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.
The guitar styles and techniques of Blind Blake, Big Bill Broonzy and Rev. Gary Davis combine blues and ragtime techniques into a style that can best be described as raggin' the blues. This exciting and challenging approach to fingerstyle playing combines complex right hand picking with intricate left hand fingerings, single string runs and rhythmic licks. In this lesson, Stefan Grossman illustrates and explains seven famous ragtime blues instrumentals.
Titles include: Diddie Wa Diddie, Shuffle Rag, Glory Of Love, Buck Dance, Cincinnati Flow Rag, Hot Dogs and Twelve Sticks
74 minutes • Level 3 • Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD