Wednesday, November 04, 2009

'Cause I can play this here guitar

There's a certain connection between sophisticated country music and jazz. Both rely on good musicianship, and improvisation that blurs the lines, yet remains true to the genre. And in the beginning, rock shared most of these roots as well. Rock has moved in different directions, some good, some . . .

And as I've said frequently here, the average country guitarist is miles above the average rock guitarist. But a great guitarist can play anything. Listen & learn.

Here's Merle Haggard doing "Mama Tried", which was a track we covered on the album I recorded in '69 with an L.A.-based group called Wild Oats:


Check out the guitar solo. Jazzy yet appropriate playing from Clint Strong:
His incredible improvisations pay tribute to jazz guitar and sax players of the past, yet are filled with youthful modern explorations. Clint has performed and recorded with numerous jazz and country artists including Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Red Garland and fellow guitarists like Howard Roberts, Herb Ellis and Tal Farlow.
While likely self-written hyperbole, Clint does show some mighty skills and musicality. Check this video, Clint's solo is about 1:30:


And for some straight-up jazz, here's Clint playing the sublime "Here's That Rainy Day":


Oh, and any songwriter alive would sell his/her soul to have written "Mama Tried". Sheer country/pop genius. That's Merle.

3 comments:

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