Elmore & his guitar

Rory McQuillan RMcqu01@ibm.net
Sun Jan 2 10:37:47 EST 2000

I was listening to "Let's Cut It", the Rhino compilation of Elmore James
this morning when a thought occurred to me.  When I think of Elmore's guitar
playing, I usually think of "the lick" he based so many songs on, probably
the most widely used slide cliche' in existence.  But a good listen to his
catalog reveals many songs without slide; I assume it is Elmore playing the
straight guitar parts on these.  While he may not be as eloquent on his
instrument as a T-Bone or a BB, there is a raw earthiness that suits the
music well, as well as some major scale forays that would seem to imply a
basic knowledge of music theory.  There also are many of the licks that have
survived to this day, though I don't imagine he "invented" them all.  I
haven't seen this topic explored before, & I thought there might be some
folks on the list that know more about it than I; certainly there has to be
some opinions out there.

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