Is the excitement of Guitar Hero III surging through your fingertips? Are you an aspiring rocker because someone bought you one of those video games with the plastic instruments and all of a sudden you’re ripping into “Highway Star?”
With all of the hullabaloo about the success of Guitar Hero III and Rock Band interactive video games — thanks in part to ex-Amazing Royal Crowns frontman Jason Kendall, who works for Harmonix, the founders of both franchises — it seemed appropriate to call attention to Rhody’s very own guitar hero, Joe Granata.
A resident of East Greenwich, Granata’s been playing guitar since he was 12. He first picked up the instrument after hearing guys Randy Rhoads and Kirk Hammett in the ’80s and he hasn’t looked back since. Once immersed in the world of loud rock, he added names like Page, Hendrix, “Dimebag,” and Vai to his stylistic repertoire. Today, he’s a full-on shredder a la Yngwie Malmsteen and Michael Angelo Batio.
Last May, Granata released his debut set, A Long Road to Hell, six songs of blistering shred recorded live in the studio. These days, between recordings, Granata has offered his services to an exciting guitar solo contest sponsored by Cr3ation Limited, Inc. The contest is held at odeoguitar.com and has quite a bit of credibility; other players in on the gig include Grammy Award-winning writer, producer, and performer Michael Sembello and guitar goddess Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson, Jeff Beck). The grand prize winner gets a recording deal and studio time with producer Phil Nicolo (a Butcher Brother).
Today, with shredders going for a dime a dozen on YouTube, Joe has found a way to distinguish himself from what amounts to considerable worldwide competition. His work has earned him nominations on the preliminary Grammy ballots for Best Rock Performances, another feather in his cap. You can keep track of Joe’s progress through his website,www.joegranata.com, and his myspace.com/Joegranata. He also has web representation on the Big Noise site (bignoisenow.com).
Debra Perry’s Vocal Development Studio in New Bedford, Massachusetts, is a teaching facility catering to educating and training aspiring singers, offering everything from private lessons and workshops to open mics, recording studio preparation, and voice therapy. The studio will present a clinic in performance coaching, featuring Perry’s former student, recording artist and New Bedford native Devin Lima of LFO and, currently, the Cadbury Diesel. LFO topped the US charts in 1999 with “Summer Girls,” which sold 1.5 million copies. LFO’s self-titled debut LP sold double platinum and its follow-up, Life Is Good, earned gold.
Lima’s CD with the Cadbury Diesel will be released soon via former LFO bandmate Brad Fischetti’s One Eleven Records imprint. Lima’s workshop will focus on performance technique and song coaching. Participants will receive one-on-one coaching, advice on stage movement, song stylization, improv techniques, development of personal style, stage presence, and audience rapport, as well as how to tackle stage fright. Good stuff from a guy who’s been there, done that, and lived to tell about it.
“I believe this is an amazing opportunity to work one-on-one with someone who has achieved musical success and can offer a unique perspective,” says Perry in an e-mail. “Devin’s willingness and enthusiasm to return to his local roots and his desire to give something back to the musical community is a testament to his character and exactly what we need more of in the music business.”