Magazine article Guitar Player

Hugh McCracken: Shining Example [1942-2013]

Magazine article Guitar Player

Hugh McCracken: Shining Example [1942-2013]

Article excerpt

WHEN I ENTERED THE "STUDIO MUSICIAN BUSINESS" in the late '60s, Hughie was already there. I can remember as clearly as if it were yesterday the first time we played together. I was struck by his warmth, good humor, self-confidence, humility, and by the incredible musical skills he possessed. I mean, the cat could play--and groove!

The New York session players--most of us have known each other throughout our careers--took one of the biggest hits of our collective lives on March 28th. The sadness that swept through our central soul was so powerful, followed by celebration of his incredible achievements, along with anecdotal stories and cool photos plastered on Facebook walls. I think he'd dig that.

Speaking of our community, New York had a small army of really fine pickers. In our ranks were players such as David Spinnoza, Cornell Dupree, John Tropea, Vinnie Bell, and Jerry Friedman (no disrespect meant to dozens of other incredible guitarists, there's just not enough space to list them all). I think it's safe to call us a mutual admiration society--and Hugh McCracken was right at the center of it.

David Spinozza said: "People use the word virtuoso to mean someone with amazing facility on an instrument, but what Hugh McCracken had was a sense of economic playing that heightened any song he played on. In many situations his guitar part became part of the composition. All of us studio cats that had the opportunity to sit next to him on a session learned a lot. …

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