Get this crazy baby off my head!


Danny Gatton

Danny Gatton - Funhouse - 2004 - Big Mo Records

Danny Gatton was truly the guitarist's guitarist. Hailed by Guitar Player as the "World's Greatest Unknown Guitar Player" he was cherished by the likes of Les Paul, Joe Perry, Steve Vai, Joe Pass, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Vince Gill, Albert Lee and countless other guitar luminaries. Until his tragic and untimely death in 1994 he was every guitar players best resource for a treasure of "hot licks". Never one to tour he remains an underground treasure for those "in the know". If you play the guitar, you owe it to yourself to check out this great instrumental genius. © http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/gatton07

The late Washington, D.C. born guitarist, Danny Gatton played rockabilly, R&B, pop, country, rock, and jazz equally well. This is a searing live set recorded at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. on June 10th and 11th, 1988. This is also the only official Danny Gatton release to feature the horn-driven jazz band, Funhouse who Danny played a regular weekly gig with in the Washington area. Danny described Funhouse as"the most stimulating musical experience I've ever had". The set also features legendary pedal steel guitarist Buddy Emmons. Listen to Danny's outstanding "Unfinished Business" and "88 Elmira St." albums. If you're unfamiliar with Danny Gatton's music, check out bigmo.com and look up Danny's catalogue. Danny was not only a great guitarist, but a truly brilliant musician. [All tracks @ 192 Kbps: File size = 79.7 Mb]


Blues on the Half Shell - C. Battistone
Momasita - Joe Henderson
Off the Top - Jimmie Smith
A Train - Billy Strayhorn
Land of Make Believe - Chuck Mangione
Smoke and Mirrors - C.Battistone
Pretty Blue - Danny Gatton
Red Label - Chris Battistone & Danny Gatton
Well You Needn't / Rock Candy - Thelonious Monk/Jack McDuff
Harlem Nocturne - Earle Hagen

N.B: Thanks,Danneau for the composers


Danny Gatton - Guitar
Billy Windsor - Guitar, Vocals
Buddy Emmons - Pedal Steel Guitar
John Previti - Upright Bass
Barry Hart - Drums
Bruce Swaim, Phil Berlin - Saxophone
Chris Battistone - Trumpet
John Jensen - Trombone


Guitar virtuoso Danny Gatton was known for the incredibly wide stylistic range of his playing; based in rockabilly, Gatton's musical vocabulary included R&B, pop, country, rock, and jazz, all of which he could play effectively. Gatton began playing at age nine, joining his first band, the Lancers, three years later. In 1960, Gatton pursued a jazz direction when he joined the Offbeats, where pianist/organist Dick Heintze proved to be one of Gatton's biggest influences. The band broke up four years later, and Gatton moved to Nashville to get into session work; there he met Roy Buchanan, who briefly became his roommate and taught him more about his instrument of choice. Eventually, Gatton built a reputation as a top-notch guitarist around his native Washington, D.C., area through his club performances. He recorded an album with his backing band the Fat Boys titled American Music in 1975 and followed it with Redneck Jazz in 1978. The band on the latter featured steel guitarist Buddy Emmons, drummer Dave Elliott, and eventual longtime cohorts Evan Johns on vocals and rhythm guitar and John Previti on bass. Gatton's albums led to offers from other musicians to join their bands. Lowell George extended an invitation after leaving Little Feat, but was found dead two days later. Gatton wound up touring with country singer Roger Miller and rockabilly artist Robert Gordon, giving him national exposure and a growing cult among guitar fans, who traded bootlegs of Gatton concerts. Gatton returned to Washington, D.C., to be near his friends and family while playing up and down the East Coast with several bands and doing session work. When Gatton purchased an old farmhouse in need of expensive renovations in 1988, he decided to pursue his music career more seriously. He released his first solo album since 1978 the next year, Unfinished Business, which drew notices from several guitar-oriented magazines as well as Rolling Stone. Elektra Records signed him during the summer, and he made his major-label debut in 1991 with the tremendously varied instrumental album 88 Elmira St. 1992 saw Gatton's first straight-ahead jazz album, New York Stories, recorded for none other than Blue Note. Gatton toured the nation solo for the first time in 1993 in support of Cruisin' Deuces, but its lack of success, coupled with the departure of A&R man Howard Thompson from Elektra, spelled the end of Gatton's association with the label. Gatton returned to session work to pay the bills, but sustained a further blow when rhythm guitarist Billy Windsor died of a heart attack early in 1994. Gatton collaborated with organ virtuoso Joey DeFrancesco on Relentless in May and toured Europe during the summer. Sadly, on October 4, 1994, Gatton locked himself in his garage and shot himself. He left behind no explanation. © Steve Huey © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/danny-gatton-p4343/biography


Danny Gatton (September 4, 1945 – October 4, 1994) was an American guitarist who fused rockabilly, jazz, and country styles to create his own distinctive style of playing. A biography, Unfinished Business: The Life and Times of Danny Gatton by Ralph Heibutzki, was published in 2003. It has a voluminous discography. Gatton was ranked 63rd on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of all Time in 2003. On May 26, 2010, Gibson.com ranked Gatton as the 27th best guitarist of all time. Gatton was born in Washington, D.C. on September 4, 1945. His father, Daniel W. Gatton Sr., was a rhythm guitarist known for his unique percussive style, who left his musical career to raise his family in a more stable profession. The younger Gatton grew up to share his father's passion for the instrument. Danny Gatton began his career playing in bands while still a teenager. He began to attract wider interest in the 1970s while playing guitar and banjo for the group Liz Meyer & Friends. He made his name as a performer in the Washington, DC, area during the late 1970s and 1980s, both as a solo performer and with his Redneck Jazz Explosion, in which he would trade licks with virtuoso pedal steel player Buddy Emmons over a tight bass-drums rhythm which drew from blues, country, bebop and rockabilly influences. He also backed Robert Gordon and Roger Miller. He contributed a cover of "Apricot Brandy", a song by Elektra Records-supergroup Rhinoceros, to the 1990 compilation album Rubáiyát. Gatton's playing combined musical styles such as jazz, blues and rockabilly in an innovative fashion, and he was known by some as "the Telemaster" (a portmanteau of "Telecaster", Gatton's guitar of choice, and "Master"). He was also called "the world's greatest unknown guitarist". His most common nickname was "The Humbler", owing to his ability to "humble" or out-play anyone willing to go up against him in "head-cutting" jam sessions. It was Amos Garrett, guitar player for Maria Muldaur, who nicknamed Gatton "The Humbler". After a successful gig, Garrett would pull out a tape of Gatton and tell his band, "You think we played well tonight. Let's take a minute to listen to the Humble-lizer." A photo published in the October 2007 issue of Guitar Player magazine shows Gatton playing in front of a neon sign that says "Victims Wanted". However, he never achieved the commercial success that his talent arguably deserved. His album 88 Elmira Street was up for a 1990 Grammy Award for the song "Elmira Street Boogie" in the category Best Rock Instrumental Performance, but was beaten by Eric Johnson with "Cliffs of Dover". His skills were most appreciated by his peers such as Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, and his childhood idol Les Paul. During his career, Gatton appeared on stage with guitar heroes such as Alvin Lee and Jimmie Vaughan, the latter literally walking in one night on a Gatton club gig. There is also an apocryphal rumor about an on-stage "head-cutting" jam between Gatton and fellow Washington DC-area resident (and Telecaster player who also held the title of The Greatest Unknown Guitarist) Roy Buchanan. (Gatton had roomed with Buchanan in Nashville in the mid '60s and they became frequent "jamming partners", according to Guitar Player Magazine's October 2007 issue). He also performed with old teenage friend Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen (from Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna) as "Jack and the Degenerates". Those recordings were never commercially released, but live tapes are in circulation. In 1993, Gatton was invited by rocker Chris Isaak to record tracks for Isaak's San Francisco Days CD. Reports of where Gatton's playing can be heard on the CD vary, with unconfirmed reports placing him on either "Can't Do A Thing (To Stop Me)", "5:15" or "Beautiful Houses". Gatton reportedly brought a customized Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster to the recording session. He usually played a 1953 Fender Telecaster (Fender now manufactures a replica of his heavily customized instrument), with Joe Barden pick-ups and Fender Super 250L's, or Nickel Plated Steel (.010 to .046 with a .015 for the G) strings. For a slide, Gatton was known for using a beer bottle or mug (still half full of beer), without regard to whether it might spill all over stage or his guitar. During a 1991 performance on Austin City Limits, he followed this by wiping the guitar neck with a rag, then holding the rag between his fingers and the frets, all the while playing flawlessly. In the March 1989 issue of Guitar Player magazine, he said he preferred to use an Alka Seltzer bottle or long 6L6 vacuum tube as a slide, but that audiences liked the beer bottle. He did, however, only play slide overhand, citing his earlier training in steel guitar [Guitar Player, March 1989] He always played with a jazz-style teardrop pick, and was capable of intricate passages combining Bluegrass, bebop, and garage sounds, executed with amazing clarity and at dizzying speeds. His picking technique was a hybrid combination of pick and fingers, primarily his middle and ring fingers on his right hand. The basis of his picking technique was using banjo rolls; he was an accomplished banjo player and from that he learned the traditional (Scruggs style) right-hand technique. His forward roll consisted of a pick downstroke, then middle finger, then ring finger. His backward roll consisted of middle finger, then a pick upstroke, then a pick downstroke. He possessed a classical guitar left hand technique, thumb behind the neck, fretting with arched fingers. Also among his admirers are Les Paul, James Burton, Lenny Breau, Joe Bonamassa (whom Danny mentored when Joe was eleven years old), Vince Gill, Evan Johns (of "Evan Johns and His H-Bombs"), Chris Cheney, Bill Kirchen, Albert Lee, Steve Vai, Buckethead, Arlen Roth, Ricky Skaggs, Slash ("Guns N' Roses"), and Richie Sambora. On October 4, 1994, Gatton locked himself in his garage in Newburg, Maryland and shot himself. He left behind no explanation. In retrospect of his suicide, people around him have suggested that he may have gone in and out of depression for many years. On January 10, 11, and 12, 1995, Tramps club in New York organized a three-night Tribute to Danny Gatton featuring dozens of Gatton's musical admirers, the highlight of which was a twenty-minute performance by Les Paul, James Burton, and Albert Lee. Those shows (with all musicians performing for free) raised $25,000 for Gatton's widow and daughter.


Danneau said...

Mamasita=Joe Henderson
Off The Top=Jimmie Smith
Smoke and Mirrors=Chris Battistone

A local bass player played me some Gatton early in 1994. I had never heard of him, despite familiarity with Buchanan and an enduring love for the whole Telemaster idea (for others: I'm strictly a hacker). I was gobsmacked, and set about acquiring all the Gatton I could find. Needless to say I was saddened by his death, particularly the manner of it, but continue to wallow in pools of Gatton from time to time, sometimes as a lesson in humility, mostly just because it's so damned good. Check out his instructional videos, thrills and lots of winks.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers,Danneau. Thanks for the info and your musicologistical wisdom! TTU soon...P

zico said...

He was a true guitar master. One of the all time greats. Sadly he decided to leave so soon and the sadness of his loss will always be right by hiw unique legacy. Thanks once more for one of the all time best guitarists.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I still mourn the passing on Danny Gatton and Roy Buchanan - 2 of the greatest guitar players that ever walked the earth

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,zico. There's so many of these guys have left us...Rory Gallagher, Hendrix...I won't go on. There must be one hell of a band in heaven!! Thanks, zico. Catch you later

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,dD.Me too. And Rory Gallagher who I greatly admired. I could make a list of more, but I'd be up all night! But it is so, so sad. Thanks, dD. TTU soon...P

Anonymous said...

Wow! If you could repost this gem, I'll love you forever!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Anonymous. Try http://www.israbox.com/1146449700-danny-gatton-funhouse-20052012.html

XXX!! (lol)

Raul said...

Much appreciated!

A.O.O.F.C said...

No probs, Raul. Cheers!