Posted: October 29, 2014
Best known as the guitarist for the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (also known as the Swampers), Jimmy Johnson has played on numerous classic R&B and pop hits with his trusty Gretsch 6120 guitar during the mid-1960s through the ‘70s.
Just one of Johnson’s many credits is that funky riff heard on Aretha Franklin smash single “Respect.” The Alabama-born axeman also operated as a guitarist, producer, or engineer on projects with the likes of Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones and Paul Simon, among countless other luminaries.
While taking a break during sessions at his studio in Sheffield, Ala., Johnson spoke to Gretsch about his guitar, amps and influences.
GRETSCH GUITARS: To see those photos of you in the studio back in the day with your Gretsch 6120, we were anxious to find out as much as possible about your guitar. Obviously not only which recordings that guitar was played on, but also when did you first become aware of the Gretsch brand?
JIMMY JOHNSON: You know some of that is a little foggy. It’s been so long, so many years. But the way I knew about Gretsch was from Chet Atkins. In the South, Chet is like the almighty guitar player. And to my dad, who was also a guitar player, Chet was his favorite guitarist in the whole world. So you know, he ranks up there as mine too. And then when you find out what kind of guitars he played, which also included the Country Gentleman. So I started checking them out at the stores and with folks who had them.
Country music was big in my area. But one thing about it, I never liked country and my dad tried everything in the world to get me to play it in the early years. Country music bored me. It was just, I don’t know, too country. Too whatever it was.
My inspiration came when I heard Chuck Berry play. Chuck provided me with a little song called “Johnny B. Good.” When I heard that tune on our local AM radio, I absolutely had to learn how to do that.
Posted: August 15, 2014
It’s impossible not to get drawn in by the distinctive Gretsch Roots Collection resonator guitar, singer Bonnie Paine’s washboard playing and the lush work on the fiddle from Bridget Law.
Posted: June 13, 2014
The band ripped through “Son of An American,” a track featured on latest album Blowout.
Check out that clip and an interview below.
Posted: April 15, 2014
Having released the album Rev on Jan. 21 via Victory Records, Reverend Horton Heat recently debuted a music video for the track “Scenery Going By.”
The clip surely lives up to the song’s title, as live footage of the band is cut with scenes of their travels, whether it is the view from a car window or a line of fans waiting for autographs.
Behold all the scenery in the video below.
Posted: March 24, 2014
When CALICO the Band stopped by the Gretsch Lounge, they brought out their Gretsch Chet Atkins and Gretsch Rancher to perform a few songs from their self-titled 2013 EP.
Watch the all-female trio play “High Road” and “Fool’s Gold” in the clips below and visit their official Facebook page for more information.
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