More sad news in the blues world following R.L. Burnside’s death last week with the passing on Saturday of the great alround musician Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown at age 81 of complications from lung cancer and heart, though also not helped by the loss of his home and possessions by hurricane Katrina.
Probably thought of mainly as a blues guitar player Brown preferred not to tie himself down to one instrument, he played fiddle, mandolin, viola, drums, piano and harmonica in addition to guitar or one style of music with big-band blues, bop, country, Cajun, even calypso making up what he called –
American Music, Texas StyleClarence “Gatemouth” Brown
Born in Louisiana and brought up in Texas he started out playing country and Cajun on fiddle and guitar, he earned the nickname “Gatemouth” when a high school teacher accused him of having a “voice like a gate”. He became one of the faces of the blues when serving in 1966 as the leader of the house band for the groundbreaking syndicated R&B program The !!!! Beat, which featured the legendary Texas DJ Bill “Hoss” Allen, that introduced and number of black blues artists to white America.
A huge influence on the likes of Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Frank Zappa, “Gatemouth” is another loss from the great era of bluesmen.
If you’ve never checked out “Gatemouth” Brown before there are 4 free MP3 downloads you can get from Amazon.com to introduce you to this lost talent.