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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Charlie McCoy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charlie McCoy. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Guitarist Steve Dawson Draws "Lucky Hand" On Instrumental Acoustic Album Coming June 15 from Black Hen Music

Guitarist Steve Dawson Draws Lucky Hand On Instrumental Acoustic Album Coming

June 15 from Black Hen Music

Special Guests Include a String Quartet Arranged by Jesse Zubot, and Appearances by Charlie McCoy and John Reischman

It is inspiring to hear modern instrumental music for guitar that is articulated within true song form. Steve Dawson’s new album conjures the ghost of John Fahey for me – not in imitation, but by way of joining a tradition and then extending its range. I find this song cycle to be intelligent and challenging; joyful and deeply romantic; both earthy and untethered. It is affirming – and music to which I shall soon be returning.” – Grammy-Winning Artist and Producer Joe Henry

NASHVILLE, TN – Black Hen Music announces a June 15 release date for multiple Juno-award-winning musician/producer Steve Dawson’s new instrumental acoustic album, Lucky Hand. The new recording showcases Dawson’s brilliant fingerstyle work on a variety of instruments, accompanied by special guests Jesse Zubot on violin, harmonica legend Charlie McCoy and mandolinist John Reischman, as well as the presence of a string quartet on a number of tracks. The album will be available on both CD and vinyl LP formats.

Lucky Hand is Steve Dawson’s 8th album and his first record of instrumental music since Rattlesnake Cage in 2014. The scope of his musical voice broadens to take on a cinematic quality, as he sketches aural paintings and creates tapestries of sound with his guitar. Recorded live off the floor, with up to 12 microphones in various positions throughout the large studio space to capture the guitar and orchestration, Lucky Hand represents the perfect intersection of the primitive and the modern that has fascinated Dawson for so long.

“I wanted to re-explore the acoustic fingerstyle and slide guitar pieces that I’d started with my Rattlesnake Cage album in 2014,” says Dawson, “but this time I thought it would be fun to augment that with something special; so I hooked up with my old musical partner Jesse Zubot, who created some string arrangements around the music that were meant to augment them and push the pieces along, rather than just be passive accompaniment.”

Lucky Hand represents a high point of more than two decades of musical searching for Steve Dawson.  Comprised of ten instrumental tracks of solo, duo and full-bodied string quartet works, Dawson has never released music as sweeping, dynamic and visually suggestive as this. Enlisting Jesse Zubot in the project to create complementary and adventurous arrangements for his guitar excursions, these completely realized compositions – with Zubot’s orchestration adding color to the sepia tinged melodies - represent Dawson’s finest recordings yet. 2018 marks 20 years since the debut of Zubot and Dawson, and their collaborations never cease to inspire.

“I’m interested in guitar music as a way to express song-form rather than guitar pyrotechnics,” Dawson proclaims. “I don’t really relate to modern fingerstyle music that much, although players from the 1920s up through the 1970s are what originally and still inspire me. But I still wanted to do something modern and different, which is where the duo ideas with John Reischman and Charlie McCoy, as well as the more intense string arrangement concepts all came from.

“We recorded this album in Vancouver, with all of us playing together live, using vintage mics in a big room. It was me facing the quartet, which was in a semi-circle in front of me. I’ve never done anything like that before. We just played the pieces until we got it. The challenge was to get a good performance from me while the strings were getting through their intricate parts. Everyone was sweating a little!”

All of Dawson’s records feature a wide array of stringed instruments, and Lucky Hand is no exception. His artistry on the six and twelve string guitars shimmers throughout, while the track “Bugscuffle” showcases his unique tuning and voice on the Weissenborn lap guitar. “Bentonia Blues” features a thrilling duet between Dawson’s National Steel Guitar and roots legend Charlie McCoy’s harmonica. Gorgeous interplay abounds as his guitar converses with John Reischman’s mandolin on “Little Harpeth.”  At times it’s hard to tell where Dawson’s guitar begins and Reischman’s mandolin ends. A truly masterful performance, it’s just one of the many breathless, transcendent moments to be heard on Lucky Hand.

With song titles like “Lonesome Ace” and “Lucky Hand,” a person could be forgiven for thinking that Dawson attributes his creativity to chance and caprice. In truth, each of these songs is named for the inspiration of places he’s encountered around his Nashville hometown. Music like this has nothing to do with good fortune, unless you’re talking about his listeners. For them, Lucky Hand is a royal flush of a record.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Tribute To Little Walter - Charlie McCoy

There are numerous super-session musicians in Nashville, but very few with the longevity of Charlie McCoy. In addition to being a fixture in Nashville studios for 48 years, he also has his own recording career going full tilt. (He has recorded 35 solo albums.) He served as the music director for eighteen years for the syndicated television series, “Hee Haw”.

Charlie McCoy began working sessions in the early 60s, one of the first being “Candy Man” by Roy Orbison. “Forty nine dollars”, says Charlie. That’s how much I was paid for that session back in 1961. “It got Roy another hit and me a career. For a twenty year old to make $49 for three hours work back then, it was a dream.

Shortly after the release of “Candy Man”, Charlie became one of the in-demand session players in Nashville. His session credits are literally a who’s who of country music. For a fifteen year stretch, he did more than 400 sessions a year. A grand total would number more than 12,000. (and he’s still going) In the last twenty years, he has been touring more with many appearances in Europe and Japan.

In addition to country sessions, Charlie was a mainstay on Elvis Presley recordings both in Nashville and Los Angeles. When Bob Dylan recorded “Highway 61”, “Blond On Blond”, “John Wesley Harding”, and “Nashville Skyline”, Charlie was there, playing on these land-mark recordings. He was also heard on Simon and Garfunkle’s “The Boxer” in addition to many hits from genres other than country music.

Charlie McCoy began recording for Monument Records in the late 60s and recorded 14 albums for the label, beginning with “The World Of Charlie McCoy”. He won the Grammy in 1972 for his album, “The Real McCoy”. He won CMA’s “Instrumentalist Of The Year” two times and the Academy Of Country Music’s “Specialty Instrument Award” seven times. He is a member of the “International Musician’s Hall Of Fame” and the “West Virginia Music Hall Of Fame”.

In addition to making his own recordings, Charlie was a member of a legendary recording band, “Area Code 615”. The band featured many of the top session players in Nashville.
While Charlie predominately known as a harmonica player, his musical prowess encompasses other instruments including guitar, bass, mallet percussion, (vibes, marimba, bells, Etc.), keyboards, and various wind instruments.

Charlie has toured in Europe and Japan regularly since 1989 and has released albums in France, Denmark, Germany and the Czech Republic.
In addition to “Hee Haw”, Charlie served a music director for other television shows including “The Colgate Country Showdown” and “The Arthritus Telethon”. He was in the house band for the TNN show “Music City Tonight” with Crook and Chase.

Charlie was given the “Musician” award from the Reunion Of Professional Entertainers” in 1994, elected to the German-American Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1998, The Hall Of Fame of the North American Country Music Association International in 2000, the International Musicians’ Hall Of Fame and the Old Time Country Music Hall of fame in 2007, and the West Virginia Music Hall Of fame in 2008.

On Feb. 4, 2009, it was announced that Charlie would be inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame along with Roy Clark and Barbara Mandrell.

If you need a harp on your record, Charlie is “Still Harpin’”
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