Rewind a little more than 30 years ago. It was the summer after my Freshman year in college. I was just starting to take guitar very seriously and I was addicted to seeing the late, great Michael Hedges at the old Varsity Theatre in Palo Alto, CA. Back then, the Varsity Theatre was THE place to see the Windham Hill recording artists when they were making their starts, and before artists like Will Ackerman, Michael Hedges, George Winston, Liz Story, and Mark Isham became the sound of the New Age, yuppie movement in the 80’s. Michael Hedges played there a couple of times a week, and that summer, I was at EVERY show. But among the artists that performed there that I also saw quite a bit of, were a husband and wife duo called Tuck and Patti.
Patti had this low, deep, sensual and moving voice, while Tuck was absolutely INSANE on his Gibson L5. Though I related much more to Michael Hedges during that period, I was completely blown away by Tuck’s absolute mastery over the fretboard!
The first time I saw Tuck and Patti, it was purely inadvertent. I was strolling down University Avenue and heard this great guitar playing coming from the Varsity Theatre’s courtyard, similar to Michael Hedges but much more jazzy. I knew it wasn’t Michael because they were playing Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” and Michael played his own stuff. I walked into the courtyard to see this lady singing her heart out, and this weird-looking dude with curly locks playing guitar, his fingers a blur all over the fretboard. I was absolutely mesmerized by his playing! Running bass lines along with rhythm and melody. I’d never seen anything like it!
I’m not sure what prompted me to think of Tuck and Patti today, but I thought I’d share just how incredible this man’s playing is and what a great duo Tuck and Patti are:
And here’s a little demo of Tuck demonstrating his style: