Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I don't know if you wander over to Forest Roxx, Curry's music blog that I occasionally contribute to, but there are quite a few tasty treats to be found there.

I did a post there recently about the relatively unheralded guitarist, Clarence White, who died tragically in 1973 at the age of 29 when he was hit by a drunk driver while loading gear in his car after a gig. He was stunning - one of the founders of country rock, an innovator on the guitar like few others, a truly magnificent artist and a bit of an obsession of mine this week after a little reminder I got from the Padre.

I put together an assemblage of three songs to show off his remarkable abilities and amazing creativity. It's just audio with some images added.

The first is The Byrds (he was a member) live at Fillmore West doing King Apathy (a song that could be a template for half of Uncle Tupelo's act) - Clarence is frightening.

The second is The Kentucky Colonels (his family's bluegrass band) doing Fire On The Mountain in less than a minute - Clarence is too fast for words.

The last is the overlooked Gosdin Brothers doing Tell Me on which Clarence was a very young hired gun. It's White's masterpiece - listen as he takes a simple but tasty moon, spoon, june song and explodes it, especially the last 50 seconds, with (to use an old bebop term) bomb after bomb after bomb.


The Padre, a pretty decent authority on White, hadn't ever heard the Gosdin Brothers track before today (it's pretty rare and obscure). When he heard it this afternoon he texted me. This is what he called the last solo of the song.

"Psychobilly, freeform, modally syncopated hickshred"

That about sums it up.


Baywatch said...

that was a massively sweet post to the Forest.

arlopop said...

Thanks Banks.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that from now on we simply refer to him as , "The Clarence".