January, 2018

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - January 30, 2018


SheRocks_Finale-Photo Credit-Ron_Lyon

Report: Greg Phillips. Photos: Various but many by Debbie Kruger

Six years ago I attended a NAMM Show breakfast session at the Anaheim Marriot for the inaugural She Rocks Awards, a celebration of females who have contributed greatly to the global music industry. A little too early in the day for a rock n roll party but not soon enough to honour some amazing contributions to music by women. The awards have come a long way since.

The She Rocks Awards were initiated by Laura B Whitmore, singer, songwriter and PR wiz as an offshoot of the Women’s International Music Network, which she also created. The best thing about these awards is that it not only acknowledges the wonderful female recording and performing artists but also those behind the scenes. The growth and success of the awards, which has featured some major international female names over the last six years, has been incredible.

In the spirit of the last 5 years, the sixth annual She Rocks Awards rocked the House of Blues Anaheim on January 26, 2018. Hosted by the Women’s International Music Network (the WiMN), the gala celebration featured a star studded array of honorees that included Melissa Etheridge, Kate Pierson & Cindy Wilson of The B-52s, Exene Cervenka of X and members of the pioneering all-female rock band Fanny, as well many other women from all corners of the music and audio industry.

Featured performers Command Sisters delivered an upbeat B-52s medley that had the house singing along. The evening also included the premiere of a new song by WiMN founder Laura B. Whitmore and recording artist Jenna Paone called, “Just a Girl,” along with a moving video that delivered a message encouraging girls to dream big. Laura B. Whitmore co-hosted along with Kat Corbett of LA radio station KROQ.

Other highlights included a fantastic performance of the Etheridge hit “Come to My Window” by Laura Clapp, and Olivia Rox’s rendition of the Pat Benatar anthem “Invincible.” Alaska Reid of Alyeska interpreted X’s hit “Breathless” with sultry abandon. Members of the pioneering rock band Fanny shared their new project, Fanny Walked the Earth, with a preview of their upcoming 2018 release.

The rousing finale brought together members of Fanny, The B-52s, Melissa Etheridge and performers Olivia Rox, Jenna Paone, Laura Clapp and Sabrina Lentini to deliver an inspired performance of “Respect.” The song, made famous by Aretha Franklin, but written by Otis Redding (whose daughter, Karla Redding-Andrews, was also honored during the event), was an energetic ending to a moving evening.

Unfortunately due to illness, one of the show headliners, Pat Benetar couldn’t be in attendance but did relay a message of thanks. After attending 3 of the 6 She Rocks Awards events, I can tell you first hand that this is a major event in the music industry calendar and with the momentum finally tipping in female musicians favour, this celebration shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Congratulation to Laura and her team of hard working folks who put this fantastic gathering together.

The full list of 2018 honorees included:

  • Pat Benatar, four-time GRAMMY® Award-winning artist
  • Melissa Etheridge, Grammy® Award- and Academy® Award-winning artist
  • The B-52s Katie Pierson & Cindy Wilson, original members of one of the most beloved party rock bands of all time
  • Karla Redding-Andrews, Executive Director for The Otis Redding Foundation
  • Exene Cervenka, vocalist for the iconic punk band, X
  • Amberly Crouse-Knox, Senior Director of Creative and Business Development, BMG Production Music
  • Jean Millington AdamianJune MillingtonBrie Howard Darling, Patti Quatro Ericson and Alice de Buhr of the pioneering all-female American rock band, Fanny
  • Candace Stewart, Studio Manager, EastWest Studios in Hollywood
  • Dawn Birr, Channel Manager for the Americas, Sennheiser Business Solutions
  • Fabi Reyna, Founder and Editor of She Shreds Media
  • Vanessa Mering, Marketing Manager, HARMAN Professional
  • Kristy Porter, Guitar Center’s Director of Merchandising, General Accessories & Media

Whitmore reflected, “We were proud to formally recognize all the 2018 honorees at the She Rocks Awards. From manufacturers to musicians, our honorees span all corners of our industry. I felt truly humbled to be able to acknowledge their leadership and accomplishments. It was such a pleasure to join with them in this year’s celebration of women in music.”

Find out more at

About The Women’s International Music Network (The WiMN)
Founded in 2012, the Women’s International Music Network unites women who work within all facets of the music and audio industries. With as its hub, the WiMN provides a community for women within the industry while enriching their careers and musical experiences through networking and sharing. The Women’s International Music Network produces events such as the WiMN She Rocks Showcases and the She Rocks Awards, and is founded by music industry veteran Laura B. Whitmore. For more information, visit

Ozzy Alive – Holy Diver – 12302017



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Posted in Blog, Gear    //    Post Date - January 29, 2018

Here’s just a tiny taste of the gear which was presented at NAMM 2018 in Anaheim last week. Video demos on a lot of product to come over the next couple of weeks.

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Posted in Gear, Sound (PA, mixer, mics, recording)    //    Post Date - January 26, 2018

James Young from Aston Microphones presents their new Shock and Pop Filter Set at NAMM 2018. Aston distributed in Australia by Link Audio

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Posted in Gear, Pedals    //    Post Date - January 26, 2018

Released at the NAMM Show this year, Fender EFX pedals give you full control over your sound, creating any tone you can imagine. Not mere copies or clones of existing designs, these effects are all-original circuits that were designed by Fender’s in-house team of experts. Fender consulted a panel of…

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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - January 25, 2018

Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips catches up with legendary Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain at NAMM Show 2018

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - January 25, 2018

At Roland’s NAMM 2018 press event, Thomas Dolby received a lifetime achievement award and performed his hit single Blinded Me With Science. Steve Vai also received a lifetime achievement award at the gathering where Roland officially launched a number of new products including The Katana -Artist guitar amplifier, Katana -Air and Katana 212 cabinet. More on that later

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Posted in Electric Guitars, Gear    //    Post Date - January 25, 2018

On media preview day we had a look at some of the new Gretsch guitar models. Celebrating their 135 year anniversary, there were some stunning instruments on display. We’ll catch up with Gretsch again soon in more detail but for now, take a look at these!

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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - January 24, 2018

Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips chats with Dan Del Fiorentino, NAMM’s music historian about the work that he does compiling interviews for the NAMM Oral History archive. The NAMM Oral History Program was created and is funded by NAMM, the International Association of Music Products. The program was approved by…

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - January 19, 2018

Cole Clark Guitars, based in Melbourne Australia is pleased to announce a new exclusive retail partnership with Gruhn Guitars in Nashville TN. “This is an honour for us to be represented in Music City USA by Gruhn Guitars. In my opinion, what George Gruhn doesn’t know about acoustic guitars is probably not worth knowing and now having Cole Clark be a part of his story moving forward makes me extremely proud,” said Cole Clark CEO Miles Jackson.

Gruhn Guitars located in Nashville TN since 1970 has distinguished itself as a leading musical instrument store, worldwide, not just in the United States. With a store clientele that reads like a musicians fairytale, including (but certainly not limited to) Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney, George and his team now how to place the right guitar in the customers hands.

“I am pleased to add this unique line up of guitars for our customers. Cole Clark have carved themselves a niche as the plugged in live performance guitar and we certainly have more and more customers coming in looking for an acoustic guitar that actually serves them well in this field.” Says Mr. Gruhn.

Rob Ruff the sales manager for Gruhn Guitars backs up George’s statement by saying “We are excited to have Cole Clark represented in the store. Time and time again customers ask us ‘what is the best option for me to get my acoustic guitar amplified? New pickup system, new amplifier, new DI box or pedal?’ We now get to place a new guitar in their hands, for about the same money as an installed professional grade pickup system and amplifier. Let me tell you the Cole Clark easily satisfies even the most demanding player. Isn’t it better to buy a guitar that is designed for the job you are asking it to do rather than forcing your acoustic guitar to be an amplified instrument?”.

Cole Clark website –
Gruhn Guitars website –

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - January 18, 2018

Rob Walker (right) with UK guitar legend Steve Hackett (left) at the 2017 Melbourne Guitar Show

Australian Music Association CEO, Australian Musician co-founder and director of the Melbourne Guitar Show, Rob Walker will be honoured at The Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California next week receiving The Believe in Music Award. The Award nomination cited ‘Your career is a shining example of the passion and innovative thinking that makes our industry great!’ Awardees are recognized for their years of support and dedication to the music products industry.
AMA President, Craig Johnston said, “The executive committee of the AMA supports this well deserved accolade and congratulates Rob whose work over decades in many roles has helped grow and shape our industry”.
Rob will be presented the award at 10am on Saturday January 27th at the NAMM Ideas Centre in the ACC main lobby area, anyone attending NAMM is invited to support Rob at this short presentation. Congratulations to Rob on this wonderful and well deserved accolade

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