Monday, August 6, 2012

Steel Guitar News August 06. 2012

Hello fellow players, This is Vic Lawson subbing for Bobbe Seymour. For those who don’t know me, I’m a professional steel player in Nashville. I’ve worked several road jobs, two years with Tracy Byrd, two years with Joe Diffie, a year with Josh Turner, a year with Kevin Denney, one and off with a family group called The Wilkinsons for about three years and Luke Bryan. I currently work with two time world champion bull rider Justin McBride. I also worked in Branson for a year with The Collins Family and then in 2005, I worked for Country Tonight, a country variety show. I work an average five nights a week in Nashville, mostly on Broadway. Last night I went out and heard a prominent Nashville studio player and was thinking this morning how his approach to songs is different than mine. I would like to suggest getting out and listening to other players as a means to expanding your own skills. After playing 5 nights a week, I don’t want to go out and listen like I should, however it helps immensely and not even necessarily listening to steel players, but guitar players are very helpful in their approach. Here in Nashville, there are seldom rehearsals because everybody is at such a professional level that all they need is charts or if one guy knows a song, they can throw numbers to everybody else. This is part of what makes it fun. I think a lot of steel players, when they play, they tend to think about nothing but steel guitar and they sometimes forget that steel guitar is first and foremost a musical instrument. I think the only way to take the steel to a new level is to treat it like a musical instrument instead of just steel guitar. In other words, try to make music instead of imitate your favorite player. I’ve actually learned a lot from a guitar player friend of mine to approach solos from a guitar player mentality. That’s what keeps steel fresh here in Nashville. I know Sonny Garrish approached steel from a piano players point of view and it made his playing far more unique and interesting. With today’s modern steel guitars there are endless amounts of changes you can make or take away to personalize your guitar. I think it’s important to be open-minded as a steel player. If you walk in a place and it’s not traditional country and they have a steel player, I think it’s important to listen for awhile because you don’t know what you can pick up from the guy who is playing even though he may be playing rock or whatever. You might still pickup something that you’ve never thought of. It’s important to listen to the other people in the band instead of being wrapped up in what you’re doing on your steel. Show up at a gig with big ears, meaning to listen to each instrument onstage because there’s a lot of musical lines or parts that somebody may be playing that you could unison or harmonize with that makes it even more interesting not only for the audience, but for you as a player. Granted, you won’t get the part every time, but when I screw up, I screw up loud enough so everybody can hear. Then I just laugh along with everybody else and go on. You can’t take it personal. It’s like getting thrown off a horse, you have to climb back on. One way to really critique yourself is to record the band every time you play a gig and study that. Boy, that will step up your playing, not only for tuning but for phrasing. Most of us are our own worst critics so you’ll definitely be inspired to improve your playing. When you get to a point in your playing where you think you’re not learning anything new, that’s when it really helps to go out and listen to other players playing live, even though it’s sometimes a hassle, I’m always glad that I did. Listening to CDs is not the same as seeing a live player because you don’t see what they are doing. The vibe is different because they are feeding off the other players. If all you do is listen to yourself, you don’t know if you’re getting any better or not because you have nothing to compare it to. From the guys I’ve met over the years, a lot of locals bands tend to rehearse a lot and try to copy the record to the “T”. In fact, a lot of times you should approach a song the way you would play it and not worry about what the session players did. Session players are often at the mercy of the producer. The producer dictates what the final outcome is so if you take the same session player and the same song, put it in a live situation, you will find that he’ll play it completely different than what was on the recording. For example, I had been in Nashville for about a year. I was playing a 2 to 6 shift Saturday afternoon at Legend’s Corner on Broadway. John Hughey was in the band that followed us. It was our last song of the set and someone requested a Conway Twitty song. John was already in the club so I told the singer in our band I didn’t want to play a Conway Twitty song out of respect for John. John overheard this conversation so when I was tearing my guitar down, John came up to me very frustrated and told me, “Vic. I don’t want to ever hear that again.” I said “What?” He said, “You don’t worry about what John Hughey played on the record. You play it the way Vic wants to play it. I’ve forgotten what I played anyway. If I recorded a song today, I’d play it different tomorrow.” John was very adamant about it and made me realize that you should play it the way you want to play it. This is a lesson I’ve never forgotten coming from a player I greatly respect. I realize that it’s expected that a local band should try to sound like the recording, but if you can’t change the signature lick, try to at least put your own flavor to the fills or try to create your own solo. When I’m driving to a gig, I purposely don’t listen to country radio. I usually listen to jazz because I don’t want to get to the gig and have my head filled up with someone else’s steel guitar licks. I want to arrive with my own approach. This is something that Bobbe Seymour taught me and is probably one of the things that makes Bobbe such a unique player. There is a time to listen to steel guitar music and a time to not. Well rounded players listen to all kinds of music. Think of yourself as a musician first and a steel guitar player second, especially when you feel you’re at a dead end on your playing. We all run into blocks and feel we can’t do any better or learn anything new. That’s when we have to reach outside of steel guitar for inspiration. Check out our monthly specials at and we’ll try to save you a lot of money. Your buddy, Bobbe Steel Guitar Nashville 123 Mid Town Court Hendersonville, TN. 37075 (615) 822-5555 Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday Closed Saturday and Sunday

Country Music News International August 6. 2012

Here is your Country Music News of the day from Country Music News International . Your Country Music News is supported by, Flynnville Train, , Steel Guitar Nashville, , HelpCharity, , Bobbe Seymour, , Katsy Redstar

You can publish the Newsletter to your websites or forward to your friends. If you want to publish some of the interviews, please contact me.

Hier sind jetzt Eure Country Music News des Tages von Country Music News International . Eure Country Music News werden unterstützt von Flynnville Train, ,Steel Guitar Nashville, , HelpCharity, , Bobbe Seymour, , Katsy Redstar

Der Newsletter darf veröffentlicht werden auf Euren Internetseiten und an Eure Freunde weiter geleitet werden. Solltet Ihr gerne einige der Interviews veröffentlichen wollen, kurze Rückmeldung an mich.
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Country Music News International
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Wendy Lynn Snider Interview by Christian Lamitschka

Interview with Wendy Lynn Snider

Lamitschka - Music has many new fans through Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Wendy Lynn Snider – I have a deep faith in God and love classic country music. I like to keep the “classic feel” to most of what I record in addition to “feel good” and “good message song” are important to me. I wanted songs that touch the hearts of listeners so that everyone makes an effort to just be kind to one another.

Lamitschka – How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

Wendy Lynn Snider – This last year has been very exciting and busy. I spent most of 2011 recording my latest cd with Producer, Thomas Wade and Executive Producer, Michael Peters. Recording this cd was a new experience for me as I had not recorded the first cd in the same fashion. I released the cd on November 6, 2011 and we had a very exciting cd release party in the city where I reside. Since the release of the new cd, I have been even busier because I am getting a lot of attention in our local area, having just recently winning the 2012 Niagara Music Awards for “Country Band of the Year”. In addition to my independent project, I am also a member of a Tribute Band and we have played several large festivals this past year.

Lamitschka – Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?

Wendy Lynn Snider – My husband, Curtt, and I like to write, but we are still in the learning process of being a good songwriter. We did write 3 of the songs on the new cd, and they are being well received when I perform them live. The balance of the cd were songs pitched to me by my Executive Producer, Mike. He has a library of songs by major songwriters across Canada and US. The songs I chose for the cd had an emotional impact on me. If a song can bring tears to my eyes or make me take a moment and think about life in general…these are the types of songs I most enjoy.

Lamitschka – Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).

Wendy Lynn Snider – Well, most of the songs are “good message” or “feel good” songs. “Live to Love You”, the first song on the cd is really a reflection of my life and feelings for my husband. In addition, it has lyrics that speak about my love for Christ. I am truly a blessed person and I don’t take that for granted !!  “Let My Mama Know”, this song gets me emotional every time I sing it. My mother has had a hard life. She raised 5 kids and there seems to have been more “downs” than “up” with a couple of my siblings. But this song is a message to all mothers that no matter what, as long as they love their children…they’ve done ok. “I Can Only Imagine”, is a cover of a song recorded by the gospel group, Mercy Me. Its one of my favourite songs. To just try and imagine what it would be like to meet Jesus is breathtaking! I guess this song is something we should all try to imagine ourselves doing. “Before The Heartache Has Won” was written by my husband Curtt. Before he and I met, he dated a few women, obviously, and he knew the relationship was not going anywhere, but neither one of them wanted to let go because they were afraid to be alone. Its very important to me that people be secure within themselves…something I had to learn as well. We get a good response from this song..I think a lot of people can relate to it..ha ha! 

Lamitschka – Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

Wendy Lynn Snider – I come from a family who has always been involved in music. My grandmother sang on the radio in Windsor, Ontario Canada many years ago. My mother was the organist for many years at our local church and my father had a voice like “Johnny Cash”. My eldest brother was an entertainer for years in the 1980-s and 1990’s along the west coast of Canada and USA playing for major artists and was exclusive at a club in Mexico for the tourists. I guess my influences comes from the many classic country artists I grew up listening to. I get my inspiration from the Good Lord. I want to make a difference, no matter how small. If I can touch someone’s heart when they hear one of my songs, it brightens my day !

Lamitschka – What do you think about today’s music industry?

Wendy Lynn Snider – Oh boy…a lot can be said here !! Some of the music out there today is, in my opinion, simply not good. It seems a lot of the artists think that its ok to continually disgrace themselves by using vulgarity, being too sexual, and what bothers me the most are songs that promote immorality, hate, Satan and/or the “devil”. There is so much violence and hatred as it is in the world, and to hear it daily on the radio or on the television is heartbreaking. We constantly hear that an artist needs to be “marketable” whether they have any talent and can actually sing or not. This takes so much away from the thousands and thousands of artists who actually have something good to contribute and get no recognition at all. It’s a shame. That’s why its so important to me to concentrate on writing, performing and recording good message songs.

Lamitschka – What has been your greatest challenge in the music business?

Wendy Lynn Snider – My age, the type of music I perform and the area I live in. Lets face it .. Im no spring chicken !! haha….Country music is not as popular in the area I live as, say, rock music or new wave type music. It seems most venues are looking for that “hot image” and being 48 and doing classic country/gospel music is not necessarily what people want to hear. But I persevere and we don’t quit…because I know there is an audience for the type of music I do.

Lamitschka – Who is your biggest critic, yourself or others?

Wendy Lynn Snider -  Ha ha…oh this one’s easy…its my husband !! But he is also my biggest fan !  He has so much faith in me and my talent that when I start getting a little discouraged he give me more encouragement than a person could ever ask for, and that “kick in the butt”  that I

Lamitschka – What’s the best compliment a fan has ever given you?

Wendy Lynn Snider – Besides people telling me that I have a “great voice like no other”…one time this lady told me that I was “Patsy Cline” reincarnated !! lol…I enjoy singing Patsy Cline songs and she is definitely one of my favourite female artists. The other thing people often say to me is that I bring so much emotion to my songs…that always nice to hear…It tells me that I have touched a nerve in them.

Lamitschka – What’s your favourite song that you wish you could have recorded?

Wendy Lynn Snider – I am a Elvis Presley fan .. and his song “The Wonder of You” has always been a favourite of mine. It is another one of those songs that could be taken as being sung about God or a love in a person’s life.

Lamitschka – What message would you like to send your European fans?

Wendy Lynn Snider – I just want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for their support and for listening to my songs.

Christian Lamitschka ( )

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