A rakish character, to be sure, Sonny Boy Williamson II wore a bowler hat and custom-made two-tone three-piece suit, often regaled the crowds with a hands-free harp solo, even took the name of a once-more famous predecessor in order to jump start his career. Williamson, then, was the perfect America export, over the top and completely original. More particularly, heRead More
Post Tagged with: "Guitar gods"
Pink Floyd‘s A Momentary Lapse of Reason, alas, was no Dark Side of the Moon. Criticized then as now for being transitional and samey, though, it was far from the worst thing foisted on unsuspecting fans during the 1980s.
Missing in the eternal argument embodied in their 1970s lyric — Which one’s Pink? — was my idea that it was neither Roger Waters nor David Gilmour. Maybe there would have been no Pink Floyd, not really, without Richard Wright. That’s what I hear in “Live at Gdansk” with Gilmour and Wright, recorded in 2006, but issued just days afterRead More
It was only a few years ago that I was lamenting the fleeting guitar talent in George Clinton’s early Funkadelic band who reached incredible heights as Clinton’s lead axeman on funk classics like Free Your Mind … And Your Ass Will Follow and Maggot Brain. Besides Eddie Hazel, there was another important guitar player in that group who also hadRead More
They are, these odds and ends, the last great treasure left by one Sam Maghett — better known as Magic Sam. This god of the tremolo embodied (just as fully, but with far less fanfare) the same gritty and adventurous West Side Chicago swagger more commonly associated with Buddy Guy and Otis Rush. Yet, we have precious little to goRead More
Started as another in rock star Eric Clapton’s celebrated CPR efforts for the careers of the blues legends he loved most, this one was almost lost to the Atlantic vaults. In the end, four different producers worked this thing at two different studios. Sessions were held in 1970, then again in 1972. Four different lineups perform, including one with bothRead More
The late, and unjustly obscure Washington D.C. guitar guru Danny Gatton — known, quite simply, as The Humbler — finally got his splashy major-label debut with this one, and it sparkles in the white-hot spotlight. Good thing, too. By 1994, one of music’s most versatile, talented and electric performers had committed suicide. In the interim, Gatton’s recordings more often includedRead More
Peter Frampton’s first-ever instrumental release boasts a buffet-style diversity. And by refusing to settle into easy genre work — you just knew this would be jazz(zzzzzzzzz)y, right? — Frampton finally distances himself completely from a certain mid-1970s double live album. Well, almost anyway. No, familiar keyboardist Bob Mayo doesn’t appear. (He actually died of a heart attack on tour someRead More
Guitar sideman projects can fall prey to several breeds of debut carnivores — virtuosity to the point of pedantry, a mysterious lack of lyrical depth, that unexplainable one-off looseness. Lafayette’s brilliant slideman Sonny Landreth played off all those pratfalls by delivering this terrific CD. “Outward Bound” sounds like something that needed to be made. Lyrically, Landreth doesn’t stray far, butRead More
NICK DERISO: Guitarist Buddy Guy, a Baton Rouge-area native, has a presence hardly in need of defining. From bar-walking solos (thanks to that old 150-foot amp chord), to his clean, percussive style on a polka-dot guitar, Guy has since the 1960s cut a wide swath, image-wise. Yet “Southern Blues” illuminates the proto-Guy in the same way that the Muddy WatersRead More