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Will McFarlane

Talking with Guitarist Songwriter Will McFarlane

on November 2, 2009 No comments
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Talking with Guitarist Songwriter Will McFarlane – Part 1

It’s hard to imagine how many 12 year old young men watched the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1963 and were inspired to pick up the guitar saying, “I want to do that”. Many, I’m sure. Voice lessons at six years old and piano a year later, young Will was clearly better primed than most.

Motown’s R&B captured Will’s imagination in High School while growing up on Long Island, which helped him develop as a fine rhythm guitarist.

Bonnie Raitt enlisted the 23 year old college escapee McFarlane as a member of her band one night when she heard him play at a Cambridge, MA night club. He toured with her band from 1974 – 1980 before leaving the road to move into the studio.

Bonnie Raitt, John Hall, Will McFarlane © Nick Busco

Will McFarlane, Bonnie Raitt, John Hall © Nick Busco

Freebo Bonnie and Will

Freebo Bonnie and Will

While with The Bonnie Raitt band, Will shared stages with living blues and folk legends. That’ll do wonders for your playing but more importantly, Will learned to listen for what guitar licks to leave out to best play up the band.

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Talking with Guitarist Songwriter Will McFarlane – Part 2

In 1980 Will McFarlane joined the famed “Swampers”; He moved to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to play and learn from Jimmy Johnson and the boys. Bobby Blue Bland, Little Milton, Etta James and Johnnie Taylor are a few that get off hand mention as clients of Muscle Shoals Sound.

Since 2001, Will McFarlane, his Wife Janet, their three children, and five grand kids all live in North Carolina’s Triangle Region. The Will McFarlane Band plays regionally but Will continues his studio work in Nashville and Muscle Shoal as well as live gigs both nationally and abroad.

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Stand the Test :: Will McFarlane (official music video)

The song “Stand the Test” was written by Will during a time when his three children were about to leave home, and – as all parents do – he was taking stock in what he finds important. Rob, Will’s youngest son, is the young man in the video.

Contact Will McFarlane through Permission To Suck or at:
WillMcFarlane.com

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Over the span of her career, Bonnie has had the opportunity to collaborate with many incredible artists. Listen to some of these tunes on her Duets and Collaborations playlist on Spotify here: spoti.fi/2YBaIoF ... See MoreSee Less

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We are rocked to the core to hear of the passing of our dear friend, bandmate and musical genius, Mike Finnigan. He fought his long illness with the same fearlessness and ferocity he brought to every part of his life. Our deepest condolences go out to Candy, Kelly, Bridget and all his family.

Mike was one of the most powerful, virtuosic soul/gospel/blues singers and Hammond B3 players you’ll ever be blessed to hear. Respected and emulated by musicians the world over, his legacy of staggering
performances across his 60+ years career will stand the test of time. He stopped our show nearly every night. There was simply no one like him.

He was whipsmart, incredibly articulate and funny as hell. He was as devoted to his beloved family and friends as he was to helping so many struggling to get and stay sober. He and his wife Candy were instrumental in my own sobriety and I will be forever grateful.

Rest in peace, dear Mike. I know you’ll be shaking that Heavenly Choir to new heights as only you can do.

Here’s a clip from our 2013 Slipstream tour, where he tore up the place every night with Ray Charles’ iconic “I’ve Got News for You.”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCz0TyBI1FA
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2 months ago
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