Talkin' Blues: The Signature Up-Tempo Soloing Style of Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
The following content is related to the May 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.
Sixty years ago, barely a decade into the electric guitar era, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown unleashed one of the wildest guitar instrumentals ever captured on record. “Boogie Uproar” was just that, a dose of pure, in-your-face electric energy that musically linked the past—the sophistication of swing—to the future: the raw ferocity of rock and roll.
Brown launched his career in 1947 on the heels of fellow Texas guitarist T-Bone Walker, the original architect of the electric blues guitar single-note soloing style. While influenced by Walker, Brown favored a far more aggressive barehanded attack through a cranked-up amp, a sound that he further enhanced by ditching his hollowbody Gibson L-5 for the radical new Telecaster. Combined with an impeccable sense of rhythm and a wild imagination, the result was a distinctive, white-knuckled style that inspired players like Guitar Slim, Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Albert Collins.
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