Reggie McBride (Stevie Wonder, Tommy Bolin)

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By Thomas Semioli

Aretha Franklin wanted him in her band when he was 14 years old. At 16 he was on the road with The Dramatics and James Brown. And at 19, Reggie McBride became a member of Stevie Wonder’s ensemble and played on the multiple Grammy Award winning classic Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974).


Dig Stevie and Reggie “You Haven’t Done Nothing”


A Detroit native, McBride absorbed the music of his hometown Motown and brought his unique combination of finger playing and slap technique to seminal sides by Rare Earth, Ry Cooder, Keb Mo, Funkadelic, Herbie Hancock, Phoebe Snow, Van Morrison, Minnie Riperton, David Lindley, Rod Stewart, BB King, Elton John (21 at 33, The Fox), and Rick Springfield, among many others.


On Tommy Bolin’s Private Eyes (1976) Reggie dispatched with any semblance of rock phrasing and plied gritty funk, R&B, and reggae lines which the late guitarist soared over.


Dig Reggie and Tommy on “Post Toastee”


Dig Reggie with Rare Earth:


Dig Reggie and Rare Earth “Midnight Lady”


Says bassist and KYBP Reporter Joe Iaquinto  “I love his tribute to Dee Murray on “Little Jeannie,” complete with cool double-stops…” 


“Little Jeanie”


Reggie’s 2005 solo album Element is a smooth jazz diamond in the rough. Dig Reggie on the title track: