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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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From BRHQ - Join Bonnie on Fri, Jan 15, at 7pm PT/10pm ET for the FREE encore live stream celebration “Love You Madly - A Streaming Event for Santa Cruz Fire Relief”. Steve Earle, Bonnie Raitt & Boz Scaggs, Sammy Hagar (The Red Rocker), Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon, Joe Satriani, Los Lobos, Colin Hay and dozens more are joining to help friends and fans in Santa Cruz who need our help in recovering from 2020's historic devastating wildfires. Tune in at 2nu.gs/LoveYouMadly, donate at www.cfscc.org/loveyoumadly, and see more videos at santacruzfirerelief.org ~Get a reminder about the stream here: fb.me/e/1Sesjf1Ra #LoveYouMadly #SantaCruzFireRelief ... See MoreSee Less

6 days ago

Bonnie Raitt: “One person on a guitar or slide guitar is such a mournful lonely sound, like a human voice, that can express so many different emotions from longing to sexual heat to aching and betrayal,” Raitt said in a recent telephone interview. “The guitar is a very expressive instrument in general and there was something about the starkness and soulfulness and the dark night of the soul.”
Raitt, whose father was actor and Broadway star John Raitt, said she would listen to blues albums that her brother would bring home from college, along with Mississippi John Hurt and Mississippi Fred McDowell. In a twist of fate, she ended up traveling with McDowell early in her career.

“He had a style of Delta blues guitar and slide playing and there was something about his soulfulness and the rhythm that he played and his touch on the guitar just really got me,” she said.

“It wasn’t all about your looks or having a hit single back in the late ’70s when I started otherwise I would have never gotten a shot at it because I had no interest in being a big pop mainstream star,” Raitt said. “I just played guitar and wanted to play in folk music clubs and have a small modest following.”
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