Guest reviewer Fumo Verde
Are you ready for the funk? I said, βAre you ready for the funk?β How about some Soul? Mix that together with the Blues, and the groove you get is one by the master himself, Johnny "Guitar" Watson. The Funk Anthology follows Johnny through his disco decade, 1974 to 1984 where his grooves were being spun at all the discos around the world, yet Johnny wasn't some disco flash-in-your-pants, one-hit wonder. He was more than that, to a point where big label rappers are using his riffs and jams.
Young John Watson (as he was known) was born in Houston, TX, on Feb. 3rd, 1935 and by the age of nine he was on his way to mastering the piano. Johnny fell in love with jazz, but by the age of 19, he was one of the deepest of the blues players around. His influences were T-Bone Walker and Clarence "Gatormouth" Brown. He played with such greats like Johnny Copeland and Albert Collins, but the guitar didn't become his main instrument until he saw "Guitar" Slim in 1954, from that time the guitar became the tool of choice. His career spanned from 1953 until his death in 1996. And get this; the man was a consummate performer until the end, dying while on stage during a tour of Japan.
His amazing talent had an influence on others, such as Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, George Clinton, Etta James, and Frank Zappa. Jimmy Vaughn was quoted as saying, "When my brother Stevie and I were growing up in Dallas, we idolized very few guitarists. We were highly selective and highly critical. Johnny 'Guitar' Watson was at the top of the list, along with Freddie, Albert and B.B. King. He made magic.β
"Johnny was my main idol, he taught me how to sing the blues," said Etta James, a legend in her own right. As for his live shows, young artists watched in awe and brought his moves and antics into their own acts, people like Jimi Hendrix and Prince.