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View Full Version : Did Garth play guitar on any of his own recordings?



fuzzwuzz
08-28-2003, 11:41 PM
That was the question I found myself wondering as I listened to Scarecrow today, knowing the way Nashville likes to do things with session players. So, I looked over the cd liner notes carefully and found no mention of Garth playing any instruments, just added backing vocals. For some reason, it suddenly strikes me as very odd to think that those studio albums that we know as our GB man, are actually more like CG than we imagined. My thoughts go instantly to the live albums with the various covers, where Garth did get to play, and the memory that lots of footage from Garth's live shows is supposedly being saved for The Lamb.

So, what I guess I'm asking is, did Garth only lend vocals on his own records and that's all? And I wonder too how much he really got to play on Ty's Highways & Dance Halls. I'll bet he snuck some guitar on there a bit as Ty's Producer?

Chris Gaines
08-28-2003, 11:42 PM
they usually let sudio musicians do the album cuts, only cause they can get it done faster then anythign else.

Chris Gaines
08-28-2003, 11:43 PM
but his vocals? no way..

he's been on Tony Arata's albums, and Pat Alger's... and a few other songwriters... also lent his vocals as background to some of Trisha Yearwoods albums... and some others I can't think of right now ;)

fuzzwuzz
08-28-2003, 11:56 PM
I don't know, but doesn't that kinda make it just as manufactured as the CG project and not the "real" artist truly represented? I don't know if I would want strangers playing on my own records rather than those who know and feel the songs as friends always do who has lived and created that music together. It just doesn't seem like a very creative atmosphere to disregard bonds like that that the music has brought together. I think the industry would greatly benefit to encourage that, not hinder it.

I truly wonder what Garth thinks of all this? More than most maybe?

ProducerJ
08-29-2003, 12:12 AM
I've always thought that odd too Dale. I'm glad to see some of these younger guys like Brad Paisley and Keith Urban playing on their own album. But honestly, a lot of artists who "play" the guitar aren't really good enough to play on an album. It's more of a prop, and they strum a little here and there. I know of one current artist who doesn't even get his guitar plugged in when he does CMT shows.

Did you know most session musicians here don't even read music? There's a numbering system, I think it's actually called the Nashville Numbering System, that they use to know what to play. Very odd to me.

J.

Chris Gaines
08-29-2003, 12:27 AM
Joyce,

I seen those sheets.. wow.. I wish I could read one.. LOL

Chris Gaines
08-29-2003, 12:29 AM
Most Labels want artists in and out of the studio Dale.. and that's why they get Studio Musicians to play the albums... they knwo what they are doing.. and most can play by ear, exactly what it suppose to be the 1st time or 2nd...

If the artists play on the album.. they could be there weeks, making sure it was perfect.. and that costs serious $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for them and the label.

fuzzwuzz
08-29-2003, 09:59 PM
Hmm. I don't know. It still sounds alittle fishy to me. And what makes Brad Paisley or Keith Urban more special than Garth? Is this a game of favorites? Was Garth not "good enough" to wow us in the studio as well as his live shows? I'm sorry, but I just don't get the logic or money machine that seems to run the music industry I guess. Or is this quirk known only to Nashville? What about George Strait? He's out of Texas, rather than Nashville, right? And Dwight Yoakam/California. Do outside country artists do it the same way as Music Row? If these country artists are not "good enough" in the studio than why are labels bothering to sign them and push them on us anyway? Don't get me wrong. I'm glad we got Garth whatever it took, but for me, it was the fabricated Chris Gaines of Garth's that sold me on GB in the end.

CountryBee
08-30-2003, 05:14 PM
If you watch Garth very closely in any of his concert videos, or TV appearances, you will notice that he is only strumming chords. Garth was a self-taught musician and never did learn to play very well. He concentrated on singing, performing and writing songs. He always let others do the "picking" or playing, his band members (he had some of the best live musicians in the business) and the studio musicians (they are specialists at playing in a recording studio). There are some artists who are also excellent musicians and can play one or more instruments very well, some of the younger ones such as Brad Paisley and Keith Urban. For quite a while there weren't any artists playing any intstruments on their recordings, that had almost died out. George Strait, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Shania are like Garth, they can either play only a little bit or can't play any instruments. For a while Vince Gill was the only Superstar singer/musician in County Music and even he concentrated on just his singing and writing for while.
Bee

fuzzwuzz
08-30-2003, 11:15 PM
I'm sorry but I'm still having trouble seeing Garth as only a second-rate guitar player. How can he be a good songwriter or performer without it?

CountryBee
08-31-2003, 12:10 PM
If you have a tape of Garth's TV special "To Ireland and Back", you can see how Garth worked. There is a small piece showing Garth and his band learning a new song for the show. He plays the song chords on his guitar, sings the melody with the lyrics, and then asks the band members to follow along, showing them the harmony he wants them to sing. I saw and read several interviews with Garth where he said that he only wrote down the lyrics to his songs (if he wrote them alone) and then remembered the melody. If he had a tape recorder available he would record the song in progress. When he went into the recording studio, he nearly always used the same muscians. They knew him so well that they could learn a song very quickly and could understand exactly what he wanted. He said in several interviews that some of his songs were only finished while he was recording them.
Bee

Chris Gaines
08-31-2003, 10:16 PM
Plus, Garth has said numberous times.. he don't know how to READ or write music on paper. He lets others help him with that. He's a "play by ear" musician.

fuzzwuzz
08-31-2003, 11:10 PM
And so are alot of rock'n'rollers and they get to play on their own records. Shame on them! :)

majmom
09-01-2003, 12:55 AM
Phil Vassar plays piano on his own records. He is a talanted player although the real showcase of his show is HIM and his crazy energy and antics! Not only does he PLAY the piano, but he stands on it, jumps on it, spins on it, does handstands on it, and does pushups on it!

Thats one lucky piano! lol

Kerry

Chris Gaines
09-01-2003, 03:48 AM
actually most "rock-n-Rollers".. can really play... just ask Metallica or Bruce Springsteen. :)

They sound exactly like the album live, well the Boss re-arranges his songs a lot live... so they don't sound the same if you goto two or more shows... to keep it interesting...

He did an accoustic Born In The USA just him and guitar last time I saw him... was a sweet surprise :)

fuzzwuzz
09-02-2003, 01:45 AM
Don't get mad at me, but I still can't understand how Garth and Stillwater kept in shape musically enough to play live without any studio time together to keep them emmersed in the music together. I think I'll talk to my friend Chaz more about this. He tried to explain it to me once, and coming from his angle I think it had everything to do with $$$ doing alot of talking.

beckysue59
09-02-2003, 10:39 AM
I think performing hundreds of shows on stage would be enough to keep any band "in shape" musically.

ProducerJ
09-02-2003, 10:48 AM
Right. And live shows get plenty of rehearsal time before they hit the road, plus daily sound checks, and jam sessions on the bus. Being in the studio doesn't give anyone the time to get immersed in the music. Many of the instruments are laid down separately, the vocals are done completely separately, the actual laying down of all the tracks is a pretty quick process. It's when he turns it all over to Mark Miller to mix and overdub that the time is spent to get it tweaked just right.

George Strait came to town one week a year to cut his albums! And now he's got a computer at home that he does it on, so he doesn't even need to be here that much.

J.

fuzzwuzz
09-04-2003, 02:29 AM
Tim McGraw To Record With Doctors Again

Tim McGraw confirms to us that he will definitely have a new album out in 2004, and as he's stated before, he intends on going back into the studio a second time with his Dance Hall Doctors band instead of studio session pickers. "Like I said, we may go back in with studio musicians at some point, but we had just too much fun working together on this last one and the results were great."

Tim also just attended a show and sang a new song titled "Drugs To Jesus" that he says will be on the new album.

http://www.mcgraws.com/news/

See! Tim McGraw gets to do it AGAIN, with his entire band that was with him vertially from the start BEFORE he even got a record deal!!

Chris Gaines
09-04-2003, 02:56 AM
Tim McGraw To Record With Doctors Again

Tim McGraw confirms to us that he will definitely have a new album out in 2004, and as he's stated before, he intends on going back into the studio a second time with his Dance Hall Doctors band instead of studio session pickers. "Like I said, we may go back in with studio musicians at some point, but we had just too much fun working together on this last one and the results were great."

Tim also just attended a show and sang a new song titled "Drugs To Jesus" that he says will be on the new album.

http://www.mcgraws.com/news/

See! Tim McGraw gets to do it AGAIN, with his entire band that was with him vertially from the start BEFORE he even got a record deal!!
yep.. and people in Nashville are hating him for it... so who's to say if he goes back to studio musicians later.. they will actually play for him.

ProducerJ
09-04-2003, 09:24 AM
I think it's very cool that Tim is doing some albums with his bands. I'm sure WE all agree that it would be neat to have an album with Stillwater on it. It's a whole different process cutting an album the way Tim and the DHD did it. But even if Garth had done that, I don't think HE'd have played on it. Tim strums the guitar on a couple of songs in his shows, but I bet he doesn't play any on the album.
J.

GBronx
09-04-2003, 02:58 PM
Hey Guys, Thanks!!! This is a most interesting
and informative thread!! :applause:


Jo@nn,
Proud Grandma to Dominic and Emma ;)

fuzzwuzz
09-04-2003, 10:48 PM
I guess it's really just "stillwater" under the bridge at this point. :)

And I'm glad Tim got to do it with his Dancehall Doctors, and maybe he's pioneered some good changes for the whole country music industry there along with Brad, Phil, and Keith. I don't know, but it seems to me we have some good people taking care of the music in Garth's absence. And I see it in my own community as well. We'll be okay and do more than survive now that Garth has retired and no longer a musician as we knew him. I do believe we'll get to see a whole 'nother side of him someday soon, don't you? :)

beckysue59
09-04-2003, 11:17 PM
Tim strums the guitar on a couple of songs in his shows, but I bet he doesn't play any on the album.
J.


I've never even seen him with a guitar. Maybe it's more of a prop?

ProducerJ
09-05-2003, 12:10 AM
It was an endorsement deal of some sort. I can't remember exactly how it works but it was explained to me at the time. When tv crews come in to tape footage at concerts (like local news crews) they are usually allowed in the first 3 or 4 songs.

I had completely forgotten I'd even seen Tim until this thread, it was a few years ago, it must have been on the George Strait tour at Adelphia. They brought him out a guitar for song #3 in the show and he looked just completely ridiculous with it. None of us had ever seen him with one before, and people around us who knew how to play commented on how weird he was strumming it. Then someone in the industry that was there explained to me how the guitar companies will outfit a band with guitars in exchange for his getting up there with one for the photo opportunities. He changed guitars and did song #4 with one, then they vanished into thin air, not to be seen for the rest of the show.
*poof!*

Of course now... he's Tim McGraw. Probably doesn't have to do it anymore, I'm sure he gets whatever he asks for. Back then he was that Indian Outlaw guy.
J.