Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Duane and his Magical Slide

One of my guitar and musical influences was the great Duane Allman. When I was first learning to play, I started paying attention to Duane and his music. He had already died, but the music he left us with captivated me. Duane's melodic slide guitar playing was mesmerizing, and I wanted to learn to play like him. 
There were other slide players around whose music I was familiar with: Bonnie Raitt, Mick Taylor, George Harrison, and a few others. I had not paid much attention to slide before I heard Duane and the Allman Brothers Band. Obviously, there were quite a few excellent slide artists, but Duane's playing stood out for me as superior.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Ric Ocasek: Rock Star, Memory Maker

Ric Ocasek singer, guitarist, songwriter, and record producer, best known for his band The Cars, died September 15, 2019. He was a multi-talented guy, and many of the songs he wrote were big hits. More importantly, they were great songs - then and still relevant decades later. I didn't know him personally, but I ran into him once - literally. He also unwittingly helped me have a successful gig.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Dream Guitars

Guitar players love to play, look at, talk and dream about guitars. To the uninitiated, a guitar is just a guitar. For a musician though, guitars have different sounds, purposes, and looks that make them desirable. I own a cherry-sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard and a Fender American Standard Telecaster, guitars I've played for decades. They have served me well in various bands and recording but, of course, guitar players always have a list of axes they dream of owning. My list is short and no, I don't really need any more guitars, but oh to dream...

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Swamp Rocker

John Fogerty is one of the most unique talents in rock history, with a distinctive, recognizable voice and guitar style. For decades, he was the face, the voice, and the driving force behind one of rock’s biggest bands – Creedence Clearwater Revival. He also owns the distinction of probably being the only musician in history to be sued for plagiarizing himself – a result of an unscrupulous record company owner and a contract that amounted to legal theft.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton – A Legendary Album

My copy of the album
If you know electric blues, then you are surely familiar with the classic album Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton. It is one of the great blues rock albums in history, a record that helped to set a precedent for blues rock guitar. There were no hit songs from the record, and chart placement was not especially memorable, but none of those things mattered to those who loved the record.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Last Call Bassist

Author's Note: If the reader wants to know what Kaye is really like, I present to you her response to my article. The caps and punctuation are hers. (See below.) 

Carol Kaye is one of the most renowned musicians in pop music history, as a guitarist and bassist. She played on thousands of hit records during a long career as a session musician – a sort of anonymous profession. Studio musicians like her were well paid, but rarely received credit, so it is a good thing that Kaye, for one, is becoming better known and is getting recognition for decades of brilliant work.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Delaney Bramlett - Among Friends

Delaney Bramlett may not be the first name that pops into your head when you think of singer/songwriters, but he and his first wife, Bonnie, fronted one of the great bands of the 1970's. The band was called Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, and they had some fantastic friends – folks who thought D & B were so good, they just wanted to hang around among friends and play as sidemen.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

A Byrd, A Burrito, A Desert Rose

The name Chris Hillman may not be familiar to you, but you have heard him sing, play guitar, bass, and mandolin on many hit songs and other music from the 1960's through today. He is one of the most talented, accomplished, professionals in music business history, and he has played in several notable bands, worked as a session musician, in a duo and as a solo artist.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Standing in For Buddy

February 3, 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the so-called, 'The Day the Music Died.' That is, the day Buddy Holly and three others died in the crash of a small plane near Clear Lake, Iowa. It also marks the anniversary of the beginning of a long musical career of a man who played an important role after the crash – Bobby Vee. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

A Brilliant Musician and Memorable Friend

Kelly Roberti. Photo by Yae Inoue Bowman
Kelly Roberti was a world-renowned jazz bassist and composer, an accomplished chef, teacher, author/poet, and a world-class non-conformist. He spent his life pursuing his passions - family, music, friends, travel, and cooking. Kelly was a unique personality with talent, vision, and a great many friends. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Byrd Who Flew Alone

Gene Clark was a singer, guitarist, and songwriter who contributed his remarkable talents as a founding member of one of the great bands of the rock era – The Byrds. He is not as well-known as fellow Byrds Roger McGuinn or David Crosby, and that is unfortunate. Clark was an extraordinary singer and songwriter; a master of his craft, and an enduring voice in the history of popular music.