Both shredders first established themselves as top-level hired guns—Nita Strauss (left) with Alice Cooper and Jennifer Batten with Michael Jackson—before setting off on their long careers.

Photo by Ana Massard

These super-guitarists talk about originality, busting the patriarchy, supporting Jeff Beck, touring with Alice Cooper, Demi Lovato, and Michael Jackson, guitar education, their secret weapons, and … oh, how to be badass!

It’s a fact: Women and minority artists have often been marginalized, unacknowledged, and even ripped off—both musically and financially. And while the industry has slowly gotten better about amplifying their significant contributions, white male artists have historically been heralded as the heroes and innovators. Even with all of the progress made in recent years, one niche where bias still seems the norm is “hired gun.” The commonly used term “sideman” demonstrates the pervasiveness of male-dominated norms entrenched in our collective psyche. But there are exceptional sidewomen who have broken the glass ceiling with their primetime gigs. And among the most notable are Jennifer Batten and Nita Strauss.

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The line includes features that the most demanding rock/metal players have requested for years.

Buffalo Grove, IL (February 1, 2016) -- Washburn Guitars expands the Priestess range, introducing two new models.

PXZ-MM20FR: Marzi Montazeri's signature model. 25 1/2" scale, Mahogany body and neck, ebony fingerboard, Buzz Feiten Tuning System, Floyd Rose 1000 vibrato w/ oversized brass block and spring silencers, Super Jumbo frets, Grover 18:1 tuners, Seymour Duncan USA SH1N / SH4B pickups, custom Marzi Montazeri wiring.

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