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    Bridge pins are examples of things you never think about—until something goes wrong.

    They have potential to break, get stuck or wear just enough to cause tuning issues. I’d suggest a quick once over every string change to keep them in check.

    Power Pins are new style of bridge pins that boast stability and enhanced tonal characteristics compared to plastic bridge pins. Power Pins actually mount onto the guitar’s bridge by tightening a nut with a supplied allen key. No modifications are needed, and the end result is greater string contact with your acoustic guitar’s bridge.

    My installation required no additional tools besides the kit’s supplied allen key. While I wouldn’t say it was a difficult install, give yourself at least a half hour and install the pins with all of the strings off your acoustic.

    First step was to unscrew the head of the pin and place the screw up through the bridge hole. The pins are marked for each string. Additional washers are included to secure proper height.

    Once in place, take the allen key and secure the pin. Just beyond finger-tight is plenty secure. The reason I suggest doing this without any strings on is you need to stick your hand through the sound hole into the body of the guitar to tighten the pin.

    The final step is installing strings on the new Power Pins. The ball of the string mounts to the back of the pin, and the string fits right along side of the Power Pin. The process is very similar to a top-loading electric guitar bridge.

    The guitar I used to demo was an off-the-shelf $200 Yamaha FS700s. Below are a few before and after shots. After a few hours of playtime with the Power Pins installed, stock strings and a few alternate tunings later no problems. Here’s a quick sound clip.

    List Price: $64.99 for chrome

    You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at thisguyonbass@gmail.com.

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    We at Guitar World have put together a list of what we feel are the 13 creepiest album covers of all time.

    Whoa — before all you Cannibal Corpse and Cattle Decapitation fans get all riled up, we've also compiled a list of the 13 most gruesome album covers of all time.

    For this gallery, we weren't looking for blood and gore so much as a general, often-unintentional creep factor.

    Don't know what we mean? Click through the list and we think you'll see for yourself!

    And remember — Satan is Real!

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    Let's be real: When I was doing research for this list, I came across some really sick album covers.

    So sick, in fact, that they made a Cannibal Corpse album look like something you'd frame and give to your parents to hang over their mantel at Christmas.

    Suffice it to say, there are limits to what we're willing to show here at GuitarWorld.com, so perhaps this list should be subtitled as "The 13 Most Gruesome Album Covers (Within Reason)."

    If this is still a bit much for you, feel free to check out our guide to the 13 Creepiest Album Covers.

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    Some bands — like Gwar, Ghost B.C. or almost any Swedish death metal band, for example — don't need scary-looking gear to be frightening.

    That said, if they were wielding any of the axes featured in the photo gallery below, well, let's just say it wouldn't hurt.

    Check out 10 scary-looking guitars that are perfect for Halloween. OK, one of them is just a guitar in the shape of an ax — but who knows how much damage a deranged guitarist could do with that thing!

    Note that some of these guitars feature unique designs and body shapes; some are just regular guitars with spooky paint jobs or graphics. Either way, all of these guitars are still available in one way or another — from major retailers, manufacturers' websites, eBay, whatever.


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    On Election Day, more than 300 entertainers will partner with HeadCount.org in a massive get-out-the-vote push, posting photos of themselves to social media urging their fans to “#GoVote.”

    The campaign specifically aims to combat the trend of “drop-off” voters, where half of young voters only cast ballots in Presidential races and then skip the Midterm Elections.

    A diverse group of musicians, comics and actors - including Stephen Colbert, Dave Matthews, Linkin Park, Sarah Silverman, Fergie, George Lopez, Jason Mraz, T.I., Lewis Black, Chaka Khan, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Ms. Lauryn Hill, all the living members of The Grateful Dead, Andy Richter and Conan O’Brien - have taken photos while holding artwork that says “#GoVote.”

    Each will Tweet and post their photos on Tuesday, saturating social media with a get-out-the-vote message.

    The 303 entertainers involved average over one million social media followers each across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, totaling more than 350 million. The number of participants and their popularity makes #GoVote one of the largest Election Day social media efforts ever.

    Each post on Twitter, Facebook, Instragram and Tumblr will include a link to http://www.headcount.org/govote/, where voters can find the most comprehensive election information hub on the internet - including a polling place finder, ID requirements, and what’s on each ballot.

    “The incumbent Congress is the least popular in history, so we can't leave it to the candidates alone to inspire people,” said Marc Brownstein, HeadCount’s co-founder and bass player in The Disco Biscuits. “We're trying to get the message across that being dissatisfied is a bad reason not to vote – it's the exact reason why participation is so important."

    The campaign is part of a broader #GoVote effort that includes multiple organizations and hundreds of works by visual artists, featured on the partner website www.govote.org. HeadCount curated art from several top rock poster artists for the musicians and entertainers to pose with.

    Some of the more compelling photos include: Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, appearing with comic Nick Offerman and Tweedy’s son Spencer (who just turned 18 and is eligible to vote for the first time); Jack Johnson standing in front of an ocean, holding artwork that says “#GoVote - Eat Local. Shop Local. Vote Local,” and media mogul Russell Simmons, with art from tattoo artist Luke Wessman.

    This campaign follows HeadCount’s highly successful social media push on National Voter Registration Day in September, involving many of the same entertainers. Through that effort and by setting up voter registration drives at 705 live music events, HeadCount registered more than 25,000 voters for this election.

    HeadCount.org is a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy. For more information, please check out headcount.org.

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    Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the perfect song premiere for Halloween! Check out "Fangsgiving" by Happy Fangs.

    "Fangsgiving" was recorded by Lance Jackman at the Tree House in Sacramento, California. It'll be released alongside "All I Want for Christmas" on a 7-inch disc titled Holidaze via Pulse Music. Look for it November 17.

    The band also will release their debut album, Capricorn, in early 2015.

    Happy Fangs are Rebecca Gone Bad (vocals), Michael Cobra (guitar) and Jess G (drums). For more about the band, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

    Check out the song and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook!

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    Foo Fighters have premiered a new song, "Congregation," a raucous tune with a serious hook and a healthy dose of electric 12-string guitar. You can hear it below. As always, be sure to tell us what you think in the comments or on Facebook.

    "Congregation," which features Zac Brown, was recorded at Brown's Southern Ground Studios in Nashville.

    The song is from Foo Fighters' new album, Sonic Highways, which will be released November 10.

    Additional Content

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    Black Veil Brides are in the middle of "The Black Mass 2014" tour with Falling in Reverse, Set It Off and Drama Club (see dates on Facebook).

    Yesterday, BVB teamed with Revolver to premiere their latest music video, for the song "Goodbye Agony" off their recently released self-titled album. Check out the clip below, and let us know what you think in the comments or on Facebook.

    Black Veil Brides' fourth full-length--which was produced by Bob Rock (Metallica, Mötley Crüe) and is the band's heaviest and most metallic effort yet—is available now via iTunes and the band’s webstore.

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    Over the course of 1969 and 1970, Jimi Hendrix appeared at his most noted live appearances — Live at Woodstock, Live at Berkeley, and Live at the Fillmore East — using a mysterious red Fuzz Face Distortion with white knobs.

    That fuzz box sounded like a completely different animal from any of the other Fuzz Face pedals in Jimi’s arsenal, snarling with a far more aggressive, biting tone.

    The pedal itself has been lost to history, but its unmistakably unique tone lives on in the recordings of those three iconic shows, and Hendrix aficionados have tried to cop that sound for years.

    Jim Dunlop is happy to say its tonal quest can finally come to a glorious end.

    Poring tirelessly over all of the different customized circuit designs Jimi used over the years, our engineers narrowed down this elusive fuzz tone to a version of the Octavio Fuzz without the octave up circuitry. After making a few tweaks, they nailed it with the FFM6 Band of Gypsys Fuzz Face Mini Distortion.

    You can get the same Fuzz Face tone Jimi used to woo the masses at his most famous performances, in a pedalboard-friendly Fuzz Face Mini housing with an AC power jack and an on/off status LED. Like all Fuzz Face pedals, the FFM6 features true bypass switching.

    Watch the Band of Gypsys Fuzz Face Mini demo video, featuring Eric Gales, below!

    MSRP: $171.41

    Features 'n' Such:

    • The biting, aggressive fuzz tone used by Jimi Hendrix for the Band of Gypsys show and other iconic performances;
    • Based on a rare vintage fuzz circuit;
    • Pedalboard-friendly Fuzz Face Mini housing with AC power and on/off status LED;
    • True bypass

    The Band of Gypsys Fuzz Face Mini Distortion will be initially available at limited international retailers and exclusively in the U.S. at GuitarCenter.com and MusiciansFriend.com beginning November 1, 2014, through the end of the year. The pedal will see wide domestic and international release in 2015.

    For more information, visit jimdunlop.com.

    Additional Content

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    Is your lifelong dream to own a custom Martin Guitar?

    Then this game is for you!

    Martin's Dream Inside The Box game gives you the chance to create your own custom Martin Guitar with a retail value of $10,000! Yes, you read that right.

    You can also win other instant game prizes like a 000X1AE, LXM, Martin gear kits, and SP Lifespan strings.

    So how do you play? Head to a participating dealer and purchase a set of SP or SP Lifespan strings. Inside you will find your game piece and instructions on how to play.

    You can find a participating dealer here. Good luck!

    Find out more at www.martinguitar.com/dream-inside-the-box

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    One important topic for musicians is the world of written agreements and how one’s services relate to the industry they work in.

    Let’s get the first thing out of the way: Most musicians hate talking about business and money. Or, should I say, they hate talking about it publicly, because when you get a couple of musicians together in private, one subject that usually pops up is business.

    They don't like to talk about it publicly because they're afraid others might consider them difficult to work with or demanding when it comes to getting paid on tour, when recording, etc.

    Some simply don’t know what they want or what their work is worth. Either way, read on because it gets more interesting!

    If you take "music business" and split it up, you get two words — music and business. We often do our best to take care of the music part, but we're still lacking the other half.

    Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry once said that whenever you mix money with art, you're playing with the devil. It's true on several levels. However, Joe clearly understands that without the business, most professionals (people who depend on their art to make a living) wouldn't be able to make art. It’s a necessary evil that all musicians should embrace and learn to manage. If you, like many artists, aren't comfortable negotiating, find someone who can do it on your behalf.

    I've found out that many professional organizations welcome written agreements when hiring you for a tour, an album project or whatever. It protects them as well.

    One of my favorite lines in the biz is "Friends don’t need contracts." Well, maybe. In reality, however, they do. One thing is certain: You'll wish for one if/when you're no longer friends. What happens to the work you did together? Who owns what? Here is my favorite: What if the work you did together is beginning to generate a lot of money?

    Another reason for a contract: Both parties understand clearly what one and the other is willing to do for each other. It removes the guess work and the tongue biting, and it allows you to concentrate on the music.

    You have to be responsible in any situation, and a huge part of this is being comfortable with the terms you want to work with. It is silly to expect anyone in the music world to take care of you just because they love you. That’s what moms are for.

    I'm going to go a step further and say that others will try to exploit your biggest weaknesses. This is not only in the music business, of course, but it certainly applies here. In some ways, this called being human. Your weakness could be a fear of not finding another gig so you stay in the same situation.

    We've all heard musicians' stories as to how one got screwed, ripped off or what not. These things are real and do happen. Just remember, if you allow people to exploit your weaknesses, someone will exploit them. It's ultimately up to you to educate yourself, know what you want to get paid and how, or negotiate a proper deal. Otherwise, you have yourself to blame. There are countless books out there that give you tips on better negotiating techniques and how to position yourself for a better outcome.

    l'm not saying everyone in the music business is a shark waiting to rip you off. Also, some things are truly beyond our control. Just take whatever you want from this article and maybe see things from a different perspective.

    I've been in positions when I negotiated agreements before an engagement took place (a tour, recording, etc.) and have also been in situations where things were done on looser terms. It was still an understanding that as soon as anyone isn't happy, we just part ways with no strings attached. This can be beneficial in several ways, but I only take on these situation when I feel at ease with the other party — or only when necessary. There's nothing wrong with it, and many things in the industry are done via this laid-back system.

    I want to stress that contracts are necessary, accepted and expected in reputable circles. All professional bands, managers, labels, clubs, promoters, merchandisers and other entities work within the framework set up through agreements.

    Keep in mind that not all contracts are for something that will last a long time, such as a record deal. Some can be for a personal appearance that lasts a couple of hours. I even lay out some simple terms of how I would split songwriting copyrights when I write a song with someone — ahead of getting to work. These don't have to be huge negotiations, but it gives you a framework to agree on. The agreement even can be a handshake in the beginning, but I love to work with a clear idea of what is expected of me and what I can expect in return. It makes things much easier.

    Think about this and see how you feel about the points above. Good luck!

    Polish-born Metal Mike Chlasciak has recorded or performed with heavy metal greats Rob Halford, Sebastian Bach, Bruce Dickinson and Axl Rose. Mike is the long-time guitarist for Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford's solo endeavor, Halford. Mike's new album, The Metalworker, is available at metalmike.net. For more info, check out his official website and visit him on Twitter.

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    Are you one of the many guitarists who struggle with coordinating their hands and vocals? You know, you can play the song. You can sing the song. But it all goes to pot when you try to do both simultaneously.

    Singing while playing guitar can be a daunting challenge for a beginner. A good sense of timing and rhythm and the ability to synthesize two different actions is necessary to pull it off. But like everything else you've learned to do on the guitar, it can be mastered.

    Here are 11 tips to help get you started:

    01. Apples and…apples! Like a pianist who uses both hands to play two different rhythms concurrently, or a drummer who uses all four limbs working independently, you need to meld your strumming and singing rhythms so that they sound seamless. Playing and singing aren't two separate things.

    02. Simple rhythms, simple rhymes. Don't complicate the task unnecessarily by choosing songs that exceed your skill level. This will only leave you feeling frustrated and defeated. Start off learning easy songs that you like and know well. Songs that only have a few chords, a simple strum pattern and lyrics you can easily remember, like "Happy Birthday." Or you might like to learn a song or two from 10 Famous Songs with Three Chords or Less.

    03. Know your guitar basics. Trying to remember how to finger a B7 chord while playing is going to make singing at the same time virtually impossible. Your guitar playing must be at a level where chord changes are effortless. You need to be so comfortable with your strumming that you don't even have to think about it. This will free you up to concentrate singing.

    04. Practice strumming with a metronome. For better timing and rhythm, practice with a metronome. Although it will feel a bit restrictive at first, a metronome will make you a more consistent player. Spend 10 minutes a day practicing a simple strumming pattern with a metronome, and you'll notice significant improvements in your timing within a few weeks.

    05. Know how to play the song. Play the music on your guitar until you have it memorized and can perform it fluently. One way to tell if you've mastered a song is to play it while reading aloud from a book lying open in front of you, or playing it flawlessly while watching television or carrying on a conversation.

    06. Know how to sing the song. In addition to getting all chord changes down pat, you have to know the tune and lyrics. This may require putting the guitar down for a time in order to focus purely on the singing. Pick a song and memorize the words. Sing it out loud. Sing along with a recording. Sing it in the shower. Sing it to your cat. When you can sing the song without a hitch it's time to sync things up.

    07. Hum first. You may find it helpful to first hum the parts of the melody over your strumming pattern before actually singing them. This will allow you the chance to get used to any chord changes without having to concern yourself with lyrics straight off. Once you get used to humming different parts of the melodies, you'll gradually become comfortable singing it.

    08. Slow down. It's far better to sing and play correctly, albeit slowly, than to be fudging rhythms at full speed. Go through the song measure by measure, line by line, until you can play and sing it all the way through without errors. Speed will come once you iron out all the kinks.

    09. A note on fingerpicking. If you're playing a song that uses fingerpicking, you might find it helpful to take a few steps back to start. First, sing using a simple strum pattern to play the chords. Once you got the song down perfectly this way, move on to a more complex strum pattern, and then ultimately to the original picking pattern.

    10. Changing key. If you find yourself straining to hit a song's notes, try changing the key so that the guitar's tones adapt to your voice. Move the chords up a fret or two. You can transpose a piece to either a lower or a higher pitch. Try singing again until you find a key that suits your voice. You can also change the key by using a capo. This allows you to keep the same fingering as the original.

    11. Practice. Learning to incorporate vocals into your guitar playing takes practice. Even once you have acquired the basic skill, you will be adding more and more songs to your repertoire, some of which may contain awkward combinations of rhythms that can trip you up. When this happens, break the song down into parts and work through the problem areas just like you did when you first learned how to synchronize your playing with your vocals.

    Kathy Dickson writes for the online guitar lesson site GuitarTricks.com.

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    Save almost 17 percent by buying Dale Turner's Guide to Acoustic Rock Guitar Parts 1 and 2 together in this awesome combo pack.

    With more than four hours of total instruction, this combo pack makes up the ultimate DVD guide for acoustic rock guitar players!

    With these two DVDs, you'll learn the acoustic rock secrets of:

    • Randy Rhoads
    • Zakk Wylde
    • John Mayer
    • Eric Clapton
    • Dave Matthews
    • Neil Young
    • Steve Morse
    ... and many more!

    You'll also be taught:

    • Basic and Intermediate Soloing
    • Tapped & Slapped Harmonics
    • Basic Strumming Patterns
    • Acoustic Blues
    • Economy & Hybrid Picking
    • Arpeggiated Chords
    • Travis Picking
    ... and much more!

    Your instructor, Dale Turner, is a teacher at Hollywood's legendary Musicians Institute and a Guitar World magazine columnist. Turner also is the author of more than 50 instructional books, including Power Plucking- A Rocker's Guide to Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar. You can hear his masterful playing on his album Mannerisms Magnified, available through Amazon.com.

    NOTE: This DVD includes a .pdf file with tabs. To access the .pdf file insert the DVD into your computer. Windows users should access the DVD drive through the 'Computer' folder on their task bar. The DVD name will appear in the DVD drive of this folder. Right click the DVD name and select Open to access the .pdf file with tabs.

    Check out these DVDs now at the Guitar World Online Store!

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    The Tony Award-Winning Broadway hit ‘Once’ finally reaches Australia.

    The musical is a story of a Guy who gave up on music and love and the Girl who inspired him to dream again.

    The show opened at Melbourne’s Princess Theater on October 4th to rave reviews! For dates on the Australian show, click here.

    The Australian opening night comes after it was announced that ‘Once’ on Broadway would perform their final show on January 4th, 2015, after an impressive three year run.

    ‘Once’ will also close out their successful London run at the Phoenix Theater on March 21st, 2015. To find tickets for the Broadway show click here. For tickets for the London show, click here.

    Martin Guitar and Martin Strings are the official guitar and string sponsors of ‘Once’ on Broadway, London, Melbourne, and their United States traveling tour.

    For more information on ‘Once,’ click here.


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    C.F. Martin & Co. – Images of America is the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series.

    The book by author and Martin employee Dick Boak includes a foreword from C.F. Martin IV.

    The book boasts over 200 vintage images, many of which have never been published, and chronicles the evolution of the iconic Martin guitar.

    The images in the book trace the remarkable development of the acoustic guitar in the hands of six generations of Martin family members who have managed the business from 1833 to today.

    To learn more about the book and get your own copy, click here.

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    2014 was the year of the talented singer/songwriter and Martin Ambassador Valerie June.

    Valerie’s “organic moonshine roots” music has captivated audiences.

    Her 2013 album Pushin’ Against A Stone, produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, has won glowing reviews and earned Valerie a nomination for ‘Best New Artist Debut’ at the Blues Music Awards.

    This year, Valerie has toured in the United States and Europe and performed at big name festivals like Bonnaroo and Newport Folk Festival. With praises in Vogue, NPR, and CBS News, Valerie is slated for continued success in 2015.

    To learn more about Valerie June, click here.

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    Martin Guitar is proud to add singer/songwriter Thomas Rhett to the Martin Ambassador family!

    The Martin Ambassador program honors musicians for their understanding and appreciation of Martin’s history and craftsmanship.

    The CMA New Artist of the Year nominee even got the chance to visit the Martin factory to meet Martin’s craftspeople and discuss his custom guitar with Martin’s Chief Product Officer, Fred Greene.

    To learn more about Thomas joining the Martin Ambassador program, click here.

    Thomas also recently announced that he is hitting the road in 2015 with Florida Georgia Line for the “Anything Goes Tour.” You can click here for more information on the tour.


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  • 10/31/14--17:24: Made Right Here
  • Made Right Here is a product of four friends who banded together to document America’s finest craftspeople.

    Thanks to Maxwell House and AOL, they are able to share the stories of hardworking people who get up every morning and make good things, right here in America.

    Since 1833, Martin Guitar and our employees have worked diligently to create the guitars you know and love. We are excited to be highlighted by Made Right Here!

    Watch the hosts of Made Right Here, Max and Joe, pull into Nazareth to explore the process of making guitars and meet the talented craftspeople that keep America rockin’.

    You can watch the Made Right Here episode featuring Martin Guitar by clicking here.

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    Thirty-five rare guitars that illustrate the early history of the instrument in America are on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art until December 7, 2014.

    Early American Guitars: The Instruments of C.F. Martin traces the birth of the Martin guitar by shedding light on the contributions of Christian Frederick Martin.

    The exhibition is the largest collection of instruments by Martin Guitar ever to be displayed publicly. You can learn more about the exhibit here.

    In A Word From Chris: Martin At The MET Part 1, CEO and Chairman Chris Martin IV discusses the exhibition with the MET’s associate curator in the department of musical instruments, Jayson Kerr Dobney. In Part 2, Martin’s Director of Museum and Archives, Dick Boak, continues the conversation with Jayson Kerr Dobney.

    You can watch Part 1 of Martin At The MET here.

    Afterwards, watch Part 2 here.

    More from Martin at martinguitar.com

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    During his winning run at the 2014 X-Games in January, Olympian/Burton Rider and Martin Ambassador Danny Davis debuted his new 2015 Burton Easy Livin’ snowboard with distinctive Martin Guitar-inspired graphics.

    The focal point of the snowboard’s base graphic is a beautiful Martin fretboard with the iconic headstock and body.

    Danny chose custom inlays for the board’s graphics that symbolize things that are important to him, like fishing, camping, his dogs, peace, and of course Burton!

    When speaking about the Martin and Burton Snowboards partnership, Danny said, “To partner with Martin is a dream come true. Music and snowboarding are two of my biggest passions. To be able to collaborate with an iconic brand such as Martin and my long time sponsor Burton is amazing.”

    The 2015 Easy Livin’ Burton Snowboard is now available at Burton retail locations and online. You learn more about the board here.


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