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Listen to ‘The Sun at Her Eastern Gate’ by Lez Zeppelin’s Steph Paynes: Exclusive Premiere

Favored Nations Entertainment
Favored Nations Entertainment

Steve Vai’s Favored Nations label has a long history of showcasing eclectic music. With the release of She Rocks, Vol. 1, the company puts the spotlight on 11 female guitarists who’ve played a part in the continued evolution of music. It’s an impressive collection, featuring new tracks from a diverse array of both established and fresh talent like Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper), Kat Dyson (Prince), Nili Brosh (Tony MacAlpine) and Lita Ford.

Ultimate Classic Rock presents the exclusive premiere of one of those tracks, “The Sun at Her Eastern Gate” by Steph Paynes, who’s spent a lot of time over the past 12 years dissecting the classic riffs of Jimmy Page as the guitarist for Lez Zeppelin, the first all-female Led Zeppelin tribute.

You can hear the song below.

Paynes says she drew partial inspiration for the song from her formative Zep education. But, she explains, there were a number of things that influenced where she took it it musically. “‘The Sun at Her Eastern Gate’ emerged quite naturally while noodling with an alternate tuning, in this case, the infamous DADGAD, the secret sauce behind Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir,’” Paynes tells Ultimate Classic Rock.

“I’ve always been intrigued by the mystical sounds of East meets West, as in raga-like pieces from Brit-folk players like Davey Graham or Bert Jansch – and, of course, Jimmy Page. I thought it would be a nice touch for this compilation of amazing guitar players, most who come from a slightly different branch of wizardry, to offer something a bit heavier — the sound of a guitar army storming the Taj Mahal!”

She Rocks, Vol. 1 comes out on Jan. 20 on Favored Nations in cooperation with the Women’s International Music Network, which will celebrate its release at the 2017 She Rocks Awards in Anaheim during the annual NAMM convention. The album was compiled by Vai and former Guitar World editor Brad Tolinski, who notes, “People always ask me about the future of the guitar, and in many ways, the artists on this album are the answer. They represent a new vision and a fresh sensibility.”

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