Artist DescriptionThe last time Steve Wariner recorded an instrumental album, he won a Grammy Award.
“Producer’s Medley,” drawn from his acclaimed CD My Tribute to Chet Atkins, was named the Country Instrumental Performance of 2009 by the Recording Academy. Steve now has four of the music world’s highest accolades.
Steve Wariner calls his new collection Guitar Laboratory. The title comes from a friend’s remark that he seemed like a “mad scientist” holed up in his studio while he was making it.
Textures range from folk to swing to rockabilly on this continually compelling collection. Whether it’s the rapid-fire “chicken pickin’” sound of “Tele Kinesis,” the mellow mood of “A Groove,” the jaunty and bright style of “Goody 2 Shoes” or the sweetly mournful “White Dove,” the performances on Guitar Laboratory are consistently ear tickling. A speedy, dazzling arrangement of the standard “Sugar Foot Rag” and the bouncy Chet Atkins evocation “Pals” illustrate the disc’s diversity.
Most guitarists have an identifiable “sound” or a particular groove they generally fall into. With this stunning collection, Steve Wariner emerges as a brilliantly diverse craftsman, far ahead of most of his peers.
“It was all just so much fun,” he insists. “I couldn’t help myself. I just couldn’t resist working on it. Sometimes, I was up there in the studio in the middle of the night. This was a project I just had to do.”
Collaborating with his fellow stars also led to two more Grammy Awards. Steve’s 1999 “Bob’s Breakdown” western-swing instrumental with Asleep at the Wheel earned him his second. His 2008 Grammy was for “Cluster Pluck,” an instrumental collaboration with Brad Paisley and other stellar guitarists.
In the new millennium, Steve Wariner and his wife Caryn formed their own label, SelecTone Records. Guitar Laboratory is his fifth collection for the company, following Steal Another Day (2003), Guitar Christmas (2003), This Real Life (2005) and My Tribute to Chet Atkins (2009). In a community full of such tremendous instrumental talents, Guitar Laboratory places Steve Wariner in the forefront.
“With all the different styles, I know it’s a show-offy album,” he says, chuckling. “I guess this is my real self-indulgent album. But with my own studio and my own label, I have that liberty. I think I’m in a real good place.”