Arlen Roth

For quite a while now, I have been planning on doing one of my “dream” projects, a “Slide Guitar Summit” album. Over the last 20 years or so, I have done 2 albums that already utilized a lot of other artists doing duets with me, and they were both Toolin’ Around and Toolin’ Around Woodstock. These albums contained collaborations with me and other players such as Danny Gatton, Duane Eddy, Brian Setzer, Duke Robillard, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Albert Lee, Bill Lloyd, Levon Helm, Sonny Landreth and Bill Kirchen.

On this new Slide Guitar Summit album I plan on doing duets with various slide greats, such as Derek Trucks, Lee Roy Parnell, Rick Vito, Bonnie Raitt, Cindy Cashdollar, Greg Martin, David Lindleyand hopefully many more! It certainly promises to be a major project, with lots of logistical ins and outs, not to mention the all-important task of choosing material. I think I will go the route of my first Toolin’ Around album, where I used a combination of traditional or “standard” tunes and some that I wrote with the artists’ styles especially in mind. I find that this makes for the most exciting combo since setting up the “challenge” of new songs for both me and my cohorts is really very rewarding and can bring out the “best” in us!

One great thing to do with a project of such magnitude, as this is to do what I’ve done many times before: to film and document the sessions. It would make such a unique documentary to actually see all of us working together on this album, also in a similar way to the album I just did with many others plus Lou Pallo called Thank You Les; A Tribute to Les Paul. These sessions were just wonderful, and it was great how they captured each of us not only playing in the studio, but also recounting our various stories about us and the “man” himself, Les Paul.

It’s a big undertaking for sure, but one I certainly look forward to. I know that all the artists who will record with me will also be up for it, and make it a special project, and not just “another recording session!” All recording dates, as I’ve written before, are special and should be handled as such, but these kinds of “duet” albums are really standouts, and I hope it really makes everyone concerned truly shine.

Stay tuned for coming blogs and reports on the development and progress of this amazing “dream” project of mine, as I hope to bring you some of the best slide guitar you have ever heard in this coming year!

Gibson.com’s Arlen Roth, affectionately known The King of All Guitar Teachers, is music lesson pioneer and the quintessential guitarist. An accomplished and brilliant musician — and one of the very few who can honestly say he’s done it all — Roth has, over the course of his celebrated 35-year career, played on the world’s grandest stages, accompanied many of the greatest figures in modern music and revolutionized the concept of teaching guitar.