at the James Burton International Guitar Festival,
Music Festival & Trade Show - Aug. 19-21, 2005
Biographies from James Burton
International Guitar Festival program
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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'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
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
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
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
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
"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 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.
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
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
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 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
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
"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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