We will start with Maybelle Carter’s acoustic strum, then check out the players who made the electric guitar as its own instrument. We will learn from the hot players of several eras and areas (arias, not so much): Eldon Shamblin and Jr Bernard with Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys; Grady Martin and Hank “Sugarfoot” Garland, two kings of the emerging Nashville scene in the 50s and 60s; and from the West Coast, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard and their mighty Telecaster guitar men: Don Rich, Roy Nichols and Louisiana-born James Burton, who rocked everyone from Ricky Nelson to Elvis to Emmylou. We will check out Merle Travis, and Johnny Cash’s Luther Perkins. We will also listen to some of the players whose influence runs through this music – Charley Christian, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley.
I’ll show you some useful rhythm styles, some hot licks, and how to fill in between the vocals. You’ll get the tools to really learn the neck, and I will try to help each one of you fill in whatever gaps in your understanding or technique that might be holding you back. We will be shooting for that Eureka! moment, when you find the missing link and it all falls into place. And we will learn my guitar hook from our 1972 Commander Cody hit Hot Rod Lincoln. Bring an electric guitar, and either a tiny amp or no amp at all. Unplugged electric works best. Almost all that we learn is doable on an acoustic, so if that’s what you have, it’s just fine.
Rolling Stone – “Opening night was particularly special due to the presence of Les Paul and Albert Lee, … Bill Kirchen cranked up his Tele for a set that gave the crowd a hotfoot, sparked by his epic cover of [‘Hot Rod Lincoln’]. (review of Danny Gatton Tribute, New York, Tramps)”