Bill Black is a common name down here in Nashville, but some people don’t understand his importance among the bass community. Bill Black was an extremely talented bassist that helped define the term “Rockabilly.” His slapping style is revered by many to this day.
Bill Black started out playing for a band with guitarist Scotty Moore. Soon, the two were introduced to Elvis Presley and they recorded a few songs with him. The two weren’t overly impressed by Elvis at first (go figure), but after the success of “That’s Alright Mama” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky”, Bill and Scotty left their previous band and went on tour with Elvis.
Bill was known mostly for his “slap bass” technique and the way he would jump around on stage. He was also one of the first bassists to use a Fender Precision Bass on recording. Bill Black is my favorite rockabilly bassist and I can only hope to be a fraction of how great he was.
If you would like to learn more about Bill Black, you can go to his Wikipedia Page.
If you want to listen to Bill Black, listen to some of Elvis’s early works. Such as “Blue Moon of Kentucky”, “That’s Alright Mama”, “Heartbreak Hotel” or “Hound Dog.”
Whether you’re looking for musicians or you’re a musician looking for gigs, it’s easy to look to CraigsList or Facebook or something like that. I love CraigsList. I’ve been able to furnish most of my house through CraigsList. However, I can’t say I’ve gotten any really GOOD gigs from them. So, I did my research and I found some other websites that offer musicians or gigs. Check ‘em out!
While I was in Nashville, I ran into an EXTREMELY talented bassist. His name is Joe Fick, also known as “Slick” Joe Fick. He has been playing for 17 years and is an amazing “slap” bassist, working primarily with an upright bass. He plays seven days a week on Lower Broadway in Nashville with two bands, the Don KelleyBand and The Silver Threads. He, also, starred in the Johnny Cash Biopic “Walk the Line“, in which he portrayed one of his idols, Bill Black.
I definitely recommend checking out Joe Fick. You can learn more about him at his website, www.slickjoefick.com or follow him on twitter. If you live in or around Nashville, you can catch him with the Don Kelley Band on Wednesdays – Saturdays from 6:00 PM-10:00 PM at Robert’s Western World.