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During country superstar Kenny Chesney's current Brothers Of The Sun tour (a co-headline extravaganza with fellow chart-topper Tim McGraw), concertgoers are treated to hit after hit after hit. But they're getting something else, too – a whole lot of rock guitar crunch, courtesy of ace axeman Kenny Greenberg, who joined Chesney's band in May.
"Putting rock 'n' roll guitar on country records has become sort of a trademark of mine," says Greenberg, a Cleveland native, raised on the music of Jimi Hendrix and the Allman Brothers Band, who moved to Nasvhille at the age of 21. "My first few years in town, I was playing on some records and doing some producing. But then one day a producer named Tony Brown, who was the head of MCA, told me, ‘You know, you should play rock guitar on some of our country records.' He got me on some stuff, and things exploded from there."
Since then, Greenberg, who was recently named Guitarist Of The Year by the Academy Of Country Music, has racked up hundreds of sessions and established himself as one of Nashville's first-call players. The list of names on Greenberg's CV is fairly mind-boggling, but we cherry-picked an even 10 to ask him about.
"The acclaim and everything that comes with doing what I do is fantastic," says Greenberg. "But the best things are the relationships and the learning experiences. If you're lucky enough to sit in the studio with great artists, something's bound to rub off on you. You just have to keep your eyes and ears open."