News & Updates — guitar

Pete Cosey / Oct 9, 1943 - May 30, 2012

Pete Cosey / Oct 9, 1943 - May 30, 2012

Pete Cosey is a Chicago guitar legend, a heavy man with a heavy sound. He is best known for his mid-'70s work for Miles Davis. Despite having never recorded as a leader, he has gotten on many sessions and had a notable career as a Hendrix-esque sonic poet. He was born into a jazz family in Chicago, his father played sax with Sidney Bechet, Louis Jordan, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Big Bill Broonzy and Josephine Baker, and his mother was a composer. He spent his teenage years in Tucson but came back to Chicago for some session work at Chess. He...

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Eddie Cochran / Oct 3, 1938 - April 17, 1960

Eddie Cochran / Oct 3, 1938 - April 17, 1960

Eddie Cochran, rockabilly icon of the '50s who perhaps set the template for the rebellious, tough rocker image, was born on this day in 1938. He was an innovative guitarist, a proto-punk influence and an early experimenter of overdubbing and multitracking. He remains one of the great heroes of early rock & roll. Originally from Minnesota, as a teenager he moved with his family to Los Angeles. He started off playing drums as a kid before learning guitar. He was into blues & country and dropped out of high school to become a professional musician. In '54 was part of a...

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Víctor Jara / Sept 28, 1932 - Sept 16, 1973

Víctor Jara / Sept 28, 1932 - Sept 16, 1973

One of Chilé's national heroes, Víctor Jara was a martyred nueva-canción folk singer and songwriter who was victim of the bloody US-funded Pinochet coup and horrific ensuing violence. He was murdered and his body thrown into the street. This post honoring Jara on his birthday could also be considered a "fuck you" to the United States' continued program of destabilizing countries around the globe for the benefit of fat cats at the top of the stinking, rotting capitalist pile of garbage. Growing up very poor, his violent father left the family but his mother encouraged education before she died in...

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Blind Lemon Jefferson / Sept 24, 1893 - Dec 19, 1929

Blind Lemon Jefferson / Sept 24, 1893 - Dec 19, 1929

Perhaps the first country blues star and indisputably the father of Texas style blues, the unique guitar stylist and impressive singer Lemon Henry Jefferson (aka "Blind Lemon Jefferson") was born without sight to a sharecropping family from Texas. He began playing guitar at 19 and soon after he befriended and played a bunch with Lead Belly in Dallas. In 1917 he hired young T-Bone Walker as a guide and it was Jefferson who was his guitar teacher. (He also taught Josh White). He made his first recordings in '25, gospel sides released as by "Deacon L.J. Bates". In '26 he first...

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Jesse Ed Davis / Sept 21, 1944 - June 22, 1988

Jesse Ed Davis / Sept 21, 1944 - June 22, 1988

One of the most-called session men of his day, the Comanche/Kiowa tribal guitarist/pianist Jesse Ed Davis was born on this day in 1944. His father Jesse was a well-known "True Indian" painter. The younger Davis got his musical career started in his native Oklahoma in a band in the late '50s with future Blood Sweat & Tears vocalist Jerry Fisher. In the mid-'60s he went on the road as a member of Conway Twitty's band before settling in California. Through friends Leon Russell and Levon Helm he got acquainted with the studio scene and started working as a session man/secret...

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