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Who is playing guitar with Wilson Pickett?

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Gin Mill Cowboy, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    After watchcing that lesson video and listening to the studio cut what Jimmy Johnson is playing on the Soul Train gig is even one more variation on it. It's more of a combination of what Womack and Young played and his own take on it.

    That's what I love about that era. There were so many great soul players in those studios that if you listen to enough versions of studio and live cuts you find all kinds of variations. I think Motown stuff was more formulaic because it was almost always the Funk Bros. laying down the backing tracks but that Southern Soul stuff had many more players contributing.

    Just from watching that Muscle Shoals documentary we get some insight into some of those guys we never even realized where part of the soul and r&b hits that came out of that studio and then you had the MG's at STAX and other Memphis players like Jimmy Johnson, Reggie Young, Bobby Womack and others also playing the backing tracks.

    The Wrecking Crew was legendary out in LA and the Funk Bros. in Detroit but man what a wealth of stuff those guys in Memphis and Muscle Shoals produced and other than the guys who got their exposure from the Blues Bros. movies the rest remain almost nameless to anyone who isn't a musician and loved that music.

    And now sadly that's all gone. No one records like that any longer so where do guys go to get involved with learning to play that type of stuff woodshedding and leaning or stealing chops from one another? Thank God for all of the recordings because that's all that's keeping that stuff alive for us to enjoy and learn from.
     
    Hexabuzz likes this.

  2. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    I'm not sure what year that video came from but I'm thinking Pop Staples was a bit older than that by then. By the mid '70s he'd have already been in his 60s.
     

  3. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    NICE! Reggie used to post around here a while back.
     

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  5. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    My mono promo copy of "I'm In Love" is a prized possession. Great record.

    There are some people still doing that a little bit. Daptone comes to mind - Sharon Jones' backing band. They have a lot of projects that involve the same musicians and I think they record live on a four track console, but I could be mistaken about that.

    Another dude is Matthew E. White who has a studio called Spacebomb with a house band in Richmond. His record Fresh Blood has a more mid 70s soul feel, and is real good IMO.



    Here is a live performance on KEXP with a stripped down band. You kinda have to have a taste for unconventional vocals to dig.

     

  6. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Thanks for sharing jon. I like the stripped down band and they do capture some of that slick r&b feel but in all honesty I can't say I care much for his voice. To me it's what lack soul.
     

  7. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    I can understand that. I sent this to a buddy and he couldn't get past the voice. He said "I feel like I can hear the inside of his mouth." One of those comments you can't forget.
     

  8. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Maybe it's just that I associate more with vocalists who have a lot of dynamic range and use it often so I'm more a fan of the old school soul guys like Pickett, Redding, James and Bobby Purify, etc. and some of the Motown guys. Or guys like Cocker and Van Morrison.

    My own vocals are heavily influenced by gospel stylings so I tend to listen more to that type of vocalist to learn from. Matthew White has a different approach. More breathy and subtle than I'm used to. It's not a bad voice just not one that smacks you in the face like a Wilson Pickett and makes you go.....damn, this is what singing from an emotional soul is all about.
     

  9. teletimetx

    teletimetx Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 25, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I don't if anyone above has commented on it, but to my ears, I can hear how Jimmy Johnson's playing might have influenced a certain left-handed guitar player that also played in Wilson Pickett's band. I'm not saying it's derivative, just that we're all influenced by everything we hear, one way or another.

    Jimi Hendrix 2.jpg
     

  10. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 18, 2013
    West O' Philly, PA
    Fabulous song! I heard it for the first time at a club in SW FL about 10 years ago. A DJ was spinning records, and I to go up and ask him who that was. As soon as I got home, I got a recording of "I'm In Love", and I got my guitar and a notebook, and worked out the chords and lyrics.

    Every now and then a song will just smack you in the face, and that one did it to me.
     

  11. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    47
    Nov 2, 2016
    Texas
    Hendrix consistently name checked Curtis Mayfield. I'd wager Hendrix and Johnson both got it from the same place. Although both turned it into something much more than the source the took it from.
     
    teletimetx likes this.

  12. freddieking

    freddieking TDPRI Member

    58
    Oct 28, 2003
    I believe the guitar player on the Soul Train video could have been Roy Lee Johnson. Love the original with Reggie Young and Bobby Womack. Here is my take on that style:

     
    oldgofaster and soulman969 like this.

  13. buddyboy

    buddyboy Tele-Meister

    The guitarist in the OP link to "Soul Train" is Charles "Skip" Pitts. He was part of Pickett's late 60's - early 70's touring band. He also played the famous wha-wha part on Curtis Mayfield's "Shaft"
     

  14. jaimed

    jaimed Poster Extraordinaire

    Older thread on the song.

     
    soulman969 likes this.

  15. Crashbelt

    Crashbelt Tele-Meister

    Age:
    63
    100
    Mar 15, 2017
    Cambridge England
    Thanks great thread - love that music and I learned a lot about the guys that made it. Got me digging out the music of that era and fumbling through a few licks!
     

  16. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Meister

    120
    Jan 27, 2010
    south carolina
    I liked this thread too. Sent the link home and will study it later.

    I used to wonder why Wilson Pickett dropped off the scene so completely. I read many years ago that he was tough guy - actually fighting ANYBODY who disagreed with him, including managers, promoters, producers, etc.

    Anybody else ever hear that?

    I heard Mustang Sally just the other day - that is one of the all time tunes.

    Mike
     

  17. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2008
    Detroit
    Great riffs, band, obviously vocals but - somebody is a little outta tune...
     

  18. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2008
    Detroit
    Either MOJO magazine or Uncut this month has a big article on him.

    Lotsa droogs (as the Brits would say) plus - a temper...
     

  19. scottser

    scottser Tele-Meister

    415
    Mar 6, 2009
    dublin
    look at that suit!! man, that thing is a work of art. see, you can't possibly sound that good unless you got a suit like that.
     

  20. bowman

    bowman Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2006
    Framingham, MA
    My top 3 blues/soul singers are Howlin' Wolf, Wilson Pickett, and Marvin Gaye. Three incredible singers. And the musicians that backed those guys are a big part of it - those studio bands were just awesome. They played gritty, real, down to the bone music; and yet they were capable of all kinds of subtle nuances at the same time. I would love to hear tapes of what actually happened in those studios when they were cutting all of those classic tunes: how the songs evolved, how much time did it actually take, what were they saying to each other, etc.
     
    oldgofaster likes this.

  21. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Thanks freddie. That was nicely done. Roy Lee Johnson, now we have another prospect. :D
     

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