Cripple Creek Clavi

Garth Hudson played the Clavinet to simulate a Jew’s harp on “Up on Cripple Creek,” from The Band’s self-titled second album (the Brown Album).  I’m pretty sure this marks the first use of that instrument in a funky context. After all, Stevie didn’t drop “Superstition” on us until 1972, but Garth was there in ’69.

Dig the video, which may or may not be footage shot at the legendary Big Pink in Woodstock, NY. Garth’s face at 1:53 is priceless.

On a related note, the only Jew I have ever seen play a Jew’s harp is Gina Gershon.  She jams with Herbie Hancock at the very end of his “Possibilities” DVD. Herbie can also play some wicked Clavinet. Spooky…

Published in: on June 11, 2009 at 11:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

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