Paul Gilbert, Guthrie Govan, Tony MacAlpine, Sam Coulson: Great Guitar Escape

From platinum album sales and number one chart success as a founding member of MR. BIG, to frightening the guitar community with new levels of ferocious picking technique with shred-pioneers RACER X, to exploring punk, pop, classical, blues, jazz, and progressive instrumental styles in his solo career, Paul Gilbert has recorded a massive amount of stunning guitar music, all while circling the globe to play sold-out arenas from Japan to Jakarta.

Paul’s style stands out for it’s rare combination of accuracy, creativity, and power – all which are balanced with Paul’s sense of humor and pure love of music.

Although Paul is best known for his work with MR. BIG and RACER X, he has also toured with Joe Satriani’s G3, played in a host of tribute concerts with legendary drummer Mike Portnoy, and been integral in the design of his signature Ibanez PGM and Fireman guitars.

Paul’s legacy as a guitar instructor began when he was eighteen, when he was hired to teach at Hollywood’s Guitar Institute of Technology. Paul’s groundbreaking “Intense Rock” videos and DVDs have inspired legions of guitarists to improve their accuracy, speed, and phrasing. Years as a columnist for Guitar Player magazine, and most recently, Premier Guitar magazine, along with giving countless clinics, private lessons, and serving for five years as the dean of MI Japan, have given Paul deep experience in the art of communicating music to all levels of guitarists.

Over twenty-five years in the music business have only increased Paul’s passion to explore the possibilities of music and the art of playing the guitar. Whether he’s playing to 10,000 fans or jamming one-on-one with a student, Paul is living his childhood dream of taking the sounds in his head and bringing them into reality – on the electric guitar.

Guthrie Govan has been playing guitar for as long as he can remember: he played his first gig at the age of five, appeared on UK national TV four years later and subsequently went on to win the 1993 "Guitarist of the Year" contest sponsored by the leading UK magazine Guitarist. (More recently, the July 2011 issue of Guitar Player magazine ran a cover story on Guthrie's playing.)

He has recorded and toured extensively with acts ranging all the way from melodic rock (Asia) to jazz fusion (The Fellowship) and electronica (The Young Punx.)

Guthrie has worked as a transcriber for Guitar Techniques magazine since 1994, covering the playing of pretty much everyone from Hank Marvin to Shawn Lane. He has also taught at various noted guitar schools in the UK, such as ACM and BIMM, and his clinic tours for Suhr guitars and Rotosound strings have taken him to all manner of unusual locations. (He's particularly proud of the Kazakhstan work permit in his passport...)

Guthrie's debut solo album Erotic Cakes was released in 2006. This eclectic collection of guitar instrumentals was widely acclaimed - inspiring Joe Satriani to deliver the verdict "freakin' awesome!"

He regularly works with the sample recreation company Replay Heaven, as a result of which his guitar and bass work has graced hit singles by the likes of Sonny J, the Sugababes, Cee Lo Green and Dizzee Rascal. He has also toured extensively with Dizzee, performing in arenas and festivals throughout the UK.

Guthrie was recently invited to appear on Lee Ritenour's Six String Theory project: his re-working of the track Fives (featuring Vinnie Colaiuta, Tal Wilkenfeld and Larry Goldings) is featured alongside contributions from the likes of Steve Lukather, George Benson and B.B. King.

He is currently touring and recording with The Aristocrats, new a rock-fusion power trio featuring bassist Bryan Beller (Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, Dethklok) and drummer Marco Minnemann (UKZ, Paul Gilbert, Adrian Belew, Necrophagist.)

Another solo album is rumored to be in the works, though no one seems quite sure when it might actually be released. Watch this space!

The name Tony MacAlpine is synonymous with modern musical virtuosity. Whether performing as a solo artist, band member, session player, touring hired-gun, or as a producer, Tony MacAlpine continues to prove that he truly is one of rock’s most amazing and versatile musicians. He incorporates classical, jazz and fusion influences into the hard rock/metal genre on both guitar and keyboards.

In his 25 year career he has produced, written and arranged eleven solo instrumental studio albums. Tony has also released four albums with his jazz-fusion band CAB, three albums with his progressive rock band Planet X, and a number of other band projects. In addition, MacAlpine has contributed both guitar and keyboards to a long list of records by other artists. Tony was born and raised in Springfield Massachusetts, and in his early years was a classically trained pianist and violinist. He began his musical education at age 5 as a piano major at the Springfield Conservatory of Music, where he studied under the direction of Marion Jensen for twelve years. Tony furthered his studies at HARTT College under the tutelage of Professor Raymond Hanson at the University of Hartford, Connecticut.

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Born and raised in Norway, blues guitar player Chris "Kid" Andersen moved to California to pursue a career in the blues in 2001 at the age of 21. He quickly became a staple of the thriving West Coast Blues scene, just as he had been a vital part of the Scandinavian Blues scene for years already. He spent three years with The Terry Hanck Band, four years touring with harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite. He is currently the lead guitar for Rick Estrin and The Nightcats, a spot he took over for the legendary Little Charlie Baty.

Kid has 5 CDs out, 'Rock Awhile' , 'Guitarmageddon' (with Junior Watson and Vidar Busk), 'Greaseland' (nominated for a Norwegian Grammy), 'The Dreamer' and his latest 'Christmas at Greaseland' is, you guessed it, a Blues Christmas record featuring Rick Estrin, Paul Oscher, Elvin Bishop, John Nemeth, Terry Hanck, Rusty Zinn and Mark Hummel. Kid played on Musselwhite's acclaimed latest CD, 'Delta Hardware" (winner of 4 BMA awards), and appeared on Elvin Bishop's Grammy nominated 2008 CD 'The Blues Rolls On". "Twisted" by The Nightcats garnered them 4 BMA nominations, including Band Of The Year.

Fans of Blues guitar, Swing, Surf, Rockabilly and wild Rock'n'Roll cannot go wrong with Kid Andersen and the endless array of tricks he has up his sleeve.

Scotty Johnson is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of music in Boston and has toured the world a few of times with a guitarist named Paul Gilbert. He can also be heard on three of Paul’s releases: ‘Bee Hive Live’, ‘Alligator Farm’, and ‘11,000 Notes’. Scotty is presently working with Steve Vai as the co-author and instructor of the Berklee online course “Steve Vai Guitar Techniques”.

After being signed to Mike Varney’s heavy blues-rock label Blues Bureau International in the mid nineties, Scotty has never looked back having toured and recorded with Robben Ford ‘Fords and Friends’, The Ford Blues Band, and The Blindside Blues Band.

As an active pit musician, Scotty has well over 30 theater credits to his name including “The Lion King”, “Memphis”, “The Color Purple”, “Legally Blonde”, “Chicago”, and many others. Scotty brings a unique ‘real world’ perspective to his students with an emphasis on stylistic diversity and musical literacy.

Sam Coulson is widely regarded as being at the forefront of rock guitar in the UK. The characteristics of his playing are lightening fast picked pentatonics as well as searing bends and vibrato. His fiery playing retains maturity and taste due to his deep understanding of the blues and flare for melody.

Picking up the guitar at age 16 Sam spent the rest of his teenage years practicing as much as humanly possible. Since then Sam has been playing in various bands all over the globe, from his native England as far a field as China and Canada.

Sam can often be seen rippin' it up in the Charvel booth at the NAMM show. Over the last year Sam has begun working with jamtrackcentral in London. His maiden package is available via there website. During July Sam performed along side Gurthie Govan, Andy james and Alex Hutchings at the instrumental guitar festival MonkeyFest in England. Furthermore he is currently recording his debut album 'Sleight of Hand' which will boast the best guitar playing he has ever produced.

An outstanding musician for his entire life, Kelly started his professional career as a founding member of the popular LA band The Electric Love Hogs who were quickly discovered by Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee. Lee produced The Love Hogs’ debut album for by London / PolyGram Record. Kelly later joined the indie power pop band 22 Jacks featuring members of the Foo-Fighters, Adolescents, and Wax. When Joey Ramone needed a band to back him up for a Cheap Trick tribute album it was 22 Jacks anchored by the strong and rhythmic bass of Mr. LeMiuex that he called upon.

Megadeath’s Dave Mustaine who is no stranger to great musicians called on Kelly services for his side project, MD.45. Highly respected guitar virtuoso Paul Gilbert brought Kelly on to tour internationally with his first post Mr. Big solo project, King of Clubs. His talents were tapped again when the seminal punk band Fear needed a bassist. Kelly immediately filled that spot and embarked on several successful tours with the band.

Kelly continues his career with the highly influential punk / ska band Goldfinger with whom he continues to record and tour the world. He fills in his time giving back by teaching kids to rock as a guest instructor at Paul Green’s School of Rock.

Rodney was born in New York City in a home filled with music and a deep love for the arts. Rodney was a gifted artist when he was a child, and was constantly drawing and later on began painting. Everyone (including Rodney) thought that he would eventually become a professional artist, but Rodney also fell in love with music and starting learning drums at age 9. As a child, Rodney has always been drawn to progressive Rock, dance and electronic music. As a very young adult, Rodney began studying jazz and Afro Cuban music. But by the time he started playing gigs around New York, Rodney was very comfortable playing music in many different genres, and was also developing a very unique and technical language on the drums. Rodney at this time also began fine-tuning his skills as a composer and songwriter. Even though Rodney was becoming known for his virtuoso skills as a drum soloist, Rodney is first and foremost a music lover. And he always put the song and his roll in the band first. This becomes very obvious to anyone who has ever heard Rodney or seen him perform.

Rodney has gone on to work with some of the most talented and respected musicians in both Rock and Jazz worlds. Rodney has worked with Santana, Steve Lukather, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Rob Thomas, and many others. Rodney has won Grammy awards for his work on Santana’s “Supernatural” album, as well as for his work on the Brecker Brother’s “Out Of The Loop” album. Rodney’s love for Electronic and dance music is reflected on his first solo album “Twelve Months Of October”. Now Rodney is working on his second album with his new band, “Rodney Holmes’ Lithium Tree”.

Sucked in by the “Dark Side of the Moon” back in ʼ73, Tom was intrigued by the way this album sounded—and it led him to discover his passion.

Though he initially studied electronics at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Broadcast En- gineering at San Francisco State (thinking this was the way to get into the music busi- ness) his first real job in the industry came at the Music Annex in Menlo Park, California where he built studios by day and engineered in his spare time. “The owner, David Por- ter would let me bring in ʻspecʼ projects, which helped me hone my engineering chops.” But the Music Annex was mainly a commercial house, and Tom knew he wanted to work on music projects.

His desire soon came to fruition when he was offered a staff engineering position at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California where his first major project was Sammy Ha- garʼs VOA, the album with “I Canʼt Drive 55” on it.

During his seven years at Fantasy Studios, Tom was fortunate enough to work with an incredible array of music producers and talent: David Foster, Ted Templeman, Todd Rundgren, Richie Zito, Jim Gaines, and Tom Dowd just to name a few on the producer side. And amazing artists such as Aerosmith, David Lee Roth, Huey Lewis, Eddie Money, Mr. Big, Y&T, Europe, Steve Miller Band, Joe Satriani, Ella Fitzgerald, and Joe Pass ... and the discography goes on.

With the advent of the ADAT in 1991, Tom built himself a home studio for doing over- dubs and mixing a few projects. As the gear got better so did his studio. While home studios are now the norm, Tomʼs had a 20 year head start on most, and his own studio is still one of his favorite places to mix.

Tom has toured the world with a number bands and continues his career as a Sound Engineer/Producer—both in-studio and mixing live for bands on tour.