Taylor Guitars and Guitar Center Team Up to Find the Nation's Top Unsigned Talent

Monday October 3, 2011
By: Taylor Guitars News

Taylor Guitars and Guitar Center, the world's largest retailer of musical instruments and equipment, has announced "Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter," an artist discovery program which aims to find the nation’s best unsigned singer-songwriter. Along with other top musical instrument and accessory manufacturers, Taylor Guitars will join Guitar Center to award one career-altering prize package to the top singer-songwriter, which includes a three-song EP with Grammy Award-winning producer John Shanks, worldwide distribution through TuneCore, $10,000 cash, and gear from participating companies, including a Taylor 814ce for the grand prize winner and GS Minis for the semi-finalists. The contest, which is part of the companies' shared mission to support emerging artists, kicks off on October 3 and runs through November 30. Artists can sign up today at www.guitarcenter.com/songwriter.

For Grammy-winning producer and Taylor-strummer John Shanks (914ce, Baritone 8-String, 855ce), it's easy to relate to what an opportunity like this can mean to an up-and-coming artist. Shanks, once a session and touring guitarist for the likes of Melissa Etheridge, has gone on to build a stellar career as a hit-maker whose resume boasts 60 million records sold, 43 No. 1 singles and 67 No. 1 albums with artists including Sheryl Crow, Colbie Caillat, Kelly Clarkson, Keith Urban, Bon Jovi and Alanis Morissette. As the judge of the contest, finding the next headline act is no easy task, but one Shanks is excited to be involved in. "I'm thrilled to be able to help Guitar Center give a potentially career-altering opportunity to an unsigned artist," says Shanks. "Helping an artist hone their sound is something I relish as a producer, and I can't wait to see what the winner has to offer."

"So much great talent abounds in today's music scene that we're excited to partner with Guitar Center to find the next big name and help propel that artist to the next step in their career," shares Tim Godwin, director of artist and entertainment relations at Taylor Guitars."No matter if an artist is a headline act or just starting out, here at Taylor, artists are a big part of our extended family of players."

As part of the contest, Guitar Center has commissioned WHOOZNXT.com, a leading digital music company, to power the first round of the competition. WHOOZNXT.com is the first platform to track an artist's fan growth across top social networks and music portals. Competing artists will be ranked based on their online fan growth during the first round. Ten singer-songwriters will then be hand-selected by Shanks from the list of top-ranked artists to travel to Los Angeles, where they will perform live during event's finale.

To following along with news from the competition and to learn more about the entrants, please visit www.guitarcenter.com/songwriter

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