Σάββατο, 19 Απριλίου 2008

John Sebastian - I Want My Roots. (1996 US Jug Folk)



Life and career
His father, also named John Sebastian, was a noted classical harmonica player and his mother was a radio script writer. He is the godson of Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz of I Love Lucy). He grew up surrounded by music and musicians, including Burl Ives and Woody Guthrie and hearing such players as Leadbelly and Mississippi John Hurt in his own neighborhood.
One of his first recording gigs was playing harmonica for Fred Neil on his Bleecker & MacDougal album in 1965. He came up through the Even Dozen Jug Band and The Mugwumps, which split to form the Lovin' Spoonful and the Mamas and Papas. Sebastian was joined by Zal Yanovsky, Steve Boone and Joe Butler in the Spoonful, which was named after a Mississippi John Hurt song. Sebastian also played autoharp on occasion.
The Lovin' Spoonful became part of the American response to the British Invasion and was noted for such folk-flavored hits as "Jug Band Music," "Do You Believe in Magic", "Summer in the City", "Daydream," "Nashville Cats," "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind," "Six O'Clock," and "Younger Girl." The band, however, began to implode after a 1967 marijuana bust in San Francisco involving Yanovsky, a Canadian citizen. Facing deportation, he gave up the name of his dealer, which caused a fan backlash and internal strife. Neither John Sebastian nor Joe Butler were involved in the matter - weren't even in San Francisco at the time.
Yanovsky left, replaced by Jerry Yester in 1967. Sebastian remained in the band but departed in 1968. He and the original band reunited to appear in the film One Trick Pony starring Paul Simon and Blair Brown.
Sebastian embarked on a moderately successful solo career after leaving the Lovin' Spoonful in 1968. Sebastian was popular among the rock festival circuits. He had a memorable, albeit unscheduled appearance at Woodstock, appearing after Country Joe McDonald's set, playing songs such as "I Had A Dream," "Rainbows All Over Your Blues" and "Younger Generation" which he dedicated to a newborn baby at the festival. Sebastian also returned for Woodstock '94, playing harmonica for Crosby, Stills and Nash. Sebastian released his eponymous LP John B. Sebastian in 1970, which featured him accompanied by various L.A. musicians.
In 1976, Sebastian had a number one single with, Welcome Back, the theme song to the Welcome Back, Kotter television show, which found new life decades later when a sample from it became the hook for rapper Mase's 2004 hit "Welcome Back". Recently, he has played with John Sebastian and the J-Band, a jug band including Fritz Richmond from the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Yank Rachell, an original jug-band leader, and Geoff Muldaur. Rory Block Vocals, Guitar, Stompboard
Richard Crooks Drums
Yank Rachell Vocals, Mandolin
Annie RainesHarmonica, Backing Vocals
Fritz RichmondWashtub, Jug
Paul RishellVocals, Steel Guitar, Mandolin
John SebastianVocals, Guitar, Banjos Harmonica
John SimonHarmonium
Jimmy VivinoVocals, Guitar, Steel Guitar Mandolin, Autoharp
James Wormworth Drums, Washboard, Stompboard
Producer John Sebastian, Jimmy Vivino
Several modern musicians cite him as a large influence, including renowned blues harmonica player, Mike Tetrault. As a songwriter, Sebastian's songs have been covered by Elvis Costello ("The Room Nobody Lives In"), Dolly Parton, Del McCoury, Helen Reddy, Brenda Lee, Johnny Cash, Bobby Darin, Slade, Joe Cocker and Jimmy Buffett ("The Stories We Can Tell").
In later years, Sebastian hosted several television programs regarding '60s' music, including infomercials for compilations sets, and a half-hour program called The Golden Age of Rock and Roll, which was usually a video footage of various 1960's bands performing on various variety shows. He also hosted a Spoonful retrospective broadcast over PBS in March 2007, talking about various Spoonful numbers in between vintage video clips of the band up to the time he left.
In 2007, John released a guitar instructional DVD for Homespun Video teaching solo guitar adaptations of eight of his Spoonful hits including "Daydream", "Nashville Cats", and his solo hit "Welcome Back". He has also released an instructional DVD teaching beginning level autoharp. (Sebastian played both harmonica and autoharp on Shanachie's 2002 compilation CD "Man of Constant Sorrow".)
Sebastian and the J Band appear in the documentary about the roots and influence of jug band music, Chasin' Gus' Ghost, which screened in August 2007 at the San Francisco Jug Band Festival and made its film festival debut in October 2007 at the Woodstock Film Festival. In the film, Sebastian humorously explains, with musical accompaniment, how his hit song "Younger Girl" was inspired by Gus Cannon's "Prison Wall Blues." He also performed at the festival with other musicians featured in the film, including Geoff Muldaur, Maria Muldaur, Jim Kweskin and David Grisman.
Sebastian played harmonica with The Doors on the song Roadhouse Blues under the pseudonym G. Puglese to avoid problems with his contract, which was featured on Morrison Hotel album, also played on "Little Red Rooster" on the live album Alive, She Cried and on seven songs on Live In Detroit. He is also credited with playing harmonica on Crosby Stills Nash & Young's "Déjà Vu" from the album of the same name.

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1 σχόλια:

Ανώνυμος είπε...

Thanks, the jug bands were/are simply amazing :)

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