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* James Burton has spoiled me *


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I'm spoiled. For about the past five years, I have gone to James Burton's club just about every weekend. And about half the time, James is sitting in. If he's not touring or recording, he's sitting in. I guess I've seen him play 100 times. Man, this guy is smooth. He hits chords I've never even thought of. And I've noticed something.


If I go into any music store, any kid working in there can just grab a guitar and tear it up like nobody's business. NOBODY played like this in the early to mid 60's, which is when I was first exposed to electric guitar. I mean, something happened after the 60s. Guitarists suddenly started playing lightning quick... all over the fretboard. And... is that a good thing?


I watch James play and I'm not 20 feet from him. What a pleasure. He's pretty laid back. Smooth. Of course, a lot of it has to do with the music played at his club. I think he must have a rule or something. Nothing after 1969. Oh, he'll do a fast solo, sure. But nothing ever like guitarists do these days. Trying to see if they can hit 100 notes a second or something.


To tell you the truth, it seems guitarists have gone overboard. Hitting a zillion notes a second is nice... for about half a minute. Then, that's enough for me.


Recently, a new guitarist showed up with one of the regular bands. Instantly, I though "WOW, this guy is awesome!" It was his sound. What a TONE! But I soon tired of him. Because on every song that he solo'd, he overdid it. He did the how-fast-can-I-play thing.


I think simpler is far better. Well, not simpler. Actually, it's quite complex... the chord shapes a great guitarist like James hits... but it's much slower. I think it's better.


I've thought about James a lot. I'll bet his style came about because of his background. He played lead with Elvis for quite a long time. Ricky Nelson. Also toured for Roy Orbison. Jerry Lee Lewis. John Denver. In all of those situations, the focus is the star. The lead guitarist didn't show off a whole lot. Just kinda in the background.


By the way, if you're ever near Shreveport, Louisiana, stop by downtown Shreveport and come in his club. (Open Saturday nights.) No cover charge. Best deal going. And speak to him. He loves to meet his fans. And his wife's name is Louise. She's usually there. They have lots of casinos here now. Plenty to do.


James is going to build a new club. I don't see how it can top the one he has now. Even though it's small, I guess it's the coolest bar I've ever seen. Huge murals of Elvis, Jerry Lee, Roy, Ricky. And James. http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif

> > > [ Live! ] < < <

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If you think playing fast is a relatively new thing, listen to Joe Maphis records. Ol' Joe TORE IT UP. He's dead of old age now or something. Or Django. He could get pretty feistyfingered.


In the early 1960s, at least in rock circles, no one knew quite what to do with the electric guitar. They were coming out of an era with tons of folkies playing acoustics. The only people playing electrics were the rockabilly guys and the blues guys (and of course Herb Ellis and Les Paul). As rockabilly was reeeeaaally passe in the later 60s, the younger guitarists turned to the blues influence. So that's where the heroes were, blues transplants. Play blues through a Marshall and it becomes "psychedelic" (Hendrix, Cream). There were fast guitarists in those days...Alvin Lee...etc, were pretty fast as far as the blues-based stuff went. But then someone figured out some new techniques, tapping, sweep picking, etc. and shred was born.


This was the essence of my earlier post "Dinosaurs"...do us older guitarists suck because we're not playing 500 notes per measure? Well, kinda interesting, because a lot of the newer guitar players (although there are still lots of capable shredders out there) are getting into older stuff like surf and rockabilly.


It's just opened up a huge variety of styles. James Burton or Yngwie? SRV or Albert Lee? B.B. King or Dimebag Darrell? I guess, for me, I'll keep learning new things, but, I'm not and never will be a shred head. But that doesn't mean I can't do slow and try to be tasty, and if anyone doesn't like it, they can go out and listen to someone who's style is more to their liking. I feel your pain.


Like the Nike ad...just do it. Play. Have fun. It doesn't get any better than that.

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Go get 'em Tedster.

But what's the difference between Stevie and Alvin. The both play with their hearts on their sleeve. I'm curious...

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Who needs Prozac? I for one just need my daily "Tedster Fix"... http://cwm.ragesofsanity.com/s/icw/020.gif

It's kinda like a big hug for the soul !!!!!!!!! http://cwm.ragesofsanity.com/s/net3/smileJap.gif

So Many Drummers. So Little Time...
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