ply as I could, and sure enough out of all that
I always learned something. It’s almost like
you can’t be too wise about this stuff, you’ve
got to go and be humble and pick up the
new lesson. It may be a simple thing like—oh,
you can bend that note that way—which
makes this little emotional thing come
out. That’s a beautiful thing. This gig has
been great for me for that.
learn what I sang that way. You’re always guaranteed to get something fresh and it never
sounds like someone else’s solo.
has got that, so you’re going to make a different tone, which guarantees us each if we
practice, if we spend the time on it, each of us
is going to bring out our own tone.
By the same token, I do encourage guitar
What’s your approach to solos?
Anyone who has tried to learn the
second solo to “Bama Breeze” has got
to wonder how you do it. How do you
come up with that stuff?
How hard is it to work on side projects
when you’re busy as a Coral Reefer?
I don’t know, but thank you very much.
It probably has a lot to do with the way
I practice. I do this thing where I try
not to play through my fingers but play
from my heart or play from my ears. I
force myself to sing what I’m playing so I
can hear things in different ways. It’s all about
identifying and getting past limitations—
forcing myself to learn in different ways.
Sometimes I just tape myself singing and then
Mayer gates his signal out of his board, isos the his Hot Rod
Deluxe and mics it with a Shure SM57
players to play with their hands. In other
words, play around a little bit and discover
what your hands can do. There’s a beauty in
the way your hands are shaped—no one else
Actually, Jimmy depends on us doing
that, to bring something fresh to this
gig, you know what I mean? And I’m just
curious in nature. I love to sing, I love to
play and I love to write lyrics, too. It’s all
just an expression of who I am and what
I do. I’d go crazy if I just had one thing.
I just don’t want to get stale, you know?
Variety brings me peace. Ever since I
heard the Beatles and I heard classical
music and rock and roll and Bo Diddley,
I’m just so jazzed by music—it’s the way I
think the world keeps its sanity.
Tell me about the new acoustic that you
and Dick Boak put together?