Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Nev re­mem­bers his re­turn to gui­tar rock.

I WAS CHUFFED when we came up with this month’s cover fea­ture on a ’70s blues­rock theme. We wanted a UK and Ire­land slant but not to go straight for the house­hold names. I re­mem­ber hear­ing these bands brand new, and I bet many of you re­call a sim­i­lar ex­cite­ment back in the day.

I sug­gested groups that meant some­thing to me; that had ei­ther pushed my play­ing on through em­u­la­tion of an ap­proach I hadn’t pre­vi­ously heard, or who sim­ply in­spired me to play their songs in my lat­est beat combo.

I’d grown up with The Bea­tles, got into The Kinks, The Who and so on; then May­all and the Bri­tish blues boom, then the orig­i­nal elec­tric blues­men like the Kings, then Cream, Hen­drix, etc. But I went com­pletely off heav­ier mu­sic at the turn of the ’70s and got into James Tay­lor, Joni Mitchell and Ste­vie Won­der, who used clev­erer chords and more sophisticated har­mony. It was only when a new breed of band ar­rived, that mixed the blues I loved with a bit of mu­si­cal wit, a smidgen of that so­phis­ti­ca­tion and a new at­ti­tude, that gui­tar rock re­gained its ap­peal.

New al­bums found their way into our house of­ten by way of mates, or via my sib­lings and their friends; like Thank Christ For The Bomb by The Ground­hogs with its mix of ‘real’ blues (they’d backed John Lee Hooker on his UK tours) and an­gu­lar riffs and har­monies. Of course I knew Free from the sin­gle Al­right Now, but my gui­tar-play­ing mate turned me on to Fire And Wa­ter; then brought round Bad Com­pany and told me I had to hear this new in­car­na­tion (we learned ev­ery sin­gle). He also in­tro­duced me to Taste; and Rory Gal­lagher’s mix of blues au­then­tic­ity, Celtic fire and a ton of flash just floored me. Then some­times you’d hear a track on the ra­dio that knocked you side­ways - The Rocker and Whisky In The Jar by Thin Lizzy, both with Eric Bell whip­ping up a storm. And talk­ing of storms - I didn’t see the film of Wood­stock un­til the ’70s, but Alvin Lee and Ten Years After... good grief, Alvin and his ES-335 killed it that day. In­cred­i­ble! But we also in­clude Chicken Shack with Stan Webb, and early Whites­nake fea­tur­ing Moody and Mars­den, so it’s a broad round-up that should pro­vide in­spi­ra­tion - and quite a few new licks. Have fun!

Neville Marten, Edi­tor [email protected]­turenet.com

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