By Greg Prato
Vintage blues rock sounds abound on the debut release by Jive Mother Mary, ‘All Fall Down.’ Hailing from Alamance County, North Carolina, the group’s members - Mason Keck (guitar and lead vocals), Nathan Coe (bass and vocals), Seth “Fluff” Aldridge (drums) - prove once and for all that you don’t have to be an old man to be touched by the blues, as all three are still high school students back home. Mr. Keck recently discussed his love of the six string with Guitarsite. Read on!
How and when did you start playing guitar?
I started playing guitar around age ten. My dad had been in music for a while, and he started a new band around my tenth birthday. I'd always be in the practice room unplugged, chugging along with the songs they were playing, and eventually, I picked up a few things.
Who were your early influences?
My early influences were a few local guys, and my dad. Slowly, I branched out past my hometown and got into the classics - Hendrix, Page, BB King, Joe Perry. My main influence, however, has always been Audley Freed of Cry Of Love, and The Black Crowes.
How did Jive Mother Mary’s debut come together?
The new release is a collection of songs I wrote over a few months. It by far exceeded my expectations when I first heard it, and I still pick up on tiny nuances that are floating around in the background that bring a smile to my ears. My favorite song on the new CD would be “All Fall Down,” or “Another New Never” - both because they have so many layers that weave in and out, that make for a fun listen.
Please describe your guitar set-up.
My normal set up is a '59 Gibson Les Paul Reissue, plugged into either a Marshall JTM45 or a Bogner Shiva, usually through a Marshall 4x12 cab. My other normal guitars include a Les Paul Classic, a '57 Les Paul Black Beauty, and a '62 reissue Strat. I have a few old amps, like my '67 Fender Super Reverb and my '67 Bassman, but these are a little noisy and uncooperative. I usually run a Vox Wah, either a BB Preamp overdrive or a Fulltone Mosfet II, with an MXR Phase and an Expandora Fuzz. I tune with a Boss Foot Pedal tuner.
Do you follow a practice routine?
With school constantly going, it gets hard to practice, but I try to stay on a regular practice schedule, and I never go a day without picking up a guitar. The band practices two to three times a week, and I still try to take a lesson when I can.
What do you think of modern day rock guitar compared to the 60's to 80's era, and who are some of your favorite guitarists?
Personally, I believe modern rock is slowly disintegrating. The day of the guitar hero is long gone, unless you’re referring to a video game. However, there are a few shining lights in today's industry, but most of them are moderately underground, such as the guys in Black Stone Cherry, Medusa Stone, and Year Long Disaster. I also love John Mayer's music and find him to be an incredibly talented player. Some of my favorite guitarists include Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Perry, Audley Freed, Justin Fox of Medusa Stone, and a few other underground guys. I love Warren Haynes’ tone, and there are a select few other players who have tone to die for.
What advice would you give to other guitarists?
Just play, and don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do. Play what feels right, because when it comes to the bottom line, music is for enjoyment, and if you don’t enjoy playing what you’re playing, then there's no reason to do it. Oh, and if you play, put your soul into it. Let them know how you feel.
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