at the James Burton International Guitar Festival,
Music Festival & Trade Show - Aug. 19-21, 2005
Shreveport, Louisiana



Biographies from James Burton
International Guitar Festival program


Johnny A
           For Johnny A, the guitar has been a lifelong fascination. Those six strings exert a powerful hold over the man, inspiring deep contemplation and, occasionally, moment of aching frustration. It is a stormy affair coupled with a tempestuous hollow body lover, but the rewards have been great. Wresting colors and emotions from those six strings, Johnny A is as much a master as he is the eternal student - with a formidable talent, but a desire to learn that is just as strong. On Johnny A's latest Favored Nations disc, Get Inside, he once again lets the guitar lead the way on a dozen instrumentals that span a gulf of style from cool a go-go to finger-lickin' guitar pickin' to laying pure rock n' roll rubber. This is music for an open mind aching for the open road
           In addition to ten new original, Get Inside includes a pair of reworked classics. Johnny Rivers' Poor Side of Town is rendered fairly faithfully, with gorgeous guitar tones recalling even the wispy female background vocals that spiced the 1966 hit. However, Johnny A's interpretation of The Wind Cries Mary by Jimi Hendrix is a different matter altogether. Treating the somber original in a sprightly acid jazz manner disassembles, Johnny A then rearranges the song in a fresh new way.
           There's no sophomore worries on the new album, which recalls the explorations found on Sometime Tuesday Morning, then sets off on its own intimate course. Johnny A knows how to play his guitar, but it is his willingness to let the instrument roam that sets him apart and outside safe harbor - plunging headlong into uncharted territory with only a six string beacon to guide the way.


Jeff "Skunk" Baxter
           Best known for his work with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter's versatility and highly developed technique as a soloist made him a hugely in-demand session guitarist from the 1970's on. Perhaps because he has never released a solo album, Baxter is not quite a household name, but his talent and taste have never been in question. Born December 13, 1948 in Washington, D.C., Baxter landed his first recording gig in 1969 with the psychedelic pop group Ultimate Spinach. In 1972, he began his association with Steely Dan, playing on their debut album, Can't Buy a Thrill. His ability to blend rock's visceral power with smooth, sophisticated jazz-pop made him an important element of the group.
           Following 1974's Pretzel Logic, Baxter moved on to the Doobie Brothers, debuting later that year on What Once Were Vices Are Now Habits and continuing on for several more albums through 1978. During the mid - 70's, Baxter began to expand his session work, eventually playing everything from rock to folk to country. He worked with Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand, Rod Steward, Bryan Adams, Ringo Starr, Carly Simon, Donna Summer, Joni Mitchell, Rick Nelson, Hoyt Axton and Freddie Hubbard among many others. Baxter produced albums by Nazareth and others. He has had seventeen gold and eight platinum records and has been awarded two Grammy Awards.
           In keeping up with technological advances, Baxter also developed an interest in military hardware and weapons systems. Although Baxter remains an active working musician, the guitarist has found work as a Congressional defense analyst and consultant on military defense and national security issues.


Matthew and Gunnar Nelson
           Their songs transcend time. Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, revered for unforgettable past hits, explore fresh creative territory in the present. Magically melodic songwriting and soaring sibling harmonies ensure that this pair will be a vital part of the music scene's future.
           After the Rain was the hit debut album by Nelson, the band Matthew and Gunnar led in the early 1990's. They zoomed to number one with (I Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection, had three Top 10 singles, four number one MTV videos, and became massively popular overseas.
           Matthew and Gunnar have rare insights into what it takes to earn longevity in the entertainment world. They continue the inspiring story of a most remarkable show business family. Their grandparents, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, achieved immortality with "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," one of television's longest running series. Earlier, the couple had enjoyed big band success.
           Rick Nelson emerged from the series' popularity to establish himself as one of the most important rock artists of the '50's and '60's. So, with Matthew and Gunnar's (I Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection, the Nelsons landed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the only family to reach number one record status in three successive generations.
           Once again billed as "Nelson," Matthew and Gunnar continue to perform sold-out shows around the globe. Due to unending requests, they've worked some Rick Nelson classics into their set. They perform them with respect and enthusiasm. "We figured it's up to us to help keep his music alive," Gunnar says. "Not only is it a true pleasure to play these great songs that people love, but it makes us feel profoundly closer to our best friend - our father." "Nelson" - music from yesterday, today and tomorrow.


Jeff Cook
           Jeff was born and raised in Fort Payne, Alabama. He has been playing lead guitar and keyboard in bands since the age of thirteen. Securing a broadcast license three days after his fourteenth birthday, Jeff went to work as a disc jockey at a local radio station. Eventually he became the owner of a radio and television station. After graduation from high school, Jeff received a degree in Electronic Technology from Gadsden State Community College. He was recently named the outstanding Alumni by the American Association of Community Colleges.
           In 1985 "Guitar Player" Magazine's Reader Poll named Jeff, along with Albert Lee and Steve Morse the top three guitarists. Jeff is one of the founders of the group "Alabama." Jeff and his band mates have been named Entertainer of the Year eight times. They have sold more recordings than anyone else in any field of music, followed by Michael Jackson and the Beatles. Alabama has a sting of 42 #1 singles spanning two decades. The group has also received other awards including Recording International Artist Association's "Country Group of the Century" and the prestigious "Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award."
           A life-long dream for Jeff became true with the development of Cook Sound Studio. The studio gives his a way to help other musicians. Jeff plays an electrifying lead guitar and a pretty hot fiddle. He also plays keyboard, bass, banjo, mandolin, and drums. Always appreciative of his fans, Jeff's message is simply: "Thank you for all your support of ALABAMA."


Johnny Rivers
           Johnny Rivers managed to put seventeen songs in the top forty from 1964 to 1977. He was versatile enough to do folk songs, blues, covers of old-time rock-and-roll songs, and some original material, all of them in his own unique style. He was also adept as a songwriter, guitarist, and as a producer. Johnny Rivers moved to the West Coast in the early 60's and by 1963 found himself playing at the Whiskey A Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. He was the headline act, and played covers of some catchy tunes from the not too distant past. Rivers signed with the Imperial label and recorded an album in 1964, Johnny Rivers Live At The Whiskey A Go Go. It reached number 12 on the LP charts and a single from the album, a spirited cover of Chuck Berry's Memphis, reached number two on the pop charts. In 1966 Rivers came up with his biggest hit ever, Poor Side Of Town, which would be his only number one record. He also started his own label and called it Soul City Records. One of the artists that signed with Soul City, Jimi Hendrix, wrote a song that Rivers recorded and turned into a hit with Summer Rain. Johnny did the theme from a TV show and turned Secret Agent Man into a hit. The 5th Dimension signed with Soul City Records and eventually recorded two number one hits on Rivers' label, Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In and Wedding Bell Blues. Johnny continued to put up more hits, including two more top ten records in 1967 with Baby I Need Your Lovin' and a cover of the Miracles' The Tracks Of My Tears. Imperial became United Artists (it is now EMI) and Johnny Rivers continued recording albums. His last entry on the charts was Swaying' To The Music (Slow Dancin'), a top ten hit in 1977. He continued recording into the 80's. With 17 gold records and two Grammy Awards this singer, songwriter, and producer has sold more than 30 million records and recorded 25 LPs. Rivers, who continues to play worldwide to standing-room-crowds has certainly left his mark on the recording industry.


Johnny Hiland
           Guitarist Johnny Hiland was born with nystagmus, a medical condition causing involuntary eye movement and rendering him legally blind. He grew up in Woodland, Maine, (next to the Canadian boarder) and took to the guitar at the young age of 2. At eight, he joined his family's band, the Three Js, which toured New England under auspices of the Down East Country Music Association. At ten, Hiland won the Talent America contest, entitling him to a performance in New York City. In high school, his musical tastes extended beyond bluegrass to the guitar rock of players like Joe Satriani and Eddie Van Halen. After high school, he attended the University of Southern Maine as a history major, but ultimately dropped out to become a professional musician.
           In 1996, he moved to Nashville, where he quickly attracted attention at local clubs, earning a residency at the World-Famous Turf and, when that club was destroyed by a tornado in 1998, at Robert's Western Wear with Don Kelly's band. He backed Gary Chapman at the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry. After his manager left part of a demo on Steve Vai's voice mail, Vai called back with an offer for Hilland to sign to his Favored Nations label. There followed two years of trial and error preparation for Hiland's first album of original country and rock guitar instrumentals released in August 2004. Meanwhile, Hiland has become a busy session musician in Nashville, recording with Rick Skaggs, Toby Keith, Randy Travis, Janie Fricke, and Lynn Anderson.
           Johnny's biggest influence in the music business was and is James Burton. When Johnny lost his father in a boating accident James took the time out of his busy schedule to call Johnny and talk to him and to motivate him into continuing his musical career. When Johnny was little his favorite song was CC Rider by Elvis, so he has been a big fan and a friend with James since he was a young man.
           Johnny first picked up a guitar at the age of 2, after undergoing eye surgery to help with his nystagmus. The guitar was left to Johnny's father by his grandfather. Johnny said he "drug the guitar with him wherever he went," hence, he was born to be a musician.
           Johnny Hiland got the first level A endorsement, without selling any records, from Paul Reed Smith guitars. Johnny may have small fingers and hands but he can really make the guitar sing.


Greg Koch
           Greg Koch's virtuosity, sense of humor and ability to articulate his thoughts through music, has led to a successful career as leader of his own band, a studio musician, author, magazine contributor and artist/clinician for Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
           His fascination with the guitar started in the third grade, when Greg started making Fender Stratocasters cut out of cardboard, using his sister's sewing machine pedal as a makeshift wah-wah. He would pretend to rock along to Jimi Hendrix, whose music had become his obsession. When he finally got his first guitar at age twelve after failing to duplicate Hendrix on the cello, Greg quickly advanced by watching, listening and copying what he heard on records. Early on, his own hybrid style of blues, rock and country began to take form and was able to develop further by playing in everything from show bands to Elvis impersonators, polka groups and blues-rock ensembles of his own creation.
           As the result of a grass roots effort by friends at Fender, he found himself as the premier clinician for the world's largest and most prestigious guitar and amplifier manufacturer. Bringing together world-class chops and a humorous ability to articulate sounds and techniques, Greg has developed an exceptionally effective clinic. With his own tunes as a backdrop and various Fender and Guild instruments as the tools, a variety of tones, tricks and anecdotes are willingly shared with those in attendance.
           Greg's first internationally acclaimed CD on Steve Vai's Favored Nations label, The Grip, was an aromatic smorgasbord of pungent guitar morsels culled from his five independent releases. Greg has now committed his distinctive brand of musical mayhem to a new CD, Radio Free Gristle. It's cleverly packaged as a radio show, with Koch's airwave - ready baritone providing hilarious segues between cuts.


Roscoe Beck
           Roscoe Beck has been a mainstay on the Los Angeles and Austin, Texas music scenes for years. Originally from Poughkeepsie, New York, he moved to Texas in his teens and was soon integrated into the thriving blues and jazz communities in Austin. Relocating to Los Angeles in 1979, Beck recorded with Leonard Cohen, Robben Ford, Jennifer Warnes and many others. The Cohen/Warnes/Beck partnership culminated in Warnes' classic 1986 recording Famous Blue Raincoat/The Songs of Leonard Cohen, an album that sold over a million copies.
           The Texas connection continued throughout the L.A. years and Roscoe returned often to Austin, recording frequently with Texas guitar favorite Eric Johnson. He also appeared with Eric on the 1997 G3 tour with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. Roscoe is a founding member of Robben Ford and the Blue Line. The latest release with Robben Ford is Robben's debut recording for Concord Records, Blue Moon.
           Roscoe has made three instructional videos for REH/Warner Brothers Publications: Blues Foundations and Beginning Blues Bass, Volumes 1 & 2, and has been a regular contributor to Bass Player magazine with a bi-monthly column, Mastering Five-String Bass. In 1997, Fender Musical Instruments released the Roscoe Beck Signature Five-String Bass, a popular addition to Fender's line of legendary instruments. The Roscoe Beck Signature Four-String model followed in 2004. In 2003 Roscoe toured and recorded with the Dixie Chicks on their "Top of the World" tour.
           Roscoe will release his first solo album in 2005. Together All The Time features guest artists Eric Johnson, blues legend James Cotton, David Grisson, Kim Wilson, Blue Line pals Robben Ford and Tom Brechtlein with guest vocalists Mike Cross, Malford Milligan, Omar Dykes, Ruthie Foster and Jacqui Cross. When not on the road Roscoe appears most Monday nights at the legendary blues nightclub, Antone's.


Jerry Donahue
           "The guitarist's guitarist" and "Bend Master of the Telecaster." Those are the monikers bestowed upon Jerry Donahue by those fortunate enough to have witnessed first-hand his truly amazing and almost freakish electric guitar technique, both as a soloist and as one third of that hellish troika de-twang, The Hellecasters.
           A perennial Guitar Player Magazine Reader's Poll winner, Jerry Donahue has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in popular music. From his early days in such bands as Fotheringay and Fairport Convention, to notable performances and/or recordings with Gerry Rafferty, Robert Plant, Elton John, George Harrison, The Proclaimers, Warren Zevon, Bonnie Raitt, Roy Orbison, The Hellicasters, and now The Yardbirds, Jerry epitomizes the consummate "guitarist's guitarist."
           Jerry has received widespread acclaim for his work as a member of The Hellicasters guitar trio. Guitar Shop magazine described him as a "freak of nature" whose string-bending technique could be accomplished only by a "four-armed pedal steeler!" In Guitar Player, the late, great Danny Gatton referred to him as "the string-bending king of the planet." His recent Telecasting Recast is actually a re-release of Jerry's 1986 cult solo debut, Telecasting, and is a favorite among guitar fans everywhere. Recast is a wonderfully revamped, renewed and upgraded version featuring added surprises and considerably higher production values.
           The son of 1940s/50s Big Band leader, Sam Donahue, and television and film actress, Patricia Donahue, Jerry has combined the Celtic folk music of his adopted home in the UK with his American rock, blues and country roots to arrive at his own, unique, unmistakable style.


Seymour Duncan
           Seymour W. Duncan, a guitarist and guitar repairman, is perhaps best known as the man behind Seymour Duncan Pickups, the world's leading manufacturer of guitar and bass pickups located in Santa Barbara, California. Born in New Jersey, he grew up in the fifties and sixties, during a time when electric guitar music grew into greater acceptance. His teenage passion was focused upon guitars. One night during a session, his Telecaster's lead pickup broke, and he was forced to play the rest of the night on the rhythm pickup. Necessity proved to be the mother of invention as Seymour rewound that lead pickup on a record player spinning at 33 1/3 rpm.
           While he developed his playing skills, Seymour's knowledge of how guitars work developed at an equally prodigious pace. He took every opportunity to talk with players about guitars, tone and electronics. At Les Paul's suggestion, Seymour bolted for England in the late 1960's where his intention to play soon mixed with the opportunity to further his pickup research working in the Repair and R&D Departments at the Fender Soundhouse in London. It was here that he did repairs and rewinds for such artists as Jimmy Page, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Frampton, and his guitar hero, Jeff Beck.
           Seymour returned to the United States and settled in California establishing contact with industry luminaries such as Leo Fender, Les Paul, and Seth Lover while continuing to learn about and make pickups. Demand for his custom pickups grew and, in late 1978, he and Cathy Carter Duncan started Seymour Duncan Pickups. Today Seymour and Cathy have a staff of 60 employees whose dedication results in the continual refinement of pickup tone and technology.
           Seymour's latest venture is the Antiquity and Antiquity II Series of hand-wound and aged pickups which produce the genuine sound and vibe of pickups made in the '50s and '60s. His regular appearance at clinics and conventions is part of his on-going commitment to helping players learn and capture the special tone that expresses their inspiration.


Sonny Landreth
           Bassist Dave Ranson was one of the fist to be blown away by Sonny Landreth's six-string prowess. He was 12 or 13, and he went to a Lafayette party where the budding virtuoso, a whole year older, was playing with his band. "He might've been 14, maybe even 15," Ranson recalls, thinking it was a tune by The Ventures he first heard coming from the youthful combo. "We just went, 'Wow! These guys are good.'"
           More that 30 years later - in cities around the globe - Ranson observes the ripple effect night after night from his onstage position as Landreth's musical alter ego. "You see people just standing there with their mouths open," he says. "It's really great."
           Fans of Landreth's soulful sound can catch up with King of Slydeco, Ranson and drummer Michael Organ on Levee Town. Landreth's Sugar Hill debut is his first solo outing in five years, and the disc offers ready confirmation that there is much more than just jaw-dropping technique behind the glass of the bandleader's slide.
           Nearly two years of touring wound down in 1996, Landreth had only two new tunes written and needed to regroup. Session work with a variety of artists, writing and a 10th anniversary reunion with Hiatt & The Goners all piled on the plate, and Levee Town began rolling down a serpentine road from LA to L.A. and back again.
           Landreth says his goal is "just to always keep pushing it. I could say, well, I'm a blues guitar player, so I'll make blues albums for the rest of my life. And that's a beautiful thing, that's were my heart is. But I sort of hear the call of the wild, you know. It's when you really get into seeing where something can take you - it's like the writing process, it's the same thing with discovering new techniques and new sounds, and going in different directions with the actual performing end of it on guitar."
           When Landreth discovered a way to play behind the slide - allowing fretted strings to pass beneath the glass and combine with the sound of the strings touching the slide - a world of possibilities were opened to him.


Eric Johnson
           Eric Johnson is on the short list of all-time guitar heroes, but his creative path has taken some interesting twists and turns. He has earned critical and commercial success, a Grammy, accolades from his peers and unabashed devotion from his fans. However, his story as a guitarist, vocalist, keyboardist, songwriter and producer is not a "typical" one. But this three-decade journey has led to his new 2005 Favored Nations studio album Bloom.
           Johnson is a native of Austin, Texas, which is steeped in blues and country music. By the time he had reached his teens, he was making waves on the Austin scene. At 16, he was a member of a band called Mariani and by 21, he was part of Electromagnets, a jazz-rock band with an intense cult following.
           He recorded his first album, Seven Worlds, between 1976 and 1978, but it was not released until 1998. Johnson's burgeoning reputation in the late 1970s and early 1980s led to session work with the likes of Cat Stevens, Carole King and Christopher Cross. In fact, he played on Cross' Grammy-sweeping, self-titled 1980 debut album.
           One of the most important breaks of Johnson's career was a 1984 appearance on the PBS television show 'Austin City Limits.' The Warner subsidiary Reprise Records signed Johnson, and Tones was released in 1986. The song Zap was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental. Johnson's breakthrough into the mainstream occurred with 1990's Capitol release Ah Via Musicom. The platinum - selling album was nominated for a Grammy and Cliffs of Dover earned Johnson a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental. Ah Via Musicom gave Johnson the distinction of being the first artist to have three instrumentals from one album reach the Top 10 in any format. Martin Guitars also honored him with his own signature acoustic model.


Doyle Dykes
           Doyle Dykes is a guitar legend in the making. Although influenced by a wide variety of musical styles and musicians from the country of Chet Atkins to the rock and roll of Duane Eddy and the Beatles, Doyle has developed a distinct, recognizable sound that amazes audiences with skill while capturing hearts with sincerity and soul.
           Doyle's appreciation for various music styles is reflected in his albums as they include signature compositions like Jazz in the Box and Martha's Kitchen and hymns like the powerful How Great Thou Art. Gitarre 2000 was released by BMG on Windham Hill Records, and Doyle's music has appeared on several of the label's compilation albums like Here, There, and Everywhere (a tribute to the Beatles).
           Doyle's early years as a guitarist took him around the world as he toured with The Stamps Quartet and later with Grand Ole Opry Star, Grandpa Jones. Doyle has since returned to the Grand Ole Opry for numerous performances, many appearing live on national television. As an endorser and clinician for Taylor Guitars, Doyle has designed a very successful signature guitar. The Doyle Dykes Signature Model Taylor guitar features an amplification system by L.R. Baggs, deemed as the Doyle Dykes Hexaphonic Pickup System. Doyle also helped design his signature Rivera amplifier, called the Sedona, designed to accommodate both electric and acoustic instruments. Doyle's signature instruments and equipment have influenced the musical instrument industry on a global basis. Doyle performs in a wide range of venues and attracts record audiences.


Dr. John
           Although he didn't become widely know until the 1970s, Dr. John had been active in the music industry since the late '50s, when the teenager was still known as Mac Rebennack. A formidable boogie and blues pianist with a lovable growl of a voice, his most enduring achievements have fused New Orleans R&B, rock, and Mardi Gras craziness to come up with his own brand of "voodoo" music. In the late '50s, Rebennack gained prominence in the New Orleans R&B scene as a session keyboardist and guitarist, contributing to records by Professor Longhair, Frankie Ford, and Joe Tex. After a gun accident damaged his hand in the early '60s, he gave up the guitar to concentrate on keyboards exclusively. Rebennack renamed himself Dr. John, The Night Tripper when he recorded his first album, Gris-Gris. According to legend, this was hurriedly cut with leftover studio time from a Sonny & Cher session, but it never sounded hastily conceived and may have resulted in his greatest album.
           Dr. John was nothing if not eclectic, and his next few albums were granted mixed critical receptions because of their unevenness and occasional excess. They certainly had their share of admirable moments, though, and Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger helped out on The Sun, Moon & Herbs in 1971. The following year's Gumbo, produced by Jerry Wexler, proved Dr. John was a master of traditional New Orleans R&B styles, in the mold of one of his heroes, Professor Longhair. In 1973, he got his sole big hit, In the Right Place, with backing by the Meters.
           Dr. John could always count on returning to traditional styles for a good critical reception, and he did so constantly in the 1980s. In the 1990s he began to rely more upon cover versions for the bulk of his recorded work, though his interpretive skills will always ensure that these are more interesting than most such efforts.


Steve Cropper
           If Yankee Stadium is "the house that Babe Ruth built," Stax Records is "the house that Booker T. and the MG's built." Integral extra-ordinaire Steve Cropper, probably the best-known soul guitarist in the world. Steve Cropper came to prominence in the early 1960's, first with the Mar-Keys, Last Night, then as a founding member of Booker T & the MG's. A major figure in the Southern soul movement of the 1960's, Cropper made his mark as player, arranger and songwriter.
           Cropper was literally involved in virtually every record issued by Stax from the fall of 1961 through the end of 1970. Such credits assure Cropper of an honored place in the Soul Music Hall of Fame. As co-writer of (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay, Knock on Wood, and In The Midnight Hour, Cropper is in line for immortality.
           After the breakup of the MG's, Cropper spent most of the 1970s producing Jeff Beck and Mitch Ryder, among others. He rode the classic Stax sound, which he helped shape, in the 1980's back to popularity with a new audience when actors John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd tapped him for service in the Blues Brothers, a Saturday Night Live skit that stretched into several albums and a movie. He continues to be an in-demand musician and producer and his multiple talents are frequently called upon for movie soundtracks such as the 1998 blockbuster "Vampires." His signature Cropper Classic, for Peavey, is one of the most highly respected and coveted guitars made anywhere.
           Perhaps the ultimate testament to Steve Cropper's immense contribution to popular music over the last four decades was his ranking by England's "Mojo Magazine" in 1996 as the number two guitarist of all time (behind Jimi Hendrix). In 2003 Rolling Stone Magazine reader voted him among the Top 100 guitar players of all time.


Steve Wariner
           One of country's music's most versatile performers, Steve Wariner grew up in suburban Indianapolis, interested in the Beatles on the radio and to Chet Atkins and George Jones. He started playing music in his dad's band and by high school was playing local clubs. At age 17, he caught the ear of Dottie West who persuaded him to join her band. He ended up playing bass on her classic 1973 single Country Sunshine.
           Wariner moved on to work as a sideman for Bob Luman and signed a singles deal with RCA Records in 1976. His career developed slowly. His first successful single was Your Memory, which peaked in the country Top Ten in early 1982. By Now and All Roads Lead to You followed. All Roads Lead to You topped the country charts in December. RCA released several more singles before finally issuing his debut album, Steve Wariner in 1982. Wariner returned to the country Top Ten in 1983 with Midnight Fire and Lonely Women Make Good Lovers.
           Wariner's career really took off when he signed with MCA in late 1984. His first single for the new label, What I Didn't Do made the country Top Five in early 1985, setting off a string of 18 consecutive Top Ten hits that included the chart-toppers Some Fools Never Learn, You Can Dream of Me, Life's Highway, Small Town Girl, The Weekend, Lynda, Where Did I Go Wrong, and I Got Dreams. In 1991 Wariner switched to Arista Records and had initial success with his first Arista album I Am Ready going platinum and his first three Arista singles making the Top Ten. He shared a 1991 Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Collaboration with Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill for Restless.
           In 1996 he joined the Grand Ole Opry. In 1997 Wariner sang with Anita Cochran on What If I Said, and the single topped the country charts in 1998, just after Garth Brooks' recording of Wariner's composition Longneck Bottle had gone to number one. This twin success reinvigorated his career. After signing with Capitol Records and releasing Holes in the Floor of Heaven, which made the country Top Five, Wariner won the Country Music Association's awards for Song of the Year and Single of the Year.




Brad Paisley
           "It's the little imperfections, it's the sudden change in plans ... I live for little moments like that." With those lines from "Little Moments," Brad Paisley may offer the perfect summation of Mud on the Tires. An unexpected turn, a change of direction, a surprise - all played out against a musical backdrop that's laced through-and-through with Brad's seamless guitar work and creative vision.
           The same musicians who surround Brad night after night on stages coast-to-coast bring that same dynamic energy and precision to Mud on the Tires. "It's important to me - these guys are my sound." And Brad himself plays guitar on every track.
           Since making his debut in 1999 and being awarded the Country Music Association's Horizon Award in 2000, he's been showered with a total of 13 nominations and two more trophies by the organization - the 2001 Vocal Event award and the 2002 Music Video trophy. There have been Grammy nods (including one as Best New Artist), and Academy of Country Music award, and Brad's most-treasured honor of all, his 2001 induction to the Grand Ole Opry. There's been a solid string of Top 10 songs and Number One hits, including "I'm Gonna Miss Her" (The Fishin' Song), which remains one of the most - played songs on country radio more than a year after topping the charts.
           Invitations to tour have come from some of country's best - Brooks & Dunn, George Strait and Alan Jackson - and Brad's own headlining role in CMT's inaugural Most Wanted Live Tour. Mud on the Tires plays like one of Brad's concerts. Up-tempo, feel - good songs set the tone up front ... ballads are mixed in - some romantic, some stark ... he serves up an instrumental to showcase the band ... cuts loose toward the end ... and offers a closer that's a step apart from the rest. And through it all, Brad shines with prowess on guitar, with heart and humor in his voice, and with wit and sentiment in his writing.



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