We are continuing our theme of unsung musical heroes. They're people who have been, or are, fantastically gifted and talented musicians. However, for whatever reasons fame or proper recognition has eluded them. These exact things eluded them either in their own lifetimes, or altogether.
First up is John Paul Jones. And no, if you should be thinking it, I am not discussing the Pope. John Paul Jones was the bass player, keyboard, and all-around instrumentalist for the 1960s and 1970s super group Led Zeppelin. Jones had the great fortune, and in a way, the misfortune of being in Led Zeppelin. He was overshadowed by flamboyant front man Robert Plant, iconic rock guitarist Jimmy Page, and wild man and legendary drummer John Bonham.
Jones had a turn in writing some of the bands best songs. He wrote the memorable guitar riff for Black Dog. In addition this has a chromatic run in it. If you hear chromatic riffs in Led Zeppelin songs, it was Jones and not Page who came up with them. Jones also had a turn in writing Kashmir (which many, including me, consider to be their utmost song), No Quarter, and All of My Love, just to call a few. Beyond Zeppelin, Jones continued to be very active writing and producing. If you shredded his resume you could probably throw a ticker tape parade in New York City. Jimi Hendrix Slot
Okay, next up is Phil Keaggy. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that Phil Keaggy is the best guitarist you've never heard of. Part of the Keaggy myth is that Jimi Hendrix said Keaggy was one of the best guitarists he had ever heard. (That myth was debunked. Hendrix never said it. However, Hendrix did complement the playing of Billy Gibbons of later Z.Z. Top fame.) Part of the problem with Keaggy is he never had a Top 40 hit, and that he has mainly been associated with the Christian or Gospel genre for nearly all of his career. He's in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Other guitar players have recognized Keaggy's brilliant playing. Sometimes, he has been voted among the premiere finger picker or classical guitar players in the world. He's also a great electric guitarist. Keaggy includes a mastery of the instrument and a variety of playing techniques. His playing is quite fluid and smooth. He did over 50 albums, so he has a lot of material to select from. If you want to have a look at Keaggy, I will suggest listening to Beyond Nature. Beyond Nature is a traditional album. Jimi Hendrix Slots
The next slot visits bass player Michael Manring. I bet you've never heard of Manring either. Manring has played on over 100 albums. He has released some solo material, but was also a business player for Windham Hill records, among other things. He's our favorite bass player. When Manring is in the groove, it's pure bliss. Element of his trademark sound is finger slides on a fretless bass and a vibrato that's angelic.