It’s a good thing when you’ve got a guitar player to work with that you can trade licks and work out parts with and get inspiration from, and that makes you a better player. There have been some legendary combinations – Buddy Emmons and Lenny Breau, Buddy Charleton and Leon Rhodes, James Burton and Ralph Mooney, Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant, to name just a few. Those guys must have spent a lot time woodshedding together.
One of the first guitar players I ever worked with was a big Lloyd Green fan, and he played a bunch of licks that he got off some of the old Johnny Paycheck and Warner Mack records, so naturally I appropriated what I could.
If you’ve got a guy like that to work with you’re fortunate; too many steel guitar players are stuck with overbearing slugs who hog every intro and turnaround they can and who play on top of the steel all night and who seem to think that their screaming Telecaster is the focal point of the whole band, or maybe even the whole musical universe. They bend the shit out of their .09‘s trying to sound like a steel guitar (WTF? there’s already a steel guitar in the band) and jump in with one of their hot licks every time you let half a bar go by without playing something. They just cause a lot of frustration and retard your progress. But at least you might be able to learn something, if you don’t already know, like what not to do on a gig.