As a guitar builder and all around music guy you see the artist hype, you read it and hell you even understand it…but unfortunately you get to witness it too. Where are the good guys in music? Where are the guys that are real…you know, REAL?
When you are building guitars you inevitably get to a point where you start to think about endorsements. First you get excited about somebody actually wanting to play your guitar, then the ego’s hit and, well, you get the drift right?! The last guy you want to deal with is the asshole who expects you to worship him and bow to his every command. I can’t deal with those guys.
Then you get a call from Ira Dean. And it’s awful hard to tell that you aren’t being duped by some guy CLAIMING to be Ira Dean because this guy is WAY TOO NICE! So you have a good call, vow to give his ideas some thoughts and call him back. Then you go look him up and see a resume that looks like this:
He was the founding member and chief songwriter of Trick Pony. Has recorded with Blake Shelton, Jamey Johnson, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Montgomery Gentry, Ronnie Milsap, Hank Williams Jr, Kid Rock, Stevie Wonder. He plays 12 instruments, has been a Grammy nominee, won ACM and AMA awards, played headlining tours all over the US and Europe and is a sought after producer.
He arranged the horns on Hank Williams Jr’s “The Almeria Club Recordings” album. He has written hit songs including Montgomery Gentry’s “One In Every Crowd,” Gary Allan’s “Feeling Like That” and the title cut of Trace Adkins’ “Proud To Be Here” album. Rascal Flatts, Jake Owen, and Chris Young have recorded his songs. Johnny Cash once dragged him away from a damn good sandwich to sing background vocals with the Carter Family. And right now as we write this he is producing and writing with Edwin McCain.
Ira Dean is the real deal. But more than that, he is REAL. From sharing a steak and watching him “rock a lettuce wedge” to eating burgers at 5 guys and laughing non-stop at NASCAR drivers. You get the sense that through everything he has found a way to be not just a personality, but the man that every father would be proud of, that every neighbor would want to be friends with, and every guitar company would want carrying their flag.
We are so proud here at Landon Guitars to have Ira Dean as an endorsed artist and are looking forward to seeing what he does next, and being a small part of it, (as long as it doesn’t include jail time). Whatever it is, there will be laughter, probably a few tears, an apology or two, and a story worth writing one day. Ira, welcome to the Landon Family.