Steve Wariner Interview

(Originally aired on February 17, 2011)

During his 30+ years as a Nashville picker and songwriter, Wariner has scored ten Number One country hits as an artist, released 18 solo albums (three of which have gone Gold), and earned four Grammy Awards, the latest for a track on his self-produced homage to his hero, My Tribute to Chet Atkins. Wariner is uniquely qualified to pay tribute to Mr. Guitar. Atkins signed Wariner to his first record contract with RCA in 1977 and Wariner even played bass in Atkins' touring band. "Every night I performed with Chet," he says, "I'd look out at the audience knowing I had the best seat in the house. Most of the shows I played were symphony dates, so I'd have a cello at my back. With Chet only a few feet away and [Atkins' ace second guitarist] Paul Yandell just on the other side of him, I was completely enveloped in the music." Wariner is one of only five players to receive Atkins' "Certified Guitar Player" designation (the other C.G.P. recipients are John Knowles, Tommy Emmanuel and the late Jerry Reed and Paul Yandell).

Wariner's newest album, Guitar Laboratory, is an eclectic collection of instrumentals that Wariner tracked and mixed in his world-class studio, located in the rolling countryside just outside Music City. In our exclusive interview, Wariner describes recording Guitar Laboratory and offers stories about working with Atkins, Yandell and Mark Knopfler. During the interview, we'll hear tracks from Guitar Laboratory, which features Wariner playing a variety of acoustic and electric guitars, bass and even lap steel.