was an early Ibanez Universe Multicolored (number 14!!) owned and played on tour by Steve Vai on the Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue tour!!

But last year I had to close the shop for a year for medical reasons and needed money to live on and pay medical expenses... most of my gear had to go. But I have reopened last july and got to buy at least one of each model I like.. Right now I have 10 guitars that include, Ibanez Jem 77FP2, Ibanez JS1 1991 (number 152), Ibanez UV7PWH 1990, Fender Cabronita Tele (got it last night!), Gibson Les Paul Jr, Les Paul Custom, EVH Wolfgang, Fender Telecaster, my trusty Frankenstrat which I got as a teenager and that received all my first mods and experiments.

Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis: the pedals - top down view

[Shreddelicious] 10 Can you tell us about your latest recording?

[Stéphanie Léveillé-Denis]
I recently put a video of me jamming on some Guthrie Govan's Jam Tracks just to try out my recording gear. But at the moment I'm working on building my shop to where it was in 2011. So next to getting new tools, getting in touch with my customer base and shopping around for a new commercial space, I like to play my gear, get new toys and maybe, this is a big maybe, if I get the right offer, get back playing for artists in the area or elsewhere. But to be honest, my years as a performer are mostly a thing of the past. I love to mess around with gear and collecting but I'm not looking to start a band from scratch and get famous... but hey... If Bieber can do it..!! lol!!!

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