It's easy to run out of superlatives when you start to describe the guitar virtuoso that is Jan Akkerman.
Although perhaps best known for his time with the Dutch prog-rock group Focus, Jan's career has spanned more than 40 years with musical styles that vary from Gypsy jazz through classically influenced rock to lute madrigals.
Jan was Stesbar's first major name artist and has greatly assisted the development process - mostly by breaking the early models on a regular basis!
Jan has Stetsbars fitted to his main performance guitars; a Gibson Les Paul Special, a Les Paul Personal (pictured), a Les Paul Black Beauty and a "Langcaster" made for him by Dutch Luthier Joh Lang.
Jan continues to tour throughout Europe with his band and also as a solo musician playing acoustic guitar. More details and tour dates can be found on Jan's website
You can read more about Jan Akkerman in this article in the UK music publication PlayMusic magazine and we thank the guys at PlayMusic for permission to reproduce it here.
Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Randy Bachman has become a legendary figure in the rock and roll world through his talents as a guitarist, songwriter, performer and producer.
Randy has earned over 120 Gold and Platinum album/singles awards around the world for performing and producing. His song writing has garnered him the coveted #1 spot on radio play lists in over 20 countries and he has amassed over 40 million records sold.
His songs have been recorded by numerous other artists and placed in dozens of television, movie and commercial soundtracks. His music has provided a veritable soundtrack of the last thirty years of popular music.
Randy achieved major success in the 60's and 70's with The Guess Who and later Bachman Turner Overdrive and he continues to be in much demand as a songwriter, session player and solo artist.
Though his music industry awards include dozens of coveted acknowledgments of legendary achievements, when asked which award is his most prized, he responds, "The one I haven't got yet."
Brooklyn based guitarist, John Cabán's unique playing has graced performances and/or recordings with such diverse artists as - Richard Bona, Alana Davis, Art Neville, Bo Diddley, Kenny Kirkland, KJ Denhert, JABR, Organic!, Neycha, Gianna Nannini, Dispatch, drum 'n' bass maverick's Boomish and many others.
With roots deep in rock, blues, funk, r&b, experimental, ambient and world music, a rich tonal palette, lyrical sensitivity and strong rhythmic feel combine to make his distinctive atmospheric guitar style a fixture on both the stage and studio in NYC and beyond.
When it comes to song writing, the story's the thing, and Michael Chain tells one with the best of them. No big surprise. Chain has been a top music and screenwriter for years (major artists record his tunes and his shows have been EMMY nominated). And the man can sing. A quick listen to any cut on Chain's new CD Loud and Proud makes that clear.
Michael wrote and produced his new CD with engineer Dave Matthews twiddling knobs at Studio 19 in Nashville and the first cut released, "Do You Wanna Do It?", hit number one on the Hot AC Indie Charts.
You can't really categorize Chain's genre - it's way too eclectic - so we call it "loud and proud." No tricks, no loops, no pitch-fixing, no Pro Tools - just strong songs, solid vocals, killer tracks. Chain is all about the music. Chain knows his way around a recording studio, but concerts are where his heart is - no audience in a session. From hell holes to the Hollywood Bowl he has shared the stage with everybody from Led Zeppelin to Louis Armstrong.
B.J. Thomas, Vicki Laurence, Lee Roy Van Dyke, the Knack, Eric Andersen, Wayne Newton, the Mills Brothers, Manuela Torres and John Davidson, to name a few, have cut Michael's tunes and his script credits range from Punky Brewster and Police Academy to Rambo and Chuck Norris. You've heard Chain's voice as the Transformers, the Chicken McNuggets, and on hundreds of TV and radio spots.
Michael grew up(?) in the wilds of Laurel Canyon when it was the Music Mecca of rock. His parents gave him a guitar for his thirteenth birthday to get him to put down his BB gun and it worked. Music became his passion. Sinatra gave the boy his first singing job, Bob Dylan encouraged him to pursue a recording career, and Buck Owens told Michael "cut your damn hair!"
REEVES GABRELS is a virtuoso guitarist, composer and songwriter with extensive performance and production experience world-wide.
Gabrels toured and worked closely with David Bowie for more than a decade as a guitarist, musical collaborator and producer with album credits including three by the band Tin Machine (1989-1993), Outside (1995), Earthling (1997), and hours... (1999). Gabrels co-produced the latter two albums from which numerous tracks have been licensed for film or television. Earthling received 3 Grammy nominations including for the song "Dead Man Walking."
Further, Gabrels has wide-ranging composer, screenwriting, producer and performer credits beyond his association with David Bowie. These include hundreds of live and/or recorded performances for artists ranging from Natalie Imbruglia to The Cure, film soundtracks, video games, live and electronic collaborations, and four solo albums.
Gabrels' solo album Ulysses (della notte) was nominated for a Yahoo! award in 2000 in its path-breaking Internet-only form, its original release format.
Reeves Gabrels lives in Nashville, USA.
Jon Herington is a noted guitarist, singer/songwriter and producer from New York City. Since late 1999, Jon has been the guitarist of choice with Steely Dan for both recording and touring. Jon has also toured with Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, Bette Midler, the Jim Beard group, The Blue Nile, Phoebe Snow, Madeleine Peyroux, saxophonist Bill Evans, the contemporary jazz superband Chroma, Lucy Kaplansky (of Cry, Cry, Cry), and jazz/blues organ great Jack McDuff.
Some of Jon's recording highlights aside from "Like So" and "The Complete Rhyming Dictionary" are the newest Donald Fagen release, "Morph the Cat;" the Steely Dan albums "Two Against Nature" (Grammy Award Winner) and "Everything Must Go;" Jim Beard's four recordings (co-produced by Jon); two Bill Evans records, "Escape" and "Starfish and the Moon;" Michael "Patches" Stewart's "Penetration;" Bob Berg's "Riddles" and "Virtual Reality;" Lucy Kaplansky's "10 Year Night;" Michael Brecker's "Now You See It...(Now You Don't); " Randy Brecker's "Toe to Toe;" Victor Bailey's "Bottoms Up;" Chroma's "Music on the Edge" (with Mike Stern and others); Rob Morsberger's "Waiting for Wood," "Relativity [Blues]," and "A Periodic Rush of Waves;" and Lynne Robyn's "Red Bird in Snow," one of Jon's production efforts.
Jon can also be seen on Steely Dan's live video and DVD and is featured on the "Making of Aja" video/dvd, from the brilliant Classic Albums series.
Jon's current work remains a combination of free-lancing as a guitarist and producer in New York, song-writing and band-leading work with his own group, and world-wide touring in support of some of the world's most renowned musical artists.
Bon is guitarist and founding member of Gongzilla and has had the good fortune to work and record with some of the most talented and innovative musicians in the world. The list includes Eddie Jobson (UK, Zappa), Percy Jones (Brand X), Mark Craney (Jethro Tull, Jean-Luc Ponty), Gary Husband (John McLaughlin) and Happy Rhodes just to name a few.
Bon joined PM's GONG on the Expresso II album when Stomu Yamashta (Island Records) heard one of his demo tapes and referred him to the group's manager.
Bon recorded four records and toured extensively throughout Europe and America with the band. In 1993 Bon regrouped with GONG bassist Hansford Rowe and formed BON, his first solo project, and recorded Full Circle/Coming Home and To the Bone for LoLo Records.
Their association continues in the monster group Gongzilla (featuring guests such as Allan Holdsworth, David Torn, David Fiuczynski, and recently Chuck Garvey and Jim Loughlin of moe.).
Gongzilla continues touring in the US, Canada, Japan and Europe
More information on Bon can be found here
Snowy White is one of the UK's premier blues orientated guitarists.
Snowy has played with Peter Green, Thin Lizzy and Pink Floyd as well as enjoying a long career as a top class session musician and fronting his own band the "White Flames".
Snowy has played with Roger Waters on many of his world-wide tours.
Snowy is pictured here, at a tour sound check and in performance with his Stetsbar equipped Les Paul Goldtop.
Snowy says "I don't feel comfortable playing Stratocasters so I found a 1998 re-issue of my '57 Goldtop. The feel of it ,the neck especially, is similar to the guitar that I have been playing for the last 37 years.
Then I had a 'Stetsbar' fitted, which is a new type of tremolo arm. It fits in the existing holes which take the bridge so no changes have to be made to the actual guitar body and it can be removed at any time and the guitar returned to normal.
It's a great piece of kit, and I'm very happy with the way it works. I had the guitar set up so that it feels as close to my old Gibson as possible, so now I feel comfortable playing either of them."
Snowy's website can be found here
Vasco is a guitarist with not one, but two leading Portuguese bands; Mundo Cao and Mao Morta.
Vasco started gigging in 1989 at the tender age of 15 in the mythical (now defunct) Lisbon rock club Rock Rendez-Vous with his first band, Braindead.
Since then he has played in numerous bands as both a full member and a guest artist.
Throughout an extensive live career he was part of support acts for the likes of Coldplay, Marylin Manson, Dinosaur Jr., Motorhead, LCD Soundsystem, Spiritualized, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and New York Dolls among many others.
2009 found Vasco gigging with Mundo Cão as lead guitarist, composer, arranger, programmer, multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist. The band recently finished this extensive tour in support of their second album "Geração da Matilha".
The autumn of 2009 saw Vasco returning to Mao Morta - probably the most important Portuguese alternative rock band in the last two decades.
In a similar role as lead guitarist, composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist he spent the last three months of the year in composing and recording Mão Morta's new album "Pesadelo em peluche".
Mao Morta is signed to Universal Records and the new album has been released to popular and critical aclaim.
With his Stetsbar equipped Italia his career goes from strength to strength.
The band's latest video can be found here (external link).
Elliott Randall's illustrious career has encompassed a wide and varied cross-section of World Musical forms. These include: record production, composition, electronic research and development, lectures and teaching, and of course, a legendary contribution to popular guitar performance and recording. His guitar solos on Steely Dan's "Reelin' In The Years" and "Fame" (the motion picture) have entered Rock history annals.
Elliott has recorded and performed with artists as diverse as The Doobie Brothers, Carly Simon, Seatrain, The Blues Brothers, Carl Wilson, Peter Wolf, Peter Frampton, James Galway, Richie Havens, The Rochester Philharmonic and The American Symphony Orchestra, among many others. In addition, he is a favorite of esteemed songwriters Jimmy Webb, George David Weiss, Don Covay and Laura Nyro. Other credits include: music consultant for NBC Saturday Night Live and Oliver Stone, and projects with producers Jerry Wexler, Joel Dorn, Steve Lillywhite, Eddie Kramer, David Kershenbaum, Bill Szymcziyk, Eumir Deodato, Bob Crewe, Andrew Loog Oldham, Elliot Scheiner and Gary Katz among many others.
In addition to artistic projects, Elliott has also played, produced and composed myriad advertisements (jingles) for television, radio and cinema, for clients including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Miller Beer, Budweiser, Cadillac, Ford, McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, CitiBank, General Mills, Nabisco, Proctor & Gamble, MTV, ESPN, CBS, ABC, BBC-TV and countless others.
Elliott said this about the Stetsbar - "The Stetsbar is very special. Having used virtually all the 'bars on the market' - beginning with Bigsby in the 60s - all I can tell you is that Stetsbar is the very finest I have encountered. I installed one on my custom-built BJ & Byrne and am so delighted that I am now having one fitted onto one of my favourite 1963 Stratocasters.
The design is totally unique. Eric Stets has invented a completely revolutionary system that not only keeps tune superbly, it also treats the strings with a gentleness that I feel will keep them sounding 'live' longer. Then there's it's gorgeous looks... I rate it a five out of five."
More information on Elliott can be found here
Pedro Duarte is a composer, songwriter, latin jazz fusion guitar player and teacher with a prolific list of participation as a songwriter and session player. One of the most sought after Portuguese contemporary guitar players, this "young gun" is known for his authentic fusion of latin jazz styles.
Pedro studied music at two of the most famous international music institutions in the world; Berklee College of Music (USA) and Falmouth University (UK).
In 2009 Pedro founded a revolutionary new music school that quickly achieved national status. The press have said that the EMMA modern Music School is changing the way contemporary commercial music is taught in Portugal and it has achieved a high degree of recognition in the Portuguese media.
Pedro's latest record Kilindu was recorded by two time Grammy winner and international producer Bob Cutarella (Les Paul, Peter Frampton and Slash).
Pedro's music has been played on national radio and international TV channels such as SIC International, RTP International and RTP Africa.
The Pedro Duarte song "O que o futuro" received an enthusiastic review from Billboard's Chuck Taylor, who described the music as "beautiful" and the performance as "polished to perfection". The video for that song has reached 250 thousand views on YouTube. Pedro's current musical project KILINDU is also receiving a lot of attention from fans both online and on social media.
Pedro Duarte lives in Queluz, Portugal.
We are delighted to be able to feature - and thank - those artists who have chosen the Stetsbar as part of their professional set-up and helped us refine our designs to stand up to the rigors of a full touring schedule.
It goes without saying that all of the artists featured here have both huge musical talent and a mass of professional experience.