There are literally Millions of Blues guitarists and everyone is valid in their own way. There are some who exceed your expectation. Yet there are few who can create The Wow Factor. In the present, we have many different colors of the Blues sonically and you can get lost in the sheer number of players looking for the “One torchbearer of the blues”.
Mick Pini Playing In Amsterdam
I can say in the year 2021 that two players made me get excited again. One is Samantha Fish. A Modern-day Genius and Soulful Lady. However, I had the pleasure of being introduced to and beginning a new friendship with a Man who has Lived a Life that is nothing short of Astounding. His Name is Mick Pini and folks this is the Real deal.
Many Legends he has worked with during his long live music career All the greats have had many things to say about Be it B.B. King, Albert King, or Buddy Guy. The most appropriate quote came From Eric Clapton who stated matter of factly “ Mick Pini is the Legitimate successor to Peter Green.”
Now it doesn’t get any better than that, nor does it get any more Truthful than that. He like Peter possesses the Supernatural Soul as a player and the down-to-earth humility that was the same in both Men.
Factor in they knew each other and that’s something to say in and of itself. However, we are just touching the tip of the iceberg here of life and the Body of work that is of the essence of Greatness.
His inspiration to really become the torchbearer of the blues he is today came from Being born and growing at the right time. Each experience fans those flames higher He spoke of seeing Freddie King In London,1973 At The Marquee Club, and also Seeing John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers through the different stages.
He recalled the ’60s were the spark “I Saw Mayall in 1966 with Peter Green, then later with Eric and again with Mick Taylor” “I got to know Peter a bit and he began getting me into shows and he even showed me how to play “The Supernatural” from the Hard Road album.”
On the question of the Guitars as his playing progressed “The other Guitars I started with were Cheap Hofners Harmony with Dearmond Pickups That was the Beginnings and by 1966 I worked hard to want to buy a Gibson SG Les Paul one pick up 1 P90 Cherry red I loved that than by 1969 I had a Tv Special Red Gibson two pick up tv the two horns on it then had a yellow special the same two pick up but yellow I was 19 at the time had a Yamaha f30 and 40 through my times simply because I never had much money you just didn’t have a choice.
I ended up buying 1979 a white 1961 Gibson three pick up custom the guy didn’t look after it So I thought It sounds Good Maybe I can try and get it done a really good paint job, But again when you are young you forget That you have a nice guitar but it would cost a lot to put it back to a cream color until one night a soul band I was playing with.
I left the Gibson on a stand only to come back and find the neck was hanging off the whole guitar had been knocked I was really annoyed no one owned up to knocking it down eventually.
I got the neck done it was not the same there very ultra-thin on the custom so I sold it. I had no Guitars till Like I said till 1980 Because I had Been playing the Gibsons also I had and Amps all went. I basically was on the ground”
Then we come to “The” Stratocaster. Rory Gallagher had him, Stevie Ray Vaughan had him and Mick Pini “torchbearer of the blues”has his, and we players know the difference between a relic job and a guitar that has that beautiful wear, tear, and destruction because it was “Played not Made” to look like that.” I Acquired the Fender Stratocaster in 1980.
I was a Gibson man but eventually, I Thought its an all-around Guitar on an Evening of a gig, I got it from a private dealer and he had a few gems in his house. I wanted an ash wood strat and by chance, he had one.
So he wanted 500 pounds I don’t know what that would have been to the dollar. It needed a new bridge the screws were rusty. I got it for 350 pounds.
The funny thing was he couldn’t play. he hung them on the Wall. He brought the Stratocaster I had from another room. He had to pay his Mortgage. I simply went from his place to a well-known shop Known for Repairs called Andys off Charing crossroad. there was a row of shops there .but andy knew his American guitars.
I walked in and I told him I need a whole Bridge for the Stratocaster with adjustable Nuts I need a new one. I opened up the Guitar Case he Looked over it.
He said do you want to sell it. I thought Why would I want to sell it when I’ve never ever had much money or a Strat? He said I will give you 3.000 pounds. I told him I can’t play with 3.000 pounds he asked me what I bought it for I said 350. I got back to the subject of I need a New Bridge.
Then he said he Had one but he wanted to take the neck off. I said why he said just come Downstairs and you can see what I am doing. I said strange Oh well.
There I was watching Andy take 4 bolts of Gently and he said do you see the pencil marks inside the body it’s slightly faint I said oh yes. March 54
What’s that mean that’s the year of the body the neck should have been a maple neck. I said well I don’t know then I said it’s a rosewood neck Yes he said read that in pencil it was faint .he said this was put on later when rosewood I believe 555555558 its pre-CBS anyway. then I said it’s not the original neck he said don’t worry it’s still pre-CBS.
A two-tone body
He put it back together and put it gently back together since then that’s all I know but have loved it ever since the pick-ups a slightly dull but that’s okay you get a good sound with a three-way switch control and interface in-between. I also play a Les paul standard 1973 gold top and Gibson 345 1968 stereo.
On the subject of how to Navigate the music scene and the music business in its change over the decades, we found some more common Ground. “I’ve done a lot really I have had to navigate from pop bands soul bands club Bands Learn one’s Trade”
“ By 1984 I decided I had to go out Alone Bands are Clumsy, The Headaches of getting a band together is a nightmare I am old school but it took me 16 years to get out of forming a band I’ve had so many I cant care to say but it would cover someone’s Arms I played in a semi Free type Band a rock Band showbands you name it I’ve done it. It’s better to be your own man rather than configure confusion’ It just seems to do so many bands I can’t complain but learned how to play and learn how to use chord progressions and understand the rudimentary rules which did me good.
That’s a hard one, Jimmy, to be Frank Like I said Earlier in 1963 is when I heard Bob Dylan always loved the Man and his Lyrics So profound and in a way, American Music played a Massive Part in my learning of Being a White Bluesman I kinda Missed out.
I don’t feel bad or anything but I loved the music coming out of America then Anything and everything within good Taste I always wanted to Live in America But that’s another story.”
“To me jimmy, I love the American attitude to get up and go and the way American Guys will see it through. it’s different everywhere else. I worked with a few American Musicians.
A Drummer Called Jimmy Carl Black and Roy Estrada Both were with Zappa Little Feat for Roy the Bass Player and Beefheart It was a great Era 1966 -1975 So many great bands Quicksilver Messenger Service.
The experimental Bands I Lived through it and America Was and looked Amazing Always wanted to Either Live there and get to know some cool musos all my friends used to say you belong in America if only I would have loved to have met some crazy and lovely people it’s the era when America was buzzing.”
On the topic of spreading any wisdom to the younger generations, Mick is a realist. “I don’t know you can only do so much and playing has always been the important thing in my life .”
“It’s Never the Fame it’s the belief you pay your dues to play the blues ..it goes back to the Last things I was saying about America It really was buzzing 1966 -1975 Such a wonderfully creative Time”
Just Believe in yourself regardless of Fame and Trappings in Music It’s what it is and can’t be anything else, only yourself. Be True to One’s beliefs, be open and listen a lot. The roots in the blues and the rest are the fruits the blues never went away .”
Dedication is the word considering Mick has been playing out and into all manner of musical situations for the last 56 years. “I was signed to the blue horizon in 1989 by Mike Vernon who discovered John Mayall, and Eric Clapton. He was a legendary producer. In 1966 he brought over Otis Spann, and Eddie Boyd the piano player Mike also brought over Freddie King and he recorded 3 albums with him. Mike Vernon was the producer of U.K. blues .”
Now we are able to hear the creative transformation of Mick’s Legacy so far in the release of “BackTrack”.Produced by fellow Leicester musician Craig Marshall – aka Audio 54 – ‘Backtrack’ is a career-defining compilation album that marks the German-based, British blues veteran Mick Pini’s 56th anniversary in the music business.
I am refreshingly stunned by not only Mick’s Talent, History, and experience but his salt-of-the-earth personality. I’ve met some far lesser talents whose heads were so swollen they could barely get through the door. There’s nothing about him that can be said other than he speaks with the same Soul, Tasteful wisdom, and Joy that he plays the Guitar with.
Do yourself a favor and visit the links provided here to discover what this Gentleman is all about. He is The Blues, the Torch carrier, and THE man. Bless you kind sir in all ways. At all times.
See the Torchbearer of the Blues Live Upcoming Shows for Mick Pini 2022
Mick Pini will be playing the following gigs over the Summer of 2022
Livebühne Engel July 14th
Belgium Zelzate Festival. 13th August
Livestream From Germany