“I don’t care how special or what year something is – if it’s not going to stay in tune, it’s useless… I need things dialed in”: Danny Rader on navigating Kenny Chesney’s triple-guitar lineup and why the Fractal Axe-Fx is his go-to for huge country shows

Danny Rader and Kenny Chesney perform live
(Image credit: Allister Ann)

A career in music was a given for Danny Rader from the moment he was old enough to hold an instrument. He grew up in Panama City, Florida, where his grandparents built the beachside Ocean Opry in 1978. For 28 years, the family – three generations, including Danny – performed there. 

By the time he and his wife moved to Nashville in 2004, he was skilled on numerous instruments. His first major gig was as guitarist in country star Billy Dean’s band. He also spent 18 months polishing his engineering chops. Producer John Rich began calling Rader in for regular sessions, and he steadily added major names to his recording and touring resume. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Alison Richter is a seasoned journalist who interviews musicians, producers, engineers, and other industry professionals, and covers mental health issues for GuitarWorld.com. Writing credits include a wide range of publications, including GuitarWorld.com, MusicRadar.com, Bass Player, TNAG Connoisseur, Reverb, Music Industry News, Acoustic, Drummer, Guitar.com, Gearphoria, She Shreds, Guitar Girl, and Collectible Guitar.