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Archive for the ‘Songwriter’ Category

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, 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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RIP, Leon Ware (February 23, 2017) Successful R&B Songwriter & Producer

Posted by themusicsover on February 23, 2017

Leon Ware
February 16, 1940 – February 23, 2017

Photo by David Corio. Source: rollingstone.com

Leon Ware was an American singer, songwriter and producer who was celebrated for the many hits he crafted for others.  Born in Detroit, Ware began writing professionally in 1967.  Later that year, the first recording note of a song he co-wrote was released; “Got To Have You Back,” by the Isley Brothers.  A couple of years later, he hooked up with Ike & Tina Turner to co-write six songs on their album,  Nuff Said.  What followed was nearly four decades of hit songs for the likes of Michael Jackson, Minnie Riperton, Quincy Jones, and Marvin Gaye.  In Gaye’s case, every song on his I Want You album was penned or co-penned by Ware who also produced the landmark album. It sold over a million copies and is considered a must-have for any album collection.  Ware also recorded nearly a dozen albums of his own, the most successful being 1979’s Inside Is Love, and the most recent, 2008’s Moon Ride.  Leon Ware was 77 when he died of prostate cancer on February 23, 2017.

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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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