by Robert Wilkinson
Today we boogie to the sound of a Texas original! If you don't know who this musical legend was, you're in for a real treat!
Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown (April 18, 1924 - September 10, 2005) was a pioneering blues musician. His unique style synthesized “old blues, country, jazz, Cajun music and R&B," and what came out was pioneering rock and roll and electric Texas blues.
From wiki: “He was an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, who played an array of musical instruments such as guitar, fiddle, mandolin, viola as well as harmonica and drums. He won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 1983 for his album, Alright Again! He is regarded as one of the most influential exponents of blues fiddle and has had enormous influence in American fiddle circles.”
Frank Zappa said Gatemouth was one of his three main influences in learning guitar. He won 8 W.C. Handy awards, and is in the Blues Hall of Fame. So without further ado, for your dancing pleasure, the unique Texas swing, jazz, and blues sound of Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown!
We begin with a great performance from 2000 at Montreux with Gatemouth live swinging hot with the standard “Caledonia”
We’ll now jump back to the earliest video performance I could find! Live on “The Beat” television show in 1966, here’s Gatemouth cranking out a great lead on his 1954 it, “Okie Dokie Stomp”
From Montreux in 1973, here’s Gatemouth with Canned Heat cranking out “Please Mister Nixon.” Here’s the entire 1 hour 13 show! Canned Heat and Gatemouth Brown Live at Montreux - 1973
Here’s a full 58 minute audio-only show! Canned Heat and Gatemouth Brown Live
From Nice, France in 1977, smooth jazz! “Let’s Groove” and “If You’ve Ever Been Mistreated”
From Montreux 1979, Gatemouth, Albert Collins, and AC Reed cranking out "Frosty”
From Austin City Limits in 1981, Gatemouth Brown and Roy Clark
Live in New Orleans in 1984, here he is with horns and all! “One More Mile”
From the 1986 Philadelphia Folk Festival, “What Am I Livin’ For”
From sometime in the 1990s, Gatemouth showing off his fiddling skills in a medley! “The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You,” “The William Tell Overture,” “The Orange Blossom Special,” and more
Here’s 2+ minutes of three incredible fiddle players! Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Vassar Clements, and Keith Nelson cranking out “Six Levels Below Plant Life”
We have some smooth blues live in my hometown of Austin Texas! From a 1996 “Austin city Limits” broadcast, “Born in Louisiana” And from what looks to be the same show, Gatemouth on fiddle giving up “Up Jumped the Devil”
From Maryland in 1997, 11+ minutes of “Unchained Melody" and "Dollar Got The Blues"
Looking classy cranking out “I Hate These Doggone Blues”
From 2002 at the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, “Strange Things Happen”
From Blues at Montreux 2004, Gatemouth live with Carlos Santana in a duet of “The Drifter” Last year I had his full 1 hour 16 minute set, but it’s disappeared.
Here’s 19 minutes of live performance at the Ogden Museum in N.O. Gatemouth Brown live in New Orleans
Here’s a fascinating one hour video program from Loyola where the Master takes us all to class! “A Master Class with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown Pt.1 - The Concert.”
Last year I had Gatemouth Brown – Dirty Work at the Crossroads 1947-53, but this year it’s nowhere to be found. However, I did find these albums of his early best!
Here’s 40 minutes of Vintage Texas Blues and Boogie
Here’s his first album from 1972. The Blues Ain’t Nothing
Some great singles!“Just Got Lucky”” “Baby Take It Easy” “Gates Salty Blues”
From 1950, “Boogie Rambler”
From 1951, “Pale Dry Boogie Pt. 1”
From 1953, “Boogie Uproar”
From 1954, “Okie Dokie Stomp”
From 1959, the original 45 studio version of “Depression Blues”
From the album Paint it Blue – Songs of the Rolling Stones, “Ventilator Blues”
And from the album Whole Lotta blues – songs of Led Zeppelin, “Rock and Roll”
We’ll close this celebration with what looks to be his live appearance in the 2004 “Lightning in a Bottle” blues tribute cranking out one of my favorites! “Okie Dokie Stomp”
© Copyright 2017 Robert Wilkinson