Black History Month: Let's Talk About Black Guitarists

Discussion in 'Artists & Music' started by sergiodeblanc, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc “Evil” Sergio. You can tell by the goatee

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    From Charlie Christian to Tobin Abasi, black guitarists have consistently redefined the music that we listen to. These (mostly) men created Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Rock and Roll, R&B, Ska, Regge, Disco, Hiphop, and Hardcore Punk Rock, just to name a few.

    Over a period of time, it seems as though they became an exception rather than the rule when talking about guitar-based music. What happened? When did guitar become a predominantly "white guy" thing? Surely something was going on in between Hendrix and Living Color, right?

    In America, February is the month that we set aside to acknowledge the achievements and advancements of a large group of our population that have gone unnoticed in our past. It is my hope that we can use the next 28 days to celebrate their contribution to our lives in a positive way. I'd really like to see if we can appreciate the music they made, and continue to make, with some examples of players who some of us may have missed, along with the people who changed the world and the difficulties they had to deal with on the way.

    We have what I'd like to believe to be is an enlightened group of people around here. So please.. don't be one of those guys who gets defensive or feels left out because of a lack of melanin in you. Don't say some dumb stuff like _____ "matters" or get offended and attempt to explain something other than guitar players to us, otherwise I'll nuke the thread and feel like a jerk.
    Instead let's just show that we can appreciate the colorful world of music that we are all a part of one shade at a time... Please.

    I'd like to start it off with the dude that may have made the first big change in how we heard the electric guitar:

     
    #1 sergiodeblanc, Feb 2, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
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  2. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

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    Great thread Sergio.
    One of my favorite guitarists, Angus Young of AC/DC, learned a lot by listening to Chuck Berry as a kid and other black guitarists.
    In fact one of the books I am reading right now on AC/DC said Angus got his "duck walk" move from Chuck Berry.

    Have you heard of this lady?
    I found her back in 2012 while doing a search for Gibson SG videos.
    She was rockin' that SG.
    So classy riding up in a horse and carriage.
    She is using an early 60s SG since this video was shot in 1964.
    Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Didn't It Rain

     
    #2 CoreyT, Feb 2, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
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  3. PRSAK

    PRSAK I am only an egg

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    Hey...how appropriate is that: de blanc guy kicks of Black History Month here on the PRS Forum. :cool: That recording is great. Sounds like a horn player with his phrasing which - according to wikipedia - is what he was going for. He didn't live much past this recording. Died in 1942 at the age of 25. Awesome resume by that time though and his influence was huge: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Christian. Great thread idea, Sergio.
     
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  4. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc “Evil” Sergio. You can tell by the goatee

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    Yeah! I'm psyched you're on board, Corey.

    I mean, Chuck Berry is pretty much the archetype for every performing guitarist. Even if you left out his pioneering role in creating Rock and Roll; his guitar riffs, his stage presence, and his (alleged) off-stage antics drew the map that generations of musicians followed.

    He was like DLR and EVH rolled into one person, he was the swagger in Peter Tosh's step, the dude The Stones would take sh!t from and... Yes, the guy Angus copped his style from. There isn't a guitar player alive that doesn't owe a him debt of gratitude.

    I have heard of her! She was the reason I had to parenthesize "(mostly) men" about in my post. I must admit that I hadn't been exposed to her until somewhat recently and it's people like her that inspired me to start this thread. There are so many amazing guitars player that I have yet to discover.
     
  5. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    When you grow up listening to radio, its hard to know for sure what colour some of these guys are. Here are a few that I always enjoy listening to.
    B B King - an all time favourite and maybe my first guitar hero
    Buddy Guy
    John Lee Hooker
    George Benson (though I did tire of him)
    Robert Cray - maybe my favourite song writer of this bunch
     
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  6. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Bitchin' thread mi amigo! There are so many awesome black guitarists, I don't know even know where to start. It really is a shame that they aren't more recognized in popular culture. I mean, sure, we that play get it, and lovers of certain musical genres get it, but EVERYONE should get it.

    I grew up in Davenport, Iowa, home of the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival (one of the best). You'd think I'd have had a better love of the blues growing up. Nope, it was the hard rock of the late 70s and early 80s for me, or nothing. That started to change the first time I saw SRV (1985) I know, white guy, but still, that started to get my interest in the blues going. That and the fact that Johnny Copeland opened that show. He was awesome. Fast forward to 1987; I move to the Chicago area to start my grown up job and grown up life. I meet a guy at work who drags me to this place in Evergreen Park (on 95th...can't remember the name) to see the Kinsey Report. That's it, I'm hooked. I find Chess and Alligator Records, and I start making the annual trip back to Iowa for that Blues Fest I didn't have time for as a whipper snapper. That leads to an appreciation for not only blues, and the blues artists, but begins to diversify my tastes in music. Sorry, starting to ramble.....

    For my first, I'll toss out Son House

     
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  7. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

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    Sergio, I just Googled who were Angus's main influences, and here is what came up.
     
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  8. Blues Trucker

    Blues Trucker New Member

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    Robert Johnson,Muddy Waters, Freddy King, B.B.King,Chuck Berry, Jimmi Hendrix, Slash, Gary Clark Jr.
    Seems there has always been great "black" guitarists. I dont know why we need to point it out. Dont we already know it?
     
    #8 Blues Trucker, Feb 2, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  9. aristotle

    aristotle New Member

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  10. Alan Manning

    Alan Manning Well Love a Duck Mary Poppins.!!!

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    Also, Sly Stone, Nile Rodgers, Carlos Alomar, Prince, Ike turner, Curtis Mayfield, on & on & on Exellent stuff
     
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  11. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    Great thread, Sergio! Always seemed to me that black guitarists were saddled with the "next Jimi Hendrix" label, especially if they played rock.

    But here are just a few I like listening to...

    Vernon Reid of Living Colour:



    Albert Collins:



    Ernie D in Body Count:

     
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  12. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    And...

    Jon Butcher:



    Eric Gales:



    Hiram Bullock:



    Too many others to count.

    Does Ace Frehley's black stunt double from "Kiss Meets The Phantom" count?

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    Some guys with a Zappa connection:

    Ike Willis:



    Ray White on the goldtop Heritage:



    Andre Chmondeley from Project/Object (Zappa tribute band):



    Johnny "Guitar" Watson:







    And one a little closer to home...

    The guy in the picture with the banjo is Harold Weaver. He was my guitar teacher, and a a friend for years. He was also Ken Griffey, Sr.'s uncle (his wife was related to the Griffeys somehow).

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Well, I was going to post a new one everyday, but Alan had to go and post, like, 50. Ugh, way to go Alan....:rolleyes:

    "Captain" Kirk Douglas (The Roots)
     
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  15. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

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    Ernie Isley
     
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  16. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

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    I saw him on TV a few years ago, may have been the Rock awards, not sure.
    He played a black Les Paul, and his drummer had a HUGE Afro who was good on the skins too.
     
  17. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    I hate to correct you, but it's a Leap Year. That means 29 days this February. C'mon man, get it right!:p:D:cool:
     
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  18. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    You can see him, and Questlove (the drummer) every night. The Roots are the house band on the Tonight Show. Plus, they're really good
     
  19. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc “Evil” Sergio. You can tell by the goatee

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    It's probably my age but I can't get enough of him.

    Ha! I had a similar experience growing up outside of Chicago. The blues were everywhere, so I kind of looked at it as the "Navy Pier" of music. You know, stuff only the tourists listened to. :oops:

    For the same reason there are Valentine's Day decorations everywhere: It's February. Don't be that guy.

    He was so far ahead of his time and a monster player. It's been disputed by many, but also one of (if not) the first intentional adopters of distortion.

    There's no limit! Post as many a day as you like.


    How about Rocky George? His work with ST provided me with thousands of hours of rippin' skate sessions! He also joined Cro-Mags for a while.

    Okay, this has to happen:



    But this one is my freakin' JAM!

     
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  20. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    Well, I had to do it before I forgot them. I did forget Andre and had to go back.

    Weirdly, the very first name that pooped into my head was Jon Butcher. And I'm not a huge Jon Butcher fan. But instantly. Odd how that stuff happens.
     
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