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RIP, Allan Holdsworth (April 16, 2017) Acclaimed Fusion Guitarist

Posted by themusicsover on April 16, 2017

Allan Holdsworth
August 6, 1946 – April 16, 2017

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Allan Holdsworth was a highly influential jazz fusion guitarist who, over the course of 40+ years released 12 well-regarded albums and played on records by the likes of Jean-Luc Ponty, Soft Machine, Bill Bruford, and Stanley Clarke. Born in Bradford, England, Holdsworth was taught music by his pianist father from an early age.  Although he didn’t pick up the guitar, until he was 17, he was a quick-learn and more or less made that his instrument of choice from then on.  Holdsworth eventually relocated to London and joined the prog rock band, Igginbottom who released one album in 1969.  He spent most of the ’70s playing in prog and fusion bands while collaborating with many to the genre’s best known and respected artists.  He released his first solo album, Feels Good To Me, in 1978, and continued to record and perform live to adoring fans for the better part of the next four decades.  His chord progressions were complex and his solos very intricate, so it is no surprise that later guitar greats like Eddie Van Halen, Tom Morello, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Joe Satriani have all sited him as a major influence.  Allan Holdsworth was 70 when he passed away on April 16, 2017.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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RIP, John Geils (April 11, 2017) Founder Of The J. Geils Band

Posted by themusicsover on April 11, 2017

John Geils
February 20, 1946 – April  11, 2017

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John Geils, known professionally as J. Geils, was the founder and lead guitarist of the popular Boston blues rock band, the J. Geils Band.  From an early age, Geils was surrounded by jazz and blues music thanks to his dad’s influence.  As a child, he could work out Miles Davis’ music on the trumpet and drums. He also taught himself the by listening to the likes of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters on the radio.  When it came time for college, Geils chose Northwestern University where he played trumpet in the marching band.  He soon moved over to Worcester Polytechnic University where he met Peter Wolf, Danny Klein, Magic Dick Salwitz and Seth Justman, and the J. Geils Band was soon formed. They released their first album in 1970, but even though they received plenty of FM airplay and marveled concert audiences all over the country, it took another 12 years and 11 albums before they hit #1 with Freeze Frame.  The band have several charting singles throughout their run, including “Musta Got Lost,” “Freeze Frame,” “Love Stinks,” and most famously,  “Centerfold.”  The J. Geils Band broke up in 1985, after which, Geils began driving race cars and opened an auto restoration shop.  In 1996, he sold the shop and went on to participate in band reunions over the next two decades before retiring in 2012.  On April 11, 2017, local police paid a well-being visit on J. Geils’ home only to find him deceased at the age of 71.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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RIP, Lonnie Brooks (April 1, 2017) Chicago Blues Legend

Posted by themusicsover on April 1, 2017

Lonnie Brooks (Born Lee Baker)
December 18, 1933 – April 1, 2017

According to a press release from Alligator Records, Lonnie Brooks passed away on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the age of 83. Cause of death was not immediately released. Over the course of his 60-year career, Brooks recorded 11 full albums and dozens of 45s for a number of labels. His career began in Port Arthur, Texas in the mid-1950s. Recording under the name Guitar Junior, he scored a string of regional hits, including “Family Rules” and “The Crawl” for the Goldband label. The success of his singles led to numerous southern tours and a busy performance schedule that included dancehalls, juke joints and roadhouses across Texas and Louisiana. In 1959, Brooks befriended the great Sam Cooke, who suggested his move to Chicago. Once settled, he changed his name to Lonnie Brooks (Chicago already had a Guitar Junior) and became infatuated with the sound of deep Chicago blues. He soon landed a job as a sideman with blues hitmaker Jimmy Reed, with whom he toured and recorded. Brooks cut a handful of singles throughout the 1960s, while appearing on a number of Chicago blues and R&B recording sessions. He played nightly in the bars on the South and West sides of Chicago and in Gary and East Chicago, Indiana. In 1969, Capitol Records released Brooks’ first album, Broke an’ Hungry, under his old stage name, Guitar Junior.  In 1978, Brooks recorded four songs for Alligator Records’ Grammy-nominated Living Chicago Blues anthology. This led to a full contract with the label. His Alligator debut, Bayou Lightning, was released in 1979. The album, along with Brooks’ roof-raising live performances, brought him to the attention of Rolling Stone, which ran a six-page feature on the legendary musician. The album won the prestigious Grand Prix du Disque Award from the 1980 Montreux Jazz Festival. Constant touring in the U.S. and abroad kept Brooks in the public eye. His scorching 1980 live performance of “Sweet Home Chicago” on the Blues Deluxe album (resulting in Brooks’ second Grammy nomination) is now considered the quintessential version of the song.  His final two releases, 1996’s Roadhouse Rules and 1999’s Lone Star Shootout, showed Brooks at his very best – an electrifying guitarist with full-throated vocals, clever original songs, and a dedication to having fun.   Lonnie’s last recording appearance was as a guest on his son Ronnie Baker Brooks‘ latest album, Times Have Change.

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Died On This Date (March 30, 2017) Elyse Steinman / Guitarist For Raging Slab

Posted by themusicsover on March 30, 2017

Elyse Steinman
DOB Unknown – March 30, 2017

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Elyse Steinman is best remembered as the founding guitarist for the beloved New York City heavy rock band, Raging Slab.  Formed in 1983, Raging Slab found a sound that was drawn from equal parts early ’70s hard rock, and late ’70s punk rock.  By the late ’80s, they had built a sizable regional following and record companies began to take notice.  After releasing their debut, Assmaster, on a small independent punk label, major labels came knocking.  After a bidding frenzy, they ultimately signed with RCA in 1989. Soon, Guitar Player magazine was describing them as “Lynyrd Skynyrd meets Metallica,” and their fans couldn’t get enough.  Although their line-up changed quite a bit over the years, Steinman was always there pounding away on guitar.  Elyse Steinman died as a result of breast cancer on March 30, 2017.

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RIP, Chuck Berry (March 18, 2017) Rock and Roll Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry
October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017

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As one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, Chuck Berry refined the early sounds of rhythm and blues, added catchy teen-centric lyrics, and turned up the volume of his guitar.  By doing so, he became one of the most influential artists pop music has ever known. Launching his recording career during the mid ’50s, Berry created songs that not only became a part of  America’s fabric, but would be played on radios, at parties, in concerts, on television, and in movies for the next 60 years. His remarkable output included such unforgettable songs as  “Johnny B. Goode,” “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and “Rock and Roll Music.”  On stage, he stood head and shoulders above most of his peers by adding a showmanship that included dazzling guitar solos, and of course, that “duck walk” across the stage.  His direct influence is staggering –  the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Beach Boys, Michael JacksonBruce Springsteen, U2, Prince, Ted Nugent, Tom Petty, and George Thorogood  (to name just a very few) have all cited him as a significant influence or honored him in some way.  In 1986, Berry was deservedly part of the initial class inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he went on to receive countless accolades for the rest of his life.  And of course, a pop music-related “Best Of” list that does not include him or one of his records somewhere near the top, should be taken to the shredder.  Chuck Berry was 90 when he passed away in his home on March 18, 2017. Cause of death was not immediately released.

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