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James McCarty - James William McCarty - James William McCarty (born June 1, 1945) is an American blues rock guitarist from Detroit, Michigan. He has performed with Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, the Buddy Miles Express, Cactus, the popular Detroit rock band The Rockets, the Detroit Blues Band, and more recently, Mystery Train.
He also recorded with Jimi Hendrix and Bob Seger. He plays in a heavy blues-rock style that has inspired fledgling guitar players for more than 40 years.
In 2006, he participated in a Cactus reunion, performing in New York City, Sweden, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. It coincided with the release of a new Cactus album, Cactus V. In 2007, Cactus played a Detroit date, a McCarty homecoming, to a sold-out, standing-room-only house.
In an August 2006 interview on VH1 Classic, Ted Nugent remarked "I'm the only guy in rock' n 'roll that plays that hollow body jazz guitar and it's because in 1960 I saw Jimmy McCarty creating those big fat full chords like I do on "Stranglehold"; I learned that from Jimmy McCarty. Remember the name Jimmy McCarty. He is as important as Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry and Les Paul...a god on guitar." Guitar-maker Paul Reed Smith is among McCarty's admirers.
In 2005, Les Paul recorded Les Paul and Friends: American Made, World Played, with an all-star band. He covered 69 Freedom Special, an instrumental tune co-written by McCarty and recorded while in the Buddy Miles Express. In February 2006, Les Paul won a Grammy for his cover of the song, thus propelling McCarty into another award-winning arena as songwriter.
In 2009, a new band, the Hell Drivers, was created. The members are Jim McCarty, Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Marvin Conrad (bass), and Jim Edwards (vocals). A high-energy band, they play a variety of Detroit rock' n 'roll from Iggy, The Rockets, Mitch Ryder, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger and more to great critical acclaim.
On September 25, 2010, Jim McCarty was inducted into the Canada South Blues Society "Living Blues Museum" located in Windsor, Ontario.