Rarely does a guitarist possess both chops and soul. The names of those who do are usually etched in history. Now another name can be added to that exclusive list — Axemunkee’s Catherine Capozzi .

If you don’t know Capozzi’s name, you should, because she is possibly the greatest female rock guitarist ever.

A native of Connecticut, Capozzi began playing guitar at the age of ten. After college, she moved to Boston and paid her dues in a number of local rock bands, most notably the critically lauded All the Queen’s Men (Madam Static, Curvy Baby), a band that also achieved some acclaim in Europe. As a result of her work with AQM, she was tapped to play guitar for several productions by The Boston Rock Opera. 

Prior to launching Axemunkee in 2007, Capozzi spent two years as the guitarist for Ziaf, a well-respected Edith Piaf tribute act which released three albums and toured extensively in Europe and the Far East, as well as the U.S. Ziaf was also featured in a documentary on Piaf collaborator Marguerite Monnot for French television.

Once she decided to front her own band, Capozzi chose to keep Axemunkee entirely instrumental and let her six strings do the singing. Her influences are broad, including jazz and classical music, but they are always filtered through the rock idiom, and more times than not, they are draped in an psychedelic-hued aural coat. And while the guitar goddess is schooled in the lexicon of classic rock, she is by no means limited by that. In a day, when so much rock sounds tired, Capozzi excites with her inventive playing and composing.

Not surprisingly, when it came to actually performing her new music live and in the studio, she reached out to two of her former AQM bandmates, Tamora Gooding (electronic

drums) and Chris Farrell (bass). She also enlisted Count Zero keyboardist Joel Simches and Bentmen drummer Geoff Chase. Chase ended up coproducing, recording and mixing Axemunkee’s debut, Sidewalk Mary, an album which places Capozzi squarely in the company of rock’s most innovative guitarists.