Tuesday, 7 February 2017

If reincarnation exists, next time round, I'd like to be able to play the guitar like Phil Baugh...or Vince Gill, or Danny Gatton, or...

That's Phil Baugh in 1965, performing his hit from that year, "Country Guitar". Here he is with Glen Campbell, who, before he became a superstar ballad singer, earned his crust as a top session guitarist:

Well, I reckon ol' Glen just about won that duel! I first came across Vince Gill in the early '90s when he was America's top-selling country singer, specialising in lachrymose ballads. As with Glen Campbell, little did I know that he had started out as a blisteringly fast Hot Country guitarist. Here he is in 2010, live on stage with the legendary James Burton (who - to put this in context - had played lead guitar on Dale Hawkins's "Susie Q" some 53 years before this performance) and the fastest of them all - Britain's own Albert Lee:
They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become really proficient at something - I suspect I could have done 1,000,000 hours guitar practice with my clunky fingers and lack of musical talent and still not have been fit to tune any of that trio's guitars. Here's Vince Gill again, channeling "Lay Down Sally" on one of his many hits, "Little Liza Jane", live on stage (once more) with Albert Lee, and "The Humbler" - the late, very great Danny Gatton:
Here, from an earlier era, are the "King of the Strings" Joe Maphis and his (very) junior sidekick, Larry Collins, tearing it up on "Flying Fingers":
Look, I've got the beard and the Telecaster - and I speak with an English accent - so why the hell can't I play like Jerry Donahue?:
Back to Glen Campbell, here with yet another country guitar maestro, Roy Clark, on "Ghost Riders in the Sky":
Remember Danny Gatton on "Little Liza Jane"? Well, he was the best ever - speed, grace, wit, feel, inventiveness, power, technical mastery...he had the lot. Whatever he was playing - blues, funk, country, and, especially, rockabilly - he was the greatest. All that talent - and he committed suicide because he wanted to be a star - as well as a genius. I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere. Here he is, playing rockabilly guitar like nobody else ever could - or probably ever will:

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