Lenny Breau Day

August 5, 1941 – August 12, 1984

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

Guitarist Lenny Breau was born August 5, 1941 in Auburn, Maine.

Born to a pair of professional country music performers, Breau started on the guitar at the age of eight.

By the time he was 12, Breau was performing with his parents at country shows, sometimes being billed as Lone Pine, Jr.

After moving with his parents to Winnipeg, Canada, Breau started listening to jazz including Tal Farlow and Johnny Smith.

He worked as a studio musician on Canadian radio from the age of 15 (when he made his recording debut), hosted his own radio program for a time, and continued playing with his parent’s band until he was 18.

Breau formed his own jazz band in 1962 when he moved to Toronto and began to branch out as a performer, playing with everyone from vibraphonist Peter Appleyard and Anne Murray.

By the time he was in his early twenties, Lenny Breau played jazz, country music, flamenco, folk, classical and Indian music quite well.

An underground legend who had the ability to play chords, single-note solos, and a bass line at the same time, Breau later in life mastered the seven-string guitar.

Signed to the RCA label in 1968, Breau seemed on his way to great success, but a lack of self-confidence along with drugs and alcohol problems plagued him for a decade.

Lennie Beau had a comeback and during 1978-84 was very busy with recordings and performances, but on Aug. 12, 1984 his body was found in a swimming pool; his murder has never been solved.

Here is Lennie Breau exploring several moods while displaying his mastery of the guitar on a solo version of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.”

-Scott Yanow