I was born in San Antonio, TX and raised in Baltimore, MD and Houston, TX. Early musical influences include The Kingston Trio, Chubby Checker, Lightning Hopkins, Josh White, Gilbert and Sullivan, Buffalo Springfield, Amelia Rodriguez, 13th Floor Elevators, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Crosby Stills and Nash and all the AM radio that I could listen to.
Ezra’s instruments and equipment
I’ve always loved musical equipment. Going into a music store was like visiting Santa’s workshop. (One of my favorite music stores is Shreveport Music owned by Don Teach. “He is Buddy’s buddy, but he ain’t got any hair.”) Guitars, drums and stuff that made them sound good were and still are pretty much my fantasies. Early on, it was electric guitars and drum sets that captivated me. What I had was a nylon stringed acoustic guitar, but what I wanted was the rest of the music store! If I was to go into a music store right now, I’d probably be hanging out in the guitar department for a little bit. I’d be looking for a Gretch hollow body to play and dream about. Then after a while, I’d end up in the drum department. Mostly I’d just be looking and fantasizing. The idea of sitting down at a drum set in a store is totally intimidating. My cousin Scott Idlet gave me an absolutely lovely set of Ludwig drums. I have a lot of hand drums that I’ve collected over the years.
My main guitar right now is a Rick Turner Renaissance electric-acoustic guitar. It sounds great and is really dependable. The airlines haven’t been able to destroy it yet and I’ve been playing mine for a few of years. I also use a Renaissance baritone 12 string guitar on stage. I love the huge sound it gets. I have an electric banjo made by Tom Nechville. It’s called a Meteor. I love it. The designs on my six string guitar and my banjo were drawn by my daughter, Dana Idlet.
For effects, I use a Line-6 X3-Live multi-effects pedal. I can get just about any sound I can imagine and a whole bunch more.
I’m still using a Crate AC-125-D amplifier. I’ve been hooked on it since the first time I tried it. The amp is strong, clean and just the right size for playing the venues that we play. If you’re looking for an all around great amp for an acoustic guitar this one is it. The Crate comes with onboard digital effects like chorus, delay and reverb. It’s quite a package.
The most important thing to know about equipment is that it’s only the start of your sound. You could take three different players and give them the exact same equipment and they would all sound different. What really defines a guitar player are his hands and his approach to the instrument. The way he frets the chords he choses or the vibrato he gives the strings. Equipment is fun and should inspire you to approach music from a different perspective, but the real difference between guitar players is how they use what they’ve got.