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Speedy West

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  • Born: Springfield, MO
  • Died: Broken Bow, OK
  • Years Active: 1950s, 1960s

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

One of the greatest virtuosos that country music has ever produced, Speedy West bridged the western swing and rockabilly eras with eye-popping steel guitar. Besides contributing to literally thousands of country sessions, West cut many of his own instrumentals, as a solo act and with his guitarist partner Jimmy Bryant. Adept at boogie, blues, and Hawaiian ballads, West played with an infectious joy and daring improvisation that, at its most adventurous, could be downright experimental. It's doubtful whether anyone could collect all of Speedy's solos under one roof, but it was his sessions of the 1950s and early '60s -- especially those with Jimmy Bryant -- that found his genius at its most freewheeling and dazzling.

eMusic Features

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Flying Saucers Rock & Roll

By Lenny Kaye, Contributor

Of all rock's family tendrils, rockabilly is the one that keeps re-boppin', sporting a revival every decade or so, its coming-of-age kicks allowing each new offspring to roll its own. Guitar-heavy, emphasizing Wild Ones rebellion ("whaddya got?") and sonic dazzle (heavy on the reverb and chest vibrato), it raves and paves garage-punk (The Seeds to Damned), shockabilly (The Cramps and Chadbourne), new-wave (Stray Cats and Dire Straits), waggle-wobble (Jon Spencer and Boss Hog), Nirvana and… more »