January 17: Mick Taylor was born in 1949 , here playing Blind Willie McTell by Bob Dylan

Happy 72nd birthday Mick Taylor!

Any fan of classic rock needs no introduction to Mick Taylor. The legendary  guitarist first made his mark in the 1960′s playing with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers as the successor to Eric Clapton. As if this wasn’t enough, Mick Taylor would eventually go on to replace the late Brian Jones in The Rolling Stones. He would  leave the Stones in 1974, but he was a big part on some of their most seminal albums, such as Let it BleedSticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street. Over the years, Taylor would carve out his own solo career, but would continue to maintain contact with the Stones, eventually being present for the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

In 1983, Taylor joined Mark Knopfler and played on Dylan’s Infidels album. He also appeared on Dylan’s live album Real Live, as well as the follow-up studio album Empire Burlesque. In 1984, Dylan asked Mick Taylor to assemble an experienced rock and roll band for a European tour he signed with Bill Graham. Ian McLagan was hired to play piano and hammond organ, Greg Sutton to play bass and Colin Allen, a long-time friend of Taylor, on drums. The tour lasted for four weeks at venues such as Munich’s Olympic Stadium Arena and Milan’s San Siro Stadium, sharing the bill with Carlos Santana and Joan Baez, who appeared on the same bill for a couple of shows.

He played with The Stones again as a special guest on their 50 & Counting Tour in 2013.

His take on Bob Dylan’s Blind Willie McTell is faithful but playful, for instance he incorporates snippets from All along the Watchtower in the middle of the song. But it is his fantastic guitar playing that is the reason I chose this as todays video. There are not many guitarists in his league. Fantastic!

Blind Willie McTell – Mick Taylor (2009):

December 21: Frank Zappa was born in 1940

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.
~Frank Zappa

My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can.
~Frank Zappa

….although he led groups that could be called rock & roll bands for much of his career, he used them to create a hybrid style that bordered on jazz and complicated, modern serious music, sometimes inducing orchestras to play along. As if his music were not challenging enough, he overlay it with highly satirical and sometimes abstractly humorous lyrics and song titles that marked him as coming out of a provocative literary tradition that included Beat poets like Allen Ginsberg and edgy comedians like Lenny Bruce.
~William Ruhlmann (allmusic.com)

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December 18: The legend Keith Richards was born in 1943

“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.”
― Keith Richards

“When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you.”
― Keith Richards

He’s acknowledged as perhaps the greatest rhythm guitarist in rock & roll, but Keith Richards is even more legendary for his near-miraculous ability to survive the most debauched excesses of the rock & roll lifestyle. His prodigious consumption of drugs and alcohol has been well documented, and would likely have destroyed anyone with a less amazing endurance level.
~Steve Huey (allmusic.com)

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November 20: The late great Duane Allman was born in 1946

duane allman

“I will take love wherever I find it and offer it to everyone who will take it.., seek knowledge from those wiser than me and try to teach those who wish to learn from me.”
― Duane Allman

Nice tribute:

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November 11: Dave Alvin was born in 1955

dave-alvin

I started writing poetry before I started writing songs. In my checkered college past I was a creative writing major at Long Beach State University, which had a great writing program, and that’s where I learned all the nuts and bolts that helped me out in songwriting. They forced us to write in traditional forms — sonnets, iambic pentameter — just so we could understand that writing wasn’t just splaying free verse all over the page. But then the more songs I wrote using all those poetic forms, the more my poetry become like prose, almost to the point of journalism…
~Dave Alvin (Interview by Jim Catalano)

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November 5: Ryan Adams was born in 1974

ryan adams

“I’ve never been to Vegas, but I’ve gambled all my life.”
― Ryan Adams (Oh My Sweet Carolina)

“Some people want to go forever, I just want to burn off hard and bright.”
― Ryan Adams (Firecracker)

Ryan Adams – Gimme Something Good (Live,Later… with Jools Holland):

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