Thursday, May 29, 2014

Gone Country? Nope - but it's still all good

BEFORE I DOVE into giving guitar lessons for a living, I generally hated country music.

I think most of today's country is crap. But the more I listen to "classic" and older country, the more I'm appreciating it, and for one reason and one reason only - the guitar.

Yesterday I made a young guy listen and learn a couple of licks from an Alan Jackson song, Chattahoochie. The guitar player on the recording is Brent Mason, and his Telecaster soars throughout this song. A song is only as good as the band that plays it, especially in Nashville, where everybody copies everybody. Mason is one of a million unsung and generally unknown heroes who drive the engine. The songwriters and players never get the love, and that's sad.

Another song that surprises me is by, gasp, Dolly Parton. It's called "Jolene" and it has the coolest acoustic intro. I'm trying to figure it out and it's driving me crazy, so I'm faking it by tapping an open chord and using a capo. Sure, it's cheating, but it's close. I'm not sure who played the guitar on her 1974 recording, but I've seen her play it herself using the finger-style method and she's amazing.

You might even see me do it tonight with the angels (ahem) from Avenue Beat at One Restaurant's open mic night.

Yesterday one of my younger students, Abigail, asked to learn a Luke Bryan song. See the above comment for what I think of stuff like this, but seeing Abigail sing her heart out and realizing the song was easy to play was priceless.

The next thing you know I'll start chickin-pickin or something.

Well. Let's not get carried away.

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