Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 101
a tumultuous time, but it seems
like we're going through one
after another. We're getting
lessons from a higher power,
about guns, about war. We're
getting hit over the head with
it until the people in control
learn. But like in "Running in
Peace," I feel that there's still
hope for humanity and mankind.
You music offers a lot of interplay between despair and hope.
There's always hope - light at the
end of the tunnel. There are a lot of
beautiful people in music and the
arts, and I feel we're here to help
one another. In the music business
there's sometimes a lot of focus on
getting ahead. I had to take myself
out of the rat race a long time ago
because it was interfering with
my ability to play from the heart.
I listen a lot to people like Stevie
Wonder - people who speak widely
about the challenges in life.
Where did you find vocalist
Michael Ledbetter, who sings
on Father's Day? He sounds like
a young, powerful Otis Rush.
I heard him in Nick Moss'
sounds like you dialed back
the Tone knob.
band, in a little joint. Nick told me
he was a distant relative of Huddie
Ledbetter, and as soon as he started
singing, I looked over at a friend
and said, "He's amazing." That
night, he sang with Diane, and
though they'd never met, it was
amazing. No rehearsal. He's on
I did. It couldn't have been
any other way; not a lot of notes,
not very bright-sounding. It
needed a lot of warmth - it's
not mournful, it's prayerful.
The muted tone brings out the
warmth of hope, I think.
I was just trying to change things up,
make it a lot different. I can't remember
the last time I used horns on an album,
but that's Mario Perrett on tenor sax
and Scott Shetler on baritone. They
both took solos on "Moanin'," which is
a churchy song from the 1950s. They're
both well-versed in soul-jazz and are
probably going to be on the next album.
The whole record was made
live in a day and a half, with no
overdubbing. All the records are
made in a day and a half or two
days. We don't have the budget to
do it any other way. What we do
have is a lot of experience playing
music with each other, especially
the core band.
What made you decide to use horns
on Father's Day?
There are also new guitar tones on
the new album. "Follow Your Heart"
has a hard-edged solo outro that
doesn't sound like other parts.
That's Nicholas playing a 335. When
we were mixing, the engineer said, "Are
you okay with this guitar coming in like
that at the end?" I said, "That's what he
played, so put it on there."
The last song, "Precious Lord,"
How long did it take to record
Where did the title come from?
The relationship between my
father and me healed just two
Father's Days ago. It was like a
spiritual awakening. My wife
said, "The title should be Father's
Day," and I said, "Yeah, I know
that." What else could we possibly
call it? It's in honor of him and
that there are 12-step programs
'57 Strat: Tom Hazeltine. '62 "Mahalia" Strat: Tom Hazeltine.
(LEFt) this '57 stratocaster has
been with Earl since he started
gigging. (RIGht) the '62 strat Earl
calls "Mahalia." It has seen heavy
use on tour and
can be heard
on Live in