Kix Brooks is one of America’s underrated players. Take a listen to his beautiful solo on “Red Dirt Road” (2:25 to 2:38 of the video below). He plays the main lick to the song, along with an juicy extra. We get another nice solo from 3:38 to the coda:
Soloing is more than a guitar string, or musical notation on a page. It indicates a person that’s connected with BEAUTY. A person that sees the guitar as a conduit to the celestial. A person that’s rejected the idea of art as commerce…the degeneracy of viewing music as coin collection.
It doesn’t matter how many notes you play. What’s more important is their melodic quality: the way they elevate the SPIRIT. The young man, quick to the trigger, will frequently applaud the excessive noodler: i.e. the Beavis and Butthead trope. But the more thoughtful player has ascended. He’s ready to paint his name in the sky…to defy the limitations of man.
As Richard Wagner pointed out, music should communicate a universal life essence. The playing of Kix Brooks falls into this category, and we can rightfully view him as a GREAT MAN.
Good voices are a dime a dozen. You can go to a smoky Karaoke bar and listen a good singer, hamming it up to “You Lost That Loving Feeling.” You’ll hear somebody that is in tune, knows the lyrics to a song, and has a pleasing tone.
But let’s be clear—there is a difference between a good singer and a GREAT singer.
A good singer sounds ok in a smoky bar. But a GREAT singer sounds wonderful on a recording. The difference is huge. In the live setting, a voice is amplified and blends into the accompanying instruments. But on a recording, the voice is chiseled down to its fundamental parts—it becomes the resin of the hashish. It’s the steak, alone on a plate without the accompanying vegetables and potatoes.
And it must be different. That’s the key word…DIFFERENT.
Take Ronnie Dunn, for example.
What’s notable about his voice is how unique it is. Nobody sounds quite like him. Sure, he’s hitting all the correct notes and annunciating all the words. But there is something more—his voice in UNIQUE.
America has not given full credit to Ronnie Dunn, but that’s another story (see the lamestream media’s addiction to everything anti-heritage). But musicians know better. When that great voice is singing, we know we are listening to God-given talent. There is only one Ronnie Dunn.
Let’s take a listen to one to my favorite tracks…”A Man This Lonely”: