Q&A JANUARY 2013, Part I
2/13/2013 (updated 2/17/2013)

I note your comments (Q&A Nov '12) about playing on the same bill with Family on numerous occasions. Could I ask your views on the playing of Charlie Whitney, who seems to have fallen off the radar since his subsequent band Streetwalkers came to an end and whom I consider one of the most under rated guitarists of that era (60's/70's). Any thoughts? Colin Brades - Lewes, UK

I don't think I've seen Charlie since about 1970. I had to check Wikipedia to find out that a) he's still on the planet and b) he lives in Greece. He doesn't seem to be active right now. He was in a couple of bands after Streetwalker with Rob Townsend. I always thought he was a great band player, aware of the other musicians and playing off them, which was why Family worked so well.

Gorgeous version of "Time Goes" at New Brighton gig last year! I think you have told us Sandy did it in open D. Any chance of your giving us your tuning and chords (or approximate shapes) etc. I was at the back and couldn't make them all out. Thanks for the gig. See you in Salford later this year! Dav Devalle Anglesey

I play it in G, and the tuning is CGDGBE.

just read the 'spiral earth' online interview and have to ask - why do you think iPods destroy people's musical judgement? Max Cuthbert, Portland OR

I meant that the sound quality is fairly low, and if you get used to that, you're not hearing music as it was intended to be heard, lovingly and expensively crafted for your listening pleasure! I use mp3s to learn songs or send songs to band members, and it's a great convenience. My son listens to his iPod all the time, but he also has vinyl soirees with his friends, where they sit down and listen with focus to one album. As long as you don't think that's all there is... We grew up with 45rpms, hardly hi-fi, all scratchy and distorted, but I would argue that that was a superior kind of bad quality because it had some emotion to it.

As for listening to music as wallpaper, that will, of course, destroy your soul, but that's another subject.

Re: Questions and Answers - Albert Lee
I notice that you are touring this year with Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.  One of my favourite guitarists is Albert Lee who used to play with the Hotband.  Have you ever played with Albert over the years? I went to see Albert Lee playing in Worcester in December and he still sings well and plays blinding guitar (he played several Rodney Crowell songs in the set).  He has a full touring schedule for 2013 even though he is 70 this year.  Do you see yourself regularly touring when you are in your 70s? Best Regards Sam W.

70 used to seem a long way away… I hope I'm still being wheeled out at 90 to play a blinding 4 hour set! I've done a few things with Albert, but he's fairly intimidating - probably the best of that particular style of country picking. I'm so glad that people can get to see him live, it truly is a great experience.