Mar 312017
 

Austin Tripp
Travis Egnor

Country Music has THREE staple pillars of it’s foundation or it’s backbone if you will. Those are in this order the songwriter, the producer, and the steel guitar in my opinion it takes those three to make a classic Country Music album. My point being Willie Nelson “Red Headed Stranger” and “Wanted The Outlaws” as two prime examples that had all three. Shooter will tell you rapidly “Wanted The Outlaws” was the first platinum selling Country Music album EVER and defied the sough it was initially given by Nashville in the 1970’s.

This edition of my series Steel Guitarists Along The Road brings us to the right arm of Whitey Morgan Mr. Brett Robinson. To the right of Whitey night after night sits a slender and talented individual that helps bring such an Outlaw Country sound to the band the 78’s as a whole. Whitey Morgan just absolutely burns up the roads playing a whopping amount of shows across America, and trust me for the door fee you pay you get ONE HELL OF A SHOW!

He was gracious enough to take some time with me after a show with Dallas Moore at the Nashville Palace on his off time. He and I and his wife had a wonderful conversation at the Music City Bar And Grill, Mr. Dallas also stayed until he had to hit the road to the next gig.

My last edition brought me to talking about Mr. Brett and his involvement in landing Mr. Austin Tripp the current spot of being steel player for Cody Jinks and you can read more on that story HERE. This man just absolutely embraces the history of Country Music while embellishing the current local scene with his own history as well, and one day I am going to write a book on the things I witnessed and learned from people like him.

Local music as a whole contains such a plethora of well rounded steel guitarists and pickers waiting for you to discover them if you are willing to wade through the broken beer bottles and travel the worn out back alleys of America to find them. You have to look in the places most normal people wouldn’t, and you have to listen. You have to brave the heat and cold and discomfort of the fields and farms that spew forth these festivals, mostly you have to study and watch for them.

This video here I took has a really nice solo of his playing the Nashville Palace show I’m also going to post one of him with Whitey Morgan below it, I STRONGLY URGE you to go support Whitey Morgan And The 78’s BUY SOME MUSIC from the band! You can get their newest album Sonic Ranch on colored vinyl LP and trust me it’s AWESOME! Mr. Brett played on Sonic Ranch, The Acoustic album, and LIVE from Flint Michigan all of which are absolute MUST HAVES in any collection.

GHC
How did you start playing steel guitar?

Mr.Brett
I grew up in Moundville, Alabama listening to country music. I started playing music professionally in Columbus, Ohio after attending the University of Alabama. I was playing rhythm guitar in a country band there. We played mostly Waylon, Merle and Paycheck type stuff. It wasn’t long before I realized that what I loved about the music was something our band lacked: a steel guitar. I got one on consignment there at a shop and immediately started gigging and learning as much as I could.

GHC
Who inspired you the most?

Mr.Brett
Definitely Ralph Mooney. Of course his playing from the beginning is historic, but really what got me started was Waylon’s live stuff.

GHC
How did you begin playing with Whitey Morgan And The 78’s?

Mr.Brett
About six or seven months after I started playing steel guitar, Whitey scooped me up in Ohio. My band there opened for him a couple times and I would sit in. The second time the writing was on the wall. Our drummer turned to our guitar player and said “I guess we are losing Brett.”

GHC
Where did the 78’s get their name?

Mr.Brett
That year was one of the last great years for that outlaw sound.

GHC
What differentiates you from other players?

Mr. Brett
My sloppiness haha. I learned in a vacuum kinda. Pretty much everything I know I’ve learned since Whitey hired me, so it was a lot of learning missing guitar harmonies from the records. Kind of backwards.

GHC
What makes up your sound?

Mr. Brett
Sho-bud and Show Pro guitars and Fender amps. Mooney, Chalker, Lloyd Green and Big Jim Murphy.

GHC
Can you give me any news on the album?

Mr. Brett
We’ve got a single all worked up that we are playing on the live shows, probably get that recorded and released asap. Whitey has been doing some great writing and we should start the new record in May.

GHC
What are the future plans for the band as a whole?

Mr. Brett
I think the plan is and has always been to do our own thing til we are ancient and can’t physically do it anymore. It’s what I love about Whitey, he’s a man of principles and stubborn in the best way possible. He’s got a vision and is uncompromising and unapologetic about accomplishing that with his boys. Even if it kills us haha.

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