What’s the difference between Detroit and Upstate New York?
On any given Friday night I can hit a bar and find a bunch of middle-aged guys playing covers. In Detroit, my buddy Sue can do the same thing, except the guitar player is Jim McCarty.
McCarty blazed on axe for Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels. Jammed at Electric Ladyland with Hendrix. Played toe to toe with Buddy Miles. Took Cactus into the stratosphere. Kicked ass all over again in The Rockets. Recently rocking again in The Detroit Revue, The Hell Drivers and finally, the 2010+ reincarnation of The Rockets.
But all the way through, he kept playing the blues, often on a Friday night in a Detroit bar, with friends.
I’ve been listening to this guy for over forty-five years and two things always come to mind – (1) holy shit, is he great, and (2) why is he not mentioned in the same breath as Blackmore, Page, Clapton, Beck, Gallagher and other consensus giants? He can blow your doors off or lay it bare. He can play anything, anytime, anywhere. I’m not going to argue with you.
I’m going to prove it to you.
Here are Ten Titanic Jim McCarty Tunes for this week’s TGIF.
(01) “No Need To Worry” / “Parchman Farm” (live at the Atlanta Pop Festival, 1970)
(02) “Taking It Back” (The Hell Drivers, live in Detroit 2009)
(03) “Hoochie Coochie Man” (live with Mystery Train and Willie D Warren!)
(04) “See See Rider” (live with the Detroit Rock Revue)
(05) “Oh Well” (sitting in with The Reefermen!)
(06) “Turn Up The Radio” (The Rockets, 1979)
(07) “Evil” (Cactus, live in Buffalo, 1971)
(08) “Goin’ Down” (live with Smokin’ Moses, 2008)
(09) “Let Me Swim / Long Tall Sally” (Cactus reunion, NYC, 2010)
(10) “Rock and Roll” (The Hell Drivers, 2009)