Don “Sugarcane” Harris’s Vintage Era

Cover of "Usa Union"
Cover of Usa Union

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.