Saturday, December 18, 2010

15 Guitarists Who Do Not Suck (Part 3 of 3)

GEORGE BARNES--A killer guitar player whose playing had a lot of personality. He played on thousands of recording sessions in a wide range of styles. If you can find it, pick up a copy of Dean Hightower's "Twangy With A Beat"--it's a great rock 'n' roll record George made under the guise of Dean Hightower.

Here he is in a swingin' setting:

LES PAUL--A tinkerer, inventor, and marvelous guitarist. Most kids today think the Les Paul is a guitar and have no idea about the man and how great he was.

Here he is demonstrating his recording technique:

BB KING--The blues boy from Memphis, Tennessee. He's one of the most influential blues guitarists of all-time.

Here he is swingin' hard on this one:

CHET ATKINS--Long before he became a "certified guitar player", Chet was knockin' 'em dead with his melodic prowess.

Witness him layin' it down on "Mister Sandman":

BUDDY GUY--Another player who played with wild abandon, this guy can get to your soul with his ice pick tone!

Here he is--murdering his guitar in this clip:

And there you have it--15 guitar players who do not suck. This is by no means a complete list. These are the guitarists that come to mind when I think "who do I wish I could play like?".

15 Guitarists Who Do Not Suck (Part 2 of 3)

HANK GARLAND--Grady Martin's other half on numerous Nashville recordings. This guy was a picker's picker--he could play it all from jazz to country to rock and roll. His career was cut short by an auto accident in the early 60's.

Here's his signature tune, "Sugarfoot Rag":

PAUL BUSKIRK--Far from a household name, Buskirk is one of the finest pickers you're ever gonna hear. He helped pen the Ray Price hit "Night Life" with Willie Nelson.

Thanks again to Deke Dickerson for posting this clip:

OTIS RUSH--The hair stood up on the back of my neck the first time I saw this guy perform live. He's a great guitarist who is blessed with a mournful voice.

Check out the headstock on his guitar--he chopped it off so it would fit in the case:

CHUCK BERRY--Sure, he's not big on tuning his guitar, but he plays with such wild abandon and was the king of double stops. It didn't hurt that he's one of the best American composers of all time.

JIMI HENDRIX-- To me, this guy was an amped up blues guy. He really knew his way around a guitar. Some of his material is mired down in a psychodelic vibe but I think his playing shines throughout his short career.

Friday, December 17, 2010

15 Guitarists Who Do Not Suck (Part 1 of 3)

This is going around on Facebook right now but I thought I'd post my 15 over here. Here's a list of 15 guitar players who are better than me. They are in no particular order and I'm not going to number them because I am not intending to rank them. But, go ahead--count 'em--there are 15!

GRADY MARTIN--This guy was a real trail blazer! From his early days with Red Foley, to his incendiary rockabilly playing, to his faux Spanish playing on Martin Robbins' "El Paso", this guy is hard to beat. He contributed excellent guitar work on Johnny Horton's records, too. That would have been enough to make this guy a guitar hero but these examples are just scratching the surface. He was a mainstay on the Nashville scene for many years and played on thousands of recordings. Later in his career, he joined Willie Nelson's band for several years.

Here he is pickin' behind Red Foley (thanks to Deke Dickerson for posting this clip):

MICKEY BAKER--Probably best known to the general public as half of Mickey & Sylvia, Baker spent many years in a New York recording studio backing up R&B artists as well as laying down some burning guitar on Joe Clay's RCA/Vic recordings. He can be heard on recordings by Zilla Mays, Louis Jordan, Young Jessie, and Larry Dale. He also wrote several guitar method instructional books that are still in print today.

Here he is laying it down on "Caldonia" by Louis Jordan:

DAVE LEROY BILLER--He's probably tired of me speaking so highly of him but...too bad! This guy is the baddest of the bad. I've known him for about 14 years now and have the fortune of sharing the stage with him quite a bit. We've also worked in the recording studio together. I've learned tons of stuff from this guy and I am glad to call him a friend.

Here he is jazzin' it up:

JIMMIE VAUGHAN--I first heard of this guy when I was young teenager. I went to the music store looking to buy the Fabulous Thunderbirds' "Tuff Enuff" but all they had was their first Chrysalis recording (sometimes referred to as "Girls Go Wild"). I bought it and was blown away. I know they call steel guitarist Jerry Byrd the master of touch and tone but I think you can say the same thing about JV--he's the Master of Touch and Tone in my book.

The guy who posted this clip is right--Jimmie's playing is epic on this one:

BUDDY HOLLY--One of the first rock 'n' rollers from Texas--and, of all places, Lubbock--this guy turned in a definitive catalog of work before his untimely death in 1959 at the age of 22. He was an early adopter of the Fender Stratocaster and, as far as I'm concerned, brought that guitar to rock and roll.

Here's Buddy singing and playing on "Heartbeat":

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Keyhole Klub

I moved away from Southeast Texas in the mid-90's. Since that time, I've enjoyed going back and visiting now that I have perspective. I really like going down to Port Arthur and driving along Procter St. downtown.

There's not really anything going on down there but there are several abandoned night clubs. One of them was the Lion's Den. It had an awesome neon sign out front that featured a very cool lion. Moon Mullican mentions this club in "Seven Nights To Rock". Several years ago, they removed that sign and I remember seeing it in the "sign graveyard" in Beaumont. I really wish I would have done something and tried to get that sign.

Another cool club--or should I say "klub"?--down there is the Keyhole Klub. The sign is still up at the moment. The club features a revolving glass door for an entrance. I've peered through the scratched up glass of that door every time I go down there. It looks like somebody locked the place up in the 70's and it hasn't been touched since that time. All the bar stools are still lined up at the bar.

If I had the money, I would make a pitch for getting the sign and all the bar fixtures.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

California Sun

Here's the original by Joe Jones out of New Orleans.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

RIP Les Paul

A true innovator and excellent musician passed away at the age of 94.

Here's a great clip of Les with Waylon Jennings.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Old Bio

Shaun Young and his Texas Trio

This was a quick sketch illustration drawn by Heather Telo.

That's me, Shaun Young, Alberto Telo, and Billy Horton.

Bellfuries Tour Poster

This is a poster I created. I remember we were having a hard time explaining our music to people. So someone came up with "America's Roots Pop Trio".

The Wild Side, October 1996

As far as I can tell, this was the final edition but it was never copied or sent out. This is the original mock up.

The Wild Side, May 1996

The shrinking budget mentioned below means that I was broke. I resorted to making a "pocket-size edition".

The Wild Side, April 1996

As you can tell, we were having a very difficult time finding a drummer back then.

The Wild Side, March 1996

Just to carry on my thought from a previous entry...

Maybe ZZ Top shot a video at the Urban Art Bar. Does that sound right? How about for "Double Back Again"? Or is that song in "Back To The Future 3"? Maybe it wasn't that one. Maybe it was in a Robert Rodriguez film. I'm not sure...

The Wild Side, February 1996