Got The Fever

Friday, January 11, 2008

Johnny “Guitar” Watson

He took his name from the 1954 film Johnny Guitar”, starring Sterling Hayden and Joan Crawford. From there, John Watson Jr. became Johnny “Guitar” Watson and proceeded to pound his highly influential playing style into the then soft and plyable sinews of blues, funk, soul, rap and rock.

I had heard an interview with him (I think on an NPR station) and he said that when he received his first guitar, it was on a promise that he wouldn’t fall victim to playing “the devil’s music”. He immediately broke his promise.

Before George Clinton started dressing up, Johnny did it first, getting all
pimped up with wild sunglasses, a gold tooth and fly suits. He was a hipper looking pimp than Huggy Bear.

But, nothing overshadowed his effortless shape-shifting ability to play in any era and not only survive and thrive, but to lead the charge.


Cuttin’ In
He just barely managed to scrape and claw his way into the R&B charts with this cut in 1962. Passionate, raw, even with the violins holding the reins, Johnny is resolute in his determined to get a chance to get a turn. It was this type of performance (and I can easily imagine this going over in an even bigger way unrestrained in front of an enthusiastic audience) in which he easily outdistanced himself, or should I say, he rather individualized and further distinguished himself from the other leading blues men who were mighty giants in the field in the early sixties.

A Real Mother For Ya

Persistent in its arrogant groove, and impossible not to nod to, this cut boosted his reputation to the stratosphere and helped to swell even further the fever for all that is Johnny. I can’t help but remember that when this came out, it knew no boundaries of where it would be heard. Based on the feel alone, this was played without judgment in dance halls, at discos, in damp cellar taverns, at drunken longhaired ‘raves’ deep in the thick woods, at neighborhood barbecues and at rock concert venues to whip the crowd up.

I’m happy to announce that it doesn’t get much better than this.

Johnny "Guitar" Watson: Cuttin' In [169]
From: The Very Best of Johnny "Guitar" Watson

Johnny "Guitar" Watson: A Real Mother For Ya [153]
From: A Real Mother For Ya

4 Comments:

  • Good to see you posting again. Keep up the good work.

    By Anonymous jb, at 11:16 AM  

  • Hey Kiddo! Contrary to popular belief I have not forgotten about nor forsaken this place {smile}.

    Talk about someone who is musically diverse! This is what is so great about visiting your site. One post is about Bread (who knew they had a hard "edge" to them?), then you scroll down and the next post is about Johnny 'Guitar' Watson!

    I'm so glad you decided to keep the blog going. Musical diversity like this is much needed on the 'Net.

    By Blogger TGrundy, at 10:15 AM  

  • Please please please re up!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:19 AM  

  • a master, a genious, excellent musician, there's so many words to describe the career of this men, but I have only one, awesome!!!

    By Anonymous Viagra Online, at 11:05 AM  

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