The Show: Wednesday,May 29, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Sixth Street Grill

By Ken Shimamoto

By now, two or three generations of Fort Worthians have learned all about blues, jazz, swing, and R&B from Sumter Bruton — either from hearing him play guitar with the Juke Jumpers, Bruton & Price Swingmasters Revue, and Hank Hankshaw, or listening as he spins records and gives impromptu guitar lessons from behind the counter at Record Town on South University.

Once before, he joined forces with Tex-lectic singer-guitarist-songwriter James Hinkle and Dallas blues jam mainstay Hash Brown to pay tribute to jazz guitar great Wes Montgomery. This Friday, the boys’ll get together again with a different concept in mind. “We’re going to try playing three-part guitar harmonies, like that French group Guitars Unlimited,” said Sumter. “We’ll each pick three songs — easy ones like ‘Lester Leaps In’ or Miles Davis’ ‘Four’ — and work out parts for them. Then we’ll fill out the rest of the set with blues standards.”

Of course, “easy” is a relative term — for Bruton, it’s a simple matter to navigate chord changes more complicated than the typical blues I-IV-V, but it’s not something your average bonehead SRV-aping blooze soloist would attempt. Bruton’s hardly your typical guitarist, though. He recalls waking up in the middle of the night as a tiny tot and going to the record player to listen to his jazz-drummer dad’s Stan Kenton records, which he recognized by the color of the label. “The first chord most guitarists learn how to play is E,” he laughed. “For me, it was G major seventh.”

Hinkle and Hash are up to the task, though, as are ex-Billy Joe Shaver/Bleu Edmondson bassist Roy Robbins — “I wanted a bass player who could read changes,” Sumter said — and drummer Jazz Stevens, whose name is self-explanatory. Show of the week for aficionados of dazzling musicianship.

Fri at Sixth Street Grill, 2736 W 6th St, FW. 817-338-9300.


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