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SEPTEMBER 4

Though he had been banging around the Washington-area music scene for a couple of decades already, Danny Gatton (pictured) only began to attract recognition beyond music insiders in 1991, when he was featured on the cover of the Washington Post Magazine with the subhead, “A Lot of People Think Danny Gatton Is the Best Guitar Player Alive. So Why Do Fame and Fortune Keep Stringing Him Along?” The article declared him one of the greatest guitarists you’ve never heard. Tragically, Gatton didn’t savor his renown for very long; he committed suicide in October 1994. Having heard his rollicking live rockabilly (including his celebrated Heineken-bottle guitar slide), I’ve gotten by since his death on a steady stream of CD reissues from NRG Records, an indie label run by Gatton’s mother Norma. After I joined the Danny Gatton Fan Club, Norma sent me an autographed photo of her son, along with a handwritten note saying, “Danny did not have freckles on his face. This photo was not screened right.” How endearing, I thought. Then I read the final line—”Real autograph”—and the sadness struck me. Come fight the blues at “Evan Johns’ Annual Danny Gatton Birthday Party Celebration,” featuring an assortment of Gatton’s collaborators, colleagues, and admirers, including Evan Johns & the H-Bombs, Tom Principato, Cold Steel Benders Reunion, Dave Elliot Band, Tommy Lepson & the Lazy Boys, and Mitchell Previte & Stephenson at 8:30 p.m. at Twist & Shout, 4800 Auburn Ave., Bethesda. $10. (301) 652-3383. (Louis Jacobson)