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Western Swing Personalities-Art Greenhaw

By Leocthasme

In a continuing effort to provide information about Western Swing in particular and Country Western music in general, I continuously look for articles of interest to my readers. You will find many such articles by me dating back over the past 10 plus years of Pencilstubs’ existence.

Biographical Information About Leader,

Part 1

Thanks to my family and especially my dad who is a pro musician in the band/brass/reeds field, I started playing instruments at a very early age and gravitated to guitar at the age of 9. Even though guitar wasn't my dad's bag, he was very supportive, re-stringing guitars for me and teaching me how. My folks provided me with first a sunburst Epiphone Cortez acoustic and then a cherry Epiphone Olympic Double electric. These were the days of Gibson-made USA Epiphones and they're still favorites of mine. I love '60s-era Gibson-made USA Epiphones. I used these Epi guitars throughout public school and college, in my grade school band, ‘The Doodlebugs’, in my junior high band, ‘The Inner Soul’, and in my high school band, ‘Contempo’.

Around the 8th grade, I started providing most of the music entertainment for the house parties of the parents of rock icon Steve Miller in Dallas using these guitars and an Ampeg Jet amp. At least one photo of me jamming with Steve Miller at his parents' home is at (Gallery Archive). I still use the Ampeg amp many times a year and have played it faithfully since it was new in 1964. The two Epis are currently on display at The Light Crust Doughboys Hall of Fame in Quitman, Texas. I have in my tape collection a full concert from my college years using the Epiphone Olympic Double and playing lead-rhythm on stage as the Art Greenhaw Band "Live in '74".


Part 2
Two big projects were completed in 2007, the albums ‘THE GOSPEL PEOPLE LOVE REVUE’ and ‘The Ventures' ROCKY’. Our gospel music has received Grammy Awards and 8 Grammy Nominations in 8 different years, so we thank the Grammy voters and the Recording Academy for this recognition. The gospel albums feature guitar work by my guitar idol, Nokie Edwards of The Ventures and me. The Ventures' ROCKY album I had the high honor of producing with the group and also playing guitar and keyboards. ROCKY is a Japanese release on Toshiba EMI Japan, and we're told it's been a terrific success in Japan both in physical CD sales and in downloads. I played a '62 re-issue Fender Jazzmaster throughout the album, backing The Ventures where they requested I back them. I used this same Jazzmaster on our LONE STAR SITAR album, now available throughout India. On our Grammy-recognized gospel albums of the past dozen years, and where I contribute lead, rhythm and bass playing, I've used Mosrites from Semie Moseley's North Carolina building days, Burns guitars and Jazzmasters I've recorded through the years in many formats including 2" analog, ADAT, DTRS. Now, I've settled into pro tools for virtually all work, and I'm lucky to have as a best friend, Larry "T-Byrd" Gordon, who has his own private, pro tools project studio which is world-class and which I use. God Bless T-Byrd and his Dallas studio, La Me Studio! We track the guitars of both Nokie and me direct through the control room boards, and we also record guitars through mic'd amps. Bob Bogle (also my guitar idol) of The Ventures and I both record guitars direct through the control room boards. For the gospel and other albums on my label, ‘Greenhaw Records’. I aim for the rootsiest and ballsiest sound possible combining my favorite sonic elements and my personal guitar style of surf, rockabilly and roots guitar tones and e.q.'s. Many times, I feel this calls for reverb and some delay/slapback on the guitar tracks. If I'm playing lead, I make use quite a bit of the vibrato arm.


I'm currently working on research and developments with 2 companies that I feel have great potential: America Sejung Corp. and The Ventures Model Wilson Bros. If I can contribute with these companies to the creation of new guitars that combine the very best qualities of the Mosrites and the Jazzmasters, along with some unique design and sound features of my own, then I'll have my ultimate guitars and basses. Hopefully, we'll turn some new designs out for the world market very soon.


Part 3

The sages and prophets tell us we should honor our teachers, and let's do our best to honor those guitarists who have paved the way for us.

My favorite guitarists also happen to be my most influential, The Ventures. Here's to Nokie Edwards, Bob Bogle, Don Wilson and Gerry McGee of The Ventures. I'd also like to pay tribute to major, influential guitar favorites of mine, Jerry Elliott and Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery of The Light Crust Doughboys, through most of 7 decades, and Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey (Peter Paul & Mary), Joe Maphis, Les Paul, James Burton, Merle Travis, Jimmy Bryant, Scotty Moore and George/John/Paul. Most influential bass players are Bob Bogle, Nokie Edwards, and Paul McCartney. Major, lifetime musical influences are The Jordanaires, James Blackwood and The Blackwood Brothers.

Influential albums are many by The Ventures, especially THE VENTURES' CHRISTMAS ALBUM, KNOCK ME OUT, WALK DON'T RUN VOL. 2, ANOTHER SMASH, COLORFUL VENTURES. Let's add Elvis' ELVIS IS BACK, HIS HAND IN MINE, and LIVE AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN. Peter Paul and Mary's IN THE WIND and IN CONCERT. And there are great pop and easy listening albums that have helped forge my style: Engelbert Humperdinck's SWEETHEART and ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE. And can't forget The Beatles' MEET THE BEATLES, HARD DAY'S NIGHT, and RUBBER SOUL.

A dream day for me ever since I was 9 years old has always been to find a record store somewhere in time, like we had in Dallas, in the '60s/'70s, where you could walk in and side-by-side in one stop find all the major and indie rock, pop, vocal, gospel and instrumental releases: albums, e.p.'s, singles. A melting pot of everything in sound and vision. An ultimate "Melody Shop".

Interview conducted with Art Greenhaw
by a major, international guitar magazine,
and made available to readers of PENCILSTUBS;
thanks to Honorary Light Crust Doughboy Leo C. Helmer..

Sincere thanks to 20th CENTURY GUITAR magazine and all you're doing for music.

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