Shrapnel Records was founded in 1980 by Mike Varney at the age of 22. It was the first record company in the USA strictly dedicated to Heavy Metal. As other labels followed suit, Shrapnel set itself apart from the pack by focussing on bands featuring guitarists of extraordinary ability and was at the forefront of the neo-classical electric guitar and shred movements. Shrapnel Records was the first label to bring renowned guitarists to world attention such as Yngwie Malmsteen (Steeler ), Marty Friedman, Jason Becker, Paul Gilbert, Racer X, Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Moore, Greg Howe, Richie Kotzen and many others. Today Shrapnel continues to record guitarists of extraordinary ability and has also returned a bit to its metal roots in releasing some classic metal and hard rock records. The turn of the new millennium has brought a resurgent interest in virtuoso guitar work and this groundswell continues to build you can continue to look to Shrapnel to be at the forefront of a whole new generation of guitar excellence.
Blues Bureau International
Founded in 1991, Blues Bureau International is a label that has focussed its attention on the blues rock genre, owing more to 70's arena guitar icons than rootsy acoustic blues. Through the years the label has recorded many great artists including nine Pat Travers records, four Rick Derringer records, as well as records by other rock blues artists such as Glenn Hughes, Jon Butcher, Neal Schon, The Outlaws, Scott Henderson, Joe Louis Walker, etc. The label continues to record well known artists in the electric blues style and is planning on bringing out some new artists with phenomenal blues chops to keep things exciting.
Tone Center is an Independent record company owned by music industry veteran Mike Varney, dedicated to recording high level, jazz, jazz/rock and fusion music. The roster is made up of some the most well known and respected names in the instrumental jazz/rock/fusion world. In an age when many record companies and musicians are playing it "safe", Tone Center is leading the way in the return of high energy, no compromise, virtuosic, exciting music. Check out the tunes on this site for a look into what the fans are raving about and the critics are saying is" a long overdue breath of fresh air." -- Steve Smith, Artist/Producer