Watch the Mr. Slewfoot online guitar lesson by Jason Loughlin from 30 Country Jazz Licks You MUST Know
This lick is from Grady Martin, one of true chameleons on the electric guitar. It’s always a little difficult to figure who played on what recording from this time period, but it’s exceptionally difficult when it comes to Grady Martin. I mean this as a compliment - he was one of the most in demand session players from the 50's through to the 70’s and a true master of many styles. He becomes a totally different player from artist to artist and song to song; you rarely hear Grady repeat himself. He can be a smoking rockabilly player with Johnny Burnette, a beautiful country guitarist with Marty Robbins, or swinging demon with his own band The Slewfoot Five. He was one of the anointed few to play the Bigsby double neck guitar. There are only 23 of these guitars in existence, most of which were played by the first wave of guitar gods. Grady can be heard on recordings with Loretta Lynn, Marty Robbins, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Patsy Cline, Johnny Burnette, Johnny Cash, and Bing Crosby to name a few.
We're gonna look a lick in Ab over a V chord leading back to the I from "The Slew Foot Rag", an instrumental from The Slewfoot Five. What separates Grady from the other players who were playing jazz similar to Charlie Christian (outlining and embellishing chord shapes) is his being influenced by fiddle players. He uses more scales than arpeggios and uses ornamentation associated with fiddle players.