We almost bought the sparkly platinum piano shell for the 2014 tour…it had its moment in the spotlight but it just didn’t fit with the new set. So we said goodbye to it at the Ellen Degeneres show but there will be other sparkly new things. On that note we welcomed new members Spencer Cullum and Carolyn Dawn Johnson to the band. We got to speak with Sir Paul McCartney while rehearsing at the same place and then we met John the next day – Johnny Depp that is – In the hallways of Ellen’s Warner Brothers studio. All this before trying out new songs at our first full show of 2014: headlining Saturday night of Country Thunder.
It’s always an honor to play The Grand Ole Opry as we did in March but it has gotta be the most frantic gig to set up for! They are constantly shuffling big names on and off, so equipment must be minimal. We had only seconds to set my Mullen steel up, pictured here next to Kevin Post’s double neck Mullen. But I trusted our tech to that job and didnt even hear my steel until half a minute into the song. I needed those opening seconds to go find a suitable pad sound for Automatic on the house keyboard.