Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

The genius that is Duck Dunn


wraub

Recommended Posts

So I did a search, found lots of mentions, but no dedicated thread to the man.

 

The Blues Brothers was on TV last night for the 8 millionth time, and I was, as usual, drawn to the bass playing in the movie's music.

But last night, I picked up the nearest bass, and started figuring out the bass lines, something I am ashamed to admit I had not physically done.

 

I know that all the tunes in the film don't feature Duck, but he has many, many, many legendary bass lines under his belt, and his playing has always seemed so clean, effortless, and "right" to me that I had to start this thread.

 

Any fans of the Duck in the house? Got a favorite line?

 

I am digging on the version of "She Caught the Katy" that pops up early in the film. Melodic, driving, walking, dynamic hummable bass line with lots of groovy soul on top.

Pretty impressive for a "simple Blues" tune.

 

And speaking of impressive...

Check out the 3 pages of credits at AMG

 

 

Respect!!

 

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 41
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Why didn't I start this thread? ;)

 

Don't get me started on Duck. Duck is THE MAN. He is definitely the bass player whose playing speaks to me the most.

 

I think the MGs is perhaps one of the most perfectly assembled rhythm sections of all time. They complement each other perfectly. They didn't play instruments, they played songs. Who but Duck could have held down the low end in that group as well?

 

Picking a favorite Duck line would be very difficult. But if you rate bass lines for how well they are paired to the whole song (and how else to rate them, really?), I'd nominate "Still is the Night." It's an incredibly sparse line. And it's probably one of the world's few truly perfect bass lines.

 

I highly recommend the MGs' "Soul Men," a long collection of previously unreleased pop covers. It just came out in the last year or two. The grooves are insanely deep.

 

If you do not have a copy of "What Duck Done," drop whatever it is you are doing and get it RIGHT NOW.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, I liked the version of She Caught The Katy on Taj Mahal's record with Gary Gilmore on bass.

 

But my two favorite Duck Dunn basslines are:

 

Born Under a Bad Sign by Albert King

and

Who's Making Love by Johnny Taylor

 

Meanwhile, don't forget to buy the book,

What Duck Done

 

Both versions of She Caught the Katy are in the book and you can even see them on the above web page on the fourth page of the book.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by jeremy c:

Who's Making Love by Johnny Taylor

Second!

 

It's also my daughter's favorite Duck bass line. Her favorite Jamerson line is "What's Going On." She's only 7, but she has impeccable taste!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Love Duck Dunn! Just recently somebody was showing me some real authentic rhythm & blues for a band I'm in. He kept playing one or two cuts off a bunch of old blues records & I heard this one & I said, "who's that on bass?!". He said Donald Duck Dunn. I have not forgotten his name since. I learned that song immediately. Not so smooth @ first. Can't remember the name of the song. It's a shuffle, kinda quick w/a couple other instruments playing the same line. Really driving. 1 4 5 Doo-doo ba-na ba-na-la ba-na-la...

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Duck Dunn. Wow.

 

He is the man. His lines always compliment the song perfectly and got SO much soul. The amount of work that he's done and the number of artists is just amazing. Every bass player should be required to study this man's playing.

 

This thread makes me want to put flatwounds on my p bass.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Bumpcity:

He is the man. His lines always compliment the song perfectly and got SO much soul.

I'm not at all disagreeing with this statement, but it reminds me of a funny story.

 

The first band I was in was a blues band fronted by a fanatical blues purist. Not so fanatical I guess, cause his real hero was Otis Redding. We decided to add a sax player to the band, specifically a young, female Hartt School of Music student who had started coming around to gigs & sitting in. She had never been exposed to blues or soul before hearing our band. So the band leader brought her over to his apt. one night to lay some tunes on her, and naturally Otis made it on to the record player. Her comment was: "What's this? It sounds like country music." He threw her out of the band the next day.

 

Actually, she really wasn't all that far off. That southern soul is a synthesis of blues, gospel and yes, even country music. Dunn & Cropper are just two county boys after all. That's why they play that great, understated, laid back stuff.

 

As for a favorite Duck bass line, I just couldn't pick one. Otis Redding's Rendition of "Try A Little Tenderness" is pretty unforgetable. BTW, that song is not a Stax tune at all. It was recorded earlier by Bing Crosby.

 

To me Duck's greatness (and the rest of the MGs & the Memphis Horns and the rest of the Stax gang) is that it's not any single player that is so memorable. But the songs...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Duck is the man. I remember somebody saying something about his lines always having that "down home, good feeling" to them. And they do. I've seen some clips of his playing, and the man really works those strings at times. He hits 'em hard. Some lines that come to my scatterbrain are; The MG's version of "Mrs. Robinson", "Melting Pot", "Hip HUg Her" (wow!), and Hang 'em High.

 

Its been mentioned before here, but you can't give Duck his due without mentioning his parter in groove bliss, the late Al Jackson Jr. Sick, sick, sick feel! The man had more groove in his right hand than should be allowed. Listen to the way the drums move in "Hip Hug Her"! Especialy the hi hat. It gives me chills every time I put it on. Those guys just felt music in a way that was so special that it turned people on. Musicians and listeners alike.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, Duck Dunn is one of my all-time favorite bass players; my favorite bass lines are "Melting Pot" and every tune on Sam & Dave's 1967 LP Soul Men, that LP has spent a lot of hours on my turntable. What made Duck's playing so special was the beautifully understated but funky ensemble playing by the MG's. Together they were, as the proverb says, far greater than the sum of its parts.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Al Jackson, Jr. ... best soul drummer. Ever. Period.

 

But dig this. A search for "Al Jackson" on this forum turned up several threads. The same search on the drum forum turned up just ONE mention...and that was posted a member of THIS forum! How's that for the good news & the bad news?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The book comes with TWO CDs to accompany the transcriptions (30+ songs, most of them complete) in the book. On one channel is vocal-less accompaniment by a very good MGs-sounding group, and on the other is the bass, played (very well, btw) by the author. That way, you can solo the bass to get a better listen, or take the bass all the way out & play along yourself. (So, of course, the CD is not original performances, since those could not possibly do what the instructional CDs are supposed to do. But the performances are very true to the originals. Although I wish they had real drums.)

 

Really great book, and the grooves are wicked.

 

BTW, if you visit the Stax Museum in Memphis, you'll see Duck's P Bass. It's clear it was never abused, but also that it definitely saw a LOT of use. And hard use: on the front of the bass' body, above the E-string--where Duck rested his thumb--is a hole that must be worn about 1/8" into the face! When you see footage of him playing, you know why.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

THREE PAGES of credits? I'm blown away by this.

And he's STILL WORKING? Why hasn't someone started a tribute site to the man yet? Thanks again, Ibanez-man-from-Brooklyn!

:thu:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Fred the bass player:

THREE PAGES of credits? I'm blown away by this.

And he's STILL WORKING? Why hasn't someone started a tribute site to the man yet? Thanks again, Ibanez-man-from-Brooklyn!

:thu:

Ah Well. Chuck Rainey has 5 pages. :D:D

 

But I've always loved the playing of Duck Dunn. In fact, in my mind he is the natural heir to James Jamerson.

Yep. I'm the other voice in the head of davebrownbass.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently heard an old Tom Petty tune from the 70's and I wouldn't have payed much attention to it except for the fact that it had a really great bass part. I thought to myself "wow - I never realized how good Petty's bass player was".

 

Afterwards, the DJ announced that the tune we'd just heard featured a special guest bassist - none other than the Duckster! :)

 

Kirk

Reality is like the sun - you can block it out for a time but it ain't goin' away...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by dcr:

Al Jackson, Jr. ... best soul drummer. Ever. Period.

 

But dig this. A search for "Al Jackson" on this forum turned up several threads. The same search on the drum forum turned up just ONE mention...and that was posted a member of THIS forum! How's that for the good news & the bad news?

Is this the thread you're talking about?

 

Just goes to show how much bass players appreciate a great drummer that other drummers may not have even heard of. Personally, I do want to look more into Al Jackson, Jr. as well as Duck Dunn after reading this thread.

"All the world's indeed a stage, and we are merely players..."

--Rush, "Limelight"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...
I was checking out ducks website and his son jeff dunn's website, checked the band that jeff dunn produced a cd for, (the hellhounds) got the cd. It's really great, blues with a rock edge to it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...