I use a combination of tracks.... back ground steel and solo steel and by using envelopes in my DAW I can get pretty much what I need.
The same thing is happening on the piano. Backing piano plays throughout, but the solo piano pops in to throw the licks in the beginning and the solo piano is playing the second verse.... backing is totally out in the second verse.
I sometimes need to render a RT several times to get exactly what I'm looking for... if there are any secrets to mixing... one of them is the use of "hard" enveloping. Pull the instrument out except where it is needed.
In the case of this song... the hardest part of the mix engineering was to decide which instrument to allow to play and when,,,, the enveloping at the beginning and end is surgical.
The picture below is not this song but is typical of my mixes. notice the surgical edits and the hard enveloping used.
If any one has questions please ask. The song represented in this picture is on my sound click website ( the Best Christmas ) listen to the piano to hear what the result of this editing is... the piano fill envelopes in verse one is what you see in this photo. I don't mean to jump to a different song... only as an example.... but the guitar solo in TBC is built in this same manner from 5 (IIRC) renderings of the same RT in order to get a complete smoking solo. It all depends on how much work you want to put into a song.
You can find my music at:www.herbhartley.com
Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.
As the sword chooses the warrior, so too, the song chooses the writer.