Monday, August 30, 2010

1991: Elmira St. Boogie

Danny Gatton: Elmira St. Boogie


For this weeks theme I've chosen an instrumental. 1991 saw the beginnings of the grunge era but this isn't about that. Danny Gatton comes in at 63rd on Rolling Stone magazine's '100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time'. Sharing a place in Nashville in the mid 60s with Roy Buchanan, they also shared the title, 'The World's Greatest Unknown Guitarist'. His most common nickname 'The Humbler' was given to him by Amos Garrett, the guitar player on Maria Muldaur's 'Midnight at the Oasis', due to Gatton's ability to out play anyone in a jam session. Gatton even mentored an 11 year old Joe Bonamassa, coaching him on various styles of guitar playing, including jazz, rock and country. In 1992 '88 Elmira Street' received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. That might have been his best shot at receiving the recognition he so greatly deserved but it was not to be. The award was won by Eric Johnson for 'Cliffs Of Dover'. Gatton was appreciated by his musical peers however. Admirers include folks like Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Les Paul, Steve Earle, Albert Lee, Steve Vai, and Slash from Guns N' Roses. I find it very troubling that Gatton and Buchanan shared one last similarity; they each took their own lives. That is the official position; in Buchanan's case, friends and family have disputed that. Over a three day period in January 1995, $25,000 was raised for Gatton's widow and daughter in a series of tribute shows at Tramps club in New York. Capping the three day event with Les Paul, Albert Lee and James Burton all on stage together for a twenty minute jam. So, from 1991 and the Grammy nominated 88 Elmira Street, here is Elmira St. Boogie.

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