Sunday, May 13, 2012

"We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline!"

Donald 'Duck' Dunn died earlier today. He was 70 years old.
As bass player with Booker T and The M.G.'s at the time when they were the house band at Stax Records he played on some of the greatest records ever made, working with Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Eddie Floyd and many more. He then went on to play with everyone from Eric Clapton to Neil Young, and also appeared in both of the Blues Brothers films.
For what my opinion is worth, Duck Dunn should be remembered as one of the greatest ever exponents of the bass guitar. There are any numbers of reasons why, but here's the first that comes to mind - have a listen to the original recording of 'Soul Man'; leaving aside the fact that I always think that you can tell a good singer from a bad one by whether they were educated 'at Woodstock' or 'from good stock' (the bad ones sing the latter - this explains why. Mind you, listening to the original track for the first time in a while I don't think I play the guitar riff correctly either!) no one - no one - plays the bass line quite like Duck Dunn does. And now, sadly, no one ever will again. Another sad loss to the musical world.

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