It’s about time we had a high-profile female shredder in a well-known hard rock band and on late night TV again. While Orianthi certainly isn’t the first prominent young lady to race across the fretboards — Nancy Wilson and Lita Ford first made waves 35 years ago, the late Michael Jackson originally enlisted Jennifer Batten in 1987, while a new generation of female six-stringers has arisen — she’s made a splash over the last couple of years by being hired by Jackson for the ill-fated This Is It tour and with the release of her poppy sophomore album Believe.
Now she is joining Alice Cooper’s band to replace Damon Johnson for a tour Down Under followed by dates in Europe and North America. The twenty six year-old guitarist first appeared with Alice when he performed “School’s Out” on the 2010 season finale of American Idol. She has also opened up for her idol Steve Vai and played with Prince, Michael Jackson, Carlos Santana and Carrie Underwood. Orianthi has a new album in the works from which she is taking a break to rock out with Alice.
The Australian guitarist has achieved a lot at her young age. She sounds great and is one of the few young mainstream guitarists who really can play. Let’s hope Orianthi kickstarts a trend. It’s been too long that musicianship has been downplayed in popular music. It was shrewd of Alice to bring her onboard — he’s bridging musical generations, reaching new fans and keeping the old school spirit of rock ‘n’ roll alive and well. Hopefully her career will continue to blossom with the exposure she will be receiving.