Â Jack Pearson is one of the most eclectic guitarist in the world. This is not only “my opinion”: this is the true. When I spoke with Derek Trucks, the young slide of the Allman brothers band told me “believe me: no one isÂ like Jack Pearson”. I believe him. He made “only” four records on his own, but he played fantastic guitars in over then 300 cd, from Jimmy Buffet to Dan Penn, from Allman Brothers to bobby Blue Bland. He is a guitars that go beyond any classification. That’s why I try to speak with Jack. This is my interview. Enjoy it!
WALTER GATTI: Hi Jack, could you speak about your new album, Do what’s right?
JACK PEARSON – My new represents some of the music that I’ve been doing live for the last few years. It has Dennis Wage on keys, Elizabeth Pearson on bass and Doug Belote on drums.Â WG – I ever think at your music like a cocktail of blues, soul, gospel, countryâ€¦
JP- It is a mixture of the things I’ve heard and learned, over time I guess they have blended together. I have certain licks and ideas to use when I get stuck but I really just try to play melodies as inspired.Â
WG – I feel a â€œspiritualâ€ sense behind the sound: do you agree with this idea?
JP – Yes, I am a Christian.Â
WG – Jack: When and how did you begin to play?
JP – I think I was around 12 years old when I started, I remember trying to play before that, but I couldn’t reach around the guitar because I was so little. My oldest brother Stanley taught me how to play.Â
WG – What kind of music did you listen to?
JP – I listened to the records we had around the house. When I heard something I liked, I would try to learn it as close as I could.Â
WG – You had work with Gregg and with the ABB: great experiences?
Yes. I’m still in contact with Gregg and the others. I toured with Gregg in Oct ’06 and I jammed with Warren and Gov’t Mule last month.Â
WG – Tell me something about your show at the GABBA festâ€¦.
I enjoyed seeing everyone in Macon again. We have a lot of good friends there. It was like a reunion.Â
WG – Iâ€™m curious: I want to know the names of the guitarists that you love â€¦
JP – Some of my favorites guitarists are Wes Montgomery, Duane Allman, Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass, Chuck Berry, Kenny Burrell, Dickey Betts, B.B., Freddie and Albert King, Albert Collins, Grant Green, there are too many to list really. And then the people who play other instruments and singers. A lot of it, is the notes choices and phrasing.Â
WG – Tell me what are the collaborations that gave you the best memoriesâ€¦
JP – There are so many. Good songs and musicians always lead to nice memories. I’ve been so blessed to be able to play with so many talented people through the years. I’m amazed at what God has allowed me to do.
WG – I know that you had some plans to play with the late Stevie Ray Vaughan…
JP – Stevie Ray: I got to play with, but we never had much time to visit and get to know each other.
WG – Let’s speak about slide guitar: wich are the slide-man that influenced your music?
JP – My brother Stanley gave me my first slide, so he’s my first influence. There are so many good players, Duane Allman is still a big influence, he had such a good touch, I really like Blind Willie Johnson. Anyone who plays with a good feeling.Â
WG – Are you still working on your style or everything is complete now?
JP – With music there’s always something new to learn. We all use the same notes, it’s what we do with them that makes a difference. Playing slide, it’s a never ending thing just to try to play in tune.Â
WG – Could you separate inspiration from virtuosism?
JP – Inspired playing is my favorite.Â
WG – Tell me the name of some young guitarists and slide-menâ€¦..
JP – My little brother Derek Trucks would be the first younger person I can think of.Â
WG – Plans for the future?
JP – I hope to play good music wherever the Lord takes me.Â WG – How do you spend your time…. when you are not playing?
JP – A lot of my life involves music, playing instruments, writing songs, recording, engineering, I love Bible study, taking care of family, trying to help others, I just want to follow Jesus.