One simply cannot talk about people of importance to this genre without tipping the hat to the most masterful musician, teacher, musicologist, producer, folklorist and preservationist of the traditional blues. By now, Stefan Grossman is a venerated, iconoclastic and respected acoustic blues figure of mega-proportions. He came out of the vibrant Greenwich Village, New York, 1960s scene around Washington Square, where so many American folk and blues musicians launched their careers. His friend and occasional collaborator, Steve Katz, formerly of the Even Dozen Jug Band, the Blues Project and Blood, Sweat & Tears, once half jokingly told this writer: “There we were, all these New York Jews playing the black blues.” Indeed, the blues had a strong influence on young New Yorkers during the folk revival. These musicians, Stefan Grossman, Happy & Artie Traum, Danny Kalb, and many others, in turn had a powerful influence on the acceptance of the blues by the American baby boomer generation at large; and, they significantly helped to launch the folk, roots & blues revival, thereby reinvigorating the careers of many original blues musicians whose careers had waned.
Many people know Stefan Grossman as the paramount teacher and entrepreneur in what has become the world’s largest “blues school”, Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop. He is one of the most skilled guitarists in the genre, having been a student of Rev. Gary Davis in New York City. He also picked up lessons directly from Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Skip James, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and others.
Contemporary acoustic fingerstyle blues encompasses a wide variety of styles, techniques and sounds. In this lesson, four multi-sectioned blues instrumentals based on traditional techniques, blues piano ideas, single string melodic guitar licks and horn styled solos are presented. The music varies from a piano-styled boogie to a slow country blues reminiscent of the playing of Blind Blake and Jelly Roll Morton, to a New Orleans blues in the style and feel of Ray Charles and Snooks Eaglin.
Titles include: Slow Blues in C, Lemon's Jump, Yazoo Basin Boogie and Heart Much Obliged
74 minutes • Level 3 • Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: Absolutely the best. I have a large assemblage of dvds produced for fingerstyle guitarists wanting to learn new material. On a cranky day I would say that maybe half of them are mostly failures. The reasons are often that many of the songs are written by the artist, are unimaginative or just plain awful, or that the artist is not a good teacher and poorly or incompletely explains the construction of the music. I avoided this one for quite some time because while I have seen that Mr. Grossman is an excellent teacher, I was suspicious of the titles (of which there are 4) all being written by him.
It turns out that this is some of the best acoustic fingerstyle blues available on DVD. While he can sometimes be hazy on the elements of the progressions (likely my weakness rather than his), there is nothing that he misses. Where necessary he explains the the unusual fingering for a particular chord and why, different elements and sources for many of the riffs comprising the songs, and importantly, the decorations (as he calls them) that give additional life to the music. Additionally, in my opinion Mr. Grossman has the best overall techniques of anyone appearing in these kind of dvds, and offers a real learning experience in just teaching, without attempting to, things that distinguish a superb musician from the rest of the pack.
Even if you don't think you are ready for advanced lessons, get this dvd because it will teach you masterful techniques and familiarize you with songs you will aspire to play. I am truly delighted with it. – Seneca/Amazon Customer Review