Photos by Arnie Goodman
Get enough gun slingers together, and you’ve built yourself an army. Get these three guitar slingers together and you’ve got the Guitar Army, an equally imposing—if less deadly—force. Lee Roy Parnell, Joe Robinson and John Jorgenson led the charge at an Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) event at B.B. King’s Blues Club in New York City before heading down to Asbury Park to perform at the Light of Day festival, to help conquer Parkinson’s Disease.
The three virtuosos took turns commanding the songs, with impressive help from the other two along the way. Joe Robinson started out, to the obvious delight of Lee Roy Parnell, who joined in without stealing any of Robinson’s imposing thunder. One of Parnell’s turns, “Hours In Between,” which he introduced as being about playing guitar for a living, featured a heavy bass line from Mark Fain and a bluesy vibe that made spending Saturday morning in Times Square worthwhile all by itself. Jorgenson’s turn on “Run,” a dreamy, reverb-laden instrumental, proved the perfect foil to the tunes that had come before.
The three ended with T-Bone Walker’s “T-Bone Shuffle,” (appropriately recorded by B.B. King) a joyous romp that the audience loved as much as the guys on stage. Trading licks and watching each others’ turns with obvious pride, these guys went out with a bang and a twang.
Complaints? Absolutely! The APAP event was only 20 minutes, at least an hour short of ideal. We’ll catch up with them another time, though. The Guitar Army will continue to seize venues for the foreseeable future.