030 – Joe Pitts – Duane Allman’s Spirit Is Alive In Joe Pitts — A1Blues.Com

030 – Joe Pitts – Duane Allman’s Spirit Is Alive In Joe Pitts

by A1 Mark on April 10, 2008

Joe Pitts Band is lead by the very talented guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist Joe Pitts. Joe grew up listening to a very eclectic group of records of his sister’s. Joe said it was not uncommon for him to listen to Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Johnny Cash, Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix and Cream. In Little Rock, Arkansas there was the radio show called Beaker Street with Clyde Clifford that only played the deep cuts (LP tracks) not the pop hits. Joe was getting to hear bands like Ten Years After, Wishbone Ash, Charlie Daniels, Free, and The Outlaws.
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When Joe heard the first Led Zeppelin record he knew he had heard this before, not that same way but, it was familiar. Turns out those records his sister had included old 78′s of Sun House, Big Bill Bryson, Muddy Waters, Skip James, and Ella Fitzgerald. Ever since he was a kid he had heard these records. Now bands like Led Zeppelin, Cream, Blind Faith, and others were more of a revved up sound which Joe really liked. Joe already liked the blues but, now it had even more power.
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Joe Pitts from The Joe Pitts Band - Photo
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Joe Pitts started playing guitar when he was only six years old. His hand would not even reach around the neck to fret the guitar. Having seen guitarist on TV playing guitar on their lap with a bar gave him the idea to play the guitar that way. Not many guitarist can say they played slide guitarist first but Joe did.
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The Allman Brothers Band and in particular Duane Allman really stuck with young Joe. One time Joe’s sister wanted to go to a concert but her dad would only let her go if she dragged her little brother along so, in 1971 Joe got to see The Allman Brothers. Now this is not The Allman Brothers you and I have seen, this was the real Allman Brothers back when Duane Allman and Berry Oakley (bass) were still alive. Joe said the lights went out and he could feel the presence of Duane Allman coming on stage. Joe always talks about Duane Allman with such reverence and love for both the man and his music.
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Joe Pitts of the Joe Pitts Band  live - Photo
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Joe says only people who experienced hearing Duane live can understand the greatness of the man. This also really changed Joe musically and especially his slid guitar. Joe was also influence by people like Roy Buchanan who he saw in the clubs in Little Rock. Sometimes he’d be only ten feet away from Roy Buchanan and be able to really see what Roy was doing with his guitar.
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SIDE NOTE:
The Rolling Stones invited Roy Buchanan to join the band as a replacement for Brian Jones in around 1969.
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Joe Pitts played in many bands over the years. The Liquid Groove Mojo was one of the more successful bands. They toured Europe behind Gregg Allman and Friends. When they came back to the states the band went on hiatus. The band is still on hold but they are starting to write some songs for another cd.
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While Liquid Groove Mojo was on hold Joe decided this was a good time to record some new material he had written. The new material would not work with Liquid Groove Mojo’s style so this was a prefect time to start a new band. Joe got two old friends, John Davies on bass and Jahleel Eli on drums, to learn the songs in the studios and then recorded them in analog for a better sound. Like many good musicians he is into the music and not an image. Joe said he would rather have a mistake in a song and have a good groove or a vibe to the song, than be perfect but sound sterile. Later Joe called in Wayne Sharp to play Hammonica B3 on two of the songs. The old Roy Buchanan song “Nickel and a Nail” as well as the John Mayall song “Rollin with the Blues”. After Joe ran into an old friend, Michael Burks, he asked him also to play on “Rollin with the Blues”. The great thing about Michael Burks’ guitar playing is that it comes striaght from the heart. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a hold of Michael one of these days for a spotlight show. Then you’ll see what I mean about Michael’s playing and singing.
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Joe Pitts of the Joe Pitts Band  live - Photo
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When asking Joe the question all musicians hate. How would you describe your music. He said it has many elements, but mostly if you had to break it down it would be a blues, rock, and jazz fusion sound. Even though they do jam in the live shows he did not feel they are a jam band.
Red light phobia is when Joe is in the studio and the red light comes on and he knows he has to play his best. This is a pressure he is trying to get use to. Live is where Joe feels more at home and plays his best with the other musicians. In October they will be going to Europe for a tour. This is a result of Liquid Groove Mojo having done several tours of Europe and establishing a good fan base. So the Joe Pitts Band will be doing the some thing. The live band is different than the musicians on the cd “Just A Matter Of Time”.
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Joe Pitts Band photo
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Joe Pitts band live:
Joe Pitts – guitar/vocals
Jimmy Lynn – bass guitar
David Bishop – drums/percussion
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Jimmy Lynn was the original bassist in Liquid Groove Mojo. The two have know each other for over ten years. Near the end of recording the cd “Just A Matter Of Time” Joe and Jimmy ran into each other. Not so surprisingly they were at a blues jam in Little Rock. Both talked about starting a power trio. David Bishop walked off stage from playing so they asked him if he would be interested in joining a trio. David said he wanted to get into something that had a vision. That day the three of them got to get on stage and jam. The audience wouldn’t let them off stage for almost an hour. Joe turned around after the jam and said no one leaves the stage until we’re a band. This was back in January of 2007 and by July of that year they were good enough to do a tour of Europe. They have done almost 200 shows since their start in January of 2007.
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The Joe Pitts band is working on a new cd right now with plans to release it around June or July of this year. Until then check out their cd “Just A Matter Of Time”. It’s available at CD Baby Website. One thing I should tell you about besides all the great tracks on this cd is that there is a bonus track that is just great. I once bought an LP just to get this one track and the Joe Pitts Band do a very good job of it. Unlike the LP I bought, this cd is full of other great tracks. Included on the cd are eight original songs. Three other songs, one each by John Mayall, Roy Buchanan and Jeff Beck plus a bonus track. You probably don’t have the bonus track but it should be in your collection.

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Joe Pitts - 2007 - Just A Matter Of Time (cd cover)
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Songs inthe podcast:
1. Blue Light Rain
2. Lonesome Boy from Yesterday
3. Should Have Seen It Coming
4. Sealed Inside Good Intentions
5. Just a Matter of Time
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Joe Pitts MySpace page
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Joe Pitts Website
(as of 4-8-08 the site is being worked on and will be up soon)
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To buy Joe Pitts “Just A Matter Of Time” from CD Baby
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To buy Liquid Groove Mojo “Cradle To the Grave” from CD Baby
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Thanks to Joe and Rhonda for all there help in making this show possible.
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