I've used everything over the last 30 years. These days, I'm lovin' Dr. Z Maz 18 2-10 combos and PRS guitars. For FX, I'm happy with the Line6 M-9 unit. Has everything I need!
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
The first guitarist that really lit a fire was Joe Walsh. I was 11 when "James Gang Rides Again" came out. My guitar teacher, Bob Willcutt, taught me "Funk 49" and the rest is a life of guitar madness. I loved the sound of his guitar. His licks were obviously great but the tone moved me. Not to mention, the songs were pretty great.
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
I'm currently touring with Kix Brooks. The last 5 years have been mini tours with David Nail, Collin Raye, and Chris Cagle. From 1994-2006, I toured with Brooks and Dunn. From 1991-93, John Michael Montgomery. I met all these guys while drinking heavily. Seriously, I moved to Nashville, met people, and caught many lucky breaks.
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
Eddie Van Halen. What a game changer and inspiration. I actually love his rhythm playing and songwriting more than his great solos. He's a riff-meister. Our fantasy jam would be more a riff-fest than a shred-fest.
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
I guess the biggest audiences are the dozens of TV shows I did with Brooks & Dunn. Many Lenos and Lettermans, Awards shows, The Today Shows, etc. They reach millions! The most memorable was a military show at Pearl Harbor with Chris Cagle. Chris and I wrote a hit song called "Chicks Dig It." Hearing a song I co-wrote being sung back by thousands in Hawaii was pretty emotional and validating. It's hard to describe but it definitely got to me. The smallest gig, and as equally great as the largest, are the annual gigs at my kids elementary school. Just me on guitar with some backing tracks. Kids goin' nuts and wanting picks and autographs. That shit brings me back to earth!
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?
Back In Black by AC/DC. To this day, it's the best sounding rock record ever recorded. The songs, the riffs, the SOUND! My son is 11 and thinks Brian and Angus are the balls!