Electric Blues-Rock Guitarist Extrordinaire

“Ladies and Gentlemen,from Appleton, Wisconsin: SOUP!”

If you could care less about electric guitar virtuosity and expression, stop reading now.

Yep. Cosmic. Songwriting, tripped-out hippie psych, depth, blues/rock, jazz elements, country, bit of pop and rock… brilliant drummer, bass player and likely the best unknown guitarist you’ve never heard of named Doug Yankus. Please read on, this one is not for the faint of heart.

When asked I’ve often mentioned my main electric guitar mentors are Rory Gallagher (Taste, etc.), Jimi and certainly Albert, B.B. and Freddie King. There are others but these carved a love of blues and blues-rock in my heart and brain to make me want to really learn electric blues guitar. But there was and is one more person on the list I rarely mention.

When I was coming up in Milwaukee as a teenage singer/guitarist and eventually band leader strung out on blues and blues/rock, I saw a LOT of live shows. One
of the best bands I caught many times in both Milwaukee and Madison was the three-piece version of Soup. They also had a keyboard player on occasion but I don’t recall seeing him on stage, personally.

Each of these guys could play rings around most musicians in Wisconsin and for that matter, the Midwest, but never caught the legion of fans I always thought they would.

Their principal songwriter, vocalist and absolutely stunning guitarist Doug Yankus was, like the band, rather beyond sonic description. To say he was light-years beyond most anyone I’d heard then or since is hardly an understatement. In the late 60’s and early 70’s you cannot know how shocking his talent was to most of us.

They were so good live I often wondered looking back if it was all the weed, acid or booze I’d been hitting all day… but indeed, here is a live cut to clarify.

Though their music was super-creative and truly all over the map in terms of styles, for my guitarist friends here is a 20 minute live track (“I’m So Sorry”) that was their signature closing tune each night I heard them.

This trip-ed-out blues number blew the roof off nightly. I can tell you from experience that what you’re about to hear was pretty accurate as to what I heard several times.

Drums are far down in the mix, sound quality what you might expect in 1970, live recording etc.. Hard critique from some would say it’s a bit too frantic, band could’ve been a bit tighter in spots, Doug is slightly gone in this little lick or two, but I say have a nice day. The sheer talent and passion here leaves me thinking most of us couldn’t tie the guy’s musical shoes, not 44 years later.

I truly consider myself E-I-E-I-O on guitar when I hear Doug.

OK- some of you after this build-up will likely not finish the song out because Doug and band get flippin’ nuts at the end… but if I could dare you to finish this one song out you’ll understand partly why in some moments I get as intense and frenetic playing guitar as I do, hear one of my major influences in music, and understand how completely over-the-top amazing this guitarist was.

Sadly, Doug passed away years ago, from what I’ve heard, due to complications with diabetes.

Fasten your seat-belts- Start at 19:40 or so…

Yep, I’m still crazy after all these years:) -Glenn

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