Category Archives: Woodstock Music and Art Fair

Hendrix Bassist Billy Cox

Hendrix Bassist Billy Cox

From his siteBilly Cox was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. His father was a Baptist minister and teacher of mathematics and his mother was a classical pianist. Billy was blessed with the best of both worlds. One world revolved around the strong intellectual discipline of his father and the other world revolved around the loving tenderness and sensitivity of his mother.

Billy Cox

October 18…Happy birthday Billy Cox

cox hendrix army

From his site: legendary bassist and Musicians Hall of Fame inductee Billy Cox, is synonymous with almost any reference to Jimi Hendrix and Rock-n-Roll history. From their army days, Billy would always have an extended friendship with Jimi Hendrix. The kindred spirits would have a musical chemistry that was nurtured over the years as both performed regularly as sidemen for the most prominent blues and R&B acts of the day. The bond between the two men would write a new chapter in music history.

Billy Cox

Hendrix Bassist Billy Cox

Hendrix Bassist Billy Cox

Hendrix Bassist Billy Cox
Billy Cox and his Hendrix Experience band at the Allen Blues Festival

Hendrix Bassist Billy Cox

Billy Cox has released four solo albums:

  • Nitro Function, 1971
  • Last Gypsy Standing, 2009
  • Old School Blue Blues, 2011
  • Unfiltered, 2014

From WikipediaToday, Billy Cox owns a video production company. He has produced numerous blues and a myriad of gospel shows. He co-authored the books, Jimi Hendrix Sessions and Ultimate Hendrix with John McDermott and Eddie Kramer. Billy has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors among which: In 2009 Billy Cox was inducted into The Musicians Hall Of Fame; Billy received The Founders Award in 2010. It was given by Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen and in 2011 Billy was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall Of Fame. Billy released his latest album, Old School Blue Blues, in 2011 and continues to tour with “The Experience Hendrix Tour” each year and his own Band of Gypsys Experience. He released the single Run featuring the androgynous singer and songwriter Marlon Alarm in November 2011.

Hendrix Bassist Billy Cox
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Paul Butterfield Blues Band album

Paul Butterfield Blues Band album

released October 1965

Paul Butterfield Blues Band album

In October 1965, future Woodstock Music and Art Fair performers the Paul Butterfield Blues Band released their first album: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Paul Butterfield was 23; Mike Bloomfield was 22; Elvin Bishop was 23; Mark Naftalin was 21; Jerome Arnold was 28; and Sam Lay was 30. (only Butterfield himself would be in the Woodstock line up.)

Lining two walls in downstairs hallway of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts are pictures and brief bios of each band and its members who performed at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. When I watch or listen to guests visiting the Museum, the usual artists they hover over or speak about are Jimi Hendrix, the Band, Janis Joplin, the Who, or other so-called “big names.”

I cannot remember any guest hovering at the Paul Butterfield  Blues Band.

They should be.

Paul Butterfield Blues Band album

Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Rock and Rolls’ roots are obviously from rhythm and blues whose roots are simply the blues. Jimi, Robbie, Janis, and Pete would all acknowledge and tip their hats to a Paul Butterfield for so brilliantly playing those blues.

The band’s first album is an excellent example of the style and strength the various band line-ups presented over its time.

All Music’s Mike DeGagne says this about the first album:

…a wonderfully messy and boisterous display of American-styled blues, with intensity and pure passion derived from every bent note. In front of all these instruments is Butterfield’s harmonica, beautifully dictating a mood and a genuine feel that is no longer existent, even in today’s blues music. Each song captures the essence of Chicago blues in a different way, from the back-alley feel of “Born in Chicago” to the melting ease of Willie Dixon’s “Mellow Down Easy” to the authentic devotion that emanates from Bishop and Butterfield’s “Our Love Is Drifting.” “Shake Your Money Maker,” “Blues With a Feeling,” and “I Got My Mojo Working” (with Lay on vocals) are all equally moving pieces performed with a raw adoration for blues music. Best of all, the music that pours from this album is unfiltered…blared, clamored, and let loose, like blues music is supposed to be released.”

You should give it a listen, again I hope, but if not for the first of what will likely be many times.

Paul Butterfield Blues Band album
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Who Bassist John Alec Entwistle

Who Bassist John Alec Entwistle

October 9, 1944 – June 27, 2002

Music is magic

As a non-musician, to me the person who is one performs magic.  And when a band’s members combined their talents, that magic amplifies into the mystic.

There are many great musicians, but the frequency of musicians finding their compliment and to create even greater magic happens far less often.

Such seems the case with the Who.

Who Bassist John Alec Entwistle

John Entwistle becomes Who

The young John Entwistle played trumpet, fluegelhorn, and piano as well as bass. In 1959 he played trumpet in a traditional jazz band that also included Pete Townshend on banjo.

In 1961, Roger Daltrey invited Entwistle to join Daltrey’s group, The Detours. Six months later, Entwistle persuaded Daltrey to let Townshend join. In the spring of 1964 Keith Moon joined they became The Who.

The Who’s magic did not just come from each member’s talent, which was outstanding, but from their interaction. Entwistle’s bass was more like a lead guitar playing counterpoint to Pete Townshend’s more rhythmic guitar playing. Moon’s drumming became famous for it’s high energy non-stop support of the band’s whole sound with Roger Daltrey’s vocals entwining all into  the Who’s.

Entwistle help create their distinctive sound by cultivating a lead style of bass, underpinning Pete’s more rhythmic style of guitar playing with inventive runs in a higher register than most bass players, while at the same time keeping the group’s timing rigid during Keith’s volatile thrashings.

Who Bassist John Alec Entwistle

Macabre Entwistle

While Pete Townshend composed most of the band’s material, Entwistle contributed some of their songs, odd as they were. “Whisky Man,” “Boris The Spider,”Doctor, Doctor,” “Someone’s Coming,” as well as “Cousin Kevin” and “Fiddle About” from the band’s most famous album, Tommy. Entwistle’s French horn skills were also featured on that album.

Who Bassist John Alec Entwistle

John E Smashed

In 1971 John Entwistle became the first member to release a solo album, Smash Your Head Against The Wall, Other solo studio albums were: Whistle Rymes (1972), Rigor Mortis Sets In (1973), Mad Dog (1975), Too Late The Hero (1981) and The Rock (1996).

In 1975 he toured with his own band, Ox [taken from his nickname in the Who]. He also fronted the John Entwistle Band on US club tours during the 1990s and appeared with former Beatle Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band, in 1995.

Entwistle died from a heart attack on June 27, 2002, in Las Vegas. The Who were about to begin an American tour which they did do with replacement bassist Pino Palladino.

Later Entwistle’s body was repatriated and buried in the village church in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, where he lived with his partner, Lisa Pritchard-Johnson.

Who Bassist John Alec Entwistle

 

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