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Arlen Roth Says Make a Difference with Music

Arlen Roth
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02.13.2013

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We all know what a powerful “communicator” music can be, and even many times when the artist least expects it, or even doesn’t condone it, their music can have a profound effect of folks around the world! One of the real problems with this is when so many writers and performers right away “assume” that they must make a difference to people with their songs, and if that does not happen they feel incredibly let down!
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Arlen Roth on Rhythm Tracks

02.05.2013

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I started off today by cutting a really hot rhythm track for a song Johnny Winter and I will overdub on tonight. It was such a pleasure since the band was so eager to dive into it that when I got there, they had basically already finished recording it! It was “almost” to my liking, and they certainly got the tempo right, but I needed to be more a part of it from the “get go”, and so I re-cut the track with me singing a reference vocal and some rhythm guitar of my own. As it turned out, we ended up nailing the correct feel and tempo even more so with me leading the session………
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Arlen Roth on Fingerpicking and Slide

02.01.2013

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I have been playing and teaching slide guitar now for quite some time (I’m even starting my new “Slide Guitar Summit” album next week), and I can certainly say that there are no shortcuts when it comes to what the right, or picking hand must do to make you a good slide player! Like other finger-style approaches, slide guitar is very dependent upon one being able to “isolate” the strings you want to play, and to minimize accidental sounds caused by other strings being sounded by the slide.
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For the Love of Obscure Songs!

01.31.2013

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I’m still in the process of trying to find, or even write the best song for me and Johnny Winter to record this coming Monday for my new “Slide Guitar Summit” album. It can be really a difficult process, and you can never really know the effect a song is going to have on someone, or how they’ll approach it until you actually play and record it!
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Arlen Roth on Fulfilling Your Dreams

Arlen Roth
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01.29.2013

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As a musician, and even more so as a person, one must always be certain to keep their “dreams” in sight. This is not to say that lack of a sense of reality is good, but I really believe that to be successful, and to be a “true” artist, you must keep your sense of fulfillment of your dreams as a reality to you!
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Arlen Roth Says “Always Consider Your Bandmates.”

Arlen Roth
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01.23.2013

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The “working” environment of being in a band, whether you’re an “equal” member or the front man or “band leader” is always an incredibly delicate and emotionally loaded situation. Fragile and not-so fragile egos must always be considered, and each individual has specific personal needs that should always be addressed. I can even recall being on the largesttour I have ever done, the Simon and Garfunkel World Tour, and even then, with 13 band members, and an overall crew of 107 people, we still felt like we were truly “cared for” as much as possible.
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The Amazing Ways Some Gigs Can Happen!

Arlen Roth
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01.23.2013

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It really never fails to amaze me just how many unusual ways a particular gig can come your way! Sometimes it’s from word of mouth, many times just from your reputation, but I find that so many just seemingly “fall into my lap” that it boggles the mind. Of course, these are always the happiest of occurrences, since it’s like finding a ten-dollar bill in a pair of old jeans, and also they’re certainly the kinds that you’d least expect to happen!
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Arlen Roth recalls the first Woodstock reunion concert in 1970

01.17.2013

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A lot of folks may not realize this, but the very first reunion concert of the Woodstock Festival, right on the very spot of Yasgur’s Farm was thrown and put on by my band STEEL, back in 1970. We were a “power trio” of sorts, and we specialized in long, drawn-out “jammy” type tunes that really fit the vibe there so well. We were the only band there for the two days, so we actually played over 4 hours each day!
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Arlen Roth on Making Guitar Your “Life”

01.10.2013

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It’s funny how it all happens, but the making of an instrument essentially your “life” is something that you can almost know from the start, or it can end up happening gradually, as it sneaks up on you! Either way, it is a phenomena that I certainly am familiar with, and I’m sure that many of you have felt this, or are certainly “on your way” to feeling this! I really knew of my special relationship with the instrument from the moment I held it. I was playing violin for a couple of years prior to the guitar, and even though I had become quite good at it, it always eluded me truly “falling in love” with it!
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Bluegrass Festivals in the "Old" Days!

Arlen Roth
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01.03.2013

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I have had some crazy experiences on and off the road when it comes to music, but those early days of me doing Bluegrass festivals in the early ‘70s really took the cake! Back in those days I was mostly based in Woodstock, NY, and that scene had some bona fide “Bluegrass” players, but they were really from what most bluegrass “purists” would consider the “fringe” of that particular style. We’d go down to these festivals in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina and see these incredibly well-rehearsed and “slick” looking bands such as The Dillards and The Earl Scruggs Review, and other legends such as Little Jimmy Dickens and Doc Watson, all of whom presented very crisp and professional shows.
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