I am often asked what artists and songs inspired me to write songs and pick up the guitar. This is the sixth in the series of posts and features the wonderful Simon and Garfunkel
This is my penultimate post and next week I feature the guys that started me off wanting to be a pro musician.
Today however, I have a problem, there are so many artists that I want to feature and it's tough to choose, so rather than featuring something about what inspired me as a guitar player, I will go for what inspired me as a songwriter at the tender age of 16...
There were two artists that really did it for me in those early years; Yusuf / Cat Stevens and Simon & Garfunkel.
I was going to choose 'Father & Son" (which I urge you to listen to) from old Yusuf but after much consideration I opted for 'Bridge over Troubled Water'.
Written by Paul Simon, and gracefully sung by Art Garfunkel the song has an almost gospel feel. Garfunkel's super pure tone is magnificent.
Co-produced by Roy Halee, the sound is massive, reminiscent of Phil Spector's 'Wall of Sound' and it was recorded using L.A. session musicians from the 'Wrecking Crew'. Larry Knechtel plays piano, with Joe Osborn on bass guitar and Hal Blaine closing out the song with drums (and an ocean of reverb).
The melody and lyric made me realise that there was more to creating music than rockin' a fat one with the Flying V...
Even now, it makes me cry.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: In January 2016, we recorded a podcast talking in detail about this track and all the others in the series. Take a listen!]
Blues at the Bay, 718 Yarm Road, Eaglescliffe TS16 0JE Stockton-on-tees, UK
Saltburn Blues Club, Markse Mill Lane, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, TS12 1QA, UK