I have recently been playing some gigs this summer with my favorite bunch of players, and I really consider this the best overall band I’ve ever had! The drummer is Shannon Ford, who played many years with Danny Gatton, Roger Miller, The Gatlin Brothers, and countless others. He’s played with me off and on for 15 years, and always been my #1 call! Now that his wife, the great actress, Alice Ripley, has won the Tony Award for “Best Actress in a Musical” for her play, Next to Normal, I figure he’ll be sticking around for awhile in the NY area, so I can count on getting him!
The Bassist is the great John Previti, who has also been with me for at least 10 years, and who played so long with Danny Gatton, he was practically still a kid when he started with him! Last but not least is young Matt Rae, and great guitarist in his own right, who started by taking lessons with me over 12 years ago. I mentored him, and eventually brought him into the band, and helped him with many of his own songs and solo cds as well.
It makes such an incredible difference when you know you have the kind of players you can trust with your music, whether it be live or in the studio, and this group is a band of consummate pros, who know just what I want! Nothing like being a band leader, and barely ever having to tell anyone anything! Occasionally, there’s a little “nudge” I may have to give someone, just so they know what’s on my mind, but other than that, trust is really the most essential thing. It can take time, but I believe if you get the right combination of great players, and if you can spend time doing some musical and personal “growing” together, you’ll really have a combo that you can be truly be happy with, and proud of! I know that I certainly am!