: My two cents, if I may:
: Joe's right; Bob Shane did indeed play accompaniment to his own vocal on 'Scotch and
: Soda'. My own preference has always been the original version, the one on the first
: album, rather than those on subsequent recordings. The original featured Mr. Shane
: strumming with his thumb which gave the song exactly what it requires – an
: understated, smokey intimacy. That quality is all but lost in a concert setting
: where a flat pick was employed for the sake of volume.
: I also agree with Joe that Mr. Shane does not get the credit he deserves as a
: guitarist. Throughout his tenure with the KT, his rhythm playing was varied,
: creative, and consistently spot on. Anyone seeking to master right-hand rhythm
: guitar skills can benefit greatly from listening to Bob Shane.
: I'm in mild disagreement with Joe on one point: I don't think that it's all that
: difficult to determine how skilled a guitarist Dave Guard was. Although the guitar
: work he did with the Trio was not challenging for a reasonably competent player,
: Guard's strengths were his creativity and his taste - his ability to play what
: sounds like exactly the right part for any given song. Listen for example to his
: intro on 'Leave My Woman Alone', or the guitar break in 'Southwind', or even his
: unaccompanied playing on 'Raspberries, Strawberries'. As I said, none of these are
: technically challenging, but each is so well paired to the song that it's hard to
: imagine any lines that could be better suited.
: Nick Reynolds was able to strum very fast patterns on his guitar without a lot of
: effort, at least that's how it appeared during each of the many times I saw him
: perform. His fluid wrist action was complemented by another gift he shared with Bob
: Shane - excellent rhythmic sensibilities. A perfect example, one I've cited before,
: is on 'Hard Travelin' from the Make Way album. Turn up the volume (or better still,
: put on headphones) and listen to the tenor guitar part that accompanies Shane's
: verse. Creative and rhythmically complex, it's a terrific addition to the song.
: Although usually not prominent in the mix (not enough for my taste, anyway), Mr.
: Reynolds frequently added single-string work on songs with the Trio. Some examples
: are quite noticeable, such as 'Blow the Candle Out' and 'Coplas'. Others are more
: subtle, such as 'You're Gonna Miss Me' and 'Speckled Roan'.
: I agree that John Stewart was a solid and innovative guitarist. I don't think,
: however, that his overall skills were the equal of Guard's who could fingerpick,
: Carter-scratch, and use a flatpick, all with authority. I never saw Mr. Stewart use
: a flat pick when he was with the KT.
: Finally, any definitive information on Buckwheat's post-Trio, post-Whiskeyhill
: involvement with Dave Guard is apparently not available, except perhaps from Judy
: Henske, Gretchen Guard, or any of Mr. Wheat's friends who may still be living.
: Unfortunately, it was among the topics that were left unexplored in 'Greenback
: --Previous Message--
: I've been creating a list of questions to ask Bob Shane regarding the group, should
: ever get the chance to talk with him again. One this group might be able to answer
: concerns the technical aspects of Nick's and Bob's playing.
: Until recently, I always thought Dave played "Scotch and Soda" behind
: Bob's singing and strumming. Having read the Bush book several times, I now get the
: idea Buck Wheat played the more sophisticated technical guitar, replaced again by
: John Stewart. This later fell to George Grove. Did Bob pull back from playing the
: individual notes while he sang in front of one of the others?
: How technically strong were Bob and Nick as guitarists during both the Guard and
: Stewart eras? My impression has been they fell back and relied on Buck, Dave, John,
: or George, to support their primary roles, which were to sing and harmonize.
: After joining the Whiskey Hill group, was Buck Wheat ever reconsidered as Kingston
: support persona, or was he too close to Dave to be included?