the best slide guitar that I own, and one
that’s from the early 1960s with the pickup
near the neck—that’s another outstanding
slide guitar. I have a ’60s Supro Dualtone
that’s a real great guitar, a real beast. It’s got
two Seymour Duncan Seth Lover humbuckers in it. Those are kind of my main tools. I
do have a Reverend Flatroc that I got that’s
just a good solid tool, a good solid guitar.
I’ve been taking that out quite a bit. It’s a
great slide guitar; it stays in tune real well. I
have an early-1990s first generation National
Reso-Electric that I use in the studio, and a
’20s Weissenborn wooden lap guitar that I
use in the studio as well.
Is there an instrument that you would call
‘the one that got away’? One you wished
you could get back?
Oh God, probably a long list of those. I try
not to think about that. (laughs) I had one of
those SG body Les Pauls, two humbuckers
… had those pearl inlays on the neck, the
split diamond thing on the headstock. I had
a Gibson ES-330. I really liked those guitars,
and they were completely hollow. They really
had a certain sound. I had an early-1960s
Fender Jazzmaster that I wish I had back.
Again, kind of really its own thing, it had
really unique pickups.
You mentioned being on the David
Letterman show. Back when you toured
with Lucinda Williams, you got the chance
to perform on all those late night shows,
Letterman, Leno and Conan O’Brien. The
TV audience only gets to see the little
snippet of your performance. What goes
into the set up for performance like that?
We already had a stage volume established,
so we just approached it like any other gig.
I mean, she had a crew and I rarely touched
any gear, which was one of the nice things
about that gig. I’d come in and everything’s
set. Besides, we really didn’t play that loud,
and that translated to the television shows
so that really never was an issue, you know,
the volume. But doing those shows is really
an all-day sort of thing. I remember the first
time we did Letterman; we had to be there
at like nine in the morning. We’d just go in
and set the amps where we wanted them,
and then we’d leave. Later, we’d come back
and run through the song a bunch of times
for them to get camera angles and the
sound. But Letterman was great, the crew
was great. It was really a joy, and everybody was really on top of their game. Paul
Schaffer was really nice and really accommodating … It’s just a really well run operation
and a real pleasure.
Conan O’Brien was great. It’s funny, we were
hanging out in the green room waiting to tape
our segment and all of a sudden, we heard
a guitar; an electric guitar through an amp
through the wall of the green room. It was some
Muddy Waters riff, “Rolling Stone,” I think it
was. But it kept going over and over again for a
really long time. We were all getting a kick out
of it, so we sent someone out in to the hall to
see where it was coming from. Turns out it was
Conan’s office, and it was Conan, sitting at his
desk, just playing this riff over and over. We all
had a good laugh over that.
You also got to appear on CMT Networks
program Crossroads with Elvis Costello. What
was that experience like?
It was great. I remember we were on tour, and
about a week before, the road manager gave
us all these CDs and told us we had to learn all
these songs. Apparently, Elvis was going to
102 PREMIER GUITAR DECEMBER 2009