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                                                                   SBM's Interview with Drew Lombar of "Grinderswitch"

                                  Drew Lombar

(Q-SBM) Please allow me to introduce you to Drew Lombar. Drew, you are a household name to us "Ole" Southern Rockers. If you would , please give a history for those young bucks just getting into Southern Rock and Blues.

(Ans-Drew) I'm 51 and have been playing since 1961 ,Had my first band in 1962,made my first record in 1964 and then started touring. At first it was regional (Fla,Ga S.C) but when I turned 18 I hit the national circuit.

(Q-SBM)Can you tell us How Grinderswitch came about?

(Ans-Drew) After nothing was really happening in Jax I moved to Macon,Ga in 1972,there I hooked up with Joe Dan Petty who was working for the Allman Bros at the time and was interested in putting a band together.So we moved out to a farm outside of Macon and put together Grinderswitch. We did 3 albums for Capricorn and 2 for Atlantic. We also toured heavily with The ABB,Marshal Tucker and Charlie Daniels. This lasted 10 years.

(Q-SBM) Can you tell us what happened next in your career?

(Ans-Drew) I moved back to Jax and started engineering and producing in a local studio (my other passion) but got burned out on it so I put together Dr Hector and The Groove Injectors and have been recording (5cds) doing the Blues circuit for the last 15 years.

(Q-SBM) The last time I saw you was in 1998 at "Bike Week" in Daytona Fla. at The world famous "Boot-Hill Saloon". Do you guys play there often?

(Ans-Drew) We were doing The Boot hill a lot for about 3 years then it just dried up. They went to a Classic Rock format (covers bands).

(Q-SBM) My brother sent me, many years ago, a VHS tape of Charlie Daniels "Volunteer Jam". I was watching it and then Charlie introduced a special guest and it was none other than...Drew Lombar. You played slide and sent goose-bumps down my spine. How did you become such a great slide guitar player?

(Ans-Drew) I started playing Slide on an old SG that I got from either you or your cousin Butch,I really love the slide. Its a magical sound that heals. I play as much slide as I can and always try to write around it.

(Q-SBM) How did it feel being up there on stage with some of Southern Rock's greatest players?

(Ans-Drew) I've always sat in on peoples shows and its a lot of fun because you get to play something different from what you normally do and ALWAYS with great players.

(Q-SBM) Congrats on landing the Bonnie Bramlett tour and please tell us how the reformation of Grinderswitch came about.

(Ans-Drew) I have been trying to put Grinderswitch together for the past 4 or 5 years but somebody always had something going on. After Joe Dan was killed year before last I knew I had to do it even if it was just me with some new players. So early this year I put out the word I was reforming and here we are. The thing with Bonnie is great, she is a great singer ,writer and all around cool lady to be around. Its going to be a good show.

(Q-SBM) Now that Grinderswitch is together again, what will become of Dr. Hector?

(Ans-Drew) I have a few Dr H dates left to do this year but by next year I believe the good Doctor will be retired.

(Q-SBM) Drew, you have influenced a lot of guitar players over the years. What advice would you give to the young men and women just getting started?

(Ans-Drew) If your going to make music your life learn business skills so you can have something when its over. Nothing lasts forever and in the music business that saying is especially true. I've been lucky to be able to make a living only because I treat it like a business. (A fun one)!

(Q-SBM) How can people find out more information about you and the band?

(Ans-Drew) Just go to www.grinderswitch.com.

(Q-SBM) Drew, what does the future hold for you?

(Ans-Drew) As far as the future goes ,Tomorrow I'll get up and pray that I get through another day without any major problems and prepare to go out and play music.

(Q-SBM) When we were "Young Bucks" you traded me a Gibson ES 135 for that SG. Do you still have it? That must have been in 1969.

(Ans-Drew) Someone stole that guitar in Miami 12 years ago. I was very sad about that cause I learned to play slide on it.

Thanks, Dru Lombar

Interview by John Lanham for Southbound Beat Magazine

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