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Mario's Interview of the Month with Ric Latina
Godin LG SP90
We met Ric Latina at this year’s summer Namm show in Nashville. Ric is a very talented musician working with John Berry, Suzy Bogguss and Billy Dean among others. When he’s not touring or doing sessions, he’s writing and playing with his own band The Bomb Squad. As we walked through the display of Godin guitars an LG SP90 caught his eye. Without hesitating- and- still continuing his sentence he picked it up, sat down and plugged it in. He did so, in such a comfortable manner it almost seemed as if it was a guitar he’s owned for years. After he played a few licks he looked up and smiled. The LG has that affect on lots of people. It’s a little subdued, but don’t let that fool you as its strengths lie in its simplicity.

I know you tour with Suzy Bogguss, John Berry, Billy Dean. What else are you up to these days?
When I’m not touring, I’m usually writing and recording with an R&B/blues group we have together. Hopefully we’ll have something available soon. I also have some projects that I’m producing.

I know that you do sessions. However when you get to play with your band what direction do you take musically?
The Band (The Bomb Squad) is such a versatile band, we try to keep it in an R&B side of the blues, some songs just come out in a Jazzy/Blues rock kind of thing. I always try to keep the guitar on the blues edge.

Who are some of your heroes and why?
As far as heroes go, I would have to say, and I mean to just state a few, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, BB King, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Paige, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Bryant. That’s just to name some of my very favourites. I think a lot of players have a lot to say, you just have to listen.

Who are you listening to today?
I listen to a lot of various blues stuff, I still listen to Robben Ford, I like the way he takes a progressive approach to the blues. I think the blues is a big umbrella and should explore all the possibilities.

What and how do you practice? And do you make time for it everyday?
What I call practicing is picking up the guitar and seeing what it says to me, what I mean is, I don’t have anything in mind when I pick it up, I might do some Jazz things, some Blues riffs, Country things, or I might even stumble around something new and start writing a whole new song. I do make time for it everyday, even when I’m touring I get to sound check early so I can noodle around for a while. Sometimes it drives the crew crazy, but they don’t say anything. On the CD you sent me of your band Bomb Squad you take really nice solos and you also seem like you’re in control and you know where you’re going next. But at the same time the solos seem spontaneous and fresh. A very nice blend.

How do you approach solos? Do you think them out or just go for it?
That is an interesting question. When I do a solo, I just play and see what comes out; sometimes I surprise myself and wonder where THAT came from. Hopefully it’s something cool!

What did you like about the LG?
Ah, the LG, I like the sensitivity of the guitar, she gets soft and bluesy and screams when you need it to. I think the P90’s work great on that guitar, a great combination with the Neck and body. It’s also really comfortable to wear.

What kind of amp and effects are you using with the Godin LG? When I’m touring, I use an old Mesa Boogie mark II head, and two Marshall 1922 cabinets. I also use Fender Reissue Bassmans. My effects set up varies, I always use a pedal board set-up, for distortion I use a tube screamer, a fulldrive II, a vintage Rat, and an Expandora. I use a Boss analog delay pedal, a Diaz tremadillo tremolo pedal, a Carl Martin Chorus, and a Maxon compressor, and a Boss tuner.

What are you currently doing musically? The touring season is slowing down for me now, I’ll be doing some sessions, I’ll be writing and recording with the Bomb Squad, and trying to finish up a CD project I’m producing. I’ll also be doing a Christmas tour with John Berry starting in November.

What advise would you give to someone starting out wanting to do what you do? Just follow your heart, and make sure you know your capabilities, practice hard, and get to know as many people you can. And play from inside.

Anything else you want to add?
No, I think I have rambled enough. Thanks, Mario and Godin for your support.

*Mario Biferali is a Product Specialist at Godin Guitars.




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