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Guitar Idol 2008 was conceived as an online worldwide talent search to find the next generation of Guitar Heroes… and boy did it deliver! Already the biggest guitar competition in history, between March 21st 2008 and the Live Grand Final on June 14th 2008 almost half a million people visited, voted or entered the competition. On June 14th thousands of guitar fans witnessed 12 future guitar stars do battle with a crack live band on the main stage at The London International Music Show to be crowned ‘Guitar Idol 2008’. In late 2007 Alloutguitar.com, Licklibrary.com and the UK’s Guitar Buyer magazine sat down and decided the time was right to launch a new international guitarist talent search – one that for the first time utilised the Internet, by having contestants upload their video or audio entries at www.guitar-idol.co.uk to then be voted and discussed by guitar fans worldwide. With the massive resurgence of guitar playing, from metal to blues to the new acoustic masters, we all thought this could be big… but not this big! Visitors to the website crossed all cultural and national divides – not only from the US and Europe but places as diverse as
Nepal, Iraq and Siberia! With nearly 1000 contestants truly spanning the globe, the standard was overwhelmingly high. Eventually with a combination of public votes and a panel of industry professionals, 12 outstanding Finalists were chosen. Finalists Gustavo di Padua, Gustavo Guerra and Fernando Miyata flew in from the ‘new home of shred’ Brazil, Peter Petchalov from Russia, Chris Feener from Canada, Muris Varajic from Bosnia and Daniele Gottardo from Italy. The UK was represented by Jas Morris, Tom Qualye, Ben Randall, the one-handed phenomenon Marc Playle and Lyle Watt, the 15 year wunderkind from North Scotland! All of the finalists arrived in London for Friday 13th July 2008, to rehearse their songs at North London’s ‘Institute of Contemporary Music Performance’ with an amazing live band consisting of Darren Ashford (Drums) Gianluca Corona (Rhyhm Guitar) and Dave Marks (Bass and M.D). 5 languages, 12 players, and less than 10 hours… Anyone reading this who’s ever played live and rehearsed a set knows how hard this would have been - throw in the language barriers as well and the prospect of playing in front of thousands of guitar fans the next day… I’m sure you all appreciate how monumental a task this was! But they did it! And so, on Saturday 14th June 2008, on the main stage at The London Guitar Show – with no sound check, the 12 finalists performed to a huge audience and a panel of industry judges. After nearly 2 hours of explosive guitar talent, the judges eventually picked the deserved winner - Gustavo Guerra from Brazil - Guitar Idol 2008! This CD is a celebration of the first in what will be an ongoing annual competition that could well dictate the future of virtuoso guitar playing! On this album are not only the 12 lucky finalists, but three other players who were invited to attend the finals but couldn’t make the journey, as well as a further three who were so close to making the final dozen that we couldn’t ignore their efforts… Listening to this CD, I think you’ll agree that after years in the doldrums the art of virtuoso guitar playing is well and truly back! Also ponder this: The last time guitar playing on this level was in the limelight, it was almost exclusively the province of guitar players from the US and Western Europe. Fast forward 20 years and we see the emergence of hotbeds of talent from South America, Eastern Europe and Asia joining the party… it seems that outstanding guitar playing is now a truly worldwide commodity. So let’s all do our bit to break down the walls of the cultural divide and welcome in a new golden age of guitar!
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N.E.H. Records
7915 Oxford Road, Niwot, CO 80503, USA
Email: mmcpherson@nehrecords.com
Phone: (303) 652-0199