I was listening to John Mayall‘s USA Union (1970) recording this afternoon. What really caught my ear was the stellar performance of Don “Sugarcane” Harris on electric violin. USA Union was a continuation of John Mayall’s musical jazz/blues period which featured “no drums” that began with The Turning Point (Live -1969) and Empty Rooms (Studio – 1970).
John Mayall’s USA Union band consisted of:
John Mayall – Electric guitar, keyboards, harmonica and vocals
Harvey Mandel – Electric guitar
Larry “The Mole” Taylor – Acoustic and electric bass
and Don “Sugarcane” Harris – Electric violin
Sugarcane Harris was in high demand from 1969 – 1971, his vintage years. Frank Zappa was a major fan of the American rock duo Don and Dewey so he recruited Sugarcane for his jazz avant-garde recording, Hot Rats. Frank Zappa continued to use Sugarcane on Burnt Weenie Sandwich, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, and Chunga’s Revenge.