Bobby Tench came into his own as a singer, taking over the mike for The Jeff Beck Group.
Thankfully, he eventually got the chance to show what he could do with a guitar as well. Suffice it to say he can do plenty.
The British-born Tench lent his guitar talent to more than just Beck. He’s played with blues great Freddie King, legendary rock drummer Ginger Baker and Hall of Fame singer/songwriter Van Morrison — playing on Morrison’s classic Wavelength album.
Tench also reunited with Beck to tour with the guitar legend, drummer Carmine Appice and bassist Tim Bogert, picking up singing duties in Beck, Bogert &Appice.
In 1980, Tench also paired up with Steve Marriott in a re-formed Humble Pie, recording two studio albums with the group before Marriott’s death.
Not bad for a one-time singer influenced by the likes of Sam Cooke and Ray Charles.
Still sought after for his voice, Tench has now spent decades living off his guitar chops. In addition to studio session work for the likes of Morrison, he’s recorded with his own bands. His first major project, Gass, was the group that brought him to Beck’s attention in the first place. Years later, he signed a record deal after forming Hummingbird, with whom he recorded and toured.
In recent years Tench has continued to perform, although he hasn’t recorded in several years. He did contribute to a tribute album to Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green, with whom Tench once played. He’s also teamed up with rockers like Boz Burrell, former bassist for Bad Company and King Crimson, and onetime Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley, among others.
So let’s just say he’s earned his stripes as a guitar player by now.
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(NOTE: This is part of my ongoing series of reports on guitar players who fly under the mainstream radar. Keep checking The Listening Room for future installments of guitar players you should know – JF)
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