Everything you've ever wanted to know about Chandler Center for the Arts

Weekend Preview Part 1: AZ Central’s Q&A With Steve Wariner

This week’s Weekend Preview comes in 2 parts because we have two amazing performers this weekend, Steve Wariner and Firefly. Recently Steve Wariner sat down for some good ol’ fashioned Q&A with Randy Cordova at AZ Central. The article is as follows:

After getting his start in Dottie West’s road band as a teenager, Steve Wariner launched a celebrated recording career that eventually put more than 60 singles on the Billboard country charts, including 10 that went to No. 1. His hits range from such graceful pop-country gems as “The Weekend” and “All Roads Lead to You” to the tearjerker “Holes in the Floor of Heaven,” the Country Music Association Song of the Year in 1998.

For possessing one of the most recognizable voices on country radio in the ’80s and ’90s, Wariner already earned his place in the history books. But the Indiana native has racked up four Grammys for his guitar work – his latest came last year for his all-instrumental “My Tribute to Chet Atkins,” dedicated to his mentor. And as a songwriter, he has written hits for Keith Urban, Clint Black and Garth Brooks.

With a speaking voice just as smooth as his singing, Wariner, 56, called to chat about his diverse career and his new album, “Guitar Laboratory.”

Question: Your career is so varied. How do you tie that all into a show?

Answer: It’s going to be kind of a little mixture. There are highlights with some of the hits, a segment dedicated to Chet Atkins and I do some songs that I’ve written for other artists. It’s kind of a three-pronged approach to my career: The singer, the guitar player and the songwriter. And I tell a lot of stories that seem to really go over well, so it’s like an inside glimpse at my life and career.

Q: What’s it like having your own record label?

A: I really like the freedom. After all those years of having to make records and having to fit in the box, I like that I’m just going to cut what I really think is cool. I’ve never had this kind of freedom.

Q: With “Guitar Laboratory” being all instrumental, there’s not much for radio to play.

A: (Laughing) Being the captain of my own ship, I could be as self-indulgent as I wanted to be, I guess. The other side is I may not be on radio, but I may not have been, anyway. You pass the baton on to some of the younger guys, and they have the headaches of dealing with the labels and the radio stations. I was lucky, and I had great run, so if this only sells 20 copies, so be it.

Q: That’s very brave to say that your time as a hitmaker may be over.

A: That’s a difficult thing. It’s like an athlete, and you have a window. But it’s really hard with the ego. I had a lot of hits and country radio was really great to me. I’m very grateful. But you have to know that there was probably some 50-something-year-old guy I bumped off when I came along, so it’s natural. Times change.

Q: But in artistic terms, you are doing some of your finest work.

A: When you get to a certain point, you have to shift gears to reinvent yourself. I had already kind of reinvented myself (as a songwriter). If you reinvent yourself, you can keep going. I can be a guitar guy or a songwriter. This year, I’m going to do some symphonies, and that’s another way of reinventing myself.

Q: Do you have any hits where you think, “Ugh, not that one again?”

A: Some are more challenging to do live. (Laughing) I think, “Why did I sing all those high notes on the record?” I painted myself into a corner with some of those. My theory always was, do not cut a song unless you absolutely love it. I’ve heard artists say, “I’ve done this one 4,000 times and I’m sick of it.” Well, the audience isn’t sick of it. You may be singing it every night, but maybe they haven’t heard it for eight months.

Q: How many guitars do you have?

A: Around 100 or so. The number is somewhere up there. I’m sure my wife knows, because she has the insurance paperwork.

Q: When you bring a home a new one, does she say that’s too much?

A: (Laughing) I really don’t think I’ve heard that phrase before. It’s not so much that, but just a look that I get. Like, “Really, Steve?”

Article link: http://www.azcentral.com/thingstodo/music/articles/2011/03/22/20110322steve-wariner-chandler-arts-center.html

Reach the reporter at: randy.cordova@arizonarepublic.com or at 602-444-8849

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s