Archive for January, 2009
This guy Charlie Hunter is a really serious guitar player; there’s guys who just play, guys that shred and others that just copy. Charlie Hunter is someone that thinks for himself, and he can play. I’ve been aware of his playing for quite a few years now, when I first heard him him doing Hendrix’s If six was Nine, I thought what is this? What the? That sound… good heavens… he’s got it. And I got what he’s doing and it sends chills through me. Salutations to Charlie Hunter.
Anyone that was alive and listening in the early seventies would have been aware of the Dutch band Focus, and many would also realise that their music extended way past the hit single Hocus Pocus, complete with yoddeling. I have posted about the following electric guitar video because it is of historical value. The original guitar player with Focus was the unbelievable player Jan Akkerman, second to none in his day. After he left, another player called Philip Catherine joined the band. Philip Catherine is an incrdible jazz guitar player, I have heard him working with Niels Henning Orsted Pederson, the virtuoso Danish jazz bass player and also the legendary Stepane Grapelli, and Larry Coryell. In Europe, Philip Catherine was really pushing ahead in the areas of jazz rock. Philip Catherine and Coryell, recorded a couple of the worlds best acoustic guitar duets ever, fast, sensitive and very scary. In fact, I think Coryell sounded his best when he played with Catherine.
So here is Philip Catherine with Focus, yes a little dated but well worth seeing him in action, remember it is 32 years ago.
Don Randall, the man who named the Fender Stratocaster, one of the most famous guitars in the world has died. To see the story about his life go to Don Randall Story
The Fender Stratocaster over the years has been associated with many great players such as:
Jimi Hendrix who played it left handed and strung it upside down.
Hank Marvin from the the Shadows, the band that had numerous instumental hits at at a time when vocal music was extremely popular.
Stevie Ray Vaughan, the electric master of Texas Blues who died in a helicopter crash with the famous rock promoter, Bill Graham.
Eric Clapton, the British Blues player and member of the classic psychodelic rock trio Cream, who was admired by Hendrix. In fact Hendrix had at one point stated that Tales of Brave Ulysses by the Cream was his favourite guitarist.
Buddy Holly, pioneer of sixties rock and roll who died in an aeroplane crash in 1959 also was one of the early strat players.
Jeff Beck, formerly of the Small Faces with Rod Stewart, the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck Group, and Beck Bogart and Appice, who went to be one of the great rock and (for lack of words) jazz rock players of our town still plays a stratocaster and like Mark Knopfler of Dire Strits fame, Beck plays fingerstyle.
Stratocasters have an instantly recognisable sound to most guitar players. And are much sought after and played by thousands of players globally.
So on behalf of the guitar players across the world:“Don Randall, thank you for giving such a beautiful instrument, such an exquisite name”
Here’s a guitar video of the incredible John Lee Hooker doing the tune Bad Like Jesse James, with his trademark vocals and simple repetitive riffs. His sound is recognisable after a couple of notes. The dialogue prior to the tune is Ry Cooder. Cooder’s has been responsible for supporting and exposing numerous musicians from various cultural backgrounds.
John Lee Hooker’s music is simple, but he plays exactly what is required, a lesson to guitar plares everywhere.
When people have said Wes Montgomery was the worlds best jazz guitarist, very few jazz guitar ;players question it. When Wes played Round Midnight set the benchmark for all other jazz guitar players to be measured against. I’ts 36 years since I first heard this, and still today I’m in awe.
Here’s a great electric guitar video on youtube of Kenny Wayne Shepherd performing at the Fender Frontline Live stage at the NAMM music show 2008, doing Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile. This is awesome, if you haven’t seen it get ready for a treat.
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