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Performing Sponsors: Devon Allman, Jennifer Batten, Michael Angelo Batio, David Becker, Ethan Brosh, Steve Fister, Gary Hoey, Eric Johson, Bruce Kulick, Sonny Landreth, Bill Leverty, Steve Lukather, Dave Martone, Ben Mauro, Chris McKay, Vernon Neilly, Ronny North, Jon Pousette-Dart, Innes Sibun, Ian Thornley, Carl Verheyen, Bobby Vogel

Program Sponsors>>>: D'Addario, Planet Waves, Ballurio Guitars, Rock Hard Road Cases, Northland Forest Products

Performing Sponsors

Devon Allman
  Honeytribe was formed in 1999 in St. Louis, Missouri. Led by singer / guitarist Devon Allman they quickly became one of the top draws in their hometown and won the Jam Band of the Year award in the Riverfront Times Magazine Poll. Some recordings were made, small tours happened and then in late 2000, Devon disbanded the group to spend time with his newborn son, Orion.

2005 found Devon appearing on a top 10 hit in Spain with bluesman Javier Vargas. He was featured on the album "LOVE, UNION, PEACE" along side several veteran classic rockers. Getting back into the swing of making music prompted Devon to "put the band back together." Summer 2005 found the members of Honeytribe woodshedding new material that would eventually end up on their late 2006 debut album release, TORCH. Hailed by critics and fans alike, TORCH sold well and was featured heavily on satellite radio. Touring ramped up, and from 2006 to 2008 Honeytribe gained fans the old school way: in a van, almost 300 dates a year, 42 states and 10 countries. New fans, like Billy Bob Thornton and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, came and rocked out to the Honeytribe show and Devon being asked to sit in with the legendary Les Paul, The Allman Brothers Band, Dickey Betts, Keller Wiliams, Beth Hart, Billy Bob Thornton as well as being featured in Relix, Guitar Player,Guitar World and Guitar One magazines.

In 2009, a power trio has emerged -with monster world class bassist George Potsos and new drummer Gabriel Strange.

To hear more from Honeytribe, check out:

Devon signing of the Traveling Guitar

Jennifer Batten
The buzz on Jennifer Batten rose from the guitar underground, and the guitar magazines promptly began chronicling her savvy musicianship and highly original approach to the electric guitar.  A major turning point came when she was selected from over one hundred guitarists to play in Michael Jackson's highly skilled band which toured the world for one and a half years playing for over four and a half million people.

Jennifer wasted no time after the” Bad” Tour's grand finale, diving into work on her debut album with renown producer (and Stevie Wonder guitarist) Michael Sembello.

Upon “Above, Below, and Beyond's”, release in the spring of '92, she was asked again to join Michael Jackson for his upcoming "Dangerous Tour". In January '93, she joined Jackson to partake in Superbowl XXVII's half time entertainment which aired to one and half billion people in 80 nations. It was the largest audience in television history.

Her follow up CD "Momentum" which was heavily influenced by world music, was released just before she left for Michael Jackson's HIStory world tour in 1997.

In the spring of '98 Jeff Beck asked Jennifer to join his band. They joined forces for 3 years on the CD’s "Who Else", and “You Had It Coming” which were both supported by world tours.

Jennifer has authored two music books and has just released her third solo CD/DVD entitled “Whatever”. With this 3rd effort, she’s ventured into electronica, vocal samples, and film. She’s supporting this release with a multimedia one woman show, playing guitar in synch with projected films. The companion DVD includes over 90 min of art films, previously unreleased music videos, interviews, commentary, and an innovative guitar lesson.

Jennifer is currently touring the world with her new multimedia film/music show.

To hear more from Jennifer, check out;

Jennifer signing the Traveling Guitar.

Michael Angelo Batio
Michael, from Chicago, IL, started playing the piano at age 5 and started playing the guitar at age 10. At 14 MAB was playing jazz and by 16 won an award for outstanding jazz soloist on guitar. Michael started as a session guitarist when he was 19 years old and recorded TV, radio and industrial film music. He earned a B.A. in Music Theory and Composition from Northeastern Illinois University.

Michael has performed over 1,600 shows in 44 different countries since 1993. He has toured the world performing guitar workshops for Dean Guitars, touring with various bands and as a solo artist. His career includes being signed to 2 major labels: Atlantic Records with the band “Holland” and Rhino/Warner Brothers Records with the band “Nitro.” In 1993, Michael started his own record label titled M.A.C.E. Music, Inc. and was one of the first music companies to go on line in 1996. Michael has filmed 6 acclaimed instructional DVDs that are some of the most famous and best selling guitar programs in the world! He is a fixture on “best of” lists for in fastest guitarists, greatest shredders, and fastest shredders for prestigious magazines such as Guitar One, Guitar World, and Total Guitar.

As a multifaceted artist, Michael was also a columnist for Guitar World Magazine. His monthly column called “Time to Burn” also appeared on the GW CD - ROM. Michael has the honor and distinction of being the longest running columnist in the history of Guitar World Magazine.

He is also known for his inventions and innovations that include the world’s first player of the twin-necked, left and right-handed Double-Guitar, String Dampeners that he uses on the Double-Guitar, and his signature stage move called the “MAB Over-Under” technique.

To hear more from Michael, check out;

Michael signing the Traveling Guitar

David Becker
For more than two decades guitarist, composer and producer David Becker has continued to define himself as one of the best and most unique voices in contemporary jazz guitar by combining diverse influences and a passion for the new and different, and his ability to play for the present while always keeping an eye on the past and future.

Beginning his solo career at the age of 22, David Becker had already toured Europe and the USA extensively before releasing his critically acclaimed debut album LONG PETER MADSEN (MCA) in 1986.

He has led the DAVID BECKER TRIBUNE to a worldwide audience by performing in more than 18 countries. Over the years, the DBT has shared the stage with such celebrated jazz acts as Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Michael Brecker and many more. German television journalist Roger Willemsen (ZDF) called him "One of the best Jazz guitarists ever." Jazz Podium and Downbeat called him "A poet on the Jazz Guitar." Jazz Thing and Gitarre & Bass called him” a virtuoso”.

David has released 10 recordings, many topping the jazz and contemporary music charts, two of which made it to the Grammy nominations. The DBT have performed at some of the most prestigious venues throughout the world, including London's Barbicon Centre, Rotterdam's De Doelen, Munich's Olympia Halle, Buenos Aires’ Ateneo and New York’s Birdland.

The DBT has also appeared at several international jazz festivals, including Saulkrasti Jazz Festival, Latvia, La Plata Jazz Festival, Argentina, Jazz op den Berg, Belgium, Robert Norman Festival, Norway, and Hildener Jazz Tage, Germany.

In 2005, Becker released a duo effort with guitar master Joe Diorio, THE COLOR OF SOUND. The CD was called "One of the best Guitar duo recordings of all time." The latest DBT release LEAVING ARGENTINA is continuing to receive high praise by the international press. Down Beat gave it “4 Stars” and the BBC said,” Brilliant musicianship. A really lovely album, in fact”.

David Becker has also performed with guitar greats such as Atilla Zoller, Larry Coryell, John Abercrombie and Kenny Burrell.

His music can also be heard on radio and television around the globe including ARD, The Weather Channel, Voice of America, XM and Sirius Radio, NPR, Europa Plus, and AEI In-Flight Entertainment.

He recently released an instructional book called GETTING YOUR IMPROVISING INTO SHAPE (Mel Bay/Acoustic Music). The book is a top seller and has received great reviews all over the globe. The book is available in English and German. He has performed master classes and workshops around the world including UNT in Denton, U of Arts in Philadelphia, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Conservatorium, Maastricht, Hochschule, Köln, Music Tech College, St.Paul, Guitar Summer Workshop, Freiburg, Academy of Contemporary Music, Zurich, Musicians Institute, Hollywood and USC Thornton School of Music.

To hear more from David, check out:

Ethan Brosh
Ethan Brosh was born in Suffern, New York. Growing up in Israel, Ethan learned to play both electric and classical guitars. In 2001, soon after receiving a scholarship to the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston, Ethan moved to the states and started receiving a lot of attention from his peers and teachers at the college. In 2004, he graduated with honors and earned a degree in songwriting. In the summer of 2008, Ethan came back to Berklee - this time as a teacher for the guitar sessions program, teaching a few groups of guitar players. In the summer of 2009, Ethan was again a faculty member during the guitar sessions program - this time also playing an all original show at the Berklee Performance Center in front of over 400 guitar players.

Ethan is now signed to Magna Carta Records which released his debut instrumental album Out of Oblivion and distributed it to stores internationally on March 24th 2009. The album also features Mike Mangini (Extreme, Steve Vai) on drums and guest appearances by George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob), Greg Howe (Michael Jackson), Joe Stump (Holy Hell) and the art work of Derek "The Best of the Best" Riggs (Iron Maiden). The album was mixed and mastered by the one and only Chris Tsangarites (Ozzy, Judas Priest, Yngwie Malmsteen).

Ethan is now the guitar player of the new band ANGELS OF BABYLON along with Rhino (Man O' War, Holy Hell), David Fefolt (Forgotten Realm, Valhalla) and David Ellefson
(Megadeth). The debut album, Kingdom of Evil was released on January 29th 2010 on Metal Heaven Records in Europe, in May 2010 on Hydrant Records in Japan, and on July 29th on
BurnHill Union Records in America and the rest of the world. Angels of Babylon was featured in several magazines including Burrn! magazine in Japan and as a result Ethan was
interviewed/featured in the June issue of YOUNG GUITAR magazine in Japan. At the moment ANGELS OF BABYLON is receiving a great deal of radio support and is doing very well on
rock charts.

Besides Ethan's significant experience in playing on numerous TV shows and doing lots of session recordings, Ethan is also currently playing regularly in two bands in the New
England area - a vocal band called Burning Heat (at the moment in its preproduction stage for its first record) and an instrumental group known as the Ethan Brosh band. Ethan
was also the winner of the first ever "Guitar Hook" competition in George Lynch's Guitar Dojo.

During the month of December 2009, Ethan was the guitar player for the Rock 4-Xmas tour opening for Eddie Money and playing with Joey Molland (BadFinger), Kelly Keeling (Alice
Cooper, Malmsteen, Trans Siberian Orchestra), Terry Illous (XYZ) and the legendary Pat Travers.  Check Ethan out at:

Steve Fister
About Steve Fister:
Steve Fister has toured as a member of the Pat Travers Band, Steppenwolf and the Lita Ford Band- the latter two acts recently made it into VH1’s Top 100 Hard Rock Bands of all time.

Steve has shared the stage with Bon Jovi, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Steve Morse, scored television shows and movies, and has released eight solo albums. On his latest album, “Deeper Than The Blues”, Steve fuses a blues foundation to all genres of rock, using aggressive licks with direct and honest vocals. He has toured Europe in support of the CD, including support shows with Joe Satriani. “Deeper Than The Blues” is truly an international effort - recorded in Los Angeles, The Netherlands, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Steve Fister blends the guitar wizardry of Jeff Beck with a bluesy 70's hard rock vibe, punctuated with the melodic sense of The Beatles. (Nightwatcher’s House of Rock”)… “Guitar ace Steve Fister joins the ranks of today’s rising guitar superstars, and offers undeniable proof of his stature as a masterful solo artist”. (Robert Silverstein in 21st Century Guitar).

To hear more from Steve, check out:

Gary Hoey
World renowned rock guitarist Gary Hoey takes his singer/songwriter talents to the next level with his new album, “Utopia” on Wazoo Music Group, coming Summer 2010. With a collection of 16 albums and five top 20 Billboard hits, itʼs no wonder Gary Hoey is listed in the top 100 greatest guitar players of all time. Whether itʼs rock, blues, surf or Christmas, Hoeyʼs command of each style makes his live show one of the most exciting on the circuit today.

Multi-tasking as writer, producer and guitar player, Hoey has had clients who include DISNEY, ESPN, NO FEAR, performed the National Anthem for the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, SAN DIEGO PADRES and the BOSTON RED SOX. Gary was recently featured on VH1 CLASSICS documentary “Aftermath”

In 1993 Gary Hoey launched his career with the hit song “Hocus Pocus” (Warner Bros Records). His fiery technique helped to send it to the top 5 on Billboards charts. The Boston raised guitarist followed up with the soundtrack to the surf saga, Endless Summer II (Warner/Reprise).

His popular Ho! Ho! Hoey series of Christmas CDs and on-air station visits have become a staple at hundreds of radio stations nationwide. His live rock and roll Christmas show continues to grow new fans each year. HALLMARKʼS musical greeting cards feature two Ho Ho Hoey classics.

Hoey has toured and traded licks with the likes of Brian May (Queen), Ted Nugent, Foreigner, Joe Satriani, The Doobie Bros, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, Peter Frampton, Rick Derringer and Deep Purple.”

To hear more from Gary, check out:

Gary signing the Traveling Guitar

Eric Johnson
Basic fact: Eric Johnson is one of popular music’s most respected and renowned guitarists. Further fact sometimes overshadowed by the brilliance of Johnson’s playing: The reason why he stands both out and above the rest in a world peopled with many “guitar gods” is that, for Johnson, it’s as much about the music and the song as it playing his guitar.

“He's an extraordinary guitar player accessible to ordinary music fans,” notes the Memphis Commercial Appeal. That’s because Eric Johnson plays music and not just the guitar. And as found on his Vanguard live DVD release, Anaheim, he is also a gifted player of the piano (his first instrument) as well as songwriter, singer and song interpreter. Or more succinctly, Eric Johnson is a diverse, versatile and fully realized musical creator who plays guitar like no one else.

Johnson’s gift for composing and playing songs that evoke vivid imagery and tell palpable stories even without words can be witnessed on his Anaheim performances of the aptly-named “Trademark” and his signature song “Cliffs of Dover,” which won Johnson a Grammy in 1991 for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. The effervescent 2006 live performance at The Grove in Anaheim includes “S.R.V.,” Johnson’s stirring salute to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, who rose to fame alongside Johnson from the Austin, Texas music scene, and his only recorded performance of “Manic Depression” by Jimi Hendrix, a seminal inspiration to whom Johnson has often been compared.

Eric's complete bio can be found here: Eric Johnson's Biography

Visit for all the info on Eric's work.

Eric signing the Traveling Guitar

Bruce Kulick
Bruce has been playing professionally since 1975. He first gained notoriety as a member of the touring band for Meat Loaf's classic "Bat Out Of Hell" album in 1977. Shortly after, Bruce formed the band Blackjack with a then aspiring singer named Michael Bolton. After the release of two albums, Blackjack folded and Bruce was asked to join KISS, where he remained as their lead guitarist for twelve years.

After leaving KISS, Bruce formed UNION with John Corabi in 1997, who would go on to release three albums between 1998 and 2000. Bruce and John teamed up with Eric Singer and formed the Eric Singer Project (E.S.P.), releasing an album in 1998. In early 2001, Bruce
released his debut solo album Audio Dog, which was followed in 2003 with Transformer. In 2001 Bruce joined Grand Funk Railroad as lead guitarist after receiving a personal invitation from drummer Don Brewer. Bruce is still touring with GFR and is currently in his 9th year as their lead guitarist. Bruce has just completed his third solo disc titled BK3. The CD will feature Gene Simmons, Nick Simmons, Steve Lukather, John Corabi and Doug Fieger from the Knack and will be out in early 2010.

Visit for all the info on BK's work.

Bruce signing the Traveling Guitar

Sonny Landreth
Sonny Landreth (born February 1, 1951) is an American blues musician from southwest Louisiana who is especially known as a slide guitar player. He was born in Canton, Mississippi, but soon after, his family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, before settling in Lafayette, Louisiana. When he is not touring and performing, he resides in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

Technique: Landreth is an extremely competent guitarist in the "conventional" form, but is most well-known for his exceptional slide playing. Landreth has developed a technique where he also frets notes and plays chords and chord fragments behind the slide while he plays. Landreth plays with the slide on his little finger, so that his other fingers have more room to fret behind the slide. He's also known for his right-hand technique, which involves tapping, slapping, and picking strings, using all of the fingers on his right hand.

Landreth has worked steadily for decades and amassed a following among his fans and peers. Eric Clapton has said he is "probably the most underestimated musician on the planet and also probably one of the most advanced."

Landreth has also recorded with Jimmy Buffett, and accompanied him on his 2006 and 2007 summer tours, and is presently accompanying him on his 2010 tour.

Sonny Landreth has performed on many other artists' albums, including albums from Little Feat, Jimmy Buffett, John Hiatt, Waterline, John Mayall, Bobby Charles and The Goners. He has performed with Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, Steve Conn, Michael Organ (drummer), Eric Clapton, Gov't Mule, Mike Gordon, Bernie Worrell, and Buddy Guy, among others.

Landreth performed at Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2004 and 2007, and he performed at the 2010 Festival in Chicago, IL, on June 26, alongside BB King, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Doyle Bramhall II, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmie Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa, Jonny Lang, Keb' Mo', Robert Cray, ZZ Top, Vince Gill, and Steve Winwood... to name a few.

From Wikipedia The Free encyclopedia.

Visit for all the info on Sonny's work.

Sonny signing the Traveling Guitar

Bill Leverty
Bill hails from Richmond, VA, the son of a great set of parents who gave him his 1st guitar at the age of 4. Big mistake - he fell in love with the guitar.

In 1984, his band, White Heat needed a drummer – enter Michael Foster. After hooking up with CJ Snare and a bass player named Perry Richardson, FireHouse was formed. In December of 1989 the band was signed by Michael Caplan, Epic Records VP of A&R, and FireHouse went right into the studio with Producer David Prater of the "FireHouse" and "Hold Your Fire” CDs. The band won the American Music Award for Best New Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Band of 1991, Metal Edge Magazine's Best New Band of 1991, Young Guitar Magazine's Best Newcomer of 1991, and Music Life Magazine's reader's pop poll Best Newcomer of the Year 1992. Their first album sold over 2 million, and their song "Love of a Lifetime" sold over 500,000 singles reaching #5. "Don't Treat Me Bad" went to #14. Their second album sold almost 1 million copies to date with "Reach for the Sky" getting into the top 20 and "When I Look Into Your Eyes" reaching #7. The third Firehouse CD "3" enjoyed more success overseas going gold in several countries in Asia enabling the band to take their music around the world. Success continued on the following CDs, Good Acoustics, CATEGOY 5, Bring ‘em Out Alive, and O2. FireHouse is estimated to have sold 7 million albums worldwide since their debut.

After almost 10 years with FireHouse, Leverty released his first solo album called Wanderlust. He followed this up with the release his first instrumental album, Southern Exposure in December 2007, playing all of the instruments except drums. In June of 2009, he released his first album of cover tunes, DEEP SOUTH named after an amazing piece of artwork created by his Grandfather, William G. Leverty.

Visit for all the info on Bill's work.

Bill signing the Traveling Guitar

Steve Lukather
Versatile musician, guitarist, vocalist, composer, producer and arranger Steve Lukather was born in Los Angeles on October 21 in 1957. Before his father bought him a guitar (a simple Kay acoustic) and a copy of Meet the Beatles at the age of seven, Luke started to play drums and keyboards.

In the years following Lukather taught himself how to play the guitar. He hung out with older friends who showed him how to play and how to set the chords. At high school he met the Porcaro brothers. Jeff Porcaro, already is Steely Dan, turned out to be like a brother and mentor for Steve Lukather.

After playing and touring with Boz Scaggs, David Paich and Jeff Porcaro asked Steve Lukather, Bobby Kimball, David Hungate and Steve Porcaro in 1976 to create their own band Toto. In September 1977 Toto released their first album, Toto, that generated the hit singles Hold the line, I'll supply the love and Georgy Porgy. With the album David Paich and Steve Lukather started a more than 25 years Toto career.

The year 1982 turned out to be the most successful (commercially) in Toto's and Lukather's career. Lukather, Paich and Jeff and Steve Porcaro contributed heavily to Michael Jackson's Thriller album. The album Toto IV went platinum and the hit singles Rosanna and Africa became all time classics. A year later, Toto received six Grammy Awards including a Grammy for Lukather for best rhythm & blues song Turn your love around, co-written with Jay Graydon and Bill Champlin.

Throughout the following years, Steve Lukather continued touring with Toto, his own new band El Grupo (with Steve Weingart, Oskar Cartaya and Joey Heredia) and musicians such as Jeff Beck, Simon Phillips, Carlos Santana, Larry Carlton and his mate Edgar Winter. While working with Carlton, they recorded a couple of shows and in 2001 released a selection of songs recorded in the Blue Note in Osaka on their live album No substitutions, which received a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album for solo artists, duos or groups.

He also contributed to projects of David Garfield, Richard Marx, Mike Terrana, Pat Torpey, Gregg Bissonette, Joe Cocker, Les Paul, Tommy Lee, Van Halen, and Edgar Winter and worked on albums with Toto [including Kingdom of desire (1992), Tambu (1995), Mindfields (1999), Livefields (1999), Through the looking glass (2002), 25th Anniversary Live
in Amsterdam, and Falling in between (2006)] as well as solo albums [Lukather (1989), Candyman (1994), Luke (1997), Santamental (2003), and Ever changing times (2008)]

Visit for all the info on Steve's work.

Dave Martone
Dave has played hosted clinics or performed with 3 Doors Down, Steve Morse, Jennifer Batten, Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, Seymour Duncan, Greg Howe, Joe Satriani and drum greats Chester Thompson, Mike Portnoy, Greg Bissionet and Gene Hoglan.

Dave’s last record "Clean" has just been released by Magna Carta Records ( with worldwide distribution. The amazing Daniel Adair (drummer for Martone ), who also plays with Nickelback as well as David Spidel, was integral in the making of this album! Special guests on this record are Joe Satriani, Greg Howe, Jennifer Batten, Billy Sheehan and Rick Fierbracci

The press has been good to Dave lately with a feature in both Guitar Player and Guitar One magazines as well as being named by Guitar One as one of the top four underground shredders in North America. Dave was also credited on the Joe Satriani’s album Super Colossal.

Dave also works for the National Guitar Workshop ( as well as Berklee College of Music ( doing clinics/master classes for them. He has directed three successful School of Rock Guitar Sessions for Tom Lee Music in Vancouver Canada.

To check out more about Dave go:

Ben Mauro
Ben Mauro grew up in Syracuse, New York. He first began playing guitar at age 16 blasting Led Zeppelin songs in his parents' basement and he says that by age 17 he was totally obsessed with making music. Ben would live for concerts in those days. "I would wait in line for hours for tickets and be wide-eyed watching all my favorite bands up close." He says that's why he still feels like a fan today and usually goes out of his way to meet people that come out to his shows. In those early days Ben would sit in his bedroom, which was lined with Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix posters that he got from an older cousin, and practice for eight hours at a time, dreaming of the day he would be playing concerts in huge stadiums all around the world. His first gig was playing at one of his father's rugby parties. "I grew up around my father's rugby team. I would travel with my dad to his away games and the team would play really hard then after the game they would have a big party with the other team, drink beer and sing songs. It was perfect training."

Ben went to school for classical guitar around this time and then headed to New York City where he says his real musical education began. Upon hitting New York he quickly got hired to perform in the house band at The Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village five nights week, performing from 10pm until 4am. Cafe Wha? is the legendary nightclub where Jimi Hendrix was discovered. At Cafe Wha? Ben would perfect his chops playing and singing many styles of music. After leaving Cafe Wha? Ben worked with various groups that played anywhere from the hard rock clubs of New Jersey to the funk and R&B clubs of Manhattan. Soon the word spread and he was offered the job playing and singing for funk and pop icon Lionel Richie and moved to Los Angeles.

Ben's reputation as a dynamic performer also led to jobs playing and singing with many of the top pop stars both on tour and in the studio, including Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. Ben's new rock band 13CURVES, for which he is the lead singer and guitar playe, is just releasing their debut CD entitled "Underground." Check out and

Ben signing the Traveling Guitar.

Chris McKay
Hailing from South Carolina and choosing Athens as his home, nationally known photographer Chris McKay earned a couple of ASCAP Music Awards for his solo work but had wanted to be back in a group since his days with Q-Sign.

In 2004, McKay and his bass-playing high school friend Frank DeFreese formed The Critical Darlings. When word started to spread, the offers for shows came. "For the first year, we never booked gigs. We only accepted invitations," McKay said. "I thought that was a great sign."

Eventually, the Darlings went into the studio to record C'mon, Accept Your Joy! Since the official release of Joy, the songs have been picked up by over 150 stations around the world (from Poland to New Zealand to London and back to the States).

In 2007, the Critical Darlings expanded to a quartet (with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Joe Orr and drummer Joshua Harrison) and started work on their second album, titled Satisfactionista, with GRAMMY nominated producer David Barbe (R.E.M., Drive-By Truckers, Cracker, Betty Lavette) behind the board. Of special interest is the collaboration with David Bowie's inimitable pianist Mike Garson (Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans) who appears on the track "Something Unseen" (which also finds Drive-By Truckers' Brad Morgan on drums). After working on the album for nearly a year, Satisfactionista was released in February 2009 and is available through iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Target and many other digital outlets.

If that's not enough, The Darlings are one of the first bands chosen to employ Pete Townshend's Lifehouse Method in co-composing several tracks with The WHO's songwriter / guitarist via software that produces a unique song based on data input.

It's no wonder that Lee Valentine Smith of Creative Loafing has named the Critical Darlings "a great little buzz-worthy band" and dubbed McKay "power pop potentate."

You can check out what Chris is doing at the following links:

Vernon Neilly
Vernon was born May 10th in the Philippines; however, he moved to his parents native home of Nassau, Bahamas. Vernon's mother an accomplished pianist, violinist, would be very instrumental in his early musical development. After he moved to Hawaii at age 14, Vernon started playing in his first real performing band. He studied music all through high school and played in various bands. Vernon then moved to Miami where he attended his last 2 years of college, this move put him in the company of people who would eventually be legends in the music business, such as Jaco Pastorious, Pat Metheny, and “Narada” Michael Walden. Vernon started playing with a Miami based group called “Unit III” who had a regional hit single, this would prove to be the launching of his professional career as a musician/producer/artists, and now label owner of his own company, Boosweet Records, a very well known independent label based in Los Angeles, CA.

Vernon has recorded with, toured with, produced for some of the most legendary names in the music business such as the late blues legend “Johnny Guitar Watson”, “Pee Wee Crayton”, Charles “Merry Christmas” Brown, “Mary Wells”, “The Dramatics”, Motown hit producer “Norman Whitfield”, rap star “Warren G”, “Howard Hewitt”, “Teena Marie”, Cuba Gooding Sr. (Main Ingredient), The Coasters, Drifters, Etta James, George Clinton, and many more as well as producing and mastering the 18-artist compilation with many industry greats. His CD efforts “G-Fire” and "G-Fire II", which garnered a prestigious jazz award called the “Smoothie Award” as well as ranking in the Top 10 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums Retail Charts Retail. Vernon and his CDs have also been featured in magazines such as Guitar Player, Guitar World, Guitar One, 20th Century Guitar, Vintage Guitar, Jazz Improv, Jazz Times, Down Beat, Urban Network, Ebony, Our Weekly, Guitar Player Brazil, Cover Guitarra(Brazil), Smooth Jazz News, Abyss Jazz, All About Jazz, and a myriad of newspapers, and e-zines globally.

Extending his career to acting in movies, Vernon can also be seen in the following big screen and DVD releases: Universals “Along Came Polly”, Warner Bros. “Starsky and Hutch”, and Columbia Pictures “Walk Hard.” Vernon is one of only a handful of musicians in the world to have both a signature guitar manufactured for him bearing his name, and a signature guitar string, the are called respectively called the Tagima VN-1 signature guitar, and Giannini “Power String”.

Visit for all the info on Vernon's work.

Ronny North
Ronny plays his own signature brand of instrumental guitar rock and is a So Cal guitar hero. In 2006 he won Best Male Guitarist Award at All Access Magazine Music Awards, after which, Ronny was featured in a cool interview in All Access Magazine to talk about the win.

Ronny sells CDs and gets airplay all over the world. he also regularly does clinics trade shows all over the U.S. His music was even used on MTV's Real World reality show. Ronny is regularly featured in ad campaigns for his many sponsors (He's endorsed by 50 different music equipment manufactures and even has his own signature guitar by Tregan guitars) Ronny recently was honored with his own RN Day at his former school Norwalk High. He has also been featured in numerous music publications and Guitar Player Magazine head editor Michael Molenda said some very complimentary things about Ronny’s playing.

The Traveling Guitar is excited to add Ronny North as a performing sponsor as he also has a philanthropic side: he has performed at the Special Olympics Summer Games for the last ten consecutive years and has performed at numerous events for Toys for Tots, the Vets and the Troops. He has also has performed for benefits for Tsunami Relief, The Norwalk/Lamirada School District, Heart of Gold Charities and musicians in need.

Ronny North is tomorrow's guitar hero today......

Definitely check out Ronny and see what all the excitement is about (

Jon Pousette-Dart
Jon Pousette-Dart captained the Pousette-Dart Band through four albums for Capitol Records between 1976 and 1980, a run that acquainted a generation with his formidable gifts as a singer, songwriter, arranger, guitarist and all-around musical adventurer. During this time, the Pousette-Dart Band became one of the busiest touring groups in the U. S., working with such acts as the Byrds, Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat, James Taylor, Yes, the J. Geils Band, Eddie Money, Peter Frampton, Journey and Billy Joel.

Born in New York City, New York, Pousette-Dart began playing the guitar when he was seven. At 13, he joined a band called "Tony & The Tigers" that included two of comedian Soupy Sales' sons. During the breaking-in period, he performed with the group on such high-profile network shows as Hullabaloo and To Tell The Truth. They also played in concerts with the elder Sales.

In 1973, he formed the Pousette-Dart Band with John Troy, his college mate from the University of Pacific, and a new recruit, John Curtis. Initially, the band played college gigs. But in 1975, legendary promotion man Al Coury signed the group to Capitol. By this time, Pousette-Dart was being managed by music mogul Don Law. The first album, Pousette-Dart Band, was released in 1976, followed by Amnesia (1977), Pousette-Dart Band 3 (1979) and Never Enough (1980). Although the band worked the pop music arena, three of its Capitol albums were cut in Nashville under award-winning producer Norbert Putnam.

After the band closed up shop in 1981, Pousette-Dart moved back to New York, where he established himself during the following decade as a top writer, slide guitarist and singer for recording sessions and advertising jingles. The Pousette-Dart Band reunited in 1991 for a series of dates. Jon was invited to Nashville at this time, by A&R man John Condon of Asylum Records. Pousette-Dart teamed with some of Nashville's top songwriters, among them Gary Burr, Darrell Scott, Al Anderson, Kostas, Fred Knobloch, Jaime Kyle, Tom Kimmel and Jennifer Kimball. In 1997, he recorded the solo album Ready To Fly. He subsequently re-titled the collection Put Down Your Gun to support the Anti-Handgun Coalition.

Pousette-Dart extended his musical reach through 1998 to 1999 by producing 5 episodes for the History Channel, titled "Gunfighters of the West", and garnered forces with blues diva Toni Lynn Washington, who went on to record his songs on her latest release produced by Duke Robillard. His own album, Sample This, released in 2000, contained solo tracks, as well as ones he had recorded with Kostas, Lowell George (with whom he toured in the 70s) and John Bohlinger. He also appears on Jesse Winchester's upcoming DVD, singing with Valerie Carter and an all-star band featurin John Sebastion, Jim Horn, Victor Krauss, and many others.

He recently finished shooting a new video and his next new release. A new issue of the Capitol years is also scheduled for release in the upcoming season.

Visit for all the info on Jon's work.

Innes Sibun
High energy blues played with passion !! Innes Sibun made his first album with legendary producer Mike Vernon who produced the John Mayall/Eric Clapton Beano album as well as all the Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac albums. In 1997 Innes met his hero when he opened up for Peter Green at a show in New York, he also played on "Rattlesnake guitar" a tribute cd dedicated to Peter Green which also featured Rory Gallagher, Ian Anderson, Harvey Mandell, Billy Sheehan & Snowy White. He played guitar for Robert Plant on his "Fate of nations" tour throughout America, Europe & South America & can be heard on Robert's "Sixty six to Timbuktu" album as well as on a track on his box set "Nine lives". He has made 5 albums with various independent blues labels such as Viceroy, Provogue & Ulftone. He has toured with Blues legends Johnny Adams, Wild child Butler, Jay Owens & Jesse "guitar" Taylor & opened up for Johnny Winter, Joe Louis Walker, Ronnie Earl, the fabulous thunderbirds, Roger Chapman, Taj Mahal, Chris Farlowe,Jools Holland, Walter Trout, Boy George, Dr.Feelgood, the Levellers, Nine below zero, the Bluesband, Kevin Coyne, & Moody Marsden to name but a few. He has also recorded or played live with the following......Wilbur Bascombe (Jeff Beck, aretha Franklin), Rob Stoner (Bob Dylan), Bobby Chouinard (Gary Moore), Jeff Simon (George Thorogood), Jimmy Kunes (Cactus), Leo Lyons, Ric Lee & Chick Churchill of Ten years after,Robert Hart (Bad company), Hamish Stewart (Average white band), Tony Remy, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Chris Youlsden (Savoy Brown), Stackridge, the Korgis, James Cotton, Sherman Robertson & more. His current band fuses blues with rock, jazz & more modern influences.

Visit for all the info on Innes's work.

Ian Thornley
Ian Thornley is a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter who studied jazz music at Boston's Berklee College of Music in 90s. At this time he formed the band Big Wreck in 93. The band was signed with Atlantic Records and released their debut album, In Loving Memory Of.., in 1997. The album sold well in both the US and Canada. Big Wreck released a follow-up in 2001 called The Pleasure and the Greed, but went on to break up in 2002.

Ian returned to Toronto and began doing session work with performers such as Nickelback, Sarah Harmer and Stephen Fearing. He then started his new band Thornley which released his first CD, Come Again, in 2004 and second CD, Tiny Pictures, February 10, 2009. Ian is now touring with ex-band mate Brian Doherty from Big Wreck and are billed as "Ian Thornley and Big Wreck".

To find out more about Ian, visit:

Carl Verheyen
Carl Verheyen
In his 40-plus years of playing the instrument, Carl has created a wildly successful, multi-faceted career. He is a critically-acclaimed musician with ten CD’s released worldwide and is commonly regarded as a guitar virtuoso capable of playing any style of music with remarkable mastery and conviction. He has been one of LA’s elite “first call” session players for the past 25 years, playing on hundreds of records, movie soundtracks and television shows. Carl has graced the pages of countless industry publications and been the subject of numerous articles chronicling his rise to the forefront of the modern day guitar scene. Carl has won numerous polls and musical honors in the US, Germany, France, Italy and the UK.

A member of the smash hit British rock group Supertramp since 1985, Carl has played to millions of enthusiastic fans in sold out arenas worldwide. As the creative force behind The Carl Verheyen Band, he has released an impressive and eclectic discography that showcases his endless talents across a wide array of musical genres.

To find out more about Carl, visit

Bobby Vogel
Bobby Vogel began his music career at age 12 when he was asked to join an international gospel radio program called “Children’s Bible Hour,” where, for the next 4 years he sang and played guitar on over 500 radio stations worldwide.

After high school, Bobby formed his own band fronting a country rock group that toured the United States for the next 10 years, playing concerts with stars such as Tanya Tucker, the late Ricky Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, the Kingston Trio, and The James Gang with Joe Walsh, to name a few.

Bobby has a Degree in Music. During his studies, he received the “Jimmy Forrest Jazz Scholarship" and performed with some Jazz greats including the late Stan Getz. He also performed with his band and was awarded a personal letter of recommendation from President Gerald R. Ford for outstanding service to the community.

In 1991, Bobby moved his family to Nashville, where he found work as a session picker. His most notable sessions were with Harold Shedd recording with Davis Daniels. He was asked to join a recording and touring act on the Epic/Sony label. After two years of touring, Bobby returned to Nashville and formed a new band, Nevada, where he played Lead Guitar.

In 1996 Bobby auditioned for Loretta Lynn who hired him on the spot. Bobby has played Lead/Acoustic Guitars and the 5-string Banjo for Loretta Lynn for the last decade.

Bobby signing the Traveling Guitar

Program Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsor D'Addario...
About Our Sponsor:

"Making music isn’t a hobby. It’s a condition. Like eye color, male-pattern baldness, and your penchant for Franklin Mint figurines, music is something you can’t help. Making it is part of your genetic code. It’s part of ours, too. Over three centuries ago in the Italian village of Salle, a small group of D’Addario's (da-dairy-ohs) sat around trying to figure out how to make musical strings out of sheep guts. Today, their descendants are running the largest musical string company in the world, churning out over 400,000 strings per day, making D’Addario “The First Choice” – and don’t even get us started on the other cool music accessories from Planet Waves. All the straps, cables, and other tools you need to be the rock star you always knew you were. D’Addario’s donation of strings, straps, tuners, gadgets and gizmos to Ballurio Guitar’s Traveling Guitar Project proves D’Addario’s appreciation for and commitment to spreading the love of music. "

Please visit D'Addario's Website,,,

Ballurio Guitars, LLC
Thank you to our sponsor, Ballurio Guitars. Ballurio Guitars is donating a prototype guitar for auction as well as building the first Traveling Guitar.

About Our Sponsor:

Ballurio Guitars is committed to building extraordinary crafted custom electric guitars outfitted with the finest components. Every guitar we build is a unique work of art as beautiful to look at as it is to play and hear.

"Ballurio Guitars is honored to be able to give back by donating our work to a great cause because music is the core of what makes us human."

Rock Hard Road Cases
Thank you to our sponsor, Rock Hard Road Cases, who is graciously donating the Traveling Guitar's Rock Hard Road Case.

About Our Sponsor:

Established in 2000, Rock Hard Road Cases has designed and built high quality cases for traveling professionals for almost 20 years. We have offered an affordable option to the often very high priced brands on the market, while also providing professional personal customer service and quick turnaround times. Each and every case we build is a unique piece, handmade to your specifications. We look forward to working with Traveling Guitar on this worthy project.

Northland Forest Products
Thank you to our sponsor, Northland Forest Products. NFP has graciously donated the woods for building the Traveling Guitars.

About Our Sponsor:

At Northland Forest Products we take great pride in knowing that our customers depend on us for top-quality Northern and Appalachian hardwoods. From the weekend craftsman to the high-volume manufacturer, we stand by our commitment to provide only the best product and with the highest quality service.


Each year the program will send custom built guitars on a journey from artist to artist.  The artists
 can play and sign the guitars.  At the end of their journey, the guitars will be auctioned on eBay with
100% of the proceeds going to music education and programs.