: Of course Elvis Costello has worked with so many greats, such as Paul McCartney
, Burt Bacharach
I don't know if you've ever heard it, but his album with Burt Bacharach, the songs are fantastic. MS
: Absolutely. Elvis is like Jerry in that he collaborates with so many people with such a wide range of styles. Hats off to him, he puts on a really intense show, as long as he's been doing this, he still goes out and plays for two or three hours a night.
: Something else I should mention are the wonderful classical music clips you have on your Facebook page. I want to play a piece you did by Johann Sebastian Bach. Could you share a little about how that came to be? MS
: I had played that piece piecemeal over a couple of years, but I'd never worked it up all the way through, so it was just a project. I wanted to do a video to post, because you see so many great videos when you go through Facebook and YouTube, so it's a great inspiration for me just to see what other guitar players are doing. So I wanted to do something like that, Bela Fleck did a great version where he changed the key to fit banjo, and the who's who of classical violinists have recorded this piece, but I hadn't heard an electric guitar piece where it wasn't full on metal distortion.
It was a fun project for me. I did it when I was with the Black Lillies, I had like a five day window to do it, and it took me four days just to memorize it. I really should have given myself more time. I wanted to play it fast, it's faster than the other versions you'll usually hear. Not incredibly faster, but I think I rushed myself a little bit. Also, when I recorded it, I had to be out the door for a tour, I was already late, so I had to rent a car and return it to a different city so that I could finish that recordingI just didn't want to leave without it being done. So the first time I got through without dive bombing was the take that I used. I realized later the audio clips a little bit, and I probably didn't take the time I should have, but hey it was a lot of fun, and it's something that I'll continue to work on and try to clean up. AAJ
: There's another clip of you and your buddy Jonathan Keeney who plays pedal steel, and you guys are great together. I was curious, does he play jazz too? MS
: He does, he's a great jazz guitarist. He was playing mandolin when I met him in Knoxville, Tennessee, probably about 11 years ago. We were playing in a bluegrass band with some buddies around town. I was playing dobro at that time actually. I've had one for a long time and I really love playing it. But Jonathan went through jazz school and is a really gifted guitarist, and he played pedal steel with the Back Lillies, the band I was on the road with so long. So he found that piece and said, "Let's try this!" He printed a score, and we worked on it during sound checks on the road. So after we were both out of that group for a while, we got on the phone and decided to try something out. I think we're going to do some more in that Debussy vein.
Photo credit: YouTube screen capture, cropped with effects