Skip to Main Content
Roots and Rhythms

Roots and Rhythms
Wednesday March 1st, 2017 with Renny
GREAT GUITAR INSTRUMENTALS

From the past to the present: Hot Licks & Flying Picks. Some smoking electric guitar instrumentals, covering blues, country and jazz.
Starting off with a set of blues instrumentals. If you like this music check out Black & Blues, Sunday nights at 9:00 with the professor of the blues, John Tackaberry.
Okie Dokie Stomp
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - Original Peacock Recordings - '54, Peacock Records/'83, Rounder Records,
Written in 1954 for Gatemouth Brown by Pluma Davis. When they recorded the song R&B deejay Okie Dokie was present so they named the instrumental "Okie Dokie Stomp", it became Okie Dokies theme song. The Hollywood Fats band does and amazing cover of this tune.
Earl's Boogie Woogie
Earl Hooker - Two Bugs And A Roach - '53, unissued/'90, Arhoolie Records
Earl Hooker was Buddy Guy's favourite guitarist, he convinced Arhoolie Records owner Chris Stratawitz to record Earl in the '68. "Two Bug And A Roach" also features some of Hooker's earlier work. This was recorded in Memphins in 1953 and features "Pine Top" Perkins on piano and Willie Nix on drums. This track wasn't released at the time.
Guitar Boogie Shuffle Twist
Rick "L.A. Holmes" Holmstrom - Lookout! - '96, Blacktop Records
"L.A. Holmes" was originally from Fairbanks, Alaska. His father was a deejay who would bring home the latest albums by Chet Atkins, Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry for young Rick to emulate. Holmstrom moved to L.A. and played with blues harpists William Clarke and Johnny Dyer and with Rod Piazza's Mighty Flyers. He has toured as Mavis Staples guitarist. "Lookout!" is his first solo release.
Wilf's Wobble
Howlin' Wilf & The Vee-Jays featuring Dot on guitar - Cry Wilf! - '86, Big Beat Records/'06, Ace Records
Dot was a guitarist who played in the British jump blues combo, the Hatchetmen, the year before recording with Howlin' Wilf's band the Vee-Jays in 1986. When Howlin' Wilf went solo under his real name, James Hunter, Dot went on to play with him. This instrumental is the proof that a woman can be as good as any man on guitar.
Twitchy
Rene Hall's Orchestra with Willie Joe & His Unitar - The Specialty Story, Vol. 5 - '57/'94 Specialty Records
Willie Joe Duncan played a one stringed electric guitar which he named "the Unitar". It was actually an amplified diddley bow affixed to a seven foot plank of wood. Duncan would beat the string with a piece of leather to get the wild tone out of his instrument. Rene Hall's Orchestra was the house band at Specialty Records. Willie Joe also recorded "Cherokee Dance" with Bob Landers for the label.
Mess Around
Bo Diddley - Wrinkles - Classic & Rare Chess Instrumentals - '61, unreleased home recording/'89, MCA Records
From the diddley bow to Bo Diddley. Not everything Bo played had the Diddley beat, "Mess Around" is an unreleased home recording from 1961. The two other instrumentals, "Shank" and "Twisters", from this session were included on Bo Diddley's "Road Runner" album.
Lucky Lou
Jody Williams - Wrinkles - Classic & Rare Chess Instrumentals - '57, Argo Records/'89, MCA Records
Jody Williams is a relatively unknown guitarist who played with Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley and Otis Rush. Williams was known for his distinctive tone, his string bending and his chording. In the mid-Fifties he was one of the most sought after session guitarists in Chicago. Argo Records was a subsiduary label of Chess Records.
Bye, Bye
Larry Collins with Joe Maphis - The Collins Kids - Hop, Skip And Jump - '57, Columbia/'91, Bear Family Records
Rockabilly kid, Larry Collins was only 13 years old when he recorded this instrumental guitar duet with the great country picker, Joe Maphis. He and his sister, Lorrie, performed as the Collins Kids on Maphis's Town Hall Party radio show. Maphis, Merle Travis and T-Bone Walker were all big influences on the young Larry Collins.
And now a set of country guitar instrumentals.
Water Baby Boogie
Joe Maphis - Wild Men Ride Wild Guitars! Original Rockabilly and Chicken Bop – Volume 1 - '60, unreleased, Republic Records/Sundazed Music
Joe Maphis was considered to be one of the hottest country guitarists in the Fifties and Sixties, he was admired by other guitar players for his ability to imitate fast fiddle runs on his double necked Mosrite guitar. He was a close friend of fellow picker, Merle Travis. Maphis was also the author of the classic honky tonk song, "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)".
Chattanooga
Phil Baugh - Live Wire! - mid-'60s, Longhorn Records/ '05, Sundazed Music
Phil Baugh started his career in 1962 when he signed to Crest Records and had a hit with his song "Country Guitar" in 1965. He went on to play in Ray Price’s band and then became a Nashville session guitarist in the Seventies and died in 1985 at the age of 53.
Sweet Lucy
Shorty Ashford - Get With The Beat: Mar-Vel' Masters - mid-'50s, Mar-Vel Records/'89, Rykodisc
Recorded by Harry Glenn who owned Glenn & Mar-Vel’ Records. Shorty Ashford played with a band called the Sunny South Boys in the Fifties before recording for the Mar-Vel’ & Glenn labels.
Mr. Guitar
Link Wray & The Raymen - Mr. Guitar - '63, Swan Records/'95, Norton Records
Link Wray is one of the most important rock & roll instrumentalists of all time. "Mr. Guitar" isn't your usual Link Wray instrumental (which are usually slow and menacing), this has an almost country flavour to it. Links first band was a country band, formed with his brothers, called Lucky Wray & The Palomino Ranch Hands. Wray stumbled into intrumentals after losing a lung to T.B. and was told by his doctors that he'd never be able to sing again.
Some jazz influenced guitar instrumentals for those listeners waiting for "In A Mellow Tone" to start. Jazz played by non-jazz musicians.
How High The Moon
Chuck Berry - Wrinkles - Classic & Rare Chess Instrumentals - '57, unissued, Chess Records/'89, MCA Records
Another atypical instrumental. Here Chuck Berry is playing "How High The Moon", a 1940's show tune that became a jazz standard after it was covered by Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton and Les Paul. Amazing to hear a rock & roll guitarist playing a jazz tune.
Caravan
Ferlin Husky - Swing West - Vol. 2 - Guitar Slingers - '65, unissued studio outtake/'90, Razor & Tie
Ferlin Husky was a country and pop singer in the 1950s and '60s. It's not even clear if he was playing on this track, which is a studio outtake. This is a jam session, by Nashville session musicians, between song takes. Luckily the engineer kept the mikes on. The only verified player on this version of Duke Ellington's "Caravan" is the steel guitar player, Curley Chalker, the rest, including the guitar player, are unknown.
A Night In Tunisia
Big Sugar - Dear M.F. (E.P.) - '95, Hypnotic Records/A&M Records Canadian
Gordie Johnson, the guitarist and vocalist of Big Sugar, is known for his loud, hard rockin’ blues style on guitar. Here Johnson's tackles the Dizzy Gillespie’s classic bebop tune “A Night In Tunisia”. Gordie Johnson is a very eclectic player. On this E.P. he also does a cover of the rock group, Traffic.
Santa's Little Helper
Evan Johns & His H-Bombs - Please Mr. Santa Claus - '90, Rykodisc
One of my favourite living rock & roll guitarists. Evan John's has played with his own group, The H-Bombs, with Texas rockers, the LeRoi Brothers and in the late Seventies he sang and wrote some of the music on Danny Gatton's "Redneck Jazz" album. Johns learned how to play guitar from Gatton, one of the masters of the Telecaster.
Fandingus
Danny Gatton - 88 Elmira St. - '91, Electra Entertainment
Danny Gatton is recognized as having been one of the best guitar players in the world. He was called “Best Unknown Guitarist In The World” and nicknamed “The Humbler” and the “Telemaster” for his work on his ’53 telecaster guitar. He received critical acclaim but not commercial success. Gatton suffered from depression and shot himself in his garage in 1994. He played a modified telecaster with an effects box on it which he called the “The Magic Dingus Box”, he is using it on this tune “Fandingus”.
Apologies for not being able to play the full instrumental.
Interactive CKCU
Renny Godier (host)
Not a word of a lie.....because they're all instrumental.

8:37 PM, March 1st, 2017
Daragh
Oh my GOSH....what a GREAT show, Renny. Never listen live (bed time in my time zone). Usually listen to it at work when I'm doing paperwork. But this Friday I listened to the whole show with my glass (or two) of wine when I got home and just enjoyed every note and comment. It had me up and dancing in the living room! THANK YOU so much for introducing me to the blues so many years ago at UVic.

11:02 PM, March 3rd, 2017
Daragh
How High the Moon will always be one of my BIG BAND favourites....and I will always prefer that version...but this was a pretty delightful and enjoyable revisioning! and it means more people know about this beautiful song! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83I_R0L2aLU

11:50 PM, March 3rd, 2017
Renny Godier (host)
Thanks Daragh. I had so much fun doing this one that I plan to do another one next year. I'm doing a fill-in on the Janis Lockwood Show this coming Thursday at 4:00. It's the day after International Women's Day so I'll be doing WILD, WILD WOMEN! Some of my favourite female performers in a variety of my favourite genres....mainly good rockin' matriarchs of course.

11:42 AM, March 5th, 2017