Interview with Scott Smith

Scott Smith has been one of the mainstay’s of the Vancouver Roots/Rockabilly scene for the last 15 years. He was with Bughouse Five, the Surfdusters, and Bottleneck and is currently backing country singer Arron Pritchett , the Terminal Station Band and the Blue Rich Rangers w/ Rich Hope. Scott’s also fast becoming one of the best Pedal Steel players in town. On top of being a really tasteful, versatile player, he’s one of the nicest, most easygoing cats you’ll ever meet. Thank you Scott for answering these questions.

Who was you’re first major influence, while learning? Stevie Ray Vaughan What methods did you use, to learn (Mel Bay, H. Leonard)? Hal Leonard

Did you study theory, would you recommend learning theory(as opposed to TAB)?

I’d recommend both, but the most important thing to learn is to train your ear to be able to figure out anything.

What part of learning guitar, was most difficult? (bar chords, arpeggios, bending)

I’m still learning how to play fast bebop tunes – still can’t do it very well

Any advice for someone just starting out?

Learn to read and learn some theory – that way you have the tools to learn any type of music. When you’re young and want to learn rock and punk, Tab works great, but if you get into say Cuban music when you’re a little older, being able to read rhythms is very important.
How long did you practice, when you were starting to learn (avg)?I would usually come home from school and play till I went to bed, pausing for dinner.

What was your most memorable session/show? (good or bad)

The Aaron Prtichett tour with Toby Keith was memorable. Opening for Brian Setzer with Bughouse Five was a great show. I did a lot great shows with my band Bottleneck. Opening for the Venture with the Surfdusters back in the “old days” (the 90’s!)
How long did you take lessons for(in years), before you were good enough to play

    in a gigging band? I took lessons for about 4 years before my highschool band started playing parties and dances.

Is technical ability the most important attribute, for a bandmember? (is being a

good player all it takes, what about; presence, taste, problem-solving, creativity,

communication, listening, organization?) Being a good player is less than 50% of it. All the other stuff is as important.

Any tricks that you’ve learned, over the years, to playing, or understanding theory,

easier? I don’t think there are any tricks. Most things I’ve learned, I’ve learned from playing gigs – lots of gigs.

What does your live, working set-up, consist of? (gtrs,FXs, amp(s))

1972 Fender Deluxe for blues gigs a 1965 Gibson ES330 for country a 72 Tele Custom for rock gigs a mid 70’s Les Paul a strat for slide work an MSA pedal steel nothing too unusual for effects

What new technology, have you found useful? (eg. Multi-FX, robot self tuning guitars) it’s not that new, but delays that you can tap the tempo are really useful

Have you designed, or modified any of your own equipment? no

    Have you seen any new, up and coming players, worth mentioning? Adam Dobres is a great tele player Tim Tweedale and Aaron Joyce are really good dobro players
    What are your plans for the near future?
    My blues band Terminal Station is putting out a new CD soon and I’ll be touring a lot in 2009 with Aaron Pritchett. I hope to do even more studio work than I’m doing now. I’m going to be recording a pedal steel CD next year as well

Here’s a shot of Bottleneck outside the Grand Union. I wonder if they went in for a $2 pint?

Gorehound Sound Productions 2009


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