Conversation WIth Jerry Reed

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Conversation WIth Jerry Reed

Postby dgallent » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:46 pm

I was trying to gauge his interest in other pickers to see what he listened to with regard to other pickers. I asked him about Mark Knoffler and TE and he did not think much of either of them. He said he almost exclusively listened to Chet Atkins and than no one else even came close.

I asked him which singers were also great players and he mentioned Steve and Glen but then came an unusual comment.
He said he listened to Paul of Peter, Paul and Mary (Noel Paul Stookey) and believed his singing and picking is what made that trio famous. Jerry particularly liked his right hand, while not a real "thumb" lick is was "damn close". He said he had a tremendous sense of rhythm and set the percussion tempo for the group. Jerry said he got a few of his "rolls" from Paul
(Noel Paul Stookey).

I forgot to ask him if they ever had met.

Jerry covered several of PP&M's songs.
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Re: Conversation WIth Jerry Reed

Postby craigdobbins » Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:09 pm

Hi Don-

That's great! I've noticed those rolls myself. Jerry's "Early Morning Rain" is much closer to PP&M's version than Gordon Lightfoot's. I've always loved Jerry's background and accompaniment picking as much as his lead and solo work. He knew how to play for the song.

Craig
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Re: Conversation WIth Jerry Reed

Postby Norm » Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:10 pm

I believe Paul once said that Jerry didn't pay a lot of attention to other guitarists so as not to be unduly influenced by them and keep his own playing the way it was.
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
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Re: Conversation WIth Jerry Reed

Postby dgallent » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:04 pm

Jerry got big into George Benson for a while when he went through his "straight pick " phase. He told me he had someone in his band with a degree from North Texas in guitar and he wanted to know what it was theory-wise that he was doing with his music.

You might recall when Chet gave him his CGP he told him if he ever saw him with a straight pick again he would take the award back.

I have never heard anyone play a guitar like Jerry. There was just something so special and unique the way he approached writing his songs. He seemed so effortlessly play and incorporated so may open strings in his playing.

Bobby Lovett told me Jerry was in Branson one night and just up and walked onstage with Merle Haggard and plugged in. Clint Strong was picking for Merle and really tried to show off with Reed standing next to him. Strong wailed up and down the fretboard and Jerry just let him go and when he handed it off to Jerry, he just opened Clint's head wide open with some five fingered funk solos that were so cool Jerry had Merle hollering..Bobby said afterward Jerry had no idea what he had played. Jerry played about three more and Strong was done trying to show off.
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Re: Conversation WIth Jerry Reed

Postby Norm » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:13 pm

Great story...

I always had it in my head that he might have spent some early years on 5-string banjo because those require that you be creative and quick in open chord tunings. Bill Keith's "melodic" banjo playing impressed Chet to the point where he started working on the premise of using more open strings in runs across the fingerboard and Jerry may have been helped along by that method also.

An interesting thing was put forth by, I believe, Paul. Jerry was at a CAAS and someone played a Reed piece but played it quite a bit faster. According to the story, Jerry walked out of the showroom. Said later..."That tune wasn't meant to be played that fast.'

Which brings up a point to be kept in mind.

Just because you can play a certain song faster than (fill in your own artist here) doesn't mean you're a better player. It only means you're faster.

Earl Scruggs is a good example. When he came on the scene everybody talked about how fast he played. So a bunch of Young Turks grabbed their banjos and promptly played faster than Earl.

But nary a one played with Earl's innate taste.
And that makes all the difference in the world...
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
Norm
 
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Re: Conversation WIth Jerry Reed

Postby the-ocean87 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:22 am

Norm wrote:An interesting thing was put forth by, I believe, Paul. Jerry was at a CAAS and someone played a Reed piece but played it quite a bit faster. According to the story, Jerry walked out of the showroom. Said later..."That tune wasn't meant to be played that fast.'

Which brings up a point to be kept in mind.

Just because you can play a certain song faster than (fill in your own artist here) doesn't mean you're a better player. It only means you're faster.



Very good point! That's why I don't like the playing of Richard Smith. I watched many Jerry tunes he plays on youtube and he plays them all way too fast! Jerry had an incredible feel in his playing. That groove he had was fantastic! His playing was more about groove than about speed, though he could play incredible fast. The only player who came close to him was Buster B. (who sometimes also inclined to play tunes too fast), because he also wrote incredible tunes.
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Re: Conversation WIth Jerry Reed

Postby kwarren » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:53 am

I’m with you all on this “Speed” thing. I have never been impressed by a “Fast” player and way too many guitarists place an emphasis on speed over musicality. I enjoy listening to well-constructed arrangements and compositions played at a tempo where they can be truly appreciated.

Take Jerry Reed’s “The Claw” for example: There are a lot of very creative things happening in that tune. When played at breakneck speed, all compositional genius gets missed.

Don’t get me wrong…I think it’s fine to throw in a fast run every once in a while to spice things up but every tune doesn’t need to break the sound barrier.
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Re: Conversation WIth Jerry Reed

Postby dgallent » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:02 pm

Richard Smith is one awesome player and when you can play like he does...feel free to criticize his picking...he is so respected here in Nashville as a player by other musicians. Richard is something very special and a solid guy to boot...I have known him for 20 years and he amazed me every time I hear him play....and Julie is just as great...

When you get the approval of Chet Atkins, Jerry and Paul......you are World Class.
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Re: Conversation WIth Jerry Reed

Postby bill_h » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:52 pm

In what now seems like a different life I played a free lance gig as a "klasskle" player and was asked if I listened to Peter,Paul, and Mary. Oddly enough it was an Englishman named Richard Smith who asked me that, not our Richard Smith though. This Richard Smith was a chemistry professor and was also the one who had hired me to play the gig. He told me there was some good guitar work on Peter,Paul, and Mary's albums.

A couple of years later after I had transferred to a different school ( as a "klasskle" guitar major ) I had a co-worker at my part time job ask me if I ever listened to and/or was influenced by this Paul fellow from Peter, Paul, and Mary when he found out I was studying "klasskle" at the university.

I never thought much of it either time when I was asked about Peter,Paul,and Mary but now that I know Jerry was into this Paul fellow you can bet I'll go out of my way to check him out! It's intersting though that these other two people thought of Paul as "klasskle." Evidently Jerry heard something different in Paul's playing.

My Mother had some Peter, Paul, and Mary albums when I was little. I don't really remember what they sounded like but I do remember that I really liked them. If Jerry was into them you can bet that there was something deep in their music!

I sure wish I could have been in Branson when Jerry showed out on the guitar. Those of you out there who pray, pray that someone captured it on video and will post it on you tube some day:lol: !!!!!!!!!

I think of Jerry as a guitar player as an open ended question. There was probably so much more to him than what we got to hear. Same with Merle. I bet very few people got to hear the real Merle Travis ( as a guitar player.) We can only wonder what all Jerry and Merle were capable of besides what we got to hear.
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