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.
If you're feeling confident in fingerpicking blues in the key of E but you want to expand your ideas and techniques then this lesson is for you. We'll
leave the world of Lightnin' Hopkins and Mississippi John Hurt and explore more pianistic ideas adapted to the guitar. Arrangements of Mose Allison's
If You Live and Joe Zawinul's Mercy, Mercy, Mercy will show you how to extend and explore blues ideas to new guitar textures. Gershwin's Summertime
becomes a playground of counterpoint ideas and chordal movements. 44 Blues takes a classic Chicago piano lick and places it on the guitar. Cry Havoc
offers a blend of old-time blues with modern chords.
This lesson is for the intermediate player who wants to go to the next level. Each tune is taught phrase by phrase and played slowly on a split-screen. A detailed tab/music booklet is included as a PDF file on the DVD.
Titles include: 44 Blues, Cry Havoc, If You Live, Summertime and Mercy, Mercy Mercy
114 minutes - Level 3 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: You're guaranteed at least three things with Stefan Grossman: a Hawaiian shirt, a most masterfully picked acoustic guitar, and a faithful friend willing to pass along every playing secret he's ever compiled. That's the equivalent of accessing Rev. Gary Davis, Son House, Skip James and a laundry list of other deities from whom he learned while locked knee-to-knee. Although "Beyond Fingerpicking Blues Guitar in the Key of E" veers somewhat off-course, the lesson isn't hard and fast in its boundaries. (For those unwilling to go "Beyond", there is "Fingerpicking Blues Guitar in the Key of E".) Mose Allison's "If You Live" makes for one cool slink down the fingerboard. Gershwin's "Summertime" brakes far harder; it's the ultimate strategic slowdown designed to maximize mystique. Then nirvana is attained in the dream-away form of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." So charmingly addictive is its form that you're convinced Joe Zawinul composed this breeze exclusively for guitar (instead of Cannonball Adderley's sax). Prepare to be smitten. But blues inevitably seep in. "44 Blues," a spider-walking jigsaw puzzle for the right and left hands, is blatant about it. More subtle is when Mississippi John Hurt lends the bass line to "Cry Havoc." Housed within a multi-sectional jewel box are the most gorgeous chords, including an A major 7th and the beauty unearthed from Depression-era bluesman George Carter's obscurity. Blue or not, the key of E reacts remarkably well with six strings. - Dennis Rozanski/BluesRag
Review: BUCKETS OF RAIN Fingerpicking Possibilities in Open D Tuning & BEYOND FINGERPICKING BLUES GUITAR in the key of E I have lumped these two DVDS together in one review because they are two of the latest offerings from the prolific Guitar Workshops who would seem to be not letting a single Chord Scale or Note get away from an in-depth analysis. As we have come to expect from this series, production values are top notch with crystal clear up close filming and impeccable sound, and Stefan himself has to be one of the best tutors out there, he is certainly one of the most productive. These two are aimed squarely at the finger picker who wants a little bit more meat on the bones and in combination with the superb filming, you have their excellent 25 pages and more PDF files that give you everything that you need to put lessons into practice. The first DVD (Key of D) has just five numbers for you to work on covering Country (Tennessee Waltz) Beatles and Dylan (In My Life & Buckets of Rain) an old Banjo tune (Waterbound) and finally blues (Como Blues). The second offering gives you 5 more in the key of E including a wonderful version of Summertime that I shall be definitely giving a try as this is probably my all-time favourite to play and sing. I am sure if someone were to come up with the scale of H, it wouldn't be too long before the Guitar Workshops had a tutorial out to cover it. Put a couple of these in your collection and you'll not have any excuse of nothing to practice. I think it was Segovia who said that he never stopped learning, so look out for these or order on line. ' Blues Matters