Buchanan performing at the Pinecrest
Country Club, Shelton, Connecticut, 1978
|Birth name||Leroy Buchanan|
|Born||September 23, 1939|
Ozark, Arkansas, US
|Died||August 14, 1988 48) (aged|
Fairfax, Virginia, US
|Genres||Blues, blues rock, electric blues, rock and roll, rockabilly, country|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass, vocals|
|Labels||Polydor, Atlantic, Alligator|
|Associated acts||Robbie Robertson, Danny Gatton, Dale Hawkins, Danny Denver, The Snakestretchers, The British Walkers|
Leroy "Roy" Buchanan (September 23, 1939 – August 14, 1988) was an American guitarist and blues musician. A pioneer of the Telecaster sound,Buchanan worked as a sideman and as a solo artist, with two gold albums early in his career and two later solo albums that made it to the Billboard chart. He never achieved stardom, but he is still considered a highly influential guitar player. Guitar Player praised him as having one of the "50 Greatest Tones of All Time." He appeared on the PBS music program Austin City Limits in 1977 (season 2).
Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, and spirituals. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes, usually thirds, fifths or sevenths flattened in pitch are also an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove.
Guitar Player is an American popular magazine for guitarists, founded in 1967 in San Jose, California, United States. It contains articles, interviews, reviews and lessons of an eclectic collection of artists, genres and products. It has been in print since late 1967. The magazine is currently edited by Christopher Scapilitti.
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American public broadcaster and television program distributor. It is a nonprofit organization and the most prominent provider of educational television programming to public television stations in the United States, distributing series such as American Experience, America's Test Kitchen, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Barney & Friends, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Downton Abbey, Finding Your Roots, Frontline, The Magic School Bus, Masterpiece, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Nature, Nova, the PBS NewsHour, Sesame Street, Teletubbies, and This Old House.
Leroy Buchanan was born in Ozark, Arkansas, and was raised there and in Pixley, California, a farming area near Bakersfield. His father was a sharecropper in Arkansas and a farm laborer in California.Buchanan told interviewers that his father was also a Pentecostal preacher, a note repeated in Guitar Player magazine but disputed by his older brother J.D.. Buchanan told how his first musical memories were of racially mixed revival meetings he attended with his mother, Minnie. "Gospel," he recalled, "that's how I first got into black music." He in fact drew upon many disparate influences while learning to play the guitar (though he later claimed his aptitude derived from being "half-wolf"). He initially showed talent on steel guitar before switching to guitar in the early 50s, and started his professional career at age 15, in Johnny Otis's rhythm and blues revue.
Ozark is a city in Franklin County, Arkansas, United States and one of the county's two seats of government. The community is located along the Arkansas River in the Arkansas River Valley on the southern edge of the Ozark Mountains. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 3,684.
Pixley is a census-designated place (CDP) in Tulare County, California, United States. The population was 3,310 at the 2010 census, up from 2,586 at the 2000 census.
Bakersfield is a city in and the county seat of Kern County, California, United States. It covers about 151 sq mi (390 km2) near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population is around 380,000, making it the 9th-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd-largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale, and Rosedale, has a population of over 520,000. Bakersfield is a charter city.
In 1958, Buchanan made his recording debut accompanying Dale Hawkins (Buchanan played the solo on "My Babe") for Chicago's Chess Records.Two years later, during a tour through Toronto, Buchanan left Dale Hawkins to play for his cousin Ronnie Hawkins and tutor Ronnie's guitar player, Robbie Robertson. Buchanan plays bass on the Ronnie Hawkins single "Who Do You Love?". Buchanan soon returned to the United States, and members of the Ronnie Hawkins' group later gained fame as the roots rock group The Band.
Delmar Allen "Dale" Hawkins was a pioneer American rock singer, songwriter, and rhythm guitarist who was often called the architect of swamp rock boogie. Ronnie Hawkins was his cousin.
"My Babe" is a Chicago blues song and a blues standard written by Willie Dixon for Little Walter. Released in 1955 on Checker Records, a subsidiary of Chess Records, the song was the only Dixon composition ever to become a number one R&B single and it was one of the biggest hits of either of their careers.
Chess Records was an American record company, founded in 1950 in Chicago and specializing in blues and rhythm and blues. Over time it expanded into soul music, gospel music, early rock and roll, and occasional jazz and comedy recordings, released on the Chess label and on its subsidiary labels Checker, Argo/Cadet and Cadet Concept. The entire Chess catalogue is currently owned by Universal Music Group and managed by Geffen Records.
In the early 1960s, Buchanan often played as a sideman with various rock bands, and he played guitar in recording sessions with Freddy Cannon, Merle Kilgore, and others. At the end of the 1960s, with a growing family, Buchanan left the music industry to learn a trade and was trained as a hairdresser (barber). [ citation needed ] Buchanan was also popular as a solo act in the D.C. area at this time.However, in the early 1970s he performed in the Washington, D.C.–Maryland–Virginia area with the Danny Denver Band, which had a following in the area.
Frederick Anthony Picariello Jr., known as Freddy Cannon, is an American rock and roll singer, whose biggest international hits included "Tallahassee Lassie", "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans", and "Palisades Park".
Wyatt Merle Kilgore was an American singer, songwriter, and manager. Born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, he was raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was the personal manager of Hank Williams Jr. at the time of his death.
In 1961 he released "Mule Train Stomp", his first single for Swan, featuring rich guitar tones. Buchanan's 1962 recording with drummer Bobby Gregg, nicknamed "Potato Peeler," first introduced the trademark Buchanan "pinch" harmonic. An effort to cash in on the British Invasion caught Buchanan with the British Walkers. In the mid-1960s, Buchanan settled down in the Washington, D.C., area, playing for Danny Denver's band for many years while acquiring a reputation as "...one of the very finest rock guitarists around. Jimi Hendrix would not take up the challenge of a 'pick-off' with Roy."
Robert J. "Bobby" Gregg was an American musician who performed as a drummer and record producer. As a drum soloist and band leader he recorded one album and several singles, including one Top 40 single in the United States. But he is better known for his work as a drummer on several seminal 1960s songs, including Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence". He was also temporarily a member of The Hawks, which later became known as The Band.
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His mainstream career lasted only four years, but he is widely regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in history and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".
The facts behind that claim are that in March 1968 a photographer friend, John Gossage gave Buchanan tickets to a concert by the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Washington Hilton. "Buchanan was dismayed to find his own trademark sounds, like the wah-wah that he'd painstakingly produced with his hands and his Telecaster, created by electronic pedals. He could never attempt Hendrix's stage show, and this realization refocused him on his own quintessentially American roots-style guitar picking."
Gossage recalls how Roy was very impressed by the Hendrix 1967 debut album Are You Experienced? , which was why he made sure to give Roy a ticket to the early show at the Hilton. Gossage went backstage to take photos and tried to convince Jimi to go and see Roy at the Silver Dollar that night after the show, but Jimi seemed more interested in hanging out with the young lady who was backstage with him. Hendrix never showed up at the Silver Dollar, but Gossage did talk to Roy about seeing the Hilton show. That same night (as the Hilton show) Roy did several Hendrix numbers and "from that point on, had nothing but good things to say about Hendrix".He later released recordings of the Hendrix composition "If 6 Was 9" and the Hendrix hit "Hey Joe" (written by Billy Roberts and first recorded by The Leaves).
Buchanan's life changed in 1971, when he gained national notice as the result of an hour-long PBS television documentary. Entitled Introducing Roy Buchanan, and sometimes mistakenly called The Best Unknown Guitarist in the World, it earned a record deal with Polydor Records and praise from John Lennon and Merle Haggard, besides an alleged invitation to join the Rolling Stones which he turned down and which gave him the nickname "the man who turned the Stones down".He may have turned the Stones down for two reasons. He may have feared abusing drugs and alcohol more if he joined them, and dying, like Brian Jones. And he may have felt that his own career as he was then pursuing it had promising directions that he couldn't follow as well if he joined the Stones. In 1977, he appeared on the PBS music program Austin City Limits during Season 2. He recorded five albums for Polydor, one of which, Second Album , went gold, and after that another three for Atlantic Records, one of which, 1977's Loading Zone, also went gold. Buchanan quit recording in 1981, vowing never to enter a studio again unless he could record his own music his own way. Four years later, Alligator Records coaxed Buchanan back into the studio.
His first album for Alligator, When a Guitar Plays the Blues , was released in the spring of 1985. It was the first time he had total artistic freedom in the studio. [ citation needed ]His second Alligator LP, Dancing on the Edge (with vocals on three tracks by Delbert McClinton), was released in the fall of 1986. He released the twelfth and last album of his career, Hot Wires , in 1987.
According to his agent and others, Buchanan was doing well, having gained control of his drinking habit and playing again, when he was arrested for public intoxication after a domestic dispute.He was found hanged from his own shirt in a jail cell on August 14, 1988, in the Fairfax County, Virginia, Jail. According to Thomas Hartman, who was in a cell near Buchanan's, the deputy sheriff opened the door early in the morning and found Buchanan with the shirt around his neck. Buchanan's last show was on August 7, 1988, at Guilford Fairgrounds in Guilford, Connecticut. His cause of death was officially recorded as suicide, a finding disputed by Buchanan's friends and family. One of his friends, Marc Fisher, reported seeing Roy's body with bruises on the head.
After his death, compilation and other albums continue to be released, including in 2004 the never-released first album he recorded for Polydor, The Prophet.
Roy Buchanan is interred at Columbia Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Buchanan used a number of guitars in his career, although he was most often associated with a 1953 Fender Telecaster, serial number 2324, nicknamed "Nancy."At some point "Nancy" had jumbo frets installed, but remained largely original. There are two very different stories explaining how Buchanan got the guitar. He himself said that, while enrolled in 1969 in a school to learn to be a hairdresser, he ran after a guy walking down the street with that guitar, and bought him a purple Telecaster to trade. A friend of Buchanan's, however, said that Buchanan was playing a Gibson Les Paul at the time, and traded it for the '53 Tele. One of Buchanan's Telecasters was later owned by Danny Gatton and Mike Stern, who lost it in a robbery.
Buchanan achieved his sound through minimum means. He played the Telecaster through a Fender Vibrolux amplifier with the volume and tone "full out," and used the guitar's volume and tone controls to control volume and sound(he achieved a wah wah effect using the tone control). To achieve his desired distorted sounds, Buchanan at one point used a razor blade to slit the paper cones of the speakers in his amp, an approach also employed by the Kinks' Dave Davies and others. Buchanan rarely used effects pedals, though he started using an Echoplex on A Street Called Straight (1976). In his later career he played with a Boss DD-2 delay.
Buchanan taught himself various playing techniques, including "chicken picking". He sometimes used his thumb nail rather than a plectrum, and also employed it to augment his index finger and pick. Holding the pick between his thumb and forefinger, Buchanan also plucked the string and simultaneously touched it lightly with the lower edge of his thumb at one of the harmonic nodes, thus suppressing lower overtones and emphasising the harmonic, sometimes referred to as pinch harmonics,though Buchanan called it an "overtone." Buchanan could play harmonics at will, and could mute individual strings with free right-hand fingers while picking or pinching others. He was famous as well for his oblique bends.
Having first played lap steel guitar, Buchanan often imitated its effect and bent strings to the required pitch, rather than starting on the desired note.This was particularly notable in his approach to using double and triple stops.
Buchanan has influenced many guitarists, including Robbie Robertson, Gary Moore,Danny Gatton, Arlen Roth, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Jerry Garcia, Mick Ronson, Jim Campilongo, and Steve Kimock; Beck dedicated his version of "Cause We've Ended As Lovers" from Blow by Blow to him. His work is said to "stretch the limits of the electric guitar," and he is praised for "his subtlety of tone and the breadth of his knowledge, from the blackest of blues to moaning R&B and clean, concise, bone-deep rock 'n' roll." In 2004, Guitar Player listed his version of "Sweet Dreams," from his debut album on Polydor, Roy Buchanan , as having one of the "50 Greatest Tones of All Time." In the same year, the readers of Guitar Player voted Buchanan #46 in a top 50 readers' poll. Roy is the subject of Freddy Blohm's song "King of a Small Room."
The term jazz guitar may refer to either a type of guitar or to the variety of guitar playing styles used in the various genres which are commonly termed "jazz". The jazz-type guitar was born as a result of using electric amplification to increase the volume of conventional acoustic guitars.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience was a British-American rock band that formed in Westminster, London, in September 1966. Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, drummer Mitch Mitchell, and bassist Noel Redding comprised the group, which was active until June 1969. During this time, they released three studio albums and became one of the most popular acts in rock music. Starting in April 1970, Hendrix, Mitchell, and bassist Billy Cox performed and recorded until Hendrix's death on September 18, 1970. This later trio was sometimes billed as the "Jimi Hendrix Experience", but the title was never formalized.
A wah-wah pedal is a type of electric guitar effects pedal that alters the tone and frequencies of the guitar signal to create a distinctive sound, mimicking the human voice saying the onomatopoeic name "wah-wah". The pedal sweeps the peak response of a frequency filter up and down in frequency to create the sound, a spectral glide, also known as "the wah effect". The wah-wah effect originated in the 1920s, with trumpet or trombone players finding they could produce an expressive crying tone by moving a mute in and out of the instrument's bell. This was later simulated with electronic circuitry for the electric guitar when the wah-wah pedal was invented. It is controlled by movement of the player's foot on a rocking pedal connected to a potentiometer. Wah-wah effects are used when a guitarist is soloing, or creating a "wacka-wacka" funk-styled rhythm for rhythm guitar playing.
John Dawson Winter III, known as Johnny Winter, was an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. Best known for his high-energy blues-rock albums and live performances in the late 1960s and 1970s, Winter also produced three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters. After his time with Waters, Winter recorded several Grammy-nominated blues albums. In 1988, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and in 2003, he was ranked 63rd in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Are You Experienced is the debut studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released in 1967, the LP was an immediate critical and commercial success, and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest debuts in the history of rock music. The album features Jimi Hendrix's innovative approach to songwriting and electric guitar playing which soon established a new direction in psychedelic and hard rock music.
Jon Gordon Langseth Jr., known as Jonny Lang, is an American blues, gospel, and rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and recording artist. He has five albums that charted on the top 50 of the Billboard 200 chart and has won a Grammy Award for Turn Around.
Axis: Bold as Love is the second studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was recorded to fulfill the Experience's contract, which stated that they had to produce two records in 1967.
"Sunshine of Your Love" is a 1967 song by the British rock band Cream. With elements of hard rock, psychedelia, and pop, it is one of Cream's best known and most popular songs. Cream bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce based it on a distinctive bass riff, he developed after attending a Jimi Hendrix concert. Guitarist Eric Clapton and lyricist Pete Brown later contributed to the song. Recording engineer Tom Dowd suggested the rhythm arrangement in which drummer Ginger Baker plays a distinctive tom-tom drum rhythm, although Baker has claimed it was his idea.
Band of Gypsys is a live album by Jimi Hendrix and the first without his original group, the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was recorded on January 1, 1970, at the Fillmore East in New York City with Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums, frequently referred to as the Band of Gypsys. The album mixes funk and rhythm and blues elements with hard rock and jamming, an approach which later became the basis of funk rock. It contains previously unreleased songs and was the last full-length Hendrix album released before his death.
Joe Louis Walker, also known as JLW is an American musician, best known as an electric blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer. His knowledge of blues history is revealed by his use of older material and playing styles.
Jimmie Lawrence Vaughan is an American blues rock guitarist and singer based in Austin, Texas. He is the older brother of the late Texas blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.
"Voodoo Child " is a song recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968 that appears as the final track on the Electric Ladyland album released that year. It contains improvised guitar and a vocal from Jimi Hendrix, backed by Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. The song is one of Hendrix's best known; it was a feature of his concert performances throughout his career, and several live renditions were recorded and released on later albums.
The Dunlop Cry Baby is a popular wah-wah pedal, manufactured by Dunlop Manufacturing, Inc. The name Cry Baby was from the original pedal from which it was copied, the Thomas Organ/Vox Cry Baby wah-wah, first manufactured in 1966. Thomas Organ/Vox failed to register the name as a trademark, leaving it open for Dunlop. More recently, Dunlop manufactured the Vox pedals under licence, although this is no longer the case.
Anthony James Franklin is an English rock musician, best known for his work on the fretless bass guitar with Roy Harper, The Firm, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, John Sykes' Blue Murder, David Gilmour, Kate Bush, Whitesnake, and most recently with Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
Guitar Shorty is an American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is well known for his explosive guitar style and wild stage antics. Billboard magazine said, “his galvanizing guitar work defines modern, top-of-the-line blues-rock. His vocals remain as forceful as ever. Righteous shuffles...blistering, sinuous guitar solos.”
"Mercy, Mercy" is a soul song first recorded by American singer/songwriter Don Covay in 1964. It established Covay's recording career and influenced later vocal and guitar styles. The songwriting is usually credited to Covay and Ron Alonzo Miller, although other co-writers' names have also appeared on various releases.
Seymour W. Duncan is an American guitarist and guitar repairman and a co-founder of the Seymour Duncan Company, a manufacturer of guitar pickups, bass pickups, and effects pedals located in Santa Barbara, California. Born in New Jersey, Duncan grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, during a time when electric guitar music grew into greater acceptance. In a 1984 interview Duncan talks about when he started to play guitar:
Michael Williams is an American guitarist. Mainly a Texas blues-style player, he has opened for Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, George Thorogood, Jonny Lang, and others. His 2013 album Fire Red was produced by Eddie Kramer. Williams learned to love the blues from his father, who played with an Austin-based band called The Cobras, and was influenced early on by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix. He uses Divided by 13 amplifiers, and his wah-slide tone on one of Fire Red's songs was made using two Tube Screamers, a wah pedal, and a Bic lighter.