Rockin' the Country with Joe Don Rooney: At the Crossroads, Part 2 — The Early, Influential Steps of My Musical Journey
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Growing up in the northeast corner of Oklahoma, in a small town called Picher, I was immersed in a vibrant local music scene from a young age. I got my first guitar, a Fender American Standard Telecaster, when I was 11 years old, and I just loved that guitar.
My dad, who was an accomplished working guitarist, regularly played the country music club circuit in that area, which borders Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas, and I was very fortunate, as a young teenager, to be able to go to some of his gigs and hang out with his many musical colleagues and guitar-player friends and watch them perform, which was very educational!
They were my informal teachers, and I learned a lot about not only country music but also blues and foundational rock and roll from various players who generously showed me some of their favorite licks and offered me invaluable playing tips.