AJ Kramer, a sophomore at Heber Springs High School and guitarist, attended the Steve Cropper Soul & Blues Guitar Program at the STAX Music Academy in Memphis
AJ Kramer, a sophomore at Heber Springs High School and guitarist, attended the Steve Cropper Soul & Blues Guitar Program at the STAX Music Academy in Memphis, TN., during June. AJ was accepted into the program after submitting his application and audition CD to STAX. This program was offered for a small group of experienced guitarists to provide authentic hands-on experience for soul and blues guitarists to improve their guitar technique and experience in- studio recording.
Memphis music veteran Charlton Johnson lead the workshop and was joined by other special instructors and guitarists. Legendary Booker T. & the M.G.'s, Steve Cropper, worked with AJ teaching guitar and telling funny stories about his life in the music industry. STAX royalty & Grammy award winner, David Porter, who saw AJ play during the workshop singled AJ out and told AJ and others that AJ had a great feel for the blues.
A part of this guitar program was spent in recording sessions at the world famous Royal Studios in Memphis. AJ chose to record BB King's, "The Thrill is Gone" and Albert King's, "Crosscut Saw". Steve Cropper, Joyce Cobb & The King Beez recorded the vocal and backing tracks, and AJ recorded the lead guitar portion of the song. Boo Mitchell, manager and engineer, at Royal Studios mastered AJ's CD. Boo was extremely complimentary of AJ's talent and the great progress AJ had made with his guitar skills since he had recorded there last summer.
AJ was invited to play guitar with other bands two other evenings while in Memphis. AJ played at Neil's Music Room with Jack Rowell & TripLTret, an amazing group of professional musicians. Also, AJ played guitar with Karen Dillard Brown & Midnite Train from Memphis at The King's Palace on Beale Street.
AJ takes guitar lessons from Charlie White at Red River Music Company in Heber Springs. AJ is in the Heber Springs Band and Jazz Band at Heber Springs High School and plays piano.