Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
This is 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 1st of each month and on the 7th, I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.
Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of DOG BITE High Gravity Lager (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!
[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Thursday, September 22, 2016


This the 22nd of September, meaning that my 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' Results Announcement is a day later than it otter be. But that's because I found this...

...at Mike's Ramblings and I wanted to combine it with my BOTB Results, which I was unable to do during my 12.5 hour work shift yesterday. So -- voila! -- here it is a day late but $155.00 richer.


First I need to say that I'm disappointed that the BOTB vote total was lower than usual. I know it had nuttin' to do with my Battle because this was a damned good one -- I know it and everyone said it, too. A-List and E-Ticket all the way! But several BOTBers did not participate in this round for various personal reasons, and I guess they couldn't find time to come visit my Battle either. But that was NO REFLECTION on the quality of the contest.

I had Richie Havens going against Danny Caron & Maria Muldaur on the song 'I Don't Wanna Know' right HERE. It started out as a real close horse race. With 10 votes recorded, it was tied 5 to 5 and I was starting to worry about the Battle ending in a tie. But then Danny and Maria took the lead and continued to lengthen it until they crossed the finish line.

Richie Havins = 5 votes
Caron & Muldaur = 12 votes

Like everyone else, I thought both recordings were really excellent, but my vote also went to Danny Caron. I loved Maria's powerful, passionate vocals, and Danny happens to be one of my Top 5 Favorite Guitarists of all time... which is why I wanted to combine my BOTB Results with the guitar-related blogfest I found mentioned at Mike's blog.

But before I delve into that subject, I want to again thank DANNY CARON who actually took the time to visit my humble blog, listened to his competitor, Richie Havens, and even left a comment for me in which he also thanked you all. What a super-cool guy! (Thanks, Danny!! I've been doing BOTB for three years but you made this Battle one of my most memorable.)


Consarn it! This ain't easy for a guy who loves music like I do -- and so many genres, too. Admittedly, I'm partial to Jazz and Blues players, and my first 3 choices were no-brainer decisions. After that, it gets really tough having to leave so many off my list and narrowing it down. A list without Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour, Buck Dharma, or Albert King? (And the Unknown Guitarist whom I sense I'm forgetting at the moment and will kick myself for later).

But in the end, my list included Two Dannys, Two Garys, and a Pat.


Steve Vai said: "When someone uses the phrase 'the best guitar player in the world', I usually go into an exhaustive discourse on how music is art and you can't judge art and there are many different ways that people play the guitar and it's impossible to be considered the best because then you would have to master all styles and that it's all right to have favorites, etc., etc., etc., blah-blah-blah. But I feel okay in saying that Danny Gatton comes closer than anyone else to being the best guitar player that ever lived."

I concur 100% with Steve Vai on all of that.

Gatton's technique was jaw-dropping and he seemed to play everything -- Jazz, Blues, Rockabilly, Country, and Rock -- equally well. And for a guy who could do 300 miles-per-hour on the frets, he had such great feeling, such sensitivity on the slower numbers.



My favorite living guitarist and second favorite of all-time is Danny Caron who just won 'Battle Of The Bands' and is now going to Disneyland. (Ha!) In the BOTB comment section, my good pal Sheboyganboy Six asked me how I came to discover Danny. Here's that story...

I'm proud to say that in 2005, I was the first person to ever write a review for a Danny Caron album at Amazon.com. (You can read that review HERE.) He only had one album under his name then. Today he has three and I own them all, and they are some of my most frequently played CDs. Here are some excerpts from my 2005 review:

Going home from work after midnight a few weeks ago, I put on the local pseudo-Jazz station. Late, when they figure nobody's listening anyway, KYOT sometimes shelves the Kenny G and Dave Koz and spins stuff a little more adventurous. About halfway home they started playing some hot guitarist whose style I did not recognize. Damn! This guy was GOOD! I pulled into my garage, shut off the engine, & just sat there listening, unable to go into the house until the track concluded. (And I'm thinking : "You KYOT Airheadzona DJ better tell me who this is!") "That was DANNY CARON with THE PROMISE", he announced. Now, I know from past experiences that whenever a musical piece commands my attention to that degree upon first listen, I've got a winner.

His first album was titled 'GOOD HANDS', and I concluded that review by writing...

My favorite piece is RAINY NIGHT IN GEORGIA. No, on second thought, I'd say IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD. Check that; it's definitely SHINE ON. OK, I can't decide..... but did you notice that I didn't even mention THE PROMISE - the head-turning track I heard on the radio, that caught my attention to begin with? That's how impressive this album is! What a travesty of justice that so much acclaim is lavished on each new long-haired, hard rock speed freak guitarist who comes along, but a player like THIS remains unknown. He's never going to get the recognition that he deserves, but hey, you can forget all about Allstate, man, because you're in REALLY 'GOOD HANDS' with DANNY CARON!

What I love most about Danny's playing is the soul-deep Spiritual quality of it. Words can't explain the Spiritual -- they're from two different realms. The truly Spiritual you must be able to feel, and I feel it all through Danny's marvelous playing. It's in the subtle shadings of the notes he plays and it's unmistakable in the melodies of the ballads he composes. Truly, I feel that Danny Caron is the most Spiritual guitarist I've ever heard.

Here's that first song I heard on the radio which really turned my head...


And in keeping with that theme, hold on to your hat and wrap your mind around THIS...


The vocalist was Barbara Morrison.

Alright, one more from the BOTB winner. Listen to the amazing Spiritual shadings he imbues these notes with! If you can't "FEEL" this deep inside your Soul... I dunno what to say:



Although he's a first-rate Jazz guitarist, what I appreciate most about Metheny is the gorgeous and often very catchy melodies he writes. He has always been my #1 choice as "Music To Drive To", and apparently I'm not alone in that opinion. This is one of my favorite YouTube videos -- it features Pat on his synth-guitar and "on the road".



I'm not really a fan of Moore's earlier Hard Rock / Heavy Metal stuffs. But once he discovered and was influenced by Albert King, his playing took on a whole new, more genuinely human emotional quality that I love. Yeah, he could still shred it with his amps turned "up to eleven", but even when he did, it retained a Bluesy feel.


5: GARY HOEY ("Who He?")

My buddy LC of the blog 'DiscConnected' turned me on to Gary Hoey years ago when we worked for the same company. Guitaristically, Hoey is all over the map. Mostly he plays Rock but you can hear all kinds of different musical infuences in it.

Surfdoggin' comes from Hoey's incredible, rip-roaring, ten-hanging soundtrack album to the movie 'The Endless Summer II' and it's probably my favorite of all his recordings. I love the way he intertwines some fast 'n' flashy Country-ish pickin' into this instrumental. Truthfully, I'm not even sure what genre of music I would call this, but whatever it is, it's hot!...


Well, my thanks again to the great Danny Caron, and to all of you who took time to listen and vote in my latest BOTB installment. I hope to see all of you (and those MIAs) here again for my next Battle on October 1st.

Bless And Be Blessed.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


  1. Not only did Danny Gatton play all those styles, sometimes he played them all at once. He was a hell of a player.

    1. Ha! True that, JOHN.

      An astonishing guitarist. He could do anything with that axe, including building a log cabin.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

  2. That's pretty cool that Danny Caron visited your blog. I think all these guys you picked are amazing guitarists but I'm not an expert....I just like what I hear.

    1. BIRGIT ~
      Sorry I'm late responding to your comment. I saw, I published, I... forgot. (Must've been the Mojitos.)

      I don't play any instruments myself, but I've read a lot and been addicted to music as my favorite art form so long that somehow I figured out what's "objectively" great.

      But like you, I still just like what I like. And sometimes I still enjoy stuffs that isn't "technically" impressive but appeals to me for one reason or another.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  3. I've had a couple of posts over the years where an artist somehow found the blog and stopped by, and it is kind of cool.

    I am stealing from an idea you and Robin recently did, although you may have done it before with FAE if memory serves me (which it usually does not), and Gary Moore will have a role in that. It's not my next BOTB but starts with the second October post.

    Not sure if people will like it, but since when have I ever worried about that? You will at least like the musical theme, I think.

    I'll have to see if I can come up with a guitarist list.


    1. LC ~
      Sorry I'm late responding to your comment. I saw, I published, I... forgot. (Must've been the Margaritas.)

      Wouldn't that be thrilling if someday The Todd shows up with a comment for your blog?

      I look forward to the BOTB idea you've mentioned. I'm guessing you'll be using one tune and four artists with a "Super Bowl" contest between the two League Play-Off winners. If Gary Moore's included, chances are I'll dig it.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  4. That was indeed a good contest. It was also an interesting story about how you came to discover Caron's music. I've come across artists like that and it's so annoying when they don't announce who a great sound came from.

    5 Guitarists eh? I'd probably have to think for awhile on this. The first three that came to my mind were 1) Bruce Cockburn, 2)Phil Keaggy, and 3)perhaps to the chagrin of many I'm going to name Neil Young. These guitarists play in styles I enjoy a lot. I know there's a bunch more I could name, but my stupid memory fails me at the moment.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. LEE ~
      Sorry I'm late responding to your comment. I saw, I published, I... forgot. (Must've been the Grand Marnier.)

      I've had real good luck with DJs telling me who an artist was when I really, Really, REALLY wanted to know. (The two most memorable examples being Danny Caron and Brian Auger.) That would be so frustrating to fall in love with an artist at first listen only to have the DJ fail to name him/her.

      Yeah, sometimes it's not really the guitarist's technical facility but simply the style or tone he gets that is very appealing. I think of David Gilmour that way -- he's not in Gatton's league in terms of virtuosity (who the hell is?), but I love the sounds he gets and the moods he portrays.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  5. Some awesome guitarists and some awesome tunes here. You know, funnily enough, I've never been huge into musical masturbation, i.e. going into a 20 minute guitar solo where you just riff and highlight every single technique you've ever mastered - "Look what I can do!"

    So what I appreciate here is that this is all still music first, and showing off second. Hell, my favorite of these is probably Pat Methany, which involves no showoffery (totally a word) at all. Just pure, magical music.

    I need to get an album or three of his next time I'm on a road trip.


    1. 6-B ~
      I'm actually pretty big into showoffery. It's what I do when I'm not shearing stupidity, siting evidence, or filing down the rough spots on my pedos.

      If you really ever do decide to acquire a Pat Metheny album or three, let me know and I'll be the expert guide to your purchase/s. I know his stuffs really well and I think I have a good understanding of what you'd protly most like.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  6. Wowsa, how cool that Danny Caron stopped by and left a comment! That's way beyond cool! Congrats on that. That's called Blog Recognition! :)

    That was an incredibly tough battle. Even though I voted Richie Havens, I could've easily gone the other way, it was that much of a toss-up for me --- and I see, for most voters. Excellent battle.

    I love Gary Moore and really like the selection you posted here. So sad that he died the way he did...way before his time.

    Got your Email. Thanks for that. Will get back to you soon. My dad had to be taken back to the hospital for congestive heart failure so it's been a crazy few days here. He's getting discharged today so that's good. I'll respond soon though.

    Have a great week Stephen. Talk soon...

    1. MICHELE ~
      "Blog Recognition"... Thanks! I knew there HAD to be a name for that. (It was indeed very neat.)

      Yeah, Gary Moore unintentionally drank himself to death, and Danny Gatton intentionally shot himself to death. What a waste of extraordinary talent.

      Sorry to hear about your Dad's ongoing health problems, but I'm glad he's pulled through again.

      You maintain a great, cheerful attitude despite all the issues you're dealing with. Very impressive, my friend.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  7. Great list. Danny Gatton was incredible a master of the Telecaster. You got jazz and blues rock covered with Metheny and Moore. The ones on your list I am least familiar with, you have at least introduced them to me and your other readers in your Battle of the Bands.

    1. Thanks for checking it out, MIKE. I'm glad you liked the list.

      ~ D-FensDogG


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