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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 Donald 'Duck' Dunn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donald 'Duck' Dunn. Show all posts

Monday, April 1, 2013

Concord / Stax Records Reissue: Albert King - Born Under A Bad Sign - New Release Review

I just received the newest reissue from Concord Music Group (April 2, 2013), Albert King's Born Under A Bad Sign. With addition of liner notes by Bill Dahl, this release has a full spectrum picture of Kings work. Featuring the Stax "House Band"; Steve Cropper (guitar), Booker T Jones (piano), Isaac Hayes (piano), Donald "Duck" Dunn, and Al Jackson Jr, (also known as Booker T and the MG's)and Wayne Jackson, Andrew love and Joe Arnold (also known as the Memphis Horns); King has the backing that can deliver anything he may want. The release opens with one of King's most well know tracks, Born Under A Bad Sign. Yes, Eric Clapton and Cream didn't hurt any by covering it, but it was Albert King that really breathed the life into it and it was his gateway to stardom. King has a very distinctive guitar playing style often attributed to his playing left handed (although the guitar was strung right handed) giving it a unique sound but I personally think Albert had his own feel later mimicked by SRV among others. It oozed blues. Next up is Crosscut Saw set to a Latin rhythm, a common maneuver for King. Albert had a great voice and his playing dominated most anything he touched. Did Eric borrow some of King's riffs... just listen! On Leiber and Stoller track Kansas City, King takes a standard pop track (hey, the Beatles even covered this track) and made it into a swing blues track. The horns really shine on this track and King riffs out but this really is a radio track. Another track showing a melding of styles is Pretty Woman. King again carries this largely based upon his vocal skills but never misses the opportunity to throw the hot riffs into the fire. King really is one of the fathers of the "modern" blues as we know it. On King original, Down Don't Bother Me, Albert gets a real solid Texas blues lope and his guitar phrasing is just perfect. On Ivory Joe Hunter's soul classic, I Almost Lost My Mind, King melds blues with jazz keeping his "V" under control with light riffs to accommodate a loose jam. Another original track, Personal Manager, shows King at a relaxed pace, taking the time to sing quietly before knocking the doors down with classic ripping blues smoke! On Laundromat Blues, King uses his call and response technique to the extreme answering his own vocal call with a guitar riff response. Listen to these riffs ...and think of how many of your favorites have played them like their own. Yes, Albert was the King! One of my personal favorites on the release, As The Years Go Passing By, shows a perfect balance between the horns, Kings rich voice and his incredible guitar phrasing. This is THE track to hear by Albert King! Also included on this release are alternate takes of Born Under A Bad Sign, Crosscut Saw, The Hunter and Personal Manager. These tracks are all really nice additions and give you different riffs and backing. Very cool. Lastly, there is an untitled instrumental of Albert jamming out with the horns. Dunn shows a bass slide and you can just sit back and listen to the King doing the Kings thing. Great release and one that you should definitely check out!

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE” Yes, you're right... this is a live track and the release is a studio cut. Enjoy Mr King in full color!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Green Onions - Steve Cropper & Donald 'Duck' Dunn

Donald “Duck” Dunn (November 24, 1941 – May 13, 2012) was an American bass guitarist, session musician, record producer, and songwriter. Dunn was notable for his 1960s recordings with Booker T. & the M.G.'s and as a session bassist for Stax Records, which specialized in blues and gospel-infused southern soul which became known as Memphis Soul. At Stax, Dunn played on thousands of records including hits by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, and many others. Dunn also performed on recordings with The Blues Brothers, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Isaac Hayes, Levon Helm, Neil Young, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Wilson Pickett, Guy Sebastian, Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Roy Buchanan, Steely Dan, Tinsley Ellis and Arthur Conley. Dunn was born in Memphis, Tennessee. His father nicknamed him "Duck" while watching Disney cartoons with him one day. Dunn grew up playing sports and riding his bike with fellow future professional musician Steve Cropper. After Cropper began playing guitar with mutual friend Charlie Freeman, Dunn decided to pick up the bass guitar. Eventually, along with drummer Terry Johnson, the four became "The Royal Spades". The Messick High School group picked up keyboardist Jerry "Smoochy" Smith, singer Ronnie Angel (also known as Stoots), and a budding young horn section in baritone saxophone player Don Nix, tenor saxophone player Charles "Packy" Axton, and trumpeter (and future co-founder of The Memphis Horns) Wayne Jackson. Cropper has noted how the self-taught Dunn started out playing along with records, filling in what he thought should be there. "That's why Duck Dunn's bass lines are very unique", Cropper said, "They're not locked into somebody's schoolbook somewhere". Axton's mother Estelle and her brother Jim Stewart owned Satellite Records and signed the band, who had a national hit with "Last Night" in 1961 under their new name "The Mar-Keys". The bassist on "Last Night" was Donald "Duck" Dunn, but he left the Mar-Keys in 1962 to join Ben Branch's big band. The Booker T and the M.G.s group was founded by Steve Cropper and Booker T. Jones in 1962; Al Jackson, Jr. served as the band's drummer. The original bassist, on early hits such as "Green Onions", was Lewie Steinberg; Dunn replaced him in 1964 Stax became known for Jackson's drum sound, the sound of The Memphis Horns, and Duck Dunn's grooves. The MGs and Dunn's bass lines on songs like Otis Redding's "Respect" and "I Can't Turn You Loose", Sam & Dave's "Hold On, I'm Comin'", and Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign" influenced musicians everywhere. As an instrumental group, they continued to experiment with McLemore Avenue (their reworking of The Beatles' Abbey Road) and on their final outing, 1971's Melting Pot, which featured basslines that to this day serve as a source of inspiration for hip-hop artists. In the 1970s, Jones and Cropper left Stax, but Dunn and Jackson stayed with the label. He worked with Elvis Presley on his 1973 RCA Album Raised On Rock. Dunn went on to play for Muddy Waters, Freddie King, and Jerry Lee Lewis, as well as Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart. He was the featured bass player for Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty's "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" single from Nicks' 1981 debut solo album Bella Donna, as well as other Petty tracks between 1976 and 1981. He reunited with Cropper as a member of Levon Helm's RCO All Stars and also displayed his quirky Southern humor making two movies with Cropper, former Stax drummer Willie Hall, and Dan Aykroyd, as a member of The Blues Brothers band. Dunn was the bassist in Eric Clapton's band for Clapton's appearance at Live Aid in 1985. Dunn played himself in the 1980 feature The Blues Brothers, where he famously uttered the line, "We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline!" He appeared in the 1998 sequel Blues Brothers 2000, once again playing himself. Dunn & the MGs were the house band for Bob Dylan's 30th anniversary in the music business concert at Madison Square Garden playing behind Dylan, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder, SinĂ©ad O'Connor, Eddie Vedder, and Neil Young who recruited the MGs to tour with him and recorded with Dunn several times since. In the 2000s Dunn was in semi-retirement, although he still performed occasionally with Booker T & the MGs at clubs and music festivals. In June 2004, Dunn, Cropper, and Jones served as the house band for Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival. The group backed such guitarists as Joe Walsh and David Hidalgo on the main stage at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. In 2008, Dunn worked with Australian soul singer Guy Sebastian touring The Memphis Album. Dunn and Steve Cropper arrived in Australia on February 20, 2008, to be Sebastian's backing band for an 18-date concert tour, The Memphis Tour. Dunn is credited with performing on a version of the standard "I Ain't Got Nobody" alongside Booker T Jones, Steve Cropper and Michel Gondry in Michel Gondry's 2008 film Be Kind Rewind. On the morning of May 13, 2012, Dunn died in his sleep after finishing his fifth double show at the Blue Note night club in Tokyo with Steve Cropper the night before. He had been in the country as part of an ongoing tour with Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd. He is survived by his wife, June; a son, Jeff; and a grandchild, Michael If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!