THAT NASHVILLE-BASED PRAISE AND WORSHIP guitarist Sean Spicer likes to keep busy doing many different things is somewhat of an understatement. In 2011, he released a Gospel Music Association Covenant Award-winning instrumental album, Olive Tree (available at cityofpeace.com). Last year, he scored a bit part as a roadhouse musician in the soon-to-be-released film The Identical (see photo—recognize “Mickey” from Seinfeld in the band?). Currently, he performs with singer/songwriter Tom Kurlander & Pale Blue Sound, writes and plays with Nashville folk-rocker Judy Paster, and gives guitar lessons on Skype (seanspicermusic.com).
“When I was young, a friend introduced me to Rush’s Moving Pictures album, and I became consumed by Alex Lifeson and his style,” says Spicer, who ultimately endeavored to become a stylistic multitasker, equally adroit at fusion, prog, jazz, pop, folk, Latin, and gospel. “Today, I can’t even pick up a guitar without playing a Rush riff. I was also influenced by David Gilmour, Andy Summers, Larry Carlton, and Phil Keaggy.”
For his Olive Tree CD, Spicer’s tone tools included a Hughes & Kettner Statesman 6L6 combo (“It sounds like a hybrid between a Marshall and a Fender”), a DigiTech RP-1, Taylor 6- and 12-string acoustics, and a bevy of Gibsons (ES-137, ES-345, Les Paul, SG Standard, EDS-1275). For current live and studio work, Spicer is transitioning to a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 36 and a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II system.
“I’ve fallen in love with the Axe-Fx II,” he admits. “The tonal power is amazing—so many different amps and effects, and everything is updatable. I can program all of my signal chains just the way I want them, and be able to recall those sounds at any time. I don’t have to worry ever again about recreating my studio tones for live performance.”