Sunday, July 18, 2010


The bad news is that Snooks died last year, but recently I saw a concert dvd from a NOLA Storyville Gig he did in 1985. Just rocking.

A blind man, Snooks possessed incredibly long fingers. Now I don't mean just long fingers, I mean REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY long fingers, like bassist Stanley Clarke has. If you've ever seen video of Clarke playing bass, his extra long fingers were like an agile spider's legs on the strings.

Likewise with Snooks. Watching this live show footage, you see a master of a guitarist. When his guitar breaks a string mid-song, he does another couple of numbers before he bothers to change guitars, working around the broken string in his extensive and unique solos. It's no big thang to Snooks as he just strums and picks around the broken string without a care in the world, sounding great.

He plays very strangely. With his extraordinarily long fingers, he used no pick but hideous nails to strum and pluck the strings. You really got a great view of a dangerous looking pointed thumbnail on his left fretting hand during the video. Yikes! Usually you only see the likes of fingernails like this on inmates and convicts, who keep them that way for protection. Likewise, his thumb reaches over and does much of the fretting of the top two strings throughout with his thumb, although he certainly frets with the other fingers on those strings too. In any event, it would be challenging to emulate him due to his fingers influencing his style.

You can read about Snooks here

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