With 47 years of experience on the acoustic guitar, Rolly has been a National Fingerpicking Champion and a Philadelphia Music Award nominee. He has performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Tasmanian Folk Festival, and tons of places in between. He hosted the Guitar Wizards radio show which ran on public radio in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Maine for several years, introducing listeners to guitarists and techniques usually searched out only by total guitar maniacs. He has served as a sideman for Magpie, Winnie Winston, Saul Broudy, Jack McGann, Priscilla Herdman, Jay Ansill, and many others, and has performed extensively with National Flatpicking Champion Mark Cosgrove, and, until her tragic death, with the late fiddler and singer extraordinaire Freyda Epstein. For the past decade, Rolly has been a popular teacher and performer at a number of guitar camps, appearing at Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamps (Maryville TN), the Swannanoa Gathering (Asheville NC), Summer Acoustic Music Week in New Hampshire, the convention of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society in Nashville TN, and others. His Youtube videos (instructional and performance) have garnered well over 100,000 hits.
Rolly Brown has spent a good bit of his guitar career navigating the territory between the more primal and emotional forms of blues and the more cerebral
and sophisticated elements of jazz as they apply to the acoustic guitar. In this video lesson, he explores the large blurry area where the two closely
related genres meet. Beginning with an exploration of how the bass line can imply chords which transform a basic 12 bar blues into a jazz progression,
Rolly shows how a blues player can add a touch of jazz to his playing, and how a jazz player can increase the blues feel of certain jazz standards.
This includes discussion of scales, "blue notes", chord movement and chord substitution, as the student learns several instructive arrangements.
A detailed tab/music booklet is included as a PDF file on the DVD. Each tune is taught phrase by phrase and played slowly on a split-screen.
Titles include: Route 66, Drown in My Own Tears and Lover Man
Running time: 110 minutes - Level 2/3 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: The demarcation line between blues and jazz is neither defined nor restrictive. And it's in that bubbling grey zone where Rolly Brown and his acoustic guitar instructively work for two hours. Concepts and their finger-on-string application travel back and forth along the continuum from jazzy blues to bluesy jazz, viewing what life is like from the other side. Importantly, Professor Brown makes commuting between both camps readily doable. "Route 66," "Drown in My Own Tears" and "Lover Man" put method into action. To do so, the trophied National Fingerpicking Champ who absorbed jazz string theory directly from Joseph Federico and John Carlini, pits arpeggiated jazz structure against scale-based blues. Beauty versus the beast, in coarsest terms. Chord movement and melodic choice get reconciled. Flat fifths and 12 bars mingle within the mindset. Aspects of bass motion, progressions, and the cycle of fifths are among the many highpoints spanning the in-between. Hey, you Robert Johnsons out there: Feed your inner Django. And vice versa. - Dennis Rozanski/Blues Rag
Review: Read this in conjunction with the review for Beginners Fingerstyle and you will have enough to keep you practicing for years! There is always an overlap between Blues and Jazz, and this DVD seeks to show some of the many ways to keep blurring those gaps, so that if you favor Jazz, you can throw in some Blues licks and vice versa. Starting off with implied bass chords, I quickly got thoroughly absorbed in the lessons and found that I had been sitting in front of my computer for a couple of hours! Rolly uses this to lead on into working with jazz standards and how to increase the Blues feel, You will probably have guessed by now that I am a great fan of the Guitar workshop series, and this latest release has done nothing to change my mind, all that I have to do now is to keep my New Year resolution and stick to the ten minutes a day practice I have set for myself. Oh Bugger, there's another hour just gone! – Dave Stone/Blues Matters!