Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Gibson Interview: Guitar Legend Steve Cropper

Steve has a new solo album coming out -- most of it recorded at Dan Penn's studio in Nashville. Here's a quote from the interview:

Where does your sensibility for writing great guitar riffs come from?

Some of it is from listing to guys like Lowman, but part of it is also experimenting. When I’d get together with somebody like [Memphis songwriter/producer] Chips Moman in the old days, I’d ask for his advice. I didn’t have much experience working with producers and engineers, and I asked Chips what they’d be expecting from me. He said, “Crop, just go in and do what you do and if they don’t like it they’ll let you know.” My idea was to just play the rhythm until I felt a little opening in there, and I’d stick a lick in or a fill. The producers just loved that, so it evolved from there.

It’s easy to lay a track and play a rhythm, and then have somebody go sing or lay a solo over it, because the rhythm is nailed down.