koganbot: (Default)
Of course, the title line is something of a compromise: it's an okay line that only 5 people will read.

(I'm on a break from hectic busyness, hope to post more.)

Speaking of great guitar lines, here's Ronnie Hawkins And The Hawks from February 1963 — don't know if that's the recording date or the release date; either way, I doubt that anyone at such an early date other than the guitarist here, Robbie Robertson, was putting down, on vinyl or tape, guitar lines with as much distortion, sustain, and virulence (in London you might hear something like it live from Brian Jones or Eric Clapton, but the tape's not running yet, not for a few more months).



I'm curious if I'm wrong here, if there actually are blues or rockabilly or country boogie guitarists already giving you as much distortion or bite. Possibly there are ones with as much sustain and distortion, but they're not trying to hurt you the way the young rock men are. Maybe James Burton* has something of that in him, but still he's getting you through the night more than he's tearing the night to pieces. Some of the rockabilly singers had that push in them, but the guitars were relatively even tempered.

Unless I'm wrong.

(Taking Robbie Robertson as fundamentally himself, rather than an heir or precursor to anything, he's here playing thick and thin at the same time, that is he's got the sustain that gives the notes a bigger bleeding brush, but he's still whittling his guitar lines down to a sharp point. Also, there's something of a stutter/jitter to his playing, what someone might later call funk.)

*Note that the track I linked is by Ronnie's cousin Dale.
koganbot: (Default)
I'm sure there are many more, as well. I'm not claiming these tracks are heavily Afro-Cuban. But they do use one of the clave rhythms:

1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a
X . . X . . X . . . X . X . . .


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[Error: unknown template video]

[Error: unknown template video]

And I'm always looking for an excuse to repost this — Bo wasn't Cuban either, but he ran endlessly inventive variants on the beat:

[Error: unknown template video]
koganbot: (Default)
I'm not claiming these tracks are heavily Afro-Cuban. But they do use one of the clave rhythms:

1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a
X . . X . . X . . . X . X . . .


[Error: unknown template video]

(You might want to ignore the visuals on that one; it was the best sounding rip on YouTube.)

[Error: unknown template video]

The Byrds' Tribal Gathering )
koganbot: (Default)
My friend Michael Freedberg has resumed posting on livejournal under the moniker [livejournal.com profile] house_junkie; over the years he's written the freshest, most original ideas ever on the subject of dance music. Here is a startling quote: "House was the 1950s all over again -- though with later rhythm music embedded, and all of it futurized, computered, i-podded, mp3'd. Whatever -- house made me relive, re-taste, re-embed myself in the 1950s."
koganbot: (Default)
Mark, you need to listen to this! (Lex too.)



Don't know if there'd been a lot of tracks that were primarily groove - i.e., that didn't feature a melody that developed over one or more chord changes - that hit on the r&b charts before "Bo Diddley" did in 1955. In any event, Bo's grooves reached beyond to a broader, whiter audience, were seized on by Buddy Holly and the Rolling Stones, for instance. So what's taken for granted as an option in popular music now - that a groove can be a container for a whole bunch of stuff, that a track doesn't have to build itself around an individual song, doesn't have to follow the demands of the melody or the harmony - had this guy as its main exponent until James Brown went funk in the mid '60s. Also, he was a pisser )

Was probably the first rock star to employ women guitarists )

1955 )

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