Alec Fehl graduated Berklee College of Music with a major in Music Production & Engineering and a minor in Guitar Performance. He spent most of the 90's performing live and as a session guitarist in Los Angeles. He currently performs regularly in WNC with a variety of bands, including Carolina Rex, The Bill Mattocks Band, and Deep River. He has been teaching all levels of guitarists for over 30 years and currently teaches guitar and the youth Rock Band ensemble at the Asheville Music School.
Asheville Music School website
Randy Hughes has been working in the music business for over forty years. He has been repairing fretted instruments for over thirty years and is one of the top instrument repair/luthiers in the United States. Randy's son Will works alongside his Dad learning the trade while completing his college degree in mechanical engineering. With every repair they match or exceed the original manufacturers standards. Hughes Guitars and Repair is an authorized warranty service center for most manufacturers and many of the top guitar builders in the world. They are authorized Service and official service providers for: Martin, Fender, Fender Custom Shop, Fender Custom care, Taylor, Gibson, Guild, Gretsch, Takamini, Lowden Guitars, and Alhambra Guitars. Located in South Buncombe County, the Hughes shop is state of the art. Randy and Will use the most modern equipment available to repair, build and tune guitars. Their quest for additional knowledge, techniques and materials continues as they search for better ways to build and repair guitars, and serve customers like you.
Guitar Center's Matthew Martinez:
Matthew Martinez is a graduate of the Berklee School of Music. As a student he studied Guitar, Recording, and DJ. He is fluent in music theory, beat creation, rock and jazz guitar, and has broad knowledge in DAWs, Mixing and Mastering. As a professional player and instructor he brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and technique to the learning process including his reputation as a shred specialist. Matthew will demonstrate an array of state-of-the-art stomp boxes and processors available at Guitar Center as well as those offered by Asheville's own Moog. His discussion will include pedal train logistics, digital options and related equipment. Matthew's session will coincide with the end of Will Ray's telecaster presentation.
The Guitar Center Asheville website
Will Ray is a native of Richmond, Virginia, Will began his musical journey at age sixteen when he began teaching himself to play the guitar. He kept playing throughout high school and college, performing in dozens of local bands along the way. In 1983 he moved out west to California so he could play music full time.
In Los Angeles Will began finding work in nightclubs, leading eventually to studio work. He was a member of several ground breaking 80's cow punk bands including Tin Star, Candye Kane & the Armadillo Stampede and Wylie & The Wild West Show. Utilizing his experience gained in the studios, Will began producing country oriented artists in the LA area including three compilation albums, Hollywood Roundup, Detour West and Far West. It was on Hollywood Roundup that Will first recorded with soon-to-be Hellecasters henchmen Jerry Donahue and John Jorgenson. Pretty soon Will was part of the edgy West Coast country sound, doing touring and session work for artists such as Carlene Carter , Steve Earle, Tom Jones, Solomon Burke, Joe Walsh and Michael Nesmith.
Will, Jerry Donahue and John Jorgenson formed The Hellecasters in 1990. The band's critically acclaimed first album, The Return of the Hellecasters, became a hit with guitarists and was awarded "Best Album" and "Best Country Album" by Guitar Player Magazine in 1993. In 1995 the Hellecasters recorded and released their second CD, Escape From Hollywood, which again took guitar playing to a new dimension. That same year Hipshot products began marketing an invention of Will's called the Stealth Slide, allowing guitarists to switch quickly to slide on a guitar. Hipshot also began manufacturing the Will Ray Model B-Bender for guitar. In addition, Will released two guitar instructional videos, B-Bender Mania and Stealth Slide Technique for Rambo Videos.
In 1997 Fender Musical Instruments unveiled a limited edition signature guitar - the Will Ray Jazz-A-Caster. The following year the Fender Custom Shop started making the Will Ray Mojo-Tele signature guitar. Both guitars represented a major step forward in guitar design and technology, from the unique gold leaf design of the bodies to the groundbreaking noise canceling pickups. New Axes to Grind, the Hellecasters' third album, was released in 1998 on their own label Pharaoh Records. The following year Will released his first solo CD called Invisible Birds on Pharaoh Records to an enthusiastic audience of Hellecaster fans.
The Hellecasters released their first live video in 2000, Live...Raw...in Germany recorded in Germany when they played live on the popular European TV show Ohne Filter.
2002 saw Will endorsing G&L Guitars, with the unveiling of the G&L Will Ray Signature Model Guitar. Will spent much of the next few years touring and doing guitar clinics, sharing the bill with acts such as The Yardbirds, Albert Lee and Eric Johnson. Later that year Will began writing a new monthly column for Guitar Player Magazine called Ebay Strategies. The popular column gives readers some of Will's personal experiences on eBay as well as his tips and advice for buying online. A few years later Will began writing a column for Premier Guitar Magazine called "Bottom Feeder", which focuses on finding great sounding guitars on a small budget.
In 2005 Will moved to North Carolina where he built a new recording studio for production projects. It's located up in the mountains of Asheville and is designed for inspiration as well as solitude for his clients. He continues to stay quite busy traveling the globe these days performing, teaching and conducting guitar clinics.
Will's latest solo album is called Mojo Blues on Pharaoh Records. The all blues album features guest appearances from Ted Greene, Juke Logan, John Jorgenson and Jerry Donahue among others. The songs are catchy and the vibe is intense, with Will's usual sense of humor injected throughout.
Will is currently working on a new blues solo album and a new instructional video on understanding amps.
Michael Ridenour holds a Master's of Music degree in guitar performance with over 25 years of private guitar studio teaching experience. He has taught beginning, intermediate, and advanced guitar players as well as coached professional studio musicians and multi-platinum album songwriters. As a full-time music educator, Michael owns the Music Academy of WNC in Hendersonville, North Carolina (http://wncmusicacademy.com) and teaches over 50 guitar students each week. His school is home to over 200 music students taking private lessons and participating in a multitude of ensembles in all instrument and musical genres. Michael has served on the music faculties of Appalachian State University, Blue Ridge Community College, and the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He has taught collegiate courses in guitar, audio fundamentals, music theory, and music history. He is an active performer throughout the Southeastern United States as a solo classical guitarist and with his rock band, Modern Day Society.
Mike's Music Academy of WNC website