However, he never achieved the commercial success that his talent arguably deserved. His skills were most appreciated by his peers such as Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, and his childhood idol Les Paul. Danny Gatton made his name as a performer in the Washington, D.C. area during the 1980s, both as a solo performer and with his Redneck Jazz Explosion, in which he would trade licks with virtuoso pedal steel player Buddy Emmons over a tight bass-drums rhythm which drew from blues, country, bebop and rockabilly influences. He also backed Robert Gordon and Roger Miller. He usually played a 1953 Fender Telecaster (Fender now manufactures a replica of his heavily customized instrument), with Joe Barden pickups and Fender Super 250L's, or Nickel Plated Steel (.010 to .046 with a .015 for the G) strings.
As a slide Gatton would use a beer bottle or mug. His technique was unorthodox, but allowed him to use all ten fingers for both picking and fretting. He always played with a jazz style teardrop pick, and was capable of intricate passages combining bluegrass, bebop, and garage sounds, executed with amazing clarity and at dizzying speeds. The definitive biography is Unfinished Business: The Life and Times of Danny Gatton by Ralph Heibutzki. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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