Johnny McGhee

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Since the early '70s, this talented guitarist and arranger has been a subtle presence in a variety of funk-related music. The style and presentation of master Les McCann, for whom Johnny McGhee helped…
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Since the early '70s, this talented guitarist and arranger has been a subtle presence in a variety of funk-related music. The style and presentation of master Les McCann, for whom Johnny McGhee helped produce the 1979 Tall, Dark and Handsome album, seems to have been a strong influence, while the guitarist also has interesting playing roots in various intriguing branches of the jazz/rock shrubbery, for example, playing jazz fusion funk with electric pianist George Duke. He played in both studio bands and the live shows of soul giant Marvin Gaye and the talented Natalie Cole, and was heavily involved in a handful of the original L.T.D. productions. He is not the John McGhee who recorded sentimental old country music in the early '20s, so fans that see his birthday mistakenly listed as 1898 can forget about the fantasy that the guitarist is some kind of funky Methuselah. The Scotti Brothers imprint gave him a more hands-on role producing and mixing the virgin efforts of the Funk Club, one of only a handful of production credits McGhee has received over several decades in the studios. Perhaps this is with good reason: For his efforts with McCann, McGhee might have wished he had kept his nose buried inside his guitar case if all the reactions were as negative as the following critical comment: "This atrocity has got to be the absolute low point of Les McCann's recording career."