15th October 2020

Steve York - Mojo Hannah

Yesterday I found out about an amazing bass player who I wasn’t aware of.  His name is Steve York and he played with a very long list of UK artists such as: 

Elkie Brooks, Marianne Faithfull, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr, Pete Townshend, Robert Palmer, Manfred Mann, East Of Eden, Joan Armatrading, Gary Moore, Sam Mitchell, Doris Troy, Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack, Graham Bond, Arthur Brown, Grace Jones, Joanne Kelly, Adrian Legg, Dana Gillespie, Dave Kelly, Chris Jagger, Pete Brown, PP Arnold, Dana Gillespie, Casablanca, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, 

Greg's Bass Shed lesson on Steve York

He also played with these artists in The States:  

Mac Rebbenack AKA Dr John, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Laura Branigan, Leiber & Stoller, The Drifters, The Platters, The Coasters, Rufus Thomas, Martha & the Vandellas, Earl King, Shirley Goodman, Syl Johnson, Marvelettes, Shirelles, Del Vikings, Shangri La’s, Inkspots, Climax, Sonny Geraci, Ron Thompson & the Resistors, Mark Naftalin, Charlie Musselwhite, , Big Jay McNeely, Fabian, Tracy Nelson, Cash McCall, EC Scott, Percy Strother, Larry Davis, Viola Wills, Joe King Carrasco

I only found out about Steve York as he passed away a few days ago, and as is often the case, these great players only get the recognition they deserve once they have died. 

What I love about music, is that it is so vast and there are always new players to discover.  If like me you were not aware of Steve York, then have a listen to ‘Two Days Away’ by Elkie Brooks.  There are some lovely examples of Steve amazingly inventive bass lines on these songs.  Personally I love that pure P-bass tone that he has on the album too.

 

I have transcribed Steve’s bass line from the song Mojo Hannah.  It is a lovely groove line almost entirely made up of notes from the Major Pentatonic Scale. 

Have a listen to the song as the bass is really featured throughout. 

To quickly refresh the major pentatonic scale, this is what it looks like in F.

F Major Pentatonic Scale For Bass Guitar
F Major Pentatonic Scale For Bass Guitar Tab

To play this bass line, it also helps if you know the major pentatonic scale in Bb, C, and Db.

Major Pentatonic Scale Shape For Bass Guitar

This bass line is pretty fast, but once you are familiar with the pentatonic shape, it does ‘fall nicely under the fingers’. 

Be careful of the uneven bars in the form, as it is 19 bars long.

Mjoj Hannah Bass Line By Elkie Brooks Bass Transcription