Hello fans and fellow players,
Here is an email I got from Arkansas Red.
Just finished listening to the As Time Goes By CD. May not get to the other one. Why? This one blew my hat in the creek. I’ve got to play it again and again and again. Not only are the arrangements fine, and the playing super on all instruments, but the tones you get from your ax and Andy’s tone from the Farlow and Fender Deluxe amp. I’m a guitar player, so I’m a tad prejudiced. What a great combination. Man, I’ve got to get to Nashville and jam with you guys. You play the kind of music I wish they played around here. I know of one guy who is “hip” to this music, but he rarely gets to play because he’s usually running sound and lights for different groups. I play this kind of music in a little jazz group, but the bass player is a converted guitar player and won’t listen to people like Ray Brown and Milt Hinton to get the feel of the music. The drummer wants every song to be “Stan Kenton/Buddy Rich big band”. Have you ever heard the song Cry Me A River played as if it were Caravan? “Subtle” is not a type of music that these people understand. But we get by, and the people seem to like us. If I wasn’t so old, so rooted here in the mountains, I’d move to Nashville just so I could play with guys like you and the Time Jumpers. That’s music. And I was surprised there weren’t any special effects, and if you play somewhere does your stage explode with pyrotechnics and you have a bunch of half “necked” girls parading around to distract the audience from your “no talent”? Gee, I wish you lived closer. The music we’ve got around here is the Red Dirt-Oklahoma trash music, Taylor Swift, and the “wonderful” songwriters who wouldn’t think of ever doing a cover song. They want to do their original material. Songs with intro’s like, “This is a song I wrote when my pet gerbil saw his first rainbow, and I realized I could feed the world’s children and have world peace”. Then they proceed to play an out of tune guitar and sing lyrics that would make an English college professor wonder what the heck they were singing about. And the sad part about it is, they have a following of people who go around saying, “They are truly awesome”. What a pile of poo. When someone comes up to me and says, “You are such an “awesome” guitar player, I thank them, and ask them if they’ve ever listened to Chet Atkins, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, or even Jerry Reed (forget mentioning guitar great Hank Garland, they’re still trying to figure out who Chet is.). They give you this “deer in the headlights” look, and I say, “Now there’s some awesome guitar players. Give them a listen”. They usually walk off with their head spinning wondering what “heavy metal” group these guys play with. Can you name me five heavy metal songs or heavy metal groups from ten years ago that are still popular? I doubt it. Can you name me twenty standards of sixty years ago, played and sang by Ellington, Brubeck, Goodman, Holiday, Sinatra, Bennett, Miller, etc.? I’ll bet you can do it in one breath. Why? Because it was music not a bunch of noise with wah wah pedals, and screaming distortion. Effects have their place in the music business I guess, but in a hundred years people will still be playing the songs like you’ve put on this CD. Songs with understandable words, songs with meanings. Songs with melody you can sing along to and pat your feet to the rhythm. Joe Pass said it very well when he talked about playing jazz guitar. He said, “Play the melody first, then go in to your harmonies and improv”. He’s right. Identify your tune right of the bat, and you’ll have your listener hooked. Start out playing a bunch of riffs and improv notes and you’ve lost the ballgame. The old KISS method works everytime.
What can I say Red? You’ve done something I can’t remember anybody else ever doing before. You’ve left me speechless.
Check out our monthly specials at www.steelguitar.net/monthlyspecials.html and we’ll try to save you a lot of money.
Steel Guitar Nashville
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Hendersonville, TN. 37075
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