I practice really hard, every day. I started that about 13 or 14 years ago; it's a discipline now. But the writing is a whole other thing. It'll come from handling a guitar, mostly; thinking up little guitar riffs. I was born and raised a rock 'n' roll guy, and that's the rock 'n' roll ethic, at least through my experience.
All the really great records or people who made them somehow came from Memphis or Louisiana or somewhere along the Mississippi River...And singers like Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters gave me the feeling that they were right there, standing by the river.
I think at times the very strong feelings I have about my country coincide with my musical ability, and I'm able to actually turn it into music, a song or even hopefully a memorable song, sometimes. You may find it surprising, but I'm a very intense, proud American. I love being an American.
Usually I just let my songs do the talking. As a matter of fact I have long had an aversion to celebrities endorsing politics, and in some cases even other causes. I wonder about their motives. And I have to admit when celebrities get involved in political campaigns I tend to get a little bit sarcastic about it.
In those days, I didn't know how guys like Clapton and Beck were getting that searing blues lead sound, so I developed my style to be rhythmic and chord-based, with simple lead lines that you could almost hum.