Menn is an emerging leader on the modern rock guitar scene, standing out from a predominantly man's world in a multitude of ways—not least of which in her virtuosic ability to craft instrumental rock in a way very few people are doing right now.
"Gretchen Menn is one of those rare musicians who can play convincing and committed rock, and then turn around and seek the unknown by blending disparate jazz, prog, and world-music influences into a tasty, guitaristic thrill ride," says Michael Molenda, Editor-in-Chief of Guitar Player Magazine.
Menn's debut release, Hale Souls, knits together her broad spectrum of influences, ranging from Bach to Jimmy Page to Steve Morse. Hale Souls showcases her strong technical expertise, from the electrifying energy of "Valentino's Victory Lap" (in honor of world champion motorcyclist Valentino Rossi), to the Bach-inspired Baroque sensibilities of "Is It Not Strange."
The acclaimed guitarist is currently at work on her next solo album, which she says will potentially be out later this year. "I think there is definitely going to be a real evolution [with this album]," she said in an interview with Pure Guitar. "There’s going to be a focus, and I think I’ve grown a lot in the last year, particularly in my writing."
Gretchen Menn started her musical career in her late teens, studying classical guitar with master Phillip de Fremery, a student of Andrés Segovia, and continuing her studies through college. After graduating with a music degree, Menn funded her musical pursuits by flying regional jets before launching into music full time. She joined tribute band AC/DShe in 2003, was a founding member of Led Zeppelin tribute Zepparella (with whom she continues to perform), and formed "bassless power trio" Sticks and Stones in 2007.
2011 saw her Hale Souls release, a record also featuring Angeline Saris (bass on "Scrap Metal"), who plays with Menn's solo project, the Gretchen Menn Trio. Other guests on Hale Souls include bassist Stu Hamm, drummer John Mader, violinist Emily Palen, guitarist Jude Gold (on "Fast Crowd"), and Gretchen's sister, Kirsten Menn (soprano on "Fading").
Ladies Rise Up and Rock will highlight women making their mark on the rock music scene, profiting music education via the GRAMMY in the Schools program. Tickets can be purchased at http://theregencyballroom.com/
For more info on Gretchen Menn, visit http://gretchenmenn.com.