Just a brief cover on this. My harmonica playing friends were rather taken by Chan Chan by Buena Vista Social Club’s collaboration with Charlie Musselwhite. I got this totally sinking feeling, because of the up-tempo bits, the rather difficult time signature, and the hailstorm of 16th notes.
It took me some time to decide which guitarpart to play (there are two parts the lead, played with a capo at 5, and the rhythm, played without capo). I had hoped to get away with the rhythm part, but the ukelele had to do the singing as well as playing, so I opted for the rhythm part of the lead guitar (no solo’s, I am happy to leave those to the harmonicaplayers)
We usually play together with 2 harmonica wielding guys, a ukelele and a guitar, so some of the rhythm heavy lifting would have to be borne by the guitar, absent a bass player and a percussionist. When the time came, we did find a bass player to keep us on the straight and narrow of this wonderful groove. As luck would have it, the second time we played it we got the support of a drummer as well.
Also I convinced one of the harmonica wielding guys, the simultaneous singing and playing of this particular song was not for me, and that he would need to do the Charlie Musselwhite lyrics himself. He raised to the challenge, and the linked video was the 2nd time we performed it in front of an audience, this time lovingly recorded by his wife. I am the guy hiding at the opposite end of the stage…