Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mick Taylor

It is early Sunday morning. We have a fresh 5 plus inches of snow on the ground. Winter is here. On the turntable is an album that never really got the airplay it deserves.

This album dates back to 1979. It was the first solo album by Mick Taylor, former guitarist of the Rolling Stones. Mick left the Sones around 1974, due to the inability to work with Keith Richards.

From Wikipedia:

“In a 1997 interview with Mojo Magazine, Taylor said: "We used to fight and argue all the time. And one of the things I got angry about was that Mick had promised to give me some credit for some of the songs – and he didn't. I believed I'd contributed enough. Let's put it this way – without my contribution those songs would not have existed. There's not many but enough, things like "Sway" and "Moonlight Mile" on Sticky Fingers and a couple of others."

The album in question, that I am listening to as I type this, is simply called “Mick Taylor.” Mick plays in a style that he was not able to do with the Rolling Stones. Jazzy, spacey, full of Latin music influences, with a few pop-like songs to fill it out.

The standout and most well-known track is “Giddy Up.” His guitar work on this is stellar, playing a Stratocaster, probably straight into a Marshall amp. Mick knows where to put the notes and when to hang back and let others shine. I dare say that a guitarist today would probably play 20 notes to Mick’s one! His Strat tones cry out, mixed in with classical and steel string guitars.

The extended song “Spanish/A Minor” weaves in and out with tasteful guitar solos and heavy use of the Arp String Ensemble a (very popular sound in the day.)

Mick has never gotten the attention he deserves. Most of us have heard him on the classic Rolling Stones albums, Exile on Main Street, Let it Bleed and all of the other greats from the early 1970s. It is my opinion that the Rollings Stones best work had Mick on guitar and he was underused in the band and di not get the credit for to work he did and songs he had a hand in writing.
Mick did not release another solo album until “Stranger in This Town” in 1990. He did keep busy with session work and appearances since, but kept quiet throughout much of the 1980s.

We saw Mick in concert around 1990 at a small venue.  Unfortunately, it was so loud we had to leave after five songs. What we did see was excellent. We just valued our ears!

Mick has worked with  the Grateful Dead in 1988 He did session work and toured in Europe, America and Japan with a band including Max Middleton. He moved back to England in the mid 1990s. He released a new album in 2000, A Stone's Throw and played at clubs and theatres as well as appearing at festivals.

Mick also worked with Carla Olson on "Too Hot For Snakes."

In 2003, he reunited with John Mayall for his 70th Birthday Concert in Liverpool along with Eric Clapton. A year later, in autumn 2004, he also joined John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers for a UK theatre tour. He toured the US East Coast with the Experience Hendrix group during October 2007.

Mick has had helath problems for the last few years, but has had a steady, but limited, touring schedule for the past few years.

Mick's music is well worth searching out, particularly the album that inspired me to write this.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Manic Slide Playing

I have not posted any of my guitar playing in quite some time. Here is a manic slide guitar piece I did while on my lunch break. I telecommute one day a week, and had the house to myself. Normally, I would drive my family nuts with this type of playing! Someday, I will get around to playing along with a backing track.