Saturday, January 31, 2009

RIP: Billy Powell

Billy Powell passed away yesterday. Even though I grew up in the 70's, I wasn't a huge Lynyrd Skynyrd fan. I spent most of my teen years first being into Prog, then getting into Punk. There is no denying however, that Skynyrd's tragic history and music, are both archetypal. They created and defined a whole genre of music.

As I grew older, I started listening to and playing a lot more Rockabilly, Blues and Roots Music. From this, I gained a new found respect for Billy Powell. There is something mythical about Billy's story too, both in how he stepped up from roadie to musician, and his being the only survivor of the Plane Crash. If the story wasn't true, it would be hard to believe. You'd almost expect Josef Campbell to be telling you his tale.

It was sad to hear of his passing. I know that I will be reminded of him when I go see the California Guitar Trio next month, if they play the Freebird encore.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bill Bruford Retires

I'm bummed. One of my favorite drummers ever, Bill Bruford, has announced that he's hanging up the cleats, and will no longer be performing live. Of course, one immediately wonders what is behind this decision. Hopefully, his health is well.

I will look back with fondness at the shows I've seen with Billy B. They include Yes/Union, King Crimson, Earthworks, with David Torn, and with Patrick Moraz. If I have one regret, it's being too young to have seen him in Yes the first time around, with the 1974 KC lineup, with his Solo Project (Holdsworth, Berlin and Stewart) and with UK.

Bruford is one of a small group of artists that I can honestly say that I listen to at least once a day.