Fred Sokolow is best known as the author of a library of instructional books and DVDs for guitar, banjo, Dobro, mandolin, lap steel and ukulele. There are currently over a hundred of his books or DVDs in print, sold all over the world. Fred has long been a well-known West Coast multi-string performer and recording artist, particularly on the acoustic music scene. The diverse musical genres covered in his books and DVDs, along with several bluegrass, jazz and rock CDs he has released, demonstrate his mastery of many musical styles. Whether he's playing Delta bottleneck blues, bluegrass or old-time banjo, 30s swing guitar or screaming rock solos, he does it with authenticity and passion.
Born in Los Angeles September 14, 1945, by the early 1960s Fred was well known in the California bluegrass scene, playing with Jody Stecher, Brantley Kearns, Sandy Rothman and Eric Thompson. Relocating to Berkeley, he toured and recorded with a hippie rock band throughout most of the 60s, the Bay Area-based Notes From the Underground (Vanguard Records). In the early 70s Fred performed with R&B, rock, country and bluegrass bands. By 1975 Fred had played with bluegrass luminaries like John Herald, Frank Wakefield and Jerry Garcia, had opened for the Dead, the Doors, B.B. King, Country Joe and the Fish and countless other acts.
The blues has always been spiced with suggestive metaphors. This collection of bawdy blues songs celebrates the off-color blues repertoire: Bessie Smith is wild about her kitchen man's turnip tops, but Bo Carter's pencil won't write no more! There's lots of variety, with songs from the 1930s, 40s and 50s; some are simple three-chord blues tunes and others have beautiful, ragtimey chord changes.
Fred shows you how to play accompaniment and solos for all the songs. The evocative titles include Ain't Got Nobody to Grind My Coffee (Clara Smith), She's Your Cook But She Burns My Bread Sometimes and My Pencil Won't Write No More (Bo Carter), Kitchen Man (Bessie Smith), Big Ten Inch (Bull Moose Jackson), You Can't Tell the Difference After Dark (Alberta Hunter) and the holiday perennial Let's Make Christmas Merry, Baby (Amos Milburn).
Fred shows you how to accompany yourself singing the songs, and how to fingerpick an instrumental version of each one. His easy-going instructional style, his tips on playing the arrangements, and his slowed-down, split-screen performances of each tune make learning easy. All the arrangements are written out in tab and music as well... both the backup and solos
91 minutes • Level 2 • Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: One of my favorite DVD guitar lessons. The songs are all (but one) a lot of fun to play and appropriately slighted just enough in double entendre to play for anyone, including kids. The lesson is for late beginner, Intermediate, and is well shot and constructed. The songs are interesting enough to play without singing, and the camera work is what we have come to expect from Grossman's productions: great camera angles, close ups, split screens, and wide angles. It is well taught, with songs well chosen, and is a lot of fun to play. ***** stars for great instruction, song selection and camera work. – Peter Hyatt/Amazon Customer Review