Among electric guitar stylists, there are few that occupy a time and place and still live on. Steve Cropper made his imprint using his smart “cropped” style back in the 60’s with Booker T and MG’s. He never blew me away (or anyone probably) with a flashy technique, speed or pyrotechnics. But he did blow people away with his style. It was a tightly wound, biting approach to lead playing that contrasted perfectly with Booker T’s smooth Hammond B-3 playing and the funky backdrop of locked bass and drums.
Steve Cropper helped to define the Memphis sound that helped to shape rhythm and blues, rock, pop and so much more. I recently discovered Cropper’s latest CD, “Dedicated.” (Billed as a tribute to the 5 Royales.) All of Cropper’s bite and tasteful note selection from the 60″s live on in this new recording, and it’s a great example of a stylist with a simple but impressionable approach stuffed with soul and passion.