There's a lot of Steve Hunter in your CD collection. If you read the four-point type, you'll see that he's played (with and without guitar buddy Dick Wagner) on three of Lou Reed's most revered RCA albums and over a half-dozen Alice Cooper albums, as well as albums by Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, Bette Midler, and David Lee Roth. He's even ghost-played on albums like Get Your Wings By Aerosmith and the original Cooper band's Billion Dollar Babies.
Hunter, who lives here in the Valley o' the Sun, recently completed a labor-of-love album called The Manhattan Blues Project that he qualifies is "not so much bluesy in the traditional sense. It's blues guitar playing, which means a lot of bending and a lot of vibrato. All the songs are not traditional blues. There's only one shuffle on the record, and that's the 'The Brooklyn Shuffle' that has Johnny Depp on it and Joe Perry."
That's right, that Johnny Depp plus Marty Freidman and Joe Satriani. Hunter wrote most of the songs, but there are two covers, Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" and "Solsbury Hill," the Peter Gabriel classic on which Hunter played originally with bassist Tony Levin who also guests on The Manhattan Blues Project. We spoke to Hunter about the new album, the blues, his work with Dick Wagner, his failing eyesight, and the worst thing he ever did to a guitar.
A Steve Hunter CD Release Party is scheduled for tonight at The Rhythm Room.