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Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
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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.
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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!
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[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Thursday, February 1, 2018

2018, FEBRUARY 1: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, DANNY GATTON VS. DANNY GATTON)

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Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, Stephen T. McCarthy Vs. Sobriety, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...
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'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB')
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Yes, it's time once again for 'Battle Of The Bands' ('BOTB').
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Alright, let's get on it. Let's get ON this thing!...
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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Circa 1994, Larry, a friend and co-worker of mine -- who also happened to be a guitarist in a local Blues band -- gave me a cassette tape he'd recorded for me. It was titled LITTLE GUITAR DITTIES: "Lelly's Favorites". "Lelly" was a pet name we had given to him at work. [Remember this -- you'll need it later!]
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The tape was a compilation of guitar-dominated recordings. Most of the players and some of the songs I was familiar with. But there was one name there that I had never heard before: Danny Gatton. Larry / Lelly had included 3 Gatton recordings, including the 1993 version of HARLEM NOCTURNE.
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Fun Fact: I actually used Gatton's '93 recording of Harlem Nocturne in a BOTB installment 4 years ago on this very day. But many of you were not involved in BOTB back then, so this will be new to ya.
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I eventually purchased a couple of Danny Gatton compact discs including the career retrospective 'Hot Rod Guitar',...
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I read the biography 'Unfinished Business: The Life & Times Of Danny Gatton',...
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...and I became convinced that Gatton was the greatest guitarist I had (or still have) ever heard. And apparently I'm in good company with that opinion:
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[link> Steve Vai (voted the "10th Greatest Guitarist" by Guitar World magazine) 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."
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GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS
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Peoples, I need your help! I have a BOTB contest planned for later on, and one of the two songs I want to use in it is Danny Gatton playing 'Harlem Nocturne'. Problem: Gatton recorded two different versions of it, and I can't decide which one to use. And that's where you come in. I need YOU, with your votes, to decide which of these two recordings I will use in my future Battle against a different "Nocturne".
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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It was in 1975 that Gatton recorded 'Harlem Nocturne' for the first time. It appeared on the album 'American Music' and featured a very moody atmosphere enhanced by an electric organ and growling saxophone solo. This music delves deep into the night -- you can almost hear the neon buzzing and see the "o" in Hotel flashing:
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HARLEM NOCTURNE (1975) -- Danny Gatton
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bSi6pPeZ5E

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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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Gatton's 1993 recording of the song eschews the organ and saxophone in favor of a guitar-centric approach. And hokey-smoke! What guitar playing!! It's not just the astounding dexterity, but the harmonic counterpoints and various tones he gets. All that electrified cryin' 'n' shimmering! And all the while, he makes it sound so damned effortless. No matter how many times I listen to this, I leave just as amazed as the first time I heard it:
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HARLEM NOCTURNE (1993) -- Danny Gatton
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qasZ6Sga8F8


CANADIAN VOTERS: If that video would not play for you, please try (link> HERE.
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Question: Will the 1975 Gatton lose to the 1993 Gatton?
MAGIC 8-BALL sez:  "It is decidedly so."
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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whether I know "you" or notto vote for your favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. 

After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also.  

Vote your vice... Vice your voice...

Voice Your Vote...

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@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'RIGHTING & EDITING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.

As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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33 comments:

  1. Stephen,

    It took a few times going between the songs to figure my ear preferred the second rendition of Gatton's song. Give my vote to the 1993 version! Great battle!!

    Curious as a Cathy presents: Falling Slowly BoTB

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    1. Thanks, CATHY! And I appreciate your dedication to getting your vote right.

      So, Old Danny jumps out to the front.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  2. I guess I should have remembered that you'd pick Gatton as the best rock guitarist. He is indeed great at what he does.

    Both versions you've presented are winners. The playing on the 1993 version is really fired up and hard to beat, but still I prefer the 1975 version. The sax and organ does it for me--they add to the grittiness that this song calls for. Love the sound of that organ.

    Early Gatton gets my vote.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. One of the things that has so amazed me about Gatton was his versatility. He played Jazz, Country, Blues, Rock, and Rockabilly, and he did it all so smoothly with such jaw-dropping technique.

      Your vote immediately ends a shutout and ties it up. This one already looks like it will be nip and tuck all the way. But I had BETTER wind up with a winner!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  3. As i read through your post I thought surely I would vote for the earlier version (you know me and that growlin’ sax), but as I listened to both I found the second later version to be more to my linking. It had a darker feel, more ‘nocturnal’, if I may say so. Give my version to the newer version of Danny Gaston and his Harlem Noturne.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. FAE, I have no idea why your vote first went to Spam. I ain't blocked ya yet! [;^D

      Yeah, I can't believe you're walking away from the sax. Ha!

      Oh, well, Old Danny thanks ya!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  4. I was going to call it a tie, but the more I think about it, the more I like DG '75, so my vote goes with that one.

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    1. Old Danny
      Young Danny
      Old Danny
      Young Danny

      Whew! JOHN, that Danny sure is fightin' with himself. I wish he could get along with himself better. Or at least pick an Alpha-Danny and stick with it!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  5. Dammit Stephen...

    This tune transported me to a dimly lit dive bar. The kind of place where your senses are instantly are assaulted with stale cigarettes and spilt liquor. There's peanut shells on the floor and the old drunk hanging on to his stool at the end of the bar, and the lady of the evening chatting up all the men (but eventually ends up going home with the bartender - not because he's paying her, but because she's his steady). No one in town wants to be seen entering or leaving this bar, but everyone knows it the place you WANT to be to hear great music. It's where you go when you need a stiff drink and a good cry about your troubles in life. I need a shower after this battle, just to wash off the stench of the place!

    But it is indeed a good battle.

    I'm going to give my vote for 1975 version, because I felt the rawness and passion just a smidge more than I did with the 1993 version.

    ~Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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    1. MMQE, you had me at "bar". Ha!

      I don't know about "a dimly lit DIVE bar", though. I have never imbibed anywhere other than the most elegant, exquisite Thirst Parlors. I would not let my finely-cultured reputation be besmirched by ever being seen in a bar with sawdust on the floor, the stench of stale beer everywhere, and a dog named Nanook lying in the corner by the front door!

      Oops! I fear I may have said too much.

      Thanks for the trip to that hole-in-the-wall dive 'On The Nickel'. Good thing we left when that undercover cop slipped in. Who did he think HE was fooling with that short, combed and washed hair?

      Another vote for Young Danny.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  6. I vote for Danny Gatton. The 1993 version. The organ in the background provides just the right backdrop, steps, atmospherics. The gey-tar flows lean and mean with bold strokes moving forward and forward with no dilly dallying, by golly. Great flow/vibe.

    In the 1975 version, the notes seem all over the place – overload. The organ and sax being up front is too much, in musical terms, pizazz. Like placing a crazy straw and sparklers in a fine glass of wine, by cracky!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. G DOGG in the house!!

      Thanks, McBrother, for your continued support of BOTB and for your analysis and analogy of The Dannys!

      You the Master Analogyist.

      So, by gobs, your vote brings us back to a Danny Tie, consarn it!

      I'll tell you this much, at the end, if my own vote is going to create a Tie for the finale, I sure ain't votin'! This is the one time when I really do NEED to have a winner.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  7. And Stephen,

    I vote for Lelly! Wait he wasn't nominated for this round was he. Both good, I remember the previous battle or I remember the name anyway. Good battle and tough choice again...or as usual. I was impressed by the sounds he got out of the 93 version. That's my vote.
    JW,
    Pooh

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    1. ...AND POOH...
      Hang on to that vote for Lelly. Don't toss it out, because you may have a chance to use it in my Feb. 15th Battle.

      Yeah, man, the multitude of sounds Gatton gets in that '93 version, combined with the sheer number of musical ideas bursting forth throughout the piece is the reason I think it's probably the greatest guitar workout I've ever heard.

      If it's not Gatton doing 'Harlem Nocturne', then it's Gatton playing something else. But regardless, it's Gatton for me.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  8. Sixgun McItchyfingerFebruary 2, 2018 at 12:29 AM

    I listened to both of these versions in December when you were kind enough to send me links to them. What a guitarist! You could combine ALL my skills at everything into one lump and it wouldn't come close to what Gatton could do with a guitar. Heck, if he could also just tie his shoelaces he'd be one of the 27 most talented people of the last century.

    As before - though I love both versions - my favorite is the newer version. The gui seems more raw, and he shows off a bit more. I like his working in some 007 theme at around 2:40, and then love it when he picks up the pace at 3:15. Wow! I had to listen to it twice just to enjoy it again.

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    1. McITCHYFINGER ~
      Oh, Brother, I know! I've heard that '93 version countless times, it's less than 5:00 long, and yet I still hear new things he's doing in it every time I listen.

      It's like painting. You know how artists will paint pictures, and include little spots of colors that don't really naturally belong where they place them, and yet somehow the picture looks just right? Like, the artist puts a few blue splotches on a horse's rump; puts some yellow lines on the side of the red barn; paints purple and pink in the brunette's hair, and yet it all works, somehow.

      To me, that's like Danny Gatton. He's got all this weird stuff happening; all these notes of varying tones coming from out of nowhere, every which way, and yet somehow it all fits together and hangs comfortably within the melody. The complexity of it truly boggles my mind -- so many ideas that coalesce in this one 4:47 recording!

      And his rhythmic sense is incredible.

      Gatton's the only guitarist I can think of who really challenges me. I try to wrap my mind around the things he's doing but it's like trying to really understand the word "eternal". You can't quite grasp how that could really be a thing. And that's how I am about Gatton. It's, like, I can't imagine what possessed him to play certain things where he did, and yet it's obvious that he knows EXACTLY what he's doing, and he's able to do anything on the guitar that comes into his mind. It's truly awesome.

      Thanks for your vote, my friend. I genuinely appreciate your support.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  9. Hey, that's a little too happenin' for a Saturday morning in K-town, but WOWZA!

    I just have a minute this go around, brother, but I gotta give it to 1993 - but not by much! The guitar in '93 is amazing (as is the 75 version). Soulful, like he's part of the instrument and you can really hear HIM.

    Great pairing. I salute you, sir.

    Cherdo

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    1. Muchos Gracias, DOC MacSIS.

      >>... "like he's part of the instrument and you can really hear HIM."

      I think you nailed it there as well as possible. It really does seem like he's part of the guitar. I think the transition from "thought/feeling" to "playing" is so spontaneous that he and the instrument are the same thing.

      Thanks for your two cents, my dear friend!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  10. Whhhhheeeeee.....thanks for always jarring memories in my mind STM-CDR. turning you on to Danny was only fair compensation for all the blues tapes you made for me. I have to say that it was almost version 1 from 75 based on the descending pinch harmonic notes alone. While being a huge fan of fat organ playing, and always in the mood for a well played saxophone (New York's alright if you like saxophones), I'm going to give the nod to 93. It really displays how much Danny matured from the 70s and those rolling arpeggios in the middle will get me everytime. The 75 version even predates Danny's time with Robert Gordon in the late 70s when he played on one of the most sought-after out of print CDs ever known as "The Humbler". You always hear it said that there's a fine line between Madness and genius. Danny was a genius on the Telecaster. Unfortunately his madness drove him to eat the barrel of a shotgun. On a side note I read his book and also another great read the story of Roy Buchanan, another mad genius Master of the Telecaster with a tragic ending.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by with a vote, LELLY! What's funny is that I don't even remember making you a bunch of Blues tapes. That sounds like me, though.

      Between the two of us, we may remember a good 15% of what happened in that past age.

      I'm with you, Lelly. I think these recordings are different and yet so good in their own ways that it's a tough call when it comes to voting. In fact, I created this Battle because I really COULD NOT decide which version, the '75 or the '93, to use in a future BOTB installment.

      Yeah, Roy was tremendous, too. I've heard him a good number of times, but I did not know he met some tragic ending. I will have to visit Wikipedia and find out what that was all about.

      Thanks again, Ol' Friend. Yak Later...

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
    2. official police report, suicide in custody. Unofficial belief, cops beat him to death

      Delete
    3. Oh, cops would never do THAT! Cops are all about law and order, right? Right?!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  11. Hi Stephen,
    Wow, Danny Gatton rules on both. Both had me closing my eyes and drifting away. But, you probably know what I'm going to say, that sax just grabbed me, made me go limp and I had to be carried away... Oh my God, that's so good... ahh...
    Yeah, put me down for DG 1975. (Also, a very good year, where I had to be carried away many times, but for other kind of reasons... :) )

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I thank you for stopping by with your vote, MICHELE!

      Yeah, that was a great organ and some good sax in '75. ;^)

      I was actually still in high school in '75, so I was still a good boy, relatively speaking. But I caught up soon enough. :o)

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  12. I’m trying to get back into the groove. I couldn’t listen to the second version here so I went to YouTube but only heard a little over a minute and I really liked it. I usually go for the guitar over the sax. Both are excellentso it will be neat to see who wins

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    1. Howdy, BIRGIT. Happy to see you out and about.

      Uhm... are you saying that even the second link I included here specifically for Canadian voters also failed to work for you?

      If so, that's the first time I've seen the YouTube Region Restriction Checker pronounce a video to be "Unrestricted" globally and yet it still failed to play in Canada. Not good!

      But I appreciate you coming by, BIRGIT. I hope you're starting to feel somewhat better. It'll take lots of time, we know.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  13. It's a tough battle, but in the end, I have to vote for Danny Gatton, despite the fact that Danny Gatton really showed up to play in this one. So even if Harlem Nocturne is a great song, I'm going to have to ultimately cast my vote for Harlem Nocturne.

    Alright, now that my jackassery is out of the way, '93 was awesome. Badass, some might say. '75 was great, but the guitar in '93 was off the charts. Give my vote to that one.

    Nuthin' from Other B this time around. He went back to falling off the face of the planet again. Probably dog paddling in diapers or what not.

    If only he knew what he was missing. Danny > diapers any day.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. JULIO SEIS-ABEJA ~
      I personally feel that Danny Gatton and 'Harlem Nocturne' were better, but you are entitled to your opinion.

      I appreciate you stopping in with your vote. Other B, however, is in my doghouse. ...Actually, he's probably really in the middle of a Black Hole somewhere, but that's not unlike being in my doghouse.

      Thanks, Beer Brother. I think I can now safely say that we will be hearing from 'Harlem Nocturne' '93 in yet another BOTB contest somewhere yonder down the road a piece.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
  14. Al Bondigas here. Man, that really was some good stuffs!! You know I'm a musical idjit, so I don't know why, but, I'm rulin' fer the 1975 DG. They were both great pieces, but the '75 masterpiece evoked something in me that I can't quite explain. So that's it. That's my rulin'.

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    1. JUDGE AL ~
      No wrong rulin's here. It's all a matter of preference, and I'd say you probably preferred the variety of sounds the '75 version offered with its organ and sax solos.

      Thanks for chiming in with your $0.02 rulin', Judge. As you were...

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

      Delete
    2. Yeah, that’s it, now I remember. I preferred the variety of sounds the ‘75 version offered with its organ and sax solos.

      Delete
    3. Sometimes all it takes is just a little nudge and your memory comes roaring back to life, huh?

      I think we've all had those moments where we momentarily forgot that we preferred the variety of sounds the '75 version offered with its organ and sax solos. It's happened to everyone at one time or another.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends

      Delete
  15. ATTENTION PEOPLES!
    If you are interested in seeing the final vote tally for this 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' installment and my closing thoughts on it, you can put the following URL into your browser:

    https://stmccpresentsbattleofthebands.blogspot.com/2018/02/botb-results-2018-feb-1-or-danny-gatton.html

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete

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