Monday, December 05, 2011

Hubert Sumlin (1931 - 2011)

Playing with Howlin' Wolf for two decades, Hubert Sumlin was a creator of a library of fundamental electric guitar blues riffs. Any guitarists knowing their stuff learn  from Hubert  Sumlin.

On his own after Wolf died,  Hubert became one of the most admired & beloved guitarists in the world. Just the other day he was named 43rd on the Rolling Stone list of the 100 Best Guitarists, but of course Keith Richards,  Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page & most of the other living rock guitarists ahead of him on the list would gladly have stepped aside to let him move up. Keith was especially fond of him.

This photo was taken  on the shabby Asbury Park boardwalk five or six years ago, in front of the space age Howard Johnson's,  a hot summer afternoon, before the boardwalk's  more recent renaissance. WFMU radio host Glen Jones, who knew Hubert,  encountered him at the bluesman's  Saturday night Stone Pony gig & invited him to drop by for a live broadcast the following afternoon. Hubert showed up with his guitar, a funky old amp was somehow procured for him, & the master musician provided a  loose, entertaining set.  As you can see, he  didn't  "dress down" for the occasion.

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