December 11, 2023

English Blues, British guitar

Leaping about Ten years forward from the last post today sees us focusing upon the purely British talents of Mick Taylor and  Keith Richards,  Peter Green and  Danny Kirwan, and Paul Kossoff. What is it that`s in the British Water? It must be Mud, but, I don`t know –  I`ve been drinking it for most of my life and…

Before Fleetwood Mac turned into a prog-rock-pop outfit they produced some awesome guitar based rock and blues music and I recommend having a listen to their album “Then Play On” from 1969. The band featured the combined and unmistakenly powerful guitar talents of Danny Kirwan and Peter Green.

Green`s unique tone from reversed pick up magnets in his neck position pick up combined with his distinctive hummingbird vibrato and Kirwan`s tremelo, sense of melody and song based approach to composition certainly gave Fleetwood Mac something haunting.

Compare this with the characteristically fragile power and awesome vibrato and unique phrasing of Paul Kossoff with Free featuring Paul Rodgers – probably the best white voice in rock music. With a guitar in his hands Paul Kossoff has got it all and you can hear inspired timing in free-fall, nuanced accents, soaring string bending (in reminiscence of Hendrix, and Albert, B.B., & Freddie King too…), razor tones and birdflight melodics.

Finally have a listen to another understated and under-rated blues guitar giant in the form of the melodically and stylistically incandescent Mick Taylor with the Stones who seems to combine a sense of timing, phrasing, and melody in a way aeons beyond the usual; fluid, stylistically overloaded, leagues of tone, emotional, exciting, uncomplicated and thoroughly meaningful all within the context of the song structure. Mesmerising. It`s Bobby Keys on sax`.

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