Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gretchen Menn

I just discovered this great guitarist, Gretchen Menn, thanks to the folks at

How many people in the world go from being a commercial pilot career to a career as a guitarist? There are a few who do the opposite - Steve Morse and Bruce Dickenson come to mind.

Gretchen gave up her short career as a pilot to pursue her dream of music. A graduate of Smith College with a degree in music, it says on her web site:

After a year in the jet, with the life of an airline pilot being more than a little incompatible with a career in music, Gretchen relinquished her position with the airlines, knowing that there was a pilot out there somewhere who would appreciate the opportunity. She decided to take a more direct approach to realizing her musical dreams.

And she has.

Her music spans jazz, funk, rock, progressive, and metal. In 2007, she formed Sticks and Stones, with guitarist Mickael Tremel and drummer Sam Adato. She has played in a Led Zeppelin tribute band, Zeperalla, and is currently at work on her first solo release.

Gretchen has been influenced by Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, and Frank Zappa, which shows in her music. I detect a number of Eric Johnson styles in her songs, and her sound is very much like Steve Morse. Not copying him, but adding a new twist to it.

Gretchen is the daughter of renowned music journalist and Guitar Player magazine editor, Don Menn.

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