Brother Gene Dinwiddie

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Saxman and multi-instrumentalist Gene Dinwiddie -- often billed as Brother Gene Dinwiddie -- spent a decade or more playing blues and free jazz before making his recording debut as a member of the Paul…
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Saxman and multi-instrumentalist Gene Dinwiddie -- often billed as Brother Gene Dinwiddie -- spent a decade or more playing blues and free jazz before making his recording debut as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. A gifted composer and arranger as well as player, he joined Butterfield's outfit in mid-1967 in time for the group's appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, in the wake of Mike Bloomfield's departure. His presence in the lineup, along with that of trumpet man Keith Johnson, completely reshaped the group's sound as a much more roots-oriented blues ensemble.

Dinwiddie hung back a bit for the first two albums on which he worked, The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw and In My Own Dream, taking some hot solos on numbers such as "Double Trouble" on the former album but otherwise not stepping out to the front in a larger role. That changed with the release of Keep On Moving in 1969, where he and drummer Phillip Wilson copped the opening track slot with their "Love March." Thanks to its appearance in a live performance on the Woodstock album, "Love March" would become a hit single, the best known of the band's songs, and a staple of the group's live act for its final couple of years (even though it didn't really represent the band's sound). He also worked in an appearance with the James Cotton Blues Band on record during this period. And on the Paul Butterfield Blues Band's magnificent Live album, Dinwiddie's influence would be felt all over, from the opening notes to the end.

He was later a key member of the Butterfield offshoot group Full Moon and spent the mid-'70s playing on records by B.B. King, Melissa Manchester, Jackie Lomax, and Gregg Allman, as well as returning to work with Butterfield again. His most visible appearance on record in the 1990s was playing tenor sax on Etta James' album Stickin' to My Guns.