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Happy Birthday to...

G Mac

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Today would be Aaron Thibeaux (T-Bone) Walker's 109th birthday had he not passed away in 1975! He is probably best known for his song "Stormy Monday", a staple tune of blues players around the globe. He was also a pioneer of what is known as the "jump" blues and was one of the first guys that I know of that used the iii-7b5 for I7(9) substitution. He is one of my favorite artists. His voice is silky smooth, as is his playing. The clip that I have selected is a good example of his art and ability to mix with other greats! Check out his exceptional rhythm guitar work on that beautiful ES-5! Which one of us wouldn't want to own that guitar today? And, how about Clark Terry on the mouthpiece of his horn...Holy Moses! Anyhow, take the next eight minutes and eleven seconds of your life to enjoy T-Bone Walker!


Killin' It!

Edited by G Mac
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One of my favourites.  I think it was B.B.King who said "I started out trying to play like T-Bone Walker and I'm still trying".

He sometimes held the guitar almost horizontally and in some pics used what looked like an old dressing gown cord for a strap.  In later years he played a Gibson Barney Kessel.

Chuck Berry's guitar style is mostly T-Bone, Louis Jordan and Lionel Hampton riffs and licks. That's what Chuck himself said in a Guitar Player interview.

As a child, T-Bone Walker helped to guide Blind Lemon Jefferson around the streets of Dallas.

Both Walker and his friend Charlie Christian initially took guitar lessons from a guitarist called either Ralph Hamilton or Chuck Richardson; this was before electric guitar, and  Walker's early influences would have been people like Lonnie Johnson (recorded some brilliant duets with Eddie Lang on 78s), Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell.

T-Bone was asked to join the Count Basie Orchestra as a singer in 1960,  but after a few gigs he felt it wasn't quite him and returned to leading his own bands.

He drank and smoked like a trooper,  to the extent that he had to have part of his stomach and then a lung removed - he still carried on working live for many years afterwards....and drinking and smoking.

His mid-60s recordings "T-Bone Standard Time" and "The Truth" are some of his very best IMO. T-Bone used a 2nd guitarist on these recordings (Johnny Copeland or Joey Long) to play some more modern-sounding leads which put T-Bone's own guitar work into brilliant contrast.  I can't recommend these albums highly enough.


Edited by jdgm
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