Sunday, December 1, 2013

It Takes Two

Occasionally, we find video of two singers working together that we may not otherwise think would ever do so. Some of these combinations are well-known, while others are a little surprising, such as Norah Jones and Billie Jo Armstrong, and Trisha Yearwood and Don Henley. Either way, all of these videos showcase some exceptional voices, and some fantastic harmonies.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Carter/Cash Legacy

Anyone that follows country music should know of the Carter Family and their influence over the genre. June Carter Cash, daughter of Mother Maybelle Carter, began singing and performing with her mother and sisters and later, performed with her third husband, Johnny Cash.

June had three children, one by each husband. Each of those people went on to find some success in the music business - Carlene Carter, Rosie Nix Adams, and John Carter Cash. 


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Emmylou and ...

Emmylou Harris is a 12-time Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter/guitarist. Her songs and albums recorded throughout a long, successful career continue to be popular and significant, whether it is her solo work, or with others. Harris' body of work is impressive as a bandleader, most notably with her 'Hot Band', and the 'Nash Ramblers'. 

Harris has also found considerable success as a partner in some of the great duets in music history. She has worked with many notable performers, including Johnny Cash, Mark Knopfler, The Band, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, George Jones, and most recently, her old friend and former 'Hot Band' member Rodney Crowell. 

It's Emmylou and …

Emmylou and Rodney Crowell

Saturday, November 2, 2013

She Really Gets Around

'Hello Mary Lou' is a memorable hit song as recorded by the late Rick Nelson, written by Gene Pitney. Although it became a hit more than 50 years ago, it still has the power to make you tap your foot and sing along with the music - a great, old time rock and roll tune.

It is a simple love song with a lively beat, a cowbell, and an iconic lead guitar break by the legendary James Burton. What's not to like? I play this song in my own band, and Nelson's version is on my iTunes and iPhone. 

Great songs often spawn cover versions, and 'Mary Lou' is no exception. So just how many ways can you say hello to Mary Lou? Check these videos - some of them are quite surprising.

No doubt about it - that 'Mary Lou' girl really gets around.

Robert, Jimmy and the guys

Click through to find more ways to say 'Hello Mary Lou'.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

They Had It Covered First

Chances are, at least once you have been surprised to discover that a song that you like by a particular artist turned out to be a cover - that is, a song actually written by someone else. Even performers that generally write their own songs sometimes record and/or perform music written by another artist.

I recall being surprised when I learned that 'Call Me The Breeze' - a signature Lynyrd Skynyrd song - was written and first performed by JJ Cale. As it happens, there are many 'signature' type songs associated with a performer that had a big hit, that turned out to be covers of someone else's music.


The following videos are the songs performed by the original artists, made famous by someone else (sometimes a more famous performer) that covered the song, and made it their own. I'll leave it up to the reader to decide whether you like the original or the (usually much better known) cover version better. These videos are performed by the man that wrote the song.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Covering Hank

One of the most significant performers in music history had one of the shortest careers. Hank Williams, Sr., often called the father of contemporary country music, was only 29 when he died on January 1, 1953. Although he had been in the spotlight just four years, he left a legacy of music that set him apart as one of the greatest of all time. Many artists have covered Hank's songs, including his son Hank, Jr., his daughter Jett, and his grandson Hank III.

Because Hank's songs have been so popular and influential, they have been performed and recorded by many musicians, all paying tribute to Williams and his standing as one of the greats. Presented here are some other artist's covers of Hank's songs.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ten Guitars That Changed Music

This is a very interesting series of videos by Randy Bachman, former guitarist/singer for Bachman-Turner Overdrive and the Guess Who. Bachman presents a nice history lesson of ten guitars that helped to shape rock history. The videos are short, about 3 minutes each, and should be viewed in proper sequence to preserve the historic story line.

There is, however, one glaring error in this series. Can you spot it? If so, leave a comment below the article.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Snake Head Ritual

"Snake Head Ritual are true rock n' roll saviors on a mission to keep the rock alive," is the description of this band, according to the artist's page on the Grooveyard Records web site. The band is further described as "a timeless, blues-based, retro-sonic, hard rock masterpiece of classic proportions."

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Glaring Omission

If you are a fan of the late Bob Welch, then you are certainly outraged that when his former band, Fleetwood Mac, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Welch was excluded. No explanation has been offered by those responsible for this glaring omission - no reason given to explain why one of the most significant members of this famous band was denied his rightful place in the Hall.

Sentimental Lady (Original version)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Hillbilly Rocker

Marty Stuart is one of the great country/rockabilly artists of all time. Stuart is a dynamic performer, and along with his band The Fabulous Superlatives, they always put on a great show. Stuart, guitarist Kenny Vaughan, bassist Paul Martin, and drummer Harry Stinson always look like they are having the time of their lives on stage which, of course, is what music should be all about. In these featured videos, they do Johnny Cash's 'Ring of Fire' (Marty once played guitar in Cash's band), Buddy Holly's 'Crying, Waiting, Hoping', and the theme from 'Bonanza.

Ring of Fire

Monday, September 2, 2013

King No-One

We enjoy discovering new, talented bands, and 'King No-One' is a good one. According to guitarist Joe's Uncle, "They do a lot of busking in York and they've been playing around the local circuit. They recently won a regional battle of the bands competition at Leeds O2 and the prize was to play at the Leeds & Reading Festivals on the BBC Introducing stages."

Check these guys out - it's worth your time.

Friday, August 30, 2013

'Virtual' Greatness

Today, we showcase some of the best of virtual, online collaborations. These guys are all members of the guitar web site Vanderbilly.com. Most of them have never met or even spoken to each other. It doesn't hardly get any better than this.


Something: Treebeard, Jammin' Jimmy, Mr. Glassback

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ulmer/McFarland

Check out the music of 'Ulmer/McFarland', a duo that will be featured in the October 2013 issue of Guitar Player Magazine. Dean Ulmer and Amy McFarland perform a variety of styles, from blues such as 'Drip Your Honey', to country flavored tunes like 'Kicked to the Curb'. Great music!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Shadows Know

Hank Marvin is one of the most commercially successful and influential guitarists in rock history. As a member of the Shadows, Hank holds the distinction of having owned the first Fender Stratocaster guitar in the UK. His classic tone and style contributed to many hit records.



Saturday, August 17, 2013

For the Byrds

Put together only via the Internet, these two guys have produced some of the finest virtual collaborations anywhere. These videos, by 'Byrds1967' and 'Scalerwave', are first rate in every way. If you love the music of the Byrds, check out these videos and the YouTube channels of these two guys for other fantastic music. 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Laid Back

JJ Cale was a unique talent, however he was not especially well known. If you know who he was, then you are probably familiar with his 'laid back' style that is a blend of rockabilly, country, rock and roll, blues, and even some jazz. If you don't know Cale and his music, then you will likely be surprised to know that some of his songs became massive hits for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton, and others. 

Cale was an American treasure, a one of a kind talent. He played music his own way, on his own terms, and he gave us memorable music. He died of a heart attack at 74, in July 2013. 

After Midnight '71

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ric's, Paisleys and Epi's

If you love guitars and guitar music, then check out the YouTube channel of 'Modfather1965' . He has a variety of great video lessons and play-alongs using some spectacular guitars, including the Rickenbacker electric 12-string, a pink paisley Telecaster, an Epiphone Casino, and more. Even if you're not into guitars, these videos are well worth your time, just for the great music and playing.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Lucy Connection

Today in the spotlight, are two fantastic International video collaborations featuring Vanderbilly.com contributors. 'Lucy' is, of course, that beautiful, blue SYA Telecaster played by the amazing Jody Peck of England in both videos. 'Lucy' was built by the equally amazing Gary Madison, owner of 'Sharpen Your Axxe' guitars. 

The first outstanding video also features Keith from New York, and his spot on lead and harmony vocals, and acoustic guitar, and Jody playing both Duane and Dickey's country flavored lead guitar parts. Mastering by Mike Garvey.



Friday, August 9, 2013

Dust This!

There are dozens of outstanding recordings of the classic blues song, 'Dust My Broom'. The best known examples are by Robert Johnson and Elmore James. Those original recordings are, of course, classics, but by no means the best. For me, it doesn't get any better than these three recordings. They are exceptional in every way.
Jack Mayeaux
Treebeard234


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lexington Lab Band

Here is another new band that has been producing some spectacular cover videos. The Lexington Lab Band first produced several exceptional covers of Doobie Brothers classics, and now they have released four new videos covering songs by 'The Hag' - the great Merle Haggard.

These guys are seriously good and well worth a listen. I mean stompin' good music! (The LLB includes members of the Big River Band).


'Workin' Man Blues'


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

'Suzie Q' Cover

Showcasing another exceptional cover video from our buddies 'Jammin' Jimmy', 'Treebeard', and Don. These three guys are exceptional musicians, and combining their formidable talents produces a memorable video.





Jammin' Jimmy - vocals and rhythm guitar
Treebeard - lead guitar
Don - bass

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Downward Turn


Maybe it’s just because it’s summer, but there has been a noticeable drop in activity around here in the past few months. Regular readers will notice that I have not written anything new on this blog for nearly a month, and I have noticed that the number of regular readers has been dropping steadily and dramatically over the past five or so months. I don’t know if the drop in readership is due to folks being out and about in the warm weather months, or if no one is all that interested in the subject matter anymore.
  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The King of Western Swing


No less an icon than Waylon Jennings sang about him:

“It don’t matter who’s in Austin, Bob Wills is still the King.”

Wills had been in the music business for several years when he formed the Texas Playboys in 1934. He played fiddle and some vocals, with Tommy Duncan on piano and vocals, June Whalin on guitar, his brother Johnnie Lee Wills on banjo, and Kermit Whalin on pedal steel and bass. The lineup changed over the years, but the constant was Wills and his style. The band played dance music and had several hits including ‘Steel Guitar Rag’, and ‘New San Antonio Rose.’ They competed favorably with the best of the big bands, selling records and filling dance halls; keeping people dancing and smiling with their brand of music that became known as Western Swing.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Highwaymen


Their names are as recognizable as any in music history. They were songwriters, singers, guitarists, and distinctive characters – each man a strong personality. All four were stars in their own right, and they joined forces to make music in one of the most unique collaborations we have ever seen. Such a collection of talent could have been a disaster with ego clashes, but these guys were friends first, and apparently, they each checked their egos at the door whenever they performed together. As a group they called themselves ‘The Highwaymen’ – Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

They Left Us Too Soon

Dealing with death is never easy. As we grow older, it is inevitable that we will lose grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles. Even when they live to old age, it is still sad. Just as difficult is the death of a sibling – especially if he or she was younger. Losing family, whether old or young, is one of the most difficult things any of us will deal with – a blood relative, a spouse, or a child.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Perfect Portrayals


We have seen plenty of biographical films of music legends; some of them good and some not so good. The best performances by an actor (male or female) made you forget that the actor was playing a role – they played the part so well that they became their subject. This is especially true when the actor sings and/or plays an instrument in their portrayal of a real life figure. Those of us that play instruments notice and appreciate when we see that such an actor can really play a guitar or piano; not just pretend to play. Not every actor is able to take their performance to such an extent, but when it happens, it makes them more believable in their role as a well-known musician.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Unhappy Return

It was so hot that I could barely breathe. We didn’t have air-conditioning in the car back in those days, so the windows were wide open, and I could hear the wind rushing past as we drove through the total darkness of a moonless desert night. I leaned towards the nearest window, thinking that poking my head out would give me the relief of cooler air, but the wind outside was like a blast furnace. I recoiled in shock – I couldn’t believe that air rushing past the car could be so hot - at night. That just defied logic.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Celebrating My Dad's Life


Dr. Walter A. Manch, 81, died March 22, 2013, at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah. He was surrounded by loving family, including Gertrude, his wife of 59 years, son Larry, and close friends, Rose and Ken Ronjon of St. George.

Dr. Manch, Ph.D., was born September 14, 1931 in Utica, New York, the only child of Larry and Eleanor (Bowman) Manch. He attended elementary, middle, and high schools in Utica before enrolling at Utica College and Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. He earned his doctorate from SU in 1961, and taught chemistry and physics in several colleges and universities over a lengthy and successful career.
 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

It’s Still Rock and Roll



Do you understand the differences between ‘folk rock’, ‘country rock’, ‘Southern rock’, ‘classic rock’, and ‘pop rock’? The terms ‘rock’ and ‘rock and roll’ cover many sub-genres. Most of them are self-explanatory, but some music fans are confused by the terms. While the label doesn’t really matter – it you like it, who cares what you call it – it can be helpful to understand the differences.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Travelin' Man


What began as a way to impress girls – singing and playing guitar – became a way of life for a 1950’s teenage idol. He became one of the top selling artists in pop music history. His father Ozzie was a well-known big band leader, and later a radio and television star. His mother Harriet was a singer with Ozzie’s band, and starred as Ozzie’s wife on the popular radio and then television show ‘The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet’. While Rick Nelson had advantages that most people don’t enjoy, he quickly emerged from the shadows of his parents to become a star in his own right.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Significant Roles

Their abilities as guitar players, singers, and/or songwriters made these men highly visible. As with most of the greats of rock music, their contributions were such that without them, their bands may never have achieved the level of fame they enjoyed. Without a doubt, these men played significant roles in the development of the bands in which they played and in the history of rock music.

Allen Collins is a tragic figure. Once a talented guitarist in one of the biggest bands of the rock era, his life spiraled out of control after a series of devastating events – every one of them a disaster of epic proportions. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sweet Baby James


We drove all night, arriving around dawn. We staggered wearily into the hotel restaurant, and as I sat there mesmerized by the aroma of coffee, eggs, and bacon, it slowly dawned on me through the fog of fatigue that music was playing in the room.

The first song I was aware of was a slow, quiet song – a mellow-voiced man singing about “Sweet dreams and Flying Machines in pieces on the ground”. The album continued to play, and as I listened more closely to the songs, I realized that I was hearing something special but I had no idea who the singer was.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Different Enough


When you stop to think of all of the guitarists that you have heard in popular music, you begin to realize that not only are there hundreds or more, but even those that play the same genre are all clearly different. Then the next thought for me was, “Well duh – that’s why we have heard of them.”

Saturday, February 9, 2013

No Stairway


If you love guitars, you have probably spent a fair amount of time in guitar stores browsing, drooling, talking, and playing. Store personnel do their best to provide customer service to those ready to buy, and for those that are just browsing. While this is part of retail life, especially with big-ticket items like guitars, basses, and amps, it is helpful to remember that there is a code of best practices for customers as well as retailers.

“Common sense and the Golden Rule still summarize almost everything there is to say about guitar shop etiquette,” says George Gruhn, owner of Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, Tennessee.

Guitarist Kenny Long worked briefly in a guitar store.

“I was about 18 and a hot shot (so I thought) guitar player. I thought working in a guitar store would be the coolest thing – play guitar the whole time, jam, and have fun. I was shocked when the owner told me he expected me to vacuum the floor and take out the trash! I’m a guitar player man – I don’t do floors! Needless to say, I didn’t have that job for long.”

A guitar shop may seem like a good place to hang out, but for those that own and work in these stores, it’s not a hobby – it is how they make a living. Guitar store employees know that most customers aren’t buying, at least that day. They know that a good deal of their time will be spent answering questions that may or may not lead to a sale, yet most of them handle it professionally.

“This business is essentially a hobby that got out of hand,” said Gruhn. “All of the staff at Gruhn Guitars and most other music stores truly love fine fretted instruments and have a passion for what they do. We welcome people who truly want to learn regardless of whether or not they are prepared to buy today.”

Shop owners, employees, and patrons usually have stories to tell about things they have seen – good and bad. Matt Umanov, of Matt Umanov Guitars on Bleecker Street in New York City, told me:

“An old man, literally dressed in rags and apparently homeless, pulling out a wad of cash from his pocket and buying three children’s-size acoustic guitars, walking out and coming back in twenty minutes later and buying three more. Turned out he was giving them away to people who were walking down the street with little kids, which was not easy since he looked so ragged, but he came back and bought more four times and then left.  Never saw him again.”

Scott Krell is the sales manager for Ed Roman guitars, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“There have been many positive experiences over the years,” said Krell, “but one of the best things is when someone gets a guitar that they truly love and they show such enthusiasm, excitement and sheer joy. That is such a great feeling when someone is that happy, it's contagious.”

On the other hand, the stories can be about something not so positive. On a December Friday afternoon, George Gruhn told me in an e-mail:

“It’s a rainy day in Nashville. Earlier today we had two somewhat intoxicated guys come in wearing dripping wet jackets wanting to take guitars off the wall and play. Needless to say, they didn't want to take their jackets off so they didn't get to play.”

Scott Krell says the worst thing is:

“When someone damages an instrument and doesn't care. Accidents happen, but when a person shows that they think it's a joke, it's just disheartening.”

Matt Umanov’s store has been a mainstay in Manhattan since 1969, yet he reports mostly positive experiences.

“It's been over 43 years, and I've never had anything truly bad happen here.”

Matt said that one of the things that does bother him is:

“People who flail away, loudly and ferociously, with absolutely no regard for the fact that they're scratching up the guitars.”

“I’m a lot more careful when I go into a guitar store now,” said Kenny Long. “Now I know that it’s not cool to put a ding in a store guitar – a cheap one or a $4000 Gibson – it doesn’t matter.”

Scott Krell told me:

“[It’s] always great to see different players in all walks of life, and it is always nice to see excited guitar players.”

Matt Umanov enjoys:

“When we hear some truly great music coming from a complete unknown.”

Some guitar shops display signs requesting that customers not play songs like ‘Stairway To Heaven’, ‘Smoke on the Water’, and ‘La Grange.’

Kenny Long laughed about this question:

“When I worked briefly in that store, the first thing I did was grab a sunburst Les Paul off the wall, plugged it into a Marshall stack and started playing ‘Stairway.’ One of the other guys, walked over to me, switched off the amp and just shook his head. I never tried to play that song in a store ever again – as an employee or a customer.”

Umanov told me: “We did [have such signs] back in the 1960's and 1970's; may have been the first to have them, but don't anymore.”

Krell told me that Ed Roman guitars does not have ‘No Stairway’ types of signs.

“No, as I said earlier about our business model being somewhat different, we tend to not hear those classics as much as we used to anyway.  I worked in smaller shops for years, prior to working at Roman Guitars so I definitely get the joke, but it is an old joke.”

“Our showroom is not an audition hall,” said George Gruhn. “Customers are very welcome to play instruments, but not to attempt to perform or draw a crowd.”

Gruhn continued: “We recognize that in order to try out electric guitars they need to be plugged in and customers who are trying out amplifiers need to be able to crank them up briefly, however, full volume rock 'n roll music is not welcome in the middle of the showroom.”

“Yeah,” said Kenny Long, “I had that part wrong when I worked in a store.”

Scott Krell: “If I am asked to demo a guitar I tend to keep it general, it's not about me, it's about what the customer wants. If I can play something that would be helpful to them, then I try my best.”

Well known shops such as Gruhn, Umanov, and Roman, are going to attract tourists – a different crowd that what you would find in your local store. Gruhn Guitars is especially attractive to tourists, being located in a historic part of Nashville.

Gruhn: “After 42 years in business, we not only have a large number of customers coming to see us as a destination, but we also are sometimes inundated with waves of tourists.”

Ed Roman Guitars is located in Las Vegas – one of the top tourist destinations on the planet, but the store is no longer open to the general walk-in public.

“We are currently on-line based and by appointment, so we minimize some of the trappings of the local store,” said Scott.

Without good customer service, no one stays in business, and they learn to handle the balance between working with customers ready to buy and those that aren’t.

“Our sales staff is busy handling walk-in traffic, phone calls, e-mail, and other duties,” said George Gruhn. “Working the showroom can be a pressure cooker for our staff, but we all try to provide uniformly excellent customer service.”

Scott Krell: “Again it would come down to that particular person knowing that there are other clients and employees trying to get things done, so it's a careful balance, as long as everyone is respectful it tends to go smoothly.”

“All customers deserve to be treated respectfully and in turn we expect customers to treat our staff with respect,” said Gruhn. “Our instruments are fragile and many of them are expensive. We have signs posted asking people to please ask for help in taking instruments on and off the wall. This is not to prevent people from playing, but to minimize damage.”

We all want to maximize any guitar store visit, whether we are buying or just looking.

Matt Umanov said: “Be polite, and listen to what others are saying to you.”

Scott Krell said that it is important to be:

“Thinking about what you want and why you want it. Putting a mental list of the things that are most important to you as a guitar enthusiast, so when you do shop you can focus on what you feel is most important to you, and relate that to the people at the shop you may be dealing with so they can best be of help.”

Krell continued: “Patience is a virtue...”

George Gruhn: “Guitar shop etiquette is 99% common sense and application of the Golden Rule. We are very happy to spend time answering sincere questions from students and the general public as well as from skilled musicians. We must, however, work within the constraints of available time and space. Everyone deserves to be treated respectfully, but we also expect the public to take note of the times when the showroom is extremely busy and not expect instantaneous undivided attention at the expense of everyone else in the room.”

It is probably also a good idea to remember the ‘No Stairway’ rule. But then, as Matt Umanov said:

“…we got used to it long ago.”

My thanks to George Gruhn, Matt Umanov, and Scott Krell for corresponding via e-mail, and sharing their thoughts for this article.

Gruhn Guitars is located at 400 Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee, one block from the Country Music Hall of Fame, next door to the Ryman Auditorium, one block from Bridgestone Arena, one block from the convention center, half a block from Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and in the middle of the honky-tonk tourist district.

Matt Umanov Guitars, 273 Bleecker Street, New York NY. In business since 1969; store opened in 1969.

Ed Roman Guitars, Las Vegas, Nevada – by appointment only.


Larry Manch is an author, teacher, guitar player, freelance writer, and columnist. His books include: 'The Toughest Hundred Dollars & Other Rock & Roll Stories', 'A Sports Junkie', 'The Avery Appointment', 'Between the Fuzzy Parts'.

He also writes about baseball for Climbing Tal's Hill, food and travel on Miles & Meals, and music/guitars on The Backbeat.

He lives in Central Texas with his wife and family.



Saturday, February 2, 2013

The ‘Top’ Man


He was the first lead guitar player in one of the great guitar bands of all time. As a founding member, he helped to shape the early direction of the band, as they quickly became one of the premier acts in the busy London blues scene of 1963. By 1964 though, he had left the band, to be replaced in succession by three of the most popular lead guitarists in rock history.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The ‘27’ Club


What do Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain have in common? What about Brian Jones, Amy Winehouse, Ron McKernan, and Pete Ham? If you said they were all musicians/performers, you would be correct. If you noticed that all of them are deceased, you would also be correct. They also had something else in common - they are all members of an exclusive club.

Every one of these performers (and a dozen or more other, lesser known musicians) are members of the infamous ‘27 Club’.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Rhythm Aces

Popular music has its stars, and also those ‘other’ musicians that made major contributions yet are not very well known. Rhythm guitarists are rarely the stars of a band, unless they happen to be the lead singer, but no one can deny their importance to the music. Although the guitarists featured in this piece are not as well known as most lead guitar players, they deserve mention for their skill in driving the music of rock and roll.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The ‘Other’ Turner


One of the forgotten stars of the early rock era is Ike Turner. He is probably better known as the former husband of a mega-star singer, but Ike holds a place all his own among the pioneers of rock and roll. He was a bandleader, guitarist, songwriter, pianist, talent scout, record arranger, and producer. He discovered Anna Mae Bullock; changed her name to Tina Turner and helped to propel her to stardom. His musical resume is impressive, but unfortunately for him, Turner is best known as an alleged wife beater and abuser.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Good Dusting



Few songs speak more to the roots of blues and blues-rock than ‘Dust My Broom’. It is a signature piece, written in the 1930’s, and has been recorded by many prominent rock and blues singers and guitarists. No one knows for certain who wrote it; it has been attributed to two legendary bluesmen: Robert Johnson and Elmore James, although it is possible that either or both used other songs of the time and altered them to produce their own version.