Pete ‘Guitar’ Lewis – New Orleans Shuffle

Note for note transcription of Pete ‘Guitar’ Lewis guitar part on “New Orleans Shuffle” by the Johnny Otis & his Orchestra (1950)

TABS & Notation, 3 pages, €5

With this new transcription, I hope I’ll awaken your interest in a lesser known guitarist : If you are already a fan, kudos to you 🙂

For the others : time to catch up !!! ah ah (short Bio under the video)

Most of his best recordings were done as a member of the Johnny Otis Orchestra (between 1947 and 1956), including a legendary session with Tenor player Ben Webster. He also recorded on the original version of “Hound Dog” by Big Mama Thornton. A few singles were released under his own name.

After leaving Johnny Otis’ orchestra he dropped off from the music scene, and presumably died homeless in the early 70’s. Tragic.

As most West Coast guitarists from the late 40’s, you can hear T-Bone Walker’s influence in his playing, but with an aggressive edge that makes it his own. Also working in his favour, is playing with such a great band : not every West Coast player had a backing band on the level of Johnny Otis’s. 

I chose to transcribe the swinging “New Orleans Shuffle” where his guitar is at the forefront during most of the recording. Both his ‘jazz’ leanings and the sheer aggression of his tone are present on this track.

Hope you’ll like it.

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