Nashville Players: Brent Mason (with Vince Gill)

Tags: Brent Mason, Don't Try This at Home, Nashville, Nashville Players, valley arts,

Posted on by gstv

Nashville Players: Brent Mason (with Vince Gill)

The acclaimed session guitarist Brent Mason is one of the most recorded six-stringers of all time. Proof of his ubiquity: Mason’s been named Guitarist of the Year by the Academy of Country Music a staggering 12 times, he’s a two-time winner of the CMA Musician of the Year award, and—really raising the bar on the heights a studio musician can reach—he earned his own signature model guitar. Gibson debuted its Valley Arts signature Brent Mason guitar in 2003. The best-selling guitar is a replica of Mason’s Fender Telecaster, which he wired himself.

The Ohio native taught himself to play guitar by ear at the age of five, and set his sights on Nashville after graduating high school. None other than Chet Atkins discovered Mason on-stage and invited him to contribute to his Grammy-winning 1985 album, Stay Tuned. After that, doors opened all over town for Mason. Over the years, he’s logged studio time with George Strait, Alan Jackson, Shania Twain, Brad Paisley and Neil Diamond, among others. In 2009, his work with Paisley yielded a Grammy for Best Country Instrumental Track (for “Cluster Pluck” on Paisley’s Play).

For such a decorated Music City guitarist, Mason remains surprisingly under the radar. That’s a conscious choice on his part. In 1997, he released his first instrumental solo album, Hot Wire, on Mercury Records. But he didn’t like the spotlight, or the rigors of touring, nearly as much as he liked contributing to other people’s records. He left the label and went right back to work in Nashville. Check out Brent’s AMAZING picking on his song “Don’t Try This at Home” (Joined by the great Vince Gill) on the video above