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Archive for the ‘Musician’ Category

RIP, James Cotton (March 16, 2017) Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on March 16, 2017

James Cotton
July 1, 1935 – March 16, 2017

Photo: Brian McMillen / brianmcmillenphotography.com

According to a press release from Alligator Records, world-renowned blues harmonica master James Cotton, whom Rolling Stone called, “One of the greats of all time, burning with brilliant virtuosity,” died on March 16, 2017 of pneumonia at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas. He was 81. His overwhelmingly powerful harmonica playing was one of the iconic sounds of the blues. He toured worldwide for over 60 years.

Born on a cotton plantation in Tunica, Mississippi on July 1, 1935, Cotton was a working musician by age nine. He learned harmonica directly from Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller), toured with Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf, and recorded for Sun Records in 1953 before spending 12 years touring and recording with Muddy Waters (starting at age 20). Cotton was featured on Muddy’s famous 1960 At Newport LP on Chess Records, including the iconic version of Got My Mojo Working, one of the classic recordings of Chicago Blues.

After his 1953 Sun sessions, Cotton didn’t record under his own name again until the mid-1960s, with tracks included in the groundbreaking Chicago/The Blues/Today! series of LPs on Vanguard. Along with Otis Spann, he cut The Blues Never Die! for Prestige.

In 1966 he formed The James Cotton Band, quickly earning a reputation as one of the most commanding and potent live blues performers in the world—a man who could literally suck the reeds out of his harmonica from the pure force of his playing. He made his initial solo albums, three for Verve and one for Vanguard, in the late 1960s.

Cotton’s blistering talent and full-throttle energy kept him in demand at concert halls all over the country. He played the Fillmore East in New York, the Fillmore West in San Francisco and every major rock and blues venue in between. During the 1970s, he cut three albums for Buddah and one for Capitol.

Cotton signed with Alligator Records in 1984, releasing two solo albums and the famed Harp Attack! with Junior Wells, Carey Bell and Billy Branch. He won a Grammy Award in 1996 for his Verve album, Deep In The Blues and recorded four albums for Telarc Records before returning to Alligator in 2010. His most recent recording was 2013’s Grammy-nominated Cotton Mouth Man.

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RIP, Joey Alves (March 12, 2017) Former Guitarist for Y&T

Posted by themusicsover on March 12, 2017

Joey Alves
DOB Unknown – March 12, 2017

Joey Alves on left. Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Joey Alves was the rhythm guitarist for Y&T from 1974 through 1989 – the period in which the band saw its most success.  Formed in 1974 as Yesterday and Today, the band eventually shortened its name to Y&T and went on to sell millions of albums over the next two decades.  1984’s In Rock We Trust became their biggest selling album, while 1985’s “Summertime Girls,” their signature song.  They are one of the few hard rock bands that survived disco, new wave, and grunge.  Joey Alves was 63 when he passed away on March 12, 2017.  He was reportedly suffering from ulcerative colitis which lead to his death.

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Joey Alves on right. Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

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RIP, Larry Coryell (February 19, 2017) The Godfather of Fusion

Posted by themusicsover on February 19, 2017

Larry Coryell
April 2, 1943 – February 19, 2017

Larry Coryell was a ground-breaking guitarist who has been credited as being a pioneer, if not THE pioneer of jazz rock fusion.  Born in Galveston, TX, Coryell was living in Washington state by the time he was in high school, and it was in and around the Yakima area where he began playing in bands after graduating.  During the  fall of 1965, Coryell moved to New York City where he played  and recorded with Chico Hamilton, and not long later, recorded and performed with Gary Burton.  As the ’70s dawned, Coryell was combining the sounds of jazz, rock, and eastern music to make a style of music most had never heard before.  He released his first album, Lady Coryell,  in 1968, and what followed was nearly 50 years of recordings that have influenced several generations of guitarists – both rock and jazz. His recordings have also been very popular with hip-hop producers and can be heard through samples on recordings by J Dilla, Jurassic 5, and DJ Shadow, to name a few. Over the course of his career, he played on over 100 albums and continued to make his own music and tour up until  the time of his death.  Larry Coryell was 73 when he passed away in his sleep on February 20, 2017, reportedly of natural causes.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

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RIP, Steve Lang (February 4, 2017) Bassist For April Wine

Posted by themusicsover on February 4, 2017

Steve Lang
March 24, 1949 – February 4, 2017

Steve Lang on left. Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Steve Lang is best remembered as a bassist for popular Canadian rock band, April Wine. Although he was not the group’s founding bass guitarist, he came on board just in time for their most successful period between 1976 and 1984.  Born in Montreal, Canada, Lang played in the fusion band, Mashmakhan, before being invited to replace April Wine’s second bassist, Jim Clench.  During Lang’s tenure with the band, he played on five albums, including their two biggest sellers, Harder…Faster and The Nature of the Beast, which included the hit singles, “Just Between You and Me” and “Sign of the Gypsy Queen.”  Lang left April Wine in 1984 and settled into working life outside of the music.  Steve Lang was 67 when he passed away on February 4, 2017.  Cause of death was not immediately released, but he had reportedly been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.

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RIP, Robert Dahlqvist (February 3, 2017) The Hellacopters

Posted by themusicsover on February 3, 2017

Robert Dahlqvist
April 16, 1976 – February 3, 2017

Photo by Roger Workman/Wikipedia

Robert Dahlqvist is best remembered as the longtime guitarist for Swedish garage band, the Hellacopters.  His tenure with the group ran from 1999 to 2008, and again for a recent live album set to come out at a later date.  Born in Uddevalla, Sweden, Dahlqvist learned to play the guitar at a very young age.  In 1999, he joined the Hellacopters who were already a popular band across Sweden and beyond.  He played on their next several releases over the following decade.  The Hellacopters built a loyal legion of fans worldwide due to their fiery loud-guitar, and pounding drum/bass sound that draws influence from the likes of KISS, the Ramones, MC5, and the Stooges, to name a few. While playing with the Hellacopters, Dahlqvist also found time for two side-project bands, Thunder Express and Dundertåget, two bands that were not sonically dissimilar to the Hellacopters.  Robert Dahlqvist passed away on February 3, 2017.  Cause of death was not immediately released. He was 40.

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