One of the folks that I would say assumed the role of music mentor in the early stages of the project is Keith Haddad (photo). Keith put in his time playing with a Canadian Country band Double Eagle Band. They had the opportunity of working with Conway Twitty, George Strait, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and many other country super stars. It is always fun to sit around and listen to this guy talk about the good old days. He came with me on my recent trip to Nashville. We actually played this tune at one of our shows down there. Keith and I were sitting in his car one rainy fall night. The rehearsal space was still locked, and Keith as usual was the first to arrive. As we waited for the band (and key) to arrive he started putting a bunch of CDs in his cars player and we looked at the deep rooted traditions of country music. I will admit, I knew a lot of the material he was playing, and they were likely already on my ipod - but I still learned a lot. However, when he played Ramblin Fever it hit me in a whole new way. I've been playing that tune almost every night since then. I can relate to this wanderlust Hag sings about - I love to tour solo as I get in the van and just drive. No radio - its about the road and the time to think. Keith has since moved to Alberta, so I only get to play shows a few times a year with him - but he is still a huge influence on me.
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