Saturday, February 07, 2009

Saturday Rock Show

Every once in a while, a pure blues player receives all sorts of accolades from commercial rock radio. It happened to Jimi Hendrix (a bit too much for his own good). Robin Trower suffered the same fate. Eric Clapton's God-like status became an albatross around his neck. Jimmy Page was credited with helping to invent heavy metal, but he was nothing more than a bluesman, right down to his heroin addiction. Even the quintessential rock-and-roll guitar player, Keith Richards, is dedicated to the blues before anything else. Stevie Ray Vaughan was blues through and through, yet he received all kinds of radio air play. The hole left after Vaughan's death, and Clapton's retreat to his roots was filled, in the late 1990's by a very young blues guitarist named Kenny Wayne Shepherd. "Blue on Black" is a wonderful example of a blues tune that people think of as rock. Shepherd's dirty guitar sound on the solo and verse fills is certainly reminiscent of all sorts of guitarists, while at the same time staking out a place all his own. Here's a live video from April, 2007, recorded by a fan at a show at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA.

Virtual Tin Cup

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