Steve Cropper: “I say to my guitars, ‘If you don’t perform tonight, you’re going to be firewood in the morning.’ And it always works!”

Steve Cropper
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

The amount of R&B/soul classics Steve Cropper has played on is second to none – (Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay, Soul Man, Green Onions, In the Midnight Hour and Knock on Wood, among countless others (oh, and by the way, Steve also co-wrote all those tunes, save for Soul Man). 

And at the age of 79, he’s still going strong and playing great – as evidenced by his latest solo album, Fire It Up. The album sees Cropper letting singer Roger C. Reale handle all the vocal duties, so that one of the top session guitarists of all-time can focus solely on his main thing – the six-string – as evidenced on such standouts as the title track and Bush Hog.

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Greg Prato

Greg is a contributing writer at Guitar World. He has written for other outlets over the years, and has been lucky to interview some of his favorite all-time guitarists and bassists: Tony Iommi, Ace Frehley, Adrian Belew, Andy Summers, East Bay Ray, Billy Corgan, Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, Les Claypool, and Mike Watt, among others (and even took lessons from John Petrucci back in the summer of ’91!). He is the author of such books as Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, Shredders: The Oral History of Speed Guitar (And More) and Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story.