Redd Volkaert
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Redd Volkaert

Cedar Creek, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE | AFM

Cedar Creek, Texas, United States | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Country Alternative


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

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Written by Don Crow
Friday, 08 August 2008
When Leo Fender envisioned the Telecaster back 'round 1949, it's doubtful that he could have ever imagined its impact on popular music sixty years down the road. One of the most outstanding players of this instrument today is Austin, TX, resident Redd Volkaert. Astute readers may remember his stints with Merle Haggard, or his more recent work with Brad Paisley which resulted in a Grammy nomination in 2004.
On his latest solo release, "Reddhead," Redd showcases his considerable talents on a mix of fourteen originals and covers, delving into rock, blues, country and western swing. His deep baritone vocal delivery is the perfect complement to his fast-fingered fretwork, too, and fits this material very well, making for quite an enjoyable listen.
The set kicks off in high gear with the original "Reddline Fever," with Chris Gilson's locomotive drumming and Redd's guitar licks sounding as if Ennio Morricone hijacked the 3:10 to Yuma. A tale of "cheatin' in reverse" is the theme of "I Know How I'd Feel." "Send It Back" is a cool western-swingin' instrumental workout. Love affairs that are headin' South are the keys to "End Of The Line" and the four words that every man in the whole round world dreads to hear, "We Need To Talk."
Redd lets that Fender wail on the rockabilly-flavored "Goosebumps," and two sparkling covers, "Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line" and "The Letter," with soulful backing organ from Rich Harney. We had two favorites, too. Redd gives a flying-fingered workout to the Buddy Emmons instrumental "Raisin' The Dickens," while "you better Call The Pound, because I've found the dog my dog left me for!" It's the most bluesy cut on the set, and just might be the bluesiest thing Redd's ever waxed.
Redd Volkaert is one of the most gifted and respected guitarists on the scene today. He truly is a musical visionary with a Telecaster in his hand. Enjoy "Reddhead" today! Until next time....Sheryl and Don Crow.
- Music City Blues Society

CD review: Redd Volkaert’s ‘Reddhead’

By Michael Corcoran | Monday, September 15, 2008, 02:17 PM

Redd Volkaert

The list of Austin treasures includes Barton Springs Pool, breakfast tacos and Redd Volkaert, all of which one can experience on a Saturday afternoon, when Volkaert puts on a guitar clinic at the Continental Club. Many a budding axeman has traded in his Telecaster for a bass or keyboards after witnessing Merle Haggard’s former lead guitarist play with such dexterity, such tone, such soul. This town was truly blessed when Volkaert and his encyclopedia of hot licks moved here from Nashville in 2000.

The point of his new “Reddhead,” which hits stores Tuesday, might be to show that Volkaert is more than just a guitar player. He writes or co-writes seven of the 14 tracks and his rich, deep voice is featured in the mix, but ultimately the CD comes off as an instrumental album with vocals. Whether he’s exploring western swing on Bob Wills’ “End of the Line” or blues with “Call the Pound” or his caustic relationship ditties (co-written by Laura Durham) such as “Is Anything Alright,” “We Need to Talk” and “Just Because I Don’t Care,” the lyrics seem to serve as spacers between all the spectacular picking. In every genre he tackles, Volkaert can hold his own with anyone.

Those wary of claims that Volkaert is the best guitarist in town should listen to his cover of “The Letter” by the Boxtops. The song is about a man hungry to get home after receiving a love letter and in Volkaert’s solo of frantic percolation you can hear all the determination of movement in the protagonist’s mind. Volkaert isn’t a ripper, he’s a gripper. When he follows that cover with a jazzy country take on Buddy Emmons’ “Raisin’ the Dickens’,” there’s no denying that we’re hearing a master at work.

As a singer, Volkaert is functional, if not a little flat at times. His voice neither astonishes nor gets in the way. But when he ends this CD, his first in four years when you don’t count the recent Heybale release, with a cover of Hag’s “I’ll Break Out Tonight,” the lifelong sideman steps to the front with a flourish. After seven years backing Haggard, the vocal nuances have sunk in. There’s no substitute for seeing Volkaert live, at his Saturday afternoon gig or Sunday nights with Heybale. But if you’re looking for some music to play on the way to the gig, or at home on nights you can’t go out, “Reddhead” will serve you right. - Austin AM Statesman

Reddheaded slinger shelves the cookie-cutters.

Guitar gods come in all shapes and sizes, just like the rest of us. Some go to great pains to dress and act the part. Some don’t. Redd Volkaert, who looks more like a salt-of-the-earth character in a shoot ‘em up western or the produce manager at Randall’s than one of Austin’s most gifted shredders, belongs to the latter category. But when he plugs in and begins to spray notes from the stage like he’s manning a Gatling gun, or takes it way down with the finesse that belies a man with fingers the size of Elgin sausages, you know you’re witnessing a player who belongs in Guitar Town’s top-tier—the elite of Austin’s vaunted guitar army.

Volkaert, who for six years added “lead guitarist for Merle Haggard” to his résumé, is now adding his fourth solo CD (Reddhead) since first arriving in Austin in 2000. After working stints in Los Angeles and Nashville, he found Austin more suited to his lack of pretense. The city’s spirit and supportive music scene have allowed the native of Canada to settle in and establish himself as a guitar player’s guitar player in the Live Music Capital of the World. And he’s digging it.

“It’s wonderful,” Volkaert said on a recent Saturday afternoon before his weekly matinee at the Continental Club, “I love it. There’s lots of good live music, and lots of bad live music. There’s something for everybody. If you want to see a guy playing a fiddle with a safety pin in his lip and a diaper on, doing rockabilly, this is the town for you. You get punk rock guys and old grandpas and nobody says nothing, nobody picks on nobody’s hair or nothing, it’s just so laid back—it’s fun!”

Volkaert came to music early. There was never a conflict between law school or taking over the family business and the pursuit of rock star fantasies. He knew what he wanted to do from the get go, and he was an enthusiastic and dedicated student of the icons of his early years. “When I was a teenager,” he recalls, “I wanted to be a rock star, so the rock guys of my day were Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple, Alvin Lee of Ten Years After, and Jimmy Page of Lead Zeppelin. And I listened a lot to Albert and B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Mike Bloomfield and Shuggie Otis. Guitar geeks liked the blues thing more than singers. My goal was to find those kinds of people to learn from and steal from. I studied lots and lots of that stuff as a kid.”

Country had a place in his heart too, he just had to keep it to himself: “I also had some country records on my stash so that when the kids from school came over they didn’t see those—Buck Owens and Merle Haggard—on the bottom; they saw the rock guys.” The household record collection had a huge impact during those early years: “I mean my dad had a lot of Ventures records and Fireballs, so I tried to learn some of those instrumentals. I just loved that sound and that whole reverb thing.”

Immersed for so long in the wide-ranging styles of his idols, Volkaert himself has evolved into one of Austin’s most stylistically versatile players. Catch him center stage Saturday afternoons and you’ll hear him delving into everything from swing to surf rock, jazz to classic country, and he does so with power and precision. But he is also as likely to serve up a musical cocktail of licks all in the same tune, a mélange of all the stuff he has soaked up over the years. “I think now, 30 years later,” Volkaert explains, “it’s just a hodge-podge of a bunch of stuff just slammed together and it all just comes out like sausage.”

As a songwriter Volkaert is a little less self-assured. He never fronted his own band before moving to Austin. This is why his new CD, Reddhead , is only his fourth despite a career of supporting and playing on others. He either wrote or co-wrote with Laura Durham half the songs on Reddhead. As a writer, his approach is workman-like. He does not bide his time until a lightning bolt of inspiration strikes. “I just sit down and say, ‘OK, I have to write some songs.’ I mean, I get ideas along the way; someone will say something stupid or goofy and I’ll write that line down and that will be the idea for the song. And it’s about half and half as far as writing the words or already having the music in mind first. [For Reddhead] I already had a bunch of songs, had a bunch half-ready that needed some tweaking. Laura helped me clean up the bulk of them. Some of the rhyming was kind of stinky…she helped me a whole lot fixing up the songs.”

One thing that doesn’t need fixing is his reputation. About the only people who don’t include Volkaert in the list of greatest guitarists are folks who haven’t seen him play. And as usual, Austin is unbelievably lucky in that regard. Among other gigs, Volkaert holds two weekly residencies (both at the Continental Club): the free Saturday matinee—which is becoming stuff of Austin legend—and Sunday night’s with Heybale, a more traditional country set that also includes Earl Poole Ball, who - Pat Cosgrove

Redd Volkaert’s new record Reddhead will probably land in the country bin. The imposing guitar master is well known for the years he spent as country legend Merle Haggard’s lead axeman. So it goes without saying he delivers a good bit of tantalizing twang. But by the time you get through all 14 cuts of this, his first recording since 2000, you realize you are dealing with a guy who has few stylistic limitations. The guy can probably play Mozart or Mingus note for note.

In fact, the first cut (“Red Line Fever”) on this free-wheeling testament to impressive chops sounds like what you might get if Dick Dale and Junior Brown mixed it up in the studio. Ignore the lyrics for a moment on “Call the Pound” and you could be listening to a bit of rock ‘n’ roll menace à la The Doors. The disc includes several nods to Bob Wills that instantly conjure up a full dance floor at the Broken Spoke. “Raisin’ the Dickens,” a deft, blazing instrumental, would do Chet Atkins proud. The man is not just browsing, either—he is a virtual master of whatever genre he tackles.

Volkaert either wrote or co-wrote with Laura Durham (whose husband Alan produced with Volkaert) half the tracks on Reddhead, demonstrating that as a songwriter he’s no slouch. With the backing of a crackerjack band, and old school (analog) recording techniques, Reddhead is not just a picker’s pleasure, but a sure bet for anyone who appreciates genuine, honest, real American roots. If it were left up to me, I’d file this one under “Super Bad.”

Read the review: - Pat Cosgrove

Texas Platters


Redd Volkaert

Reddhead (Telehog)
Redd Volkaert is arguably the best guitarist in a town overflowing with them. Every once in a while, when he's not anchoring one of the many bands he's a member of or backing some new talent, the stubby genius cuts an album to remind us of just how amazing he is. Reddhead, his fourth LP, is a happy amalgam of styles that isn't as jaw-dropping as seeing the man play right in front of you but is almost as entertaining. About middisc, he's a blues hound with "Call the Pound," then he's two-stepping on "I Know How I'd Feel," reconfiguring the Box Tops' "The Letter" à la ZZ Top, and finally setting heads spinning with a blistering take on Buddy Emmons instrumental "Raisin' the Dickens." His baritone is serviceable, if limited, but the redhead's freewheeling guitar-play sparkles more than enough to make Reddhead a joyful noise.

Read the paper here: - Jim Calaguri

Redd Light Special
Merle Haggard Sideman Redd Volkaert Rides His Telecaster From Canada to Austin

Not too many things from 1953 are much good today. Hell, in our throwaway culture, few things from back then are even still around. A '53 Buick? Bulbous, cumbersome, and primitive by today's standards. A 47-year-old computer? Puh-leeze. It'd be as big as a house, and still lack the power of an Eighties Mac Classic. And a TV set? Tiny black & white screen, lots of tubes to burn out, and about 120 pounds of wood, wire, and glass. Seems "vintage" might be synonymous with "scrap heap."

Then there's Fender's Telecaster electric guitar, one of the few things from 1953 that's still around and basically unchanged. Critics scoffed at Telecasters when they were first introduced, calling them "canoe paddles" and pointing out the bolt-on-neck construction, which made Leo Fender the Henry Ford of assembly-line guitars. Yet in that mass-produced instrument was a straightforward simplicity and sturdiness; salesmen would put the guitar between two chairs and stand on it to prove its durability. More importantly, the Telecaster proved the guitar of choice for countless country and rock players, luminaries such as James Burton, Jerry Reed, the Buckaroos' Don Rich, and Albert Lee.

Redd Volkaert has an honest-to-God '53 Telecaster, its scuffed neck and fingerboard bearing the well-worn patina of countless hours of play. Few pickers can do what he does; a cursory listen to Telewacker, Volkaert's 1998 Hightone release, makes that clear. Abetted by Billy Donohue on bass, Mel Watts on drums, and the remarkable Jim Murphy on steel, the disc is a showcase of guitar hijinks that will drive most guitar players to utter despair.

Volkaert puts his own barrel-chested vocals on "You're Still On My Mind" and a cover of George Jones' "I Hate You," plus a few others, but the gist of the CD is instrumentals. There's a tribute to Jerry Reed's whacked-out fingerstyle ("Reed My Tele"), the Buckaroos ("The Buck Stops Here"), and touches of Western swing, all with Volkaert putting the Tele through its paces with banjo-style finger rolls, breakneck flatpick runs, glissandos, and other highly technical backflips. At times, it's almost as if Charlie Parker somehow switched from sax to country guitar.

For players truly in their element, the guitar becomes an extension of their personality. The wild, outer-space country twang that Volkaert reels off on Telewacker is the perfect expression of both his disarming, easygoing manner and rather loopy sense of humor.

Short and burly, Volkaert has forearms about as thick as Popeye's, laced with faded blue tattoos and bricklayer's hands. His thick, stubby fingers look as though they'd be more at home tearing down a carburetor than tossing off wild-ass guitar licks. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Volkaert started on guitar at the tender age of 10, sometimes skipping school to get in a few extra hours of woodshedding. By the time he was 16, he was well on the way to playing in every Moose, Elks, Legion, VFW, nightclub, and beer joint in the area. In time, he found greener pastures in Alberta, playing in a three-piece band and making a living with the instrument until moving to Southern California in 1986.

"I ran into a bunch of rockabilly guys there," says Volkaert, "and got on that jag for awhile, which was real, real fun. So much of it is related so closely anyway, y'know, rockabilly, old-style blues, and Fifties country, so there's not a whole lot of difference. I worked a lot, played a lot, and learned a lot while I was doin' that."

It was in Southern California that Volkaert and Dale Watson originally crossed paths. Trying to get his foot in various doors, Watson would show up at different open-mike nights, and the two hit it off right away.

"Next day, we went for lunch, and he just seemed like a regular guy," Volkaert recalls. "We hung out all the time, played together a lot when we could, tried to get him work when he first moved out there. Shit, it wasn't two months before he had his own band together and he was kicking everybody's ass out there."

In time, Volkaert contributed some leads to Watson's I Hate These Songs; in turn, Watson was pivotal in Volkaert's moving to Austin. Actually, it was always just a matter of time before L.A.'s image-heavy atmosphere began to wear on Volkaert. Weary of piercings, clothes, and tattoos counting for more than actual musical talent, he decided to seek his fortunes in Nashville.

Once there, however -- not surprisingly -- Volkaert chafed at Music City's regimented, by-the-numbers session work ("Can you play just like Brent Mason did on that one song?"), and began doing a lot more live work in clubs and on the road. At various times, he surfaced with Ray Price, Lacy J. Dalton, and the Statler Brothers, among others, when their regular guitarists couldn't make it. But Nashville's reputation has never been - JERRY RENSHAW

Seeing Redd
Telecaster® master Redd Volkaert has two new DVDs out. Get them. Now.

No Stranger: Volkaert onstage.
Photo courtesy Redd Volkaert

If you’re unfamiliar with the incredible Redd Volkaert, either of two DVDs released this year would make a fine introduction to his world of Tele-slingin’ honky-tonkin’ good times. Live in Austin features a performance at the Continental Club in Volkaert’s adopted Texas home city; Stolen Licks is an instructional DVD with a dozen licks ripe for the picking. Either fantastic disc (or both, better yet) will have you seeing Redd in no time.

Probably best known as the most Roy Nichols-like successor to the great Roy Nichols in Merle Haggard’s famous backup band, the Strangers, Canada native Volkaert had no difficultly establishing his place among the country’s top Telecaster guitar slingers, and you’d have no trouble finding plenty of people who consider him the best guitar player in Austin today (check out Haggard’s 1999 Live At Billy Bob’s Texas to hear a great example of Volkaert’s work as a Stranger).

However, to call Volkaert a mere Nichols-like Stranger would be selling short his seemingly effortless ability to conjure up at will a vast array of complex guitar styles and techniques in countless genres and subgenres of country, rock, jazz, swing, surf, etc. Unlike many “jack of all trades, master of none” types, Volkaert (a 2004 Grammy nominee for best country instrumental performance) has indeed mastered the many guitar styles he plays in.

Stolen Licks is an up-close look at a dozen phrases and techniques that Volkaert has, well, stolen from his influences to create his own signature style, and it’s worth noting that some of them aren’t just from other guitar players, but also from fiddle, steel, and saxophone players. Volkaert plays each lick at regular tempo and at half time, and producer Terry Downs’ amazingly riffer-friendly over-the-shoulder camera angles and split-screen work makes learning the material a good deal easier. Further, the disc comes with a tablature book.

The complex licks aren’t impossible, but nailing them as effortlessly as Volkaert does will take some practice. Fret not, though—Stolen Licks is a terrific way to add some classic Telecaster licks to your repertoire.

Volkaert and Cashdollar burn down Ego's, Austin,
Photo courtesy Redd Volkaert

The real lesson, however, comes from watching Live in Austin, a virtual Telecaster clinic in which Volkaert’s labyrinthine library of licks is well in evidence in just the first few tunes. The beauty of having both DVDs is that you can see the lesson licks in both instructional and live club performance settings, as most of the Stolen Licks material is put to good use on the live disc.

On Live in Austin, Volkaert and his band are joined by master steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar. Together, they rip through 17 country standards and Volkaert originals. It’s Volkaert at his finest—all over the fingerboard and using the monstrous tone that has influenced many (most notable, perhaps, Brad Paisley). Plus, you also get a tour of Austin, riding along with Volkaert in his hot rod as he tells his life story.

Volkaert’s DVDs go fast in more ways than one, so you should act now if you want to get them (his last DVD, 2002’s Live at Ego’s, sold out fast, and good luck finding a used copy); both discs and all his solo albums are available on the “Telehog’s Feed and Supply” page of Volkaert’s own website (

Volkaert can be found just about every night playing in Austin clubs. Despite such a to-the-gills schedule, though, Volkaert kindly took a few minutes to put up with a few questions from Fender News …

FN: Any new music coming out in the near future?
RV: Yes, I plan to release [some] by the spring of ’07.

FN: When will we see Redd on the road again?
RV: I’ve got a few road trips this summer, but I’m thinking I’ll go out harder next year to push a new CD.

FN: We know you have an impressive Telecaster collection. What’s your favorite and why?
RV: My favorite is a ’51 Nocaster®. It’s light as hell, rings forever and has a huge neck.

FN: What amps and pedals are you using?
RV: I use a custom-made copy of my ’58 high-power tweed Twin®, with one JBL® D-120 and one EV®-12L. For pedals, I use Durham Electronics’ Sex Drive™ line booster, and their Mucho Boosto™ overdrive, with an old Boss® DM3 analog delay pedal.

FN: Who would you list as the top five Telecaster players of all time?
RV: Roy Nichols, Jimmy Bryant, Don Rich, Thumbs Carlisle and Albert Collins.

FN: Who are your five favorite non-country players?
RV: Albert King, Johnny Winter, Gary Moore, Oscar Moore and George Barnes.

FN: If you had to recommend a young guitarist, who would it be?
RV: To listen to a new hot guy, I’d say Brad Paisley and Johnny Hiland; they pretty much do everything I wish I could.

FN: Any words of encouragemen - Fender USA

The Wrong Note (In Exactly The Right Place)
An imposing man with an even more imposing guitar style, Volkaert plays the reluctant frontman

Andrew Price/Austin American-Statesman
(enlarge photo)
Redd Volkaert at Ego's in South Austin.

"No Stranger to a Tele"
Windows Media | Real Media

"Before She Made Me Crawl"
Windows Media | Real Media


Austin American-Statesman

August 07, 2005

It was a '58 model of Fender's first electric solid-body guitar— and this was around 1970 or '71. The precursor of the legendary Telecaster had a white ash body with a white pickguard, a tiny coffee stain on the case but no wear on the guitar; the lacquer was still on the neck.

The guy who'd bought the Fender had taken a couple of lessons, quit because it hurt and traded the thing in at the music store for a piano or organ for his wife. When the kid's dad took the music store owner for an undetermined sum at the pool table one night, he came home and told the boy, "I got a guitar for you that you're going to like."

But, the father said, you have to buy it from me for $200. That is a lot when you're 12 or 13 years old and making $30 a month throwing newspapers for the Vancouver Sun.

The kid was already playing a lot, mostly just fooling around. Can I play it with my friends, he asked?

The father said, no, if you don't pay it off, I've got to keep it in good shape so I can sell it. But you can play it for 20 minutes or so on Sundays.

The kid everybody called Redd fell asleep with that guitar on his bed every night for years, waking up and playing it first thing in the morning, playing it when there was a minute's practice time to snatch, when he was supposed to be in school, when one of his parents' records was on and he listened and tried to cop licks.

Redd Volkaert, now 47 (born Justin Volkaert on March 6, 1958, the same year as the guitar, same birthday as Bob Wills), still has that guitar — which he paid off in about six months. And he'll never sell it, not ever, because something in that guitar brought out a talent in him that made him what he is today: a very busy if not filthy rich guitar player possessed of genius.

Is he, in fact, the best guitar player in town? A crazy and unprovable claim.

So. OK. Yes, Redd Volkaert is the best guitar player in Austin, even if you've never heard of him.

Within the local music community, there is a cult of Redd. Players on their way to their own gigs will stop into Volkaert's regular Saturday afternoon sessions at the Continental Club — where the band plays for tips — to get a cold beer and a free guitar lesson. He shares stages with players who've worked for Asleep at the Wheel and Bob Dylan. He was for six or seven years Merle Haggard's lead player.

Online message groups for Telecaster geeks post messages with things like "In Redd we trust" in the subject line. He's featured in several recent issues of Vintage Guitar magazine. He plays Telecasters he builds himself from parts he gets off eBay — even the Fender decals that go on the headstock. The '58 Esquire is too valuable to gig with, so he keeps it in storage.

There he is on the Continental stage, with his beard and tattooed forearms the size of Virginia hams, making his guitar do things that have other players shaking their heads, thinking, should I practice more or just quit?

Some guitarists can play really, really fast but don't have anything to say. Some use volume to cover up a lack of technique. Volkaert seldom floors it. When he does, you can practically feel the G forces pushing on you. And his solos are funny; in the middle of an amazing run he'll throw in a little levity — the wrong note in exactly the right place.

He plays old-time country with a little swing — George Jones and Floyd Tillman and the like, and his own songs — mostly in a trio setting that changes as it moves around town five or six nights. Jovita's, Ego's, the Continental Club, Threadgill's (north and south), Central Market (ditto). His help includes steel and dobro player Cindy Cashdollar, winner of five Grammy awards who's worked with Asleep at the Wheel, Bob Dylan and many more.

On Sunday nights he's at the Continental with Heybale, Austin's country dance group that includes alums from Junior Brown, Brian Setzer and Johnny Cash. His extensive discography includes solo albums and sessions with dozens of other artists, including Haggard, local fixture Dale Watson and sometimes-sideman Billy Dee.

At risk of stating the thunderously obvious — twice — a pair of observations: The first is that life is not fair. Great talent does not necessarily mean a big contract with a major label, one's own private plane, cavorting with supermodels, the requisite descent into drugs, booze and mouth-foaming madness followed by a redemptive "Behind the Music" segment. No matter how good you are or ever hope to be, you are not likely to be widely known if you aren't young, aren't - Patric Beach

Redd's Guitar

All Things Considered, June 29, 2001 · A 1953 Fender Telecaster guitar has a distinctive twang, and when it's in the hands of guitar master Redd Volkaert , you can imagine yourself in a Country & Western bar as the waitress makes her rounds for last call. Volkaert is a Canadian who found himself in Austin, Texas. He became the lead guitarist for Merle Haggard, but he's also a successful solo artist. He talks with host Noah Adams. (7:30) Volkaert's albums No Stranger to a Tele, and Telewacker are on High Tone/HMG records.

Heres the article: - NPR

Redd Volkaert

No Stranger to a Tele

Hightone Records

Anybody who’s paid any attention to guitarists in the past decade or so won’t be too surprised when I say what a nice album this is. Redd, as many of you probably already know, is a genial-looking fellow who resembles a lepraucaun and plays the living hell out of a Telecaster. He’s spent the last couple of years on the road with Merle Haggard, and here he’s just oozing country.

The title cut kicks things off with some killer bends, nice jazzy/country chordal work, and some booming twang. You get the picture. Like the title says, Redd is right at home on the Tele. There are plenty of cuts like that one. He’s flashy, but never a show-off – at times he’s downright subtle. And he shows he’s comfortable in a number of genres. The slow-rumbling boogie of “31/2 Minutes Left” features incredible bluesy rock playing with licks that’ll leave your jaw hanging open. “Chee-Z” could be the theme from a lost spy movie, and Redd’s all over it.

Another nice aspect of the album I wasn’t ready for was Redd’s singing. He’s got a rumbly baritone that fits the traditional country songs perfectly. It’s a voice not unlike Haggard’s, but without as much “lived in-ness” as Merle’s.

If you’re a Tele freak, Redd’s one of those guys who makes albums you must own. And if you’re just a fan of traditional country music, you should check it out.


This review originally appeared in VG’s June ‘01 issue.

- John Heidt

Heres the article: - John Heidt


About 7 or 8 Merle Haggard cd's, a Brad Paisley cd "Mud On The Tires" which we were nominated for a Grammy, for our instrumental "Spagetti Western Swing" and countless others, PLEASE check my website for a list



Born, ate, grew, ate some more.
Got a hand-me-down guitar from my brother and started noodling.
Discovered Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Albert King, and Johnny Winter. WOAH!! Also got my first Fender and began to woodshed and eat. My neighbor Wilf Warkentin, who played way better than me, drug me down the rock-'n'-roll path of least resistance. Played in local bands together while still having our country records at the bottom of our rock & blues stack. After we got our driver's licenses, we hardly saw each other anymore. I continued to be hired and fired many times while still noodling and knowing it all at such a young age.
Ran out of places to noodle in British Columbia, Canada, and relocated to Edmonton, Alberta. Once there and after lots of car trouble and nowhere to live but the car, I hooked up with a trio named 'Picker', headed by drummer /singer Gordon Green, for three years trying to learn how to sing and play at the same time.
Joined the Prairie Fire Band (a 5-piece hard core traditional Country and Western Swing band) with steel guitarist Dick Kruger in '81 for a couple of years, gathering TV and recording experience while studying under Big George Moody (my first live hero). Then entered Danny Hooper and Country Spunk with fiddle phenomenon Calvin Vollrath for another couple of years of hardcoredom. These two bands are where I think I learned a lot of music and business from two of the best band leaders in Canada.
I decided to go to Nashville via California, assuming everybody in Edmonton was sick of my noodling and the U.S. hadn't heard of me yet (hopeful). My first stop was in Redding, CA, at the Saddle Horn Club with Johnny Roberts for a 1-month engagement that ended suddenly with my leaving town in the middle of the night.
Landed a gig with Don Cox and the Cowtown Band featuring steel guitarist Bobby Black (WOW!) in San JosĂŠ where Don told me that he had had some ugly guitar players in his 20 years at that club, but I was the best of the truck driver lookin' ones.
Six months later I moved to Santa Cruz to work with Ginny Mitchell in her trio for the summer (two guitars and bass) doing country, bluegrass, and swing. That was a blast!
Tired of being a noodling beach bum, I headed south to L.A. where I played seven nights a week in Huntington Beach with Chad Watson, Mike Thomas, and Alan Rich (Charlie's boy), met hundreds of new pickers, got my ass kicked by thousands of guitar players, it was wonderful. There I listened as much as I played. The L.A. music scene at that time was a great and exciting learning time for me. I got to experience country, blues, rockabilly, swing, and jazz like I'd never heard or seen before. I was lucky enough to get to play on many demos and recordings of everything but jazz; I still get a headache when I try to figure that stuff out. I even considered giving up food for music - there was so much variety there.
After ODing on L.A. I decided Nashville was my next move, knowing they fully needed another noodler with a Telecaster. 
I got to Nashville in November '90, did sub work and fill-ins around town and surrounding areas 'til March. Had a house gig fall through in January so I was broke and ready to leave town already. I would go to clubs every night and sit in if they'd let me. I wound up getting more fill-in work until I was offered a job at the Stage Coach Lounge on Murfreesboro Road with the Don Kelley Band which turned out to be a springboard for many premiere guitarists in Nashville, such as Brent Mason, Sid Hudson, Danny Parks, Troy Lancaster, Walter Garland, etc. So for me at the time I didn't know that I would be the one to break the springboard! Oops, the club closed four years later. When Don would pay me at the end of the week, he would say "Here, go buy you a tone!" Needless to say this is where I learned how to pawnshop for new and exciting gear. Don Kelley is the best band leader Nashville has ever known. Being a great player himself, he always let the guitarist in his band go nuts within reason, his. After I left his band, he must have got his stride back 'cause he's got the great Johnny Hiland pickin' with him.
While in his band, Clinton Gregory, his fiddle player, scored a deal with Step One Records and hit the road 340 days a year with me for two and a half years. He did plenty of TV work for TNN at the time and he was sort of an underdog in the industry being as successful as he was and being on an independent label.
From then on, it was back to the clubs subbing and filling in for different folks with the odd week out of tow