Honoring Hubert Sumlin

Magnificent Blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin died yesterday in New Jersey.  He was 80.  He had been sick for at least a couple of years:

He always played the right thing at the right time,” Jimmy Page, one of Sumlin’s many admirers, once said. Sumlin, who played his beloved 1955 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop guitar without a pick, was a key inspiration for Keith Richards (who reportedly helped Sumlin with his medical bills in recent years), Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa, among others. Inspired by Sumlin’s piercing lead guitar on Wolf’s “Killing Floor,” Hendrix sat in with fellow guitar icon Eric Clapton in 1967, the only time the two performed together.

Rolling Stone named Hubert the 65th greatest guitarist of all time:

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Reconsidering John Mayer

I was never really a big John Mayer fan.  From what little I knew about him, he was an EMO guitar player who dated Jessica Simpson, bad-mouthed Jennifer Aniston and talked about his “White Supremacist” penis in print.

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Crossroads 2010 Movie Review

For the past five years, Eric Clapton has hosted a Crossroads Guitar Festival to raise money for his charity:  The Crossroads Center of Antigua.  This year’s festival — supposedly the last one ever — was held in Chicago on June 26th under a perilous sky and punishing heat.  The movie version of the festival is now available for purchase on iTunes for $20.00USD — or your can rent it for $4.00USD.  I plucked the purchase route, and I’ve been glorifying in Crossroads 2010 since late last night.

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The Album as Storytelling Device

Individual songs often can serve to tell a story — good or bad. Cream played a song called Crossroads, later widely covered by Phish — it was based on the story of how Robert Johnson got to be great at playing the guitar after meeting the devil at a crossroads and selling his soul.

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