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Interviews

Jimmy Herring: The Lifeboat Sessions and More

By Published: October 21, 2008
AAJ: James, may I take this opportunity to affirm that only you sound like you. Those cats should be checking you out, like I'm sure some of the new great players are. Anything else you want to add?

Jimmy Herring



JH: I just appreciate that you've picked up on so many of the little things you did. I'm shocked that you noticed those little things. My guess would be that people are expecting hot southern guitar or whatever that means and because I've never done my own album before they might think that's what it will be. You know, a bunch of overindulgent guitar playing, and I'm sure that's what some of it is [laughs]. But I wanted to do—not a guitar album—I hate that mentality where the instrument is more important than the music, whether it's piano or violin, but now especially guitar, because it's been so exploited, as you know.



Everybody still plays guitar. So it's important to me to do some music that doesn't feature me more than any of the other musicians so much. On most of the tunes my solos are the same length as the other musicians. I don't want to be just guitar and more guitars, including if it's both Derek and I the whole time. The horns and the keyboard players are all so good on it, and the solos are never more important than the songs—that was important to me. I've been hanging around a lot of songwriters for the past eight years and had the opportunity to work with them, and even though these tunes are nothing like what they write, their songwriting did rub off on me—their approaches to writing tunes. I was hoping to write some stuff that stood up on its own and to have the solo be just an added bonus more than it was the focus of the song.



So many people that play guitar put out records where of the solos were removed there would be very little left. But the group of guitarists I've mentioned—the ones I'm blown away by—the writing is always strong and the solos are part of the tune.


Selected Discography

Jimmy Herring, Lifeboat (Abstract Logix, 2008)
Widespread Panic, Free Somehow (Widesprea, 2008)
Project Z, Lincoln Memorial (Abstract Logix, 2005)
Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Calling (Innio, 2003)
Phil Lesh & Friends, There and Back Again (Columbia, 2002)
Project Z, Project Z (Terminus, 2001)
Jazz is Dead, Great Sky River (Zebra, 2001)
Gov't Mule, Live...With a Little Help From Our Friends (Capricorn, 1998)
The Derek Trucks Band, Out of the Madness (House of Blues, 1998)
T Lavitz, Gossip (Wild Cat, 1996)
Col. Bruce Hampton & The Aquarium Rescue Unit, Mirrors of Embarrassment (Capricorn, 1993)



Photo Credits
Photo One: Todd Wickersty

Photo Two: Jaime Butler
Photo Three: Aaron Williams
Photo Four: MarkL. Wilmot
Photo Five: Courtesy of Jimmy Herring and Abstract Logix
Photo Six: Wellspring Arts



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