Musical Playlist 22: Johnny Guitar Watson

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The Musical Playlist series returns with a focus on the late, great Johnny “Guitar” Watson. A blues pioneer, Watson played a little bit of everything from blues, rock and roll, soul, funk and disco. Hailed as one of the greatest rock and roll guitarists of all time and a musical hero to many, including Etta James and G-Funk artists like Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre—there aren’t enough words and accolades to describe Johnny Guitar Watson.

He’s blues, rock and roll, funk and rhythm and blues. He’s everything! And it took me seeing an old clip of his live performance to really understand why Etta James talked about him so much in her memoir. After seeing this video concert, I was hooked! It really is too bad that he passed away before I could see him live and in concert. However, I have the stories of my father, who saw him at the Beacon Theater in New York City and a good friend, Leslie, who saw him in concert in Chicago during the 1970’s. I can always live vicariously through them or lay back and listen to the music.

Check out Johnny Guitar Watson live in concert and then listen to his Funk Anthology. I started here but of course, I’ve now purchased every album from his funk and r&b era and am looking for more.

Here’s to Guitar!