Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hubert Sumlin (1931-2011)

Chicago Blues legend Hubert Sumlin has died at the age of  80.   Best known for his work with Howlin' Wolf, his guitar playing has been characterized as "wrenched, shattering bursts of notes, sudden cliff-hanger silences and daring rhythmic suspensions"  The New York Times describes Sumlin as "the guitarist whose slashing solos and innovative ideas galvanized the blues of Howlin’ Wolf and inspired rock guitar players like Jimmy Page, Robbie Robertson and Eric Clapton." 

Sumlin’s guitar playing was the perfect counterpart to Howlin’ Wolf on such classics as Smokestack Lightnin', Back Door Man, Spoonful and The Red Rooster.  As the Times says, his "intuitive, empathetic accompaniment typically spurred his mentor to unpredictable and frenzied heights."


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