Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 100

playing with dynamics, bringing it up and
bringing it down. I don't hear a lot of that
in music these days. I hear a lot of volume
and a lot of notes.
What is your basic setup?

Just a Strat through a Super Reverb;
never used an effect in my life. I've got a
couple of Custom Shop Strats, a couple
of reissues, and four old Strats from my
days of touring constantly.
Is there a guitar or an amp
from the past that you
don't have any more
that you would really
like back?

No, because I always
kept my old St rats,
thank God. I was broke
a lot when I was on the
road and I didn't

know that I was poor or even what poor
meant, but I always kept my guitars. I have
two rosewood-neck '60s and two from the
'50s with maple necks. If I had gotten rid
of one of them, I would have regretted it.
How many Super Reverbs do you
have?

Three. Two come with me to the shows
and one is in reserve. They do need repair
pretty often. To me, they're perfect for everything, especially playing quiet, pretty
notes. Sometimes it seems there aren't
enough pretty notes played these days.
On Just for Today, only one track
has vocals, while there are four on
Good News. Was Diane taking
on a greater role in the band by
that point?

She wasn't actually in the band
at that point; it wasn't until we

finished the last album that I just said,
"She's in the band." She sings a segment
of the show and I still play a lot of guitar
because the audience wants to hear that.
Over the three most recent albums,
you incorporated more people, including three additional guitarists on the
newest album.

That's Nicholas Tabarias, who was also
on Good News, along with Tim O'Connor
and Larry Lusignan. I'm very comfortable
with myself - not overly confident - but
I feel we have room at the table for a few
more people. I brought them in just to
see what would happen and let the music
take over. Nicholas does serve as sort of a
rhythm guitarist, which goes back to my
love of Muddy Waters, who always had
two guitarists in his band. Plus, it's nice
to have your friends there with you - very
comforting, very supportive.
"Running in Peace" is a topical
number about the Boston Marathon
bombings. Have you ever done a song
that was based on a specific historical
incident?

No, not really. The last time Kim Wilson
and I recorded together, we did a tune
called "Child of a Survivor," about my
family, who are holocaust survivors.
It's part of my personal blues history.

"Running in Peace" is about a
very specific incident. What was
the motivation for that song?

Earl with the
'62 Fiesta Red strat
he calls Mahalia.

It was co-written by Ilana Katz
Katz, who was at the finish line of
the Boston Marathon when the bomb
went off. Boston, my home town, was in a
state of shock and fear after the bombings.
The answer just had to be the blues. The
whole city was put on hold until after the
trials were over later. I never experienced
anything like that. So, it was important, to
me to get a message out about that. I feel
the world's pain a lot, and that influences
my playing. Everything in my music is
feeling. Every generation goes through

"It's not enough
for me to play
guitar; I need to
work on my higher
self and be the best
person I can be."
Vintage guitar

100

July 2016


https://youtu.be/eEI4kXdM9X8?list=PLaynhNdfLBF7r5AJtV1UexjmczWtNBKs http://www.vintageguitar.com

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Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Cover1
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Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 1
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Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Contents
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Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Cover3
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