Saturday, October 29, 2011
Same Guitar, Next Year: Linwood Taylor and Bobby Kyle
It was billed as a “Guitar Showdown," but it was far more congenial than competitive.
Guitarists Linwood Taylor and Bobby Kyle brought their bands to the Old Bowie Town Grille in Bowie, Maryland on October 28 to put on the latest in a series of joint performances.
Taylor’s band, based in the D.C. area, and Kyle’s, which plays out of Pennsylvania and New York City, have been doing joint shows together once or twice a year, according to Taylor. Some music fans may see the shows as an ongoing competition, but both guitarists say they are just a means to stay in touch musically. The two met over 20 years ago through the late guitarist and guitar amp specialist Cesar Diaz, a mutual friend.
One of the D.C. area’s better-known guitarists, Taylor has shared the stage with Johnny Winter and opened Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, Lonnie Mack and Rory Gallagher. Last year, he finished a two-year stint with Joe Louis Walker’s band. Since then, in addition to his own Linwood Taylor band, he has played alongside harmonica player Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark, Maryland’s Black Magic band and Devon Allman’s Honeytribe, among others. You can catch an in-depth—and I do mean in-depth—interview with Taylor on this blog dated February 22, 2011.
Playing with the house band at Tampa Bay’s Stuffed Pepper during the early 1980’s, Kyle joined Eddie Kirkland’s band in 1984. He stayed with Kirkland for six years, then joined Johnny Copeland’s band, performing with Copeland until the Texas bluesman’s death in 1997.
We had a chance to talk to both guitarists. Taylor talked about how he and Kyle met through Diaz:
Kyle talked about playing with Taylor and about working with Copeland and Kirkland. He recalled that Kirkland, who died in February of this year at the age of 87, was injured in the 1970’s when he was hit by a ricocheting bullet fired by the patron of a club where he was performing. Kirkland was an innocent bystander in the incident:
And the music? Hear for yourself. Here’s Taylor doing Hendrix:
Here's Taylor doing Stevie Ray/Buddy Guy:
Here he shows what he learned from Albert Collins:
And here he is again:
then it was Kyle's turn:
And he gave us his take on Latimore's "Let's Straighten It Out:"
This one, "The Spider and the Fly," was recorded at Electric Ladyland in NYC:
And this one was from his Johnny Copeland days:
Keep your ears peeled for the next "showdown"....