Git Shorty
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Git Shorty

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"Shorty, who has played with the likes of James Brown, Tyrone Davis and Sam and Dave is decribed as a showman and quite a character on stage. Shorty, who doesn't smoke or drink, says he gets high on "my music, a natural high". - The Parkersburg News


"Walking On Air" as he returns to his hometown of Zanesville, Ohio, Guitar Shorty played professionally during the 60’s & 70’s. He was the personal guitarist for Tyrone Davis, Johnny Taylor, O.V. Wright, Sam and Dave, and George & Gwen McCrea. During a four year period, he played with the King of Soul, Mr. James Brown. His nickname was derived from this time when his guitar was bigger than he was!

Guitar Shorty was extensively educated in the field of music at the West Virginia State University and New York University. He also accredits his faith In God as a major factor In the development of his outstanding talent.

More recently, Guitar Shorty toured with the Marseilles, The Del Vikings, Tricia Campbell, the All-Star from Los Angeles, California and Richard Berry, the original writer at “Louie, Louie”. Today, Guitar Shorty and his guitar always add a special touch of class while performing his original tune, “Walking on Air. - Zanesville Times Recorder


"Git Shorty", We're not talking colloquial reference to the Travolta film: "Get Shorty", We're talking about a real guy, the length of whose resume belies his nickname.

Last time we saw Guitar Shorty, he was playing in the middle of McKeesport's Fifth Avenue for a community celebration. Back in the 1960s, he was playing with James Brown. IN 2000, he's whizzing around in circles on a CD player near you.

"Git Shorty", his new collection recorded in McKeesport and released at the Mojo Boneyard label, is 14 tracks that showcase both Shorty's vocals and the guitar work that has attracted the attention of the legendary Willie Dixon.

Dixon was impressed with Shorty's guitar theatrics and urged his protégé Buddy Guy to get a little Shorty in his own stage presentation.

Guitar Shorty is actually Ohio born Elbert Ferguson, who relocated to Florida and got his musical feet wet with colorfully named Big Joe Dynamo. A couple years later, while performing "Hound Dog" with A.C. Jones and The Chanceteers, he caught the ear of James Brown, who put the axeman in his revue.

After years working with Sam and Dave, O.V. Wright and others, Shorty relocated to Beaver Falls for a day job at J&L Steel, but he couldn't deny the call of the stage and his guitar re-emerged from it's case.

"Git Shorty" is his first CD, according to Bonedaddy. The disc was produced and mixed both in the Boneyard and across town at Soundscape Studios.

Shorty is supported by a plethora of local talent like Kenny Blake on Alto Sax. Robbie Klein and Eric DeFade on baritone & tenor sax, James Britton on keyboards, Jeffrey Ingersoll on bass, James T. Johnson, Brian Edwards and Deuce Kinkaid on drums, George Jones on congas, Dan Donohoe on trumpet and Russ Garin on Trombone.

Vocal assistance came from Sheena Berkeley, Darrell Clark, Phil Jackson, Billy Hawkins and Bobby Wayne.

The album has something for everyone, notably "Smoothe", which may earn him a slot on jazz broadcasts, but that doesn't mean Shorty can't be funky too, which he is on the suggestive "Take A Taste". He's just as at home in the swing blues category with the cautionary "Don't Hoe In The Garden" and in the rougher-edged "Been Down That Road Before".

The package opens with the original (They Call Me) Guitar Shorty", which swings into the mood, it undoubtedly is a perfect live show opening number and leaves no doubt about what's to come.

Three songs come from the pens of Melvin & Mervin Steals, including the familiar, brassy, "Walking On Air", plus "Let Me Love You Tonight" (romantic with good harmonies) and the under-par "What Can I Do To Win Your Love". The songwriters lyrical approach is an acquired taste, but the support system is strong.

Sensual blues "I Want to Ta-Ta You Baby" gives new meaning to what is otherwise known as a light hearted good-bye.

"Somebody Stole My Monkey" is a funny co-composition with Ingersoll, while "I Know The Real You" dips into soul.

"She's a Bad Mama Jama" is both catchy and descriptive. "I Want To Be Your Man" is not the song Ringo sang on the first Beatles album, it sounds more like Billy Price, which suggest that Billy's been getting it right all these years.

"Git Shorty" wraps with "She's Mine", sporting islanded rhythms and a bunch of appealing guy backing vocals, "Gitting" your feet moving, the track looks ahead on a positive note. - Daily News Entertainment - McKeesport, PA


Guitar Shorty is a man prepared to stick his necks out -- the ones on his double-necked guitar, that is. A hard-rocking bluesman from the Chicago school, the Mississippi-born Shorty got his start with James Brown's band 20 years ago. After splitting with the Godfather of Soul, Shorty played with Wilson Pickett, Z.Z. Hill and, of course his own outfit. This weekend, Shorty and his band makes their debut at B.K. Lounge...

Blues Fans might recall the tune Shorty's back and Shorty is coming back to Rochester for the B.K. premiere. - Times Union News - Rochester, NY


Discography

Shorty - Git Shorty
1. (They Call Me) Guitar Shorty
2. Take A Taste
3. I Want To Ta-Ta You Baby
4. Walking On Air
5. Somebody Stole My Monkey
6. I Know The Real You
7. Been Down That Blue Road Before
8. Let Me Love You Tonight
9. Smooth
10. She’s A Bad Mama Jama
11. I Want To Be Your Man
12. What Can I Do (To Win Your Love)
13. Don’t Hoe In The Garden
14. She’s Mine
Personnel:
Shorty - guitar, lead vocals
James Britton - keyboards
Jeffrey Ingersoll - bass
Brian Edwards - drums
James T. Johnson III - drums
Deke Kincade - drums
George Jones - congas
Robbie Klein - baritone & tenor sax
Eric DeFade - baritone & tenor sax
Kenny Blake - alto sax
Dan Donohoe - trumpet, horn arrangements
Ross Garin - trombone
Vocals:
Sheena Berkeley
Darrell Clark
Phil Jackson
Billy Hawkins
Bobby Wayne

Photos

Bio

Blues Legend Willie Dixon credits his seeing Git Shorty in a club as the idea behind Buddy Guy's stage persona. Willie writes in his book "I Am The Blues": "They got this guy 'round there in Florida called Shorty who used to do a lot of trick guitar playing. That was the guy Buddy Guy resembled because I was explaining to Buddy about how to twist his guitar around, throw it up in the air, up side the wall, different little "trickeration" stuff just to excite the people. Shorty was the first one I saw with that idea and I started Buddy to playing with it".

By 1960 Shorty hooked up with his guitar teacher A.C. Jones & the Chanceteers. The group featured George McCrae who years later had the hit record "Rock Your Baby". In 1961 while working as the backing group at Sir John Hotel Talent Show in Miami, Shorty was featured singing and playing "Hound Dog". James Brown was in the audience and offered Shorty a job playing with The James Brown Revue. With James he learned the ropes of professional show business, the discipline and the fact that it took 'more than being a player' to be successful in this business. Shorty went on to play with Wilson Pickett, Tyrone Davis, Johnny Taylor, O.V. Wright, Sam and Dave, George & Gwen McCrea and Z.Z. Hill to name a few, as well as his own outfit.

His stage persona, world class showmanship and musical ability to get audiences up on their feet dancin' and a groovin' all night long in class sets Git Shorty in a league of his own, only matched previously by James Brown himself. Aside from being a knock em dead showman, Git Shorty is one of the most amazing guitar players in the world...think Buddy Guy on steroids! While James Brown may no longer with us, Git Shorty is now THE hardest working man in show business!

In fact, his shows are so entertaining that several recent venues have invited him back for immediate repeat performances. Book him for your next event and your audiences will love you!