Why I Play “Summertime”

6 Jul


Doc Watson–God rest his soul–made me learn “Summertime.” His recording of it on Elementary Doc Watson has a solo that’s  catchy and haunting (a great combo, that). I was thinking about it one evening when I was playing guitar and just stumbled into copping the licks from memory. After that, I played around with the solo a lot, and I mean a  lot –especially in summer. Finally, one June, my wife Dorothy got me the sheet music for my birthday.

At that point I played no jazz, and it took several months of wrestling with the sheet music before I had the song down. Then it took Dorothy and me another couple months of playing it together (her on bass, me on guitar) before we got it tight. That happened just in time for us to include the song in a set we were doing for Custer Street Fair…

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