The Saxophone has been Deke McGee’s living for most of his life.
He’s been playing for over thirty five years and can count on the fingers of a couple of hands the number of days where he hasn’t laid hands on a Saxophone of some description. Four days a week he teaches the instrument, and over the years he’s taught hundreds of students, ranging from beginners (including two of his current band members and his manager) to professionals, aged from 8 to 75 years. He’s not been shy about getting himself on stage either, and has carved out a formidable reputation and CV as a Session Player, Touring band member and Sideman, becoming sufficiently recognised in some of the advanced techniques of the Rhythm n’ Blues Saxophone to write a book about it. But he’s never released his own album.
Or at least, not until now – as he releases “All Night Long”, a collection of Original Rhythm n’ Blues tracks that he started recording and writing twelve years ago…stopped…and then finally got back to late last year. Recorded in Glasgow, the album harks back to an era of Small American Big Bands and features a variety of instrumentals and vocal tracks (Deke only recently discovered his voice, much to the surprise of many who know him).
Mark ‘Deke’ McGee started playing Saxophone at the age of thirteen, after hearing Bill Doggetts ‘Honky Tonk’ played by the legendary Clifford Scott. He began studying the sound and the stylings of all the great Swing and Rhythm n’ Blues horn men of that era ; Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet, Herschel Evans, Lee Allen, Sil Austin, Red Prysock, Big Al Sears, Plas Johnson, Sam ‘the man’ Taylor and the great Texas Tenor King Curtis.
He began working as a sideman with bands all over Europe and North America at many Jazz and Blues Festivals. This saw him recording with, supporting and sharing the stage with names such as Buddy Guy, Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, Big Joe Turner’s Memphis Blues Caravan, Hamish Stuart, Bill Wyman and his Rhythm Kings, Phil Guy, Lazy Lester, Sugar Blue, Zoot Money, Otis Grand, George Melly, The Fratellis, Band Of Friends, Martin Stephenson, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Big George and the Business, The Nimmo Brothers, The Cobramatics, The Beatstalkers and many more.
The new album by Deke McGee – “All Night Long” was released on the 9th April, 2016 at a sell out launch gig at Glasgow’s Queen Margaret Union. It is available from his website and digitally on iTunes and Amazon.
“.. this is one that will stay on the CD player for a while” CD Review – Blues Matters
“….swings like the clappers. The songs are great! We’ve been playing your CD in the van on our way to gigs” The Jive Aces