NMG Musicians Spotlight - Steve Hinson
©2008 By Bronson Herrmuth
One of the most highly respected and well thought of musicians in the Nashville music community, Steve Hinson can flat out playyy. Steel Guitar, lap guitar, slide guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, dobro, it doesn't matter, Steve can make it "sing" for you. In addition to his musical talent he can bring a smile to a recording session or a stage as good as anyone I have ever worked with. Over the years Steve has performed or recorded with scores of artists and songwriters, a list which includes George Jones, Ray Price, John Conlee, Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney, Josh Turner, Trace Adkins, Keith Anderson, Vern Gosdin, Alan Jackson, Ricky Van Shelton, Tracey Lawrence, and for the last 13 years, Randy Travis. The following is taken from a 30 minute studio interview done Jan. 21, 2008. Meet Steve Hinson.
Listen to this entire 30 minute interview: Part One (6.6 MB) mp3 Part Two (5.9 MB) mp3 Part Three (5.3 MB) mp3 Part Four (7.2 MB) mp3
Bronson: Where are you from and what year did you come to Nashville?
Steve Hinson: Macon, GA and I came in 1977. John Hart called me and said he had me a gig with Skeeter Davis at the Grand Ol' Opry, but by the time I got up here the gig had gone away. My daddy had gave me 50 bucks but by then I didn't have enough money left to go back home.(laughing)
Bronson: What age did you know you would make music your life and was there someone in your family that influenced you to play music?
Steve Hinson: I was 12 and my dad played guitar and I got a cousin in Jacksonville, FL that was a really good guitar player. My daddy showed me some stuff and then my mother signed me up for guitar lessons.
Bronson: What was your first paid gig?
Steve Hinson: A junior high school in south Georgia when I was 14, I made $15.
Bronson: Do you have a preference for playing live or in the studio?
Steve Hinson: I like both of them and I'm lucky enough to get to do both of them. I think it's a good balance because everybody pretty much starts off playing live and then some people kinda gravitate towards the studio thing. I think I'd miss it terribly if I didn't do some of it.
Bronson: You play a lot of instruments, if you could only play one which would it be?
Steve Hinson: Probably the steel guitar, I love it, I really do.
Bronson: How did you get started playing the steel guitar?
Steve Hinson: My Aunt used to take me to the coloseum in Macon to see Conway Twitty, Jerry Lee Lewis and Mel Tillis and they all had steel guitar players. Man when I saw that I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I'm not kidding, I thought that's the coolest thing I've ever seen anybody do. If I could ever get my hands on one those things, I know that's what I want to do.
Bronson: What was your first star gig?
Steve Hinson: It was 1980 with John Conlee who had the hit "Rose Colored Glasses".
Bronson: How did you meet Randy Travis?
Steve Hinson: Around the time I worked with Ray Price, I was working at the Nashville Palace. Randy got signed with Warner Bros. and he was just beginning to get some records out and was using the house band. After he left Alan Jackson worked there some and so did Ricky Van Shelton and we would back those guys too. All those guys are so nice, fun to work with. Randy has been so good to me. He's an old buddy of mine and he treats me square and I'm glad to be there.
Bronson: What's some of the most recent things you've done?
Steve Hinson: I've been lucky enough to get to record with Josh Turner. He's really doing well and that's really helped me. His last single went #2 called "Firecracker".
Bronson: You've played on many sessions I've produced and when you're on a session it always goes to another level Steve.
Steve Hinson: I love songs and I love songwriters. I just like to hang around with songwriters. They are different from anybody on the face of the earth and to get to hang around with some of the ones I've got to hang around with since I've been here, it's a blessing.
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