This “Slide Guitar Summit” I have been working on has really brought a lot of musicians together for sure. I have gotten a chance to play with folks who I played with a long time ago, I have played with people who I always wanted to play with, and some folks who I had never met before, but who’s playing I have always admired.
The kind of warmth and true comradery that has occurred during this project simply can’t be described, and I’d have to say that as a player, it’s the most rewarding thing that could ever happen to anyone! After all, it validates relationships, and validates your playing abilities too! For me the greatest aspect of a project like this is the fact that you can be equal with your peers, and to call these great musicians my peer of any kind is a true honor!
I have been no stranger to this kind of project, as back in 1993 I released my “Toolin’ Around” album which featured at least 8 duets with other great players, and even my “Toolin’ Around Woodstock” project of 2007 feature Levon Helm, Sonny Landreth and Bill Kirchen. Obviously all the albums one does with other players, i.e. rhythm tracks involves playing with “peers” on a certain level, and a very important level, but when you can cut duest like this with such major players, and work on such a specialty such as slide guitar, it really can bring out the best in all of us. It’s ironic, because my Slide Summit sessions have occurred at a time when I was specifically concerned about not having played enough slide for quite a while!
This kind of relating to all these wonderful players can also do nothing but make you a better player. Perhaps the best thing of all is that is does raise the bar for someone to have to play with such greats, and as someone who taught himself as he went along in life, I can certainly attest to the importance of learning from others, and from letting them all raise the level of my own knowledge and my own playing abilities! This is the most anyone can expect from musical encounters, and let’s face it, it’s also the reason we love to “jam”, and to bounce ideas off of one another! So, keep on learning, jamming, and make sure you learn as much from the pleasure of playing with others!!! I sure have!