Legendary blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin died of heart failure at a hospital in Wayne, New Jersey, last night, December 4. He was 80. As bluesman Howlin' Wolf's guitarist in the 1950s, Sumlin influenced several generations of blues and rock guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Page. What made Sumlin's resume even more impressive was that he also was Muddy Waters' for a brief period in the mid-'50s before rejoining Howlin' Wolf's band.
Y2K bugs notwithstanding, 1999 was a payoff year for patient music fans. Several artists made comebacks -- perhaps fearful they only had a few months before computer systems would revert back to the year 1900, and CD players would explode.
Few musical marriages have been so magical, so intuitively right, as that of the great blues singer Howlin’ Wolf and his guitarist, Hubert Sumlin. From the time he joined the blues legend’s band in 1954 until Wolf’s death in 1976, Sumlin played a central role in crafting some of the century’s most memorable and influential American roots music. His economical, stinging fills, unusual rhythmic approach and perfectly placed bent notes are as integral as Wolf’s growl to the blues power of classics like “Spoonful,” “Smokestack Lightnin’,” “Killing Floor” and “The Red Rooster.”
Korn made a lot of enemies this year when it was announced that they had made a dubstep album, even before anyone had heard it. Naysayers pointed to a number of fouls committed, including accusing Korn of making a dance album, of trend chasing and of the ever-vague but always-present "selling out."
There are only a handful of individuals who have pioneered the way music is played on the guitar, yet you would need more than both of your hands to count the number who follow in their footsteps. In fact, it may even become common practice to do so. Let’s take the classic model provided by Jimi Hendrix. The man undisputedly wrote the book on modern guitar playing, and we’d all be lying if we denied taking a page out of Jimi’s book every time we wrote a riff or lick.
Paul Gilbert has announced the first annual Paul Gilbert’s Great Guitar Escape, set for July 9 to 13, 2012, at Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, New York. Guitar players of all ages, levels and styles are invited to join Paul Gilbert and other expert musicians for this five-day experience focused on the techniques, styles and life of the modern working musician.
As we reported yesterday, Megadeth have received a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for their song "Public Enemy No. 1." Megadeth will go up against Dream Theater, Sum 41, Foo Fighters and Mastodon in the category.