Thursday, September 16, 2021

Snooky Pryor's 100th Birthday


Yesterday (September 15, 2021) would have been American Blues legend Snooky Pryor's 100th birthday. Snooky performed with a number of local artists such as Mel Brown, Gary Kendall, John Lee and many others.

Biography highlights (from Wikipedia)
We asked a number of local artists about working with the legendary Bluesman.

Al Richardson (Mel Brown and the Homewreckers)

Snooky has an old-style approach, where he would drop beats at various places in a song, when he felt it. And he didn’t feel bound to do it in the same places from performance to performance, or take to take. This is very different from jazz-style improvisation which is much more about working within a pretty locked-down structure.

So here we were, just doing everything on ESP, and it went brilliantly. I think people often call it ‘flow’ and that’s exactly what we all had. Everything felt free but at the same time it like it was all inevitable. 

The only sad thing about it is that I’m probably one of the few people my age who got to come up in this traditional, apprenticeship kind of way, with guys like Snooky and (of course) Mel, who was already a generation younger than Snooky. I’m almost certainly one of the last who got to learn that way, and I’m eternally grateful that I did.

Jimmy Boudreau (Western Swing Authority

Andrew Galloway, owner of ElectroFi Records aked me to play on an album with Snooky.  Andrew introduced me to him on the sidewalk outside of the studio in Toronto.  Snooky shook my hand, looked me up and down, felt my bicep and said: 

"Yep.  He'll do!"

Mr. Pryor was a true gentleman.  Morally strong, never touched liquor.  Ever.  Some of my fondest memories in all my years playing drums come from my time with Mel Brown and Snooky Pryor.

Gary Kendall (Downchild)

Being able to meet Snooky Pryor, share his positive approach to life and play his deep blues was an extremely important part of my journey in the world of music. 

Click here for a 3 page story bout Gary's history with Snooky.

John Lee (Mel Brown and the Homewreckers)

Snooky was so much fun to play with.   The live recording we did at 'The Little Bighorn' really says it all.

Links: Kendall Wall Band, More Kendall Wall Stories, Morgan Davis, More Morgan Davis Stories, Video above courtesy of KendallWallBand

Links: Mel BrownMore Mel Brown StoriesVideo above courtesy of ElectroFiRecords

Links: Snooky PryorMore Snooky Pryor StoriesVideo above courtesy of Snooky Pryor - Topic, More 100th Birthdays


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