Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Buddy Guy

George "Buddy" Guy (75) (born July 30, 1936) is an American blues guitarist and singer. He is a critically acclaimed artist who has established himself as a pioneer of the Chicago blues sound, and has served as an influence to some of the most notable musicians of his generation. Guy is known, too, for his showmanship on stage, playing his guitar with drumsticks, or strolling into the audience while playing solos. He was ranked thirtieth in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". His song "Stone Crazy" was ranked seventy-eighth in list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time also of Rolling Stone.

Buddy Guy appeared onstage at the March 1969 Supershow at Staines, England that also included Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Jack Bruce, Stephen Stills, Buddy Miles, Glen Campbell, Roland Kirk, and Jon HisemanThe Misunderstood Roland Kirk.

While Buddy Guy's music is often labeled Chicago blues, his style is unique and separate. His music can vary from the most traditional, deepest blues to a creative, unpredictable and radical gumbo of the blues, avant rock, soul and free jazz that morphs at each night’s performance.

For almost 50 years, Guy performed flamboyant live concerts of energetic blues and blues rock, predating the 1960s blues rockers. As a musician’s musician, he had a fundamental impact on the blues and on rock and roll, influencing a new generation of artists.

Buddy Guy has been called the bridge between the blues and rock and roll. He is one of the historic links between Chicago electric blues pioneers Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf and popular musicians like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page as well as later revivalists like Stevie Ray Vaughan. Vaughan stated that, "Without Buddy Guy, there would be no Stevie Ray Vaughan."

Guy previously served on the Hall of Fame’s nominating committee. Guy has won six Grammy Awards both for his work on his electric and acoustic guitars, and for contemporary and traditional forms of blues music. In 2003, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. This medal is awarded by the President of the United States of America to those who have made extraordinary contributions to the creation, growth and support in the arts in the United States. By 2004, Guy had also earned 23 W.C. Handy Awards (more than any other artist has received), Billboard magazine's The Century Award (Guy was its second recipient) for distinguished artistic achievement, and the title of Greatest Living Electric Blues Guitarist.

In 2008, Buddy Guy was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame while performing at Texas Club in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Guy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2005 by Eric Clapton and B.B. King. Clapton recalled seeing Guy perform in London’s Marquee Club in 1965, impressing him with his technique, his looks and his charismatic showmanship. He remembered seeing Guy pick the guitar with his teeth and play it over his head—two tricks that later influenced Jimi Hendrix. Guy’s acceptance speech was concise: "If you don’t think you have the blues, just keep living." Source - Wikipedia

Happy Birthday to Buddy Guy - A Bit Of Groovy!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Birthday to Geddy Lee of Rush

Gary Lee Weinrib, OC, better known as Geddy Lee (58) (born July 29, 1953), is a Canadian musician, best known as the lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Canadian rock group Rush. Lee joined what would become Rush in September 1968, at the request of his childhood friend Alex Lifeson, replacing original bassist and frontman Jeff Jones.

An award-winning musician, Lee's style, technique, and skill on the bass guitar have inspired many rock and heavy metal musicians, such as Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, John Myung of Dream Theater, Les Claypool of Primus, Juan Alderete of The Mars Volta, and Tim Commerford of Rage Against the Machine.

In addition to his composing, arranging, and performing duties for Rush, Lee has produced for various other bands, including Rocket Science. Lee's first solo effort, My Favorite Headache, was released in 2000.

Along with his Rush bandmates – guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart – Lee was made an Officer of the Order of Canada on May 9, 1996. The trio was the first rock band to be so honoured, as a group. Lee is ranked 13th by Hit Parader on their list of the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal vocalists of all time.

Lee's stage name, Geddy, was inspired by his mother's heavily-accented pronunciation of his given first name, Gary, and it later became his high school nickname before he adopted it as his stage name. In an interview written in Bass Frontiers Magazine, Geddy Lee explains; "My born name is Gary. My real name, now, is Geddy. Okay, it's like the same story of Leave it to Beaver. (laughs). The story goes: my mother is Polish and she has a very thick accent. When I was about twelve years old, I had a friend who, whenever he heard my mother pronounce my name, he thought she was calling me, 'Geddy'. He started calling me 'Geddy', and eventually, all of my friends started calling me 'Geddy', and eventually my mother started to call me 'Geddy', for real. And eventually, I changed my name legally to 'Geddy', so that's the story and that's my name, Geddy."

The bulk of Lee's work in music has been with Rush. However, Lee has also contributed to a body of work outside of his involvement with the band through guest appearances and album production. In 1981, Lee was the featured guest for the hit song "Take Off" and its included comedic commentary with Bob and Doug McKenzie (played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, respectively) for the McKenzie Brothers' comedy album Great White North. The following year, Lee produced the debut (and only) album from Toronto new wave band Boys Brigade. On the 1985 album We Are the World, by humanitarian consortium USA for Africa, Lee recorded guest vocals for the song "Tears Are Not Enough". Apart from band contributions, Lee sang the Canadian National Anthem in front of a full crowd at Camden Yards for the 1993 All-Star Game.

Another version of "O Canada" in rock format was recorded by Lee and Lifeson on the accompanying soundtrack CD for the Trey Parker and Matt Stone film South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut released in 1999.

My Favorite Headache, Lee's first solo album, was released in November 2000 while Rush was on a hiatus due to tragedies in drummer Neil Peart's life. Lee appeared in Broken Social Scene's music video for their 2006 single "Fire Eye'd Boy", judging the band while they perform various musical tasks, and in 2006, Lee joined Lifeson's supergroup the Big Dirty Band, to provide songs accompanying Trailer Park Boys: The Movie.

Lee also plays bass on Canadian rock band I Mother Earth's track "Good For Sule", which is featured on the groups album "Blue Green Orange", released in 1999.

Lee's voice has been referred to as an "astoundingly high" tenor. During Rush's early period, Lee's voice was described as a "Robert Plant-esque wail." Beginning with the Permanent Waves album in 1980, Lee gradually changed his vocal style to a more restrained sound. Source: Wikipedia

The video below is the title track from the fifth studio album by Rush, A Farewell To Kings, released in 1977:

Geddy Lee - A Bit Of Groovy!

For all things Rush:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy 68th Birthday to Mick Jagger

From the time that the Rolling Stones developed their anti-establishment image in the mid-1960s, Mick Jagger, along with guitarist Keith Richards, has been an enduring icon of the counterculture. This was no doubt enhanced by his controversial drug-related arrests, sexually charged onstage antics, provocative song lyrics, and his role of the bisexual Turner in the 1970 film Performance. One of his biographers, Christopher Andersen, describes him as being "one of the dominant cultural figures of our time", adding that Jagger was "the story of a generation".

Jagger, who at the time described himself as an anarchist and espoused the leftist slogans of the era, took part in a demonstration against the Vietnam War outside the US Embassy in London in 1968. This event inspired him to write "Street Fighting Man" that same year and served to reinforce his rebellious, anti-authority stance in the eyes of his fans.

Jumping ahead several decades...

On 12 December 2003, Jagger was knighted for Services to Music, as Sir Michael Jagger by The Prince of Wales. Mick Jagger's knighthood received mixed reactions. Some fans were disappointed when he accepted the honour as it seemed to contradict his anti-establishment stance. Charlie Watts was quoted in the book According to the Rolling Stones as saying, "Anybody else would be lynched: 18 wives and 20 children and he's knighted, fantastic!"

In 2010 a retrospective exhibitions of portraits of Mick Jagger was presented at the festival Rencontres d'Arles, in France. The catalogue of the exihibition is the first photo album of Mick Jagger and shows the evolution of the artist in 50 years of career.

Maroon 5 and Adam Levine's new single "Moves Like Jagger" that was released in June 2011 on the television programme The Voice, is about Mick's onstage and ladykiller-esque swagger.

Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger, born 26 July 1943, English musician, singer-songwriter, actor and producer, and A Bit of Groovy!

Learn more:
Mick Jagger's Official Website:
Rolling Stones Official Website:
Source of all info in this post other than video: