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Josh Smith talks about “Country S**t”

Josh Smith talks about “Country S**t”

“Country s**t?” I like country music but I like traditional country music – Hank Williams and I really like like jazzy country guys – Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West and Roy Lanham and Hank Garland and you know, things like that.
What changed for me I played that guitar most I’m not that one but a Strat most
of my life right. At least my childhood and someone gave me a tape actually a
cassette not a VHS but an audio tape at a gig I was playing you know I was
probably 14 and people would often tell me you need to listen to this or they
give me a tape and so someone gave me a tape and I got in the car with my
parents after the gig, drive home and I looked at this tape and it said Roy
Lanham on one side, who if you don’t know you should look him up, LANHAM – Roy Lanham. He was a California country jazz guy he was in a band called Sons of the
Pioneers and The Whippoorwills in the 50s and 60s one of the first like kind
of sophisticated jazzy country guys hung out with Barney Kessel and these guys. So
but that was on one side and that was on the side they got on first when I put in
the tape the other side was Danny Gatton and I put in this tape and my mind was
immediately just exploding I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from this guy.
And obviously he was playing at Tele but he was playing like the most incredible
stuff I’d ever heard. So when I sat down naturally to try to start to learn
anything off this tape, I realized it was physically impossible to do, unless I
hybrid picked – so all of my country learnings, technique came from that
moment. That switch of I need to start learning some Danny Gatton
and that means I got to start using my pick and my fingers at the same time. And
quickly that became the way I played all guitar and it all started with this lick
that Danny Gatton played. It’s a banjo roll. Right, it’s a real simple lick it’s
almost a lick from “What I’d Say”, Ray Charles. Whatever. But on a banjo it sounds like this: Right and that’s the way Danny Gatton played it and I was like “Oh, my God” so I sat there trying to play it with a pick and it was quickly like
you can’t – not- it doesn’t sound right you know? so I started kind of working on how
do you find this thing and literally probably a year went by you know of
listening to Danny Gatton and then finding Albert Lee and Brent Mason and
like I said Hank Garland and Roy Lanham and Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West, Vince Gill even like I started listening to all these country guys and you know it
just changed the way I played all guitar and you know also there’s this aspect of
country guitar that’s really fun there’s all these techniques like cascades like this stuff: like that’s really fun or these things like that stuff is fun you know but
you can’t play that flat picked it just don’t happen you know and so next thing
I knew I was playing all guitar with my finger and my thumb so when I was
playing rhythm on a blues instead of now playing it like this I was playing like more like a piano player where you play
all the notes at one time, stabbing and I started you know finding new ways to
play – Danny would play all these licks that had like a pedal note. So he played: Like that was one of the first ones but he would play: Like, and he can move it and he would keep this note going all
the time it was unbelievable so I had to adapt it kind of I would play these
doubles strokes like but yeah it became even if I’m playing
Albert King next thing I knew I was playing: it became the way I played everything
with pick and fingers and so for me the country thing was most important in my
development of what I find to be almost my personal voice and that’s the mix of
history of blues, R&B and soul rhythm guitar and funk and then some country
techniques and then some jazz knowledge that’s kind of what if you roll it in a
ball I feel like once I found all … once once those things all kinda came
together is what I felt like maybe I started sounding like me instead of
sounding like my influences or you know sounding like this guy on one song and
this guy on another song and this guy on another song next thing I knew I just
sounded like me all the time which was always an important goal you know the
country was the most important thing

43 comments on “Josh Smith talks about “Country S**t”

  1. This guy is a phenomenal player. He's got both technique and feel. Gosh, now I want to learn this hybrid technique thing so I can play Country licks. Quite the inspiration.

  2. Must be somethin in the water down here, another FL cat on the map. I grew up playin in the rock houses while Guthrie Trapp was working at the Flora-Bama. Very similar licks amongst the two.

  3. Josh Smith is just incredible. A couple years ago I had never even heard of him until I started seeing him showing up in videos at Norm's Rare Guitars and I was blown away wondering why this guy isn't a household name. Great video. Thanks for posting.

  4. If you are going to talk banjo rolls on a guitar you got to mention Jerry Reed.
    "The Claw" is still required learning.

  5. Wow. Mind is blown. I knew this guy was good but I didn't know just how good he was until this video. Kudos to TC Electronic for bringing it big time!

  6. It really is the way to play ….opens up so much….unfortunately I just can't get my right hand to act independently like that……I've always said Josh's style and tone more than anybody remind me of Gatton. Such a great player ๐Ÿ‘

  7. Just pick up all three of the Hellecasters CDs,you'll hear it all,Jerry Donahue,Will Ray,John Jorgensen,the most important music you'll ever hear,stuff you'll hummin till the day you die, guaranteed of course Josh Smith as well

  8. Josh seems to be humble and knowledgeable link from where guitar music was to where it's going. And most importantly, he's a badass player.

  9. I've been playing for 31 years, I'm 6 years older than Josh. I'm 100 % positive he's FORGOTTEN more about the guitar than I'll ever know.

  10. A fucking word attacked me last week and almost broke my hand. Words are dangerous and they should be avoided. But most of all, they ofend. Its all so ofensive! How can we live like this?

  11. Through the first one and a half minute I kept saying "It has to be Danny Gatton, it has to be Danny Gatton" and when he said "It was Danny Gatton" I didn't even felt surprised

  12. Josh , big time thanks for honesty and sharing your playing styles with us out here in you tube land BLUES DOWN BROTHER – your the best !!

  13. Great video…I've only come to this country guitar "revelation" a couple months back. I understand exactly what you meant in this video by how country music requires a different type of playing. I've been a rock player for the past 25 years and I feel like I've been learning a whole new language this last couple months and I still can't even complete a full sentence with it let alone speak it fluently. But it's a worthy road to follow. Once again great video!

  14. Danny Gatton was a local hero here and I saw him many times. He started as a banjo player so his pick and three on guitar came naturally. I have never heard another guitarist who could endlessly attack a tune at such a furious rate. and I appreciate that you named him as an influence.

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