Talkin' Blues: The Aggressively Quirky, Knife-Edged Soloing Style of Pat Hare

The following content is related to the October 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.

With the recent passing of Bobby “Blue” Bland, American music has lost another major voice. While Bland did not play an instrument, his bands featured some of the greatest guitarists in blues, including Roy Gaines, Clarence Holloman, Wayne Bennett, Mel Brown and, briefly, an edgy, idiosyncratic stylist named Auburn “Pat” Hare.

Born in Arkansas in 1930, Hare moved to Memphis and joined Howlin’ Wolf’s first band when he was only 18. By the early Fifties, Hare was doing sessions for Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, lending his wild, distorted sound to such classics as Junior Parker’s “The Next Time You See Me” and James Cotton’s “Cotton Crop Blues,” as well as solo tracks, including the ominous “I’m Gonna Murder My Baby.” His recordings with Parker and Cotton displayed a mix of shuffles, country train beats and jump blues that anticipated rockabilly, and his aggressive use of distortion was an early signal of the future of electric guitar–driven music.

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