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.
Compiled by Stefan Grossman, Duck Baker and El McMeen
The Celtic repertoire offers a wide range of experiences from sad laments to flowing melodies to rhythmic dance tunes. I joined forces with Duck Baker and El McMeen to put this book together.
Airs: Pretty Girl Milking A Cow, The Bonny Bunch Of Roses, Blind Mary, Bridget Cruise, Bridget Cruise 3rd Air, Bridget Cruise 4th Air, Lament For Owen Roe O'Neil, Inisheer Air, The South Wind.
Hornpipes: Proudlock's Hornpipe, Wicklow Hornpipe, Callaghan's Hornpipe, Chief O'Neil, Bantry Bay, The Rights Of Man.
Reels: Green Fields Of America, The Golden Keyboard, Temperance Reel, Jenny Picking Cockles, The Boys Of Ballisodare.
Planxties: Planxty Irwin, Planxty Hewlett, Planxty Kelley, Charles O'Connor, Morgan Magan, O'Hara's Cup, James Plunkett, Eleanor Plunkett, Fanny Power, Sir Festus Burke, Hugh O'Donnell.
Set Dances: The Blackbird, The Ace & Deuce Of Pipering
Jigs: Elsie Marley, Blarney Pilgrim, Swedish Jig, The Killmoulls Jig, The Humours Of Ballyloughlin, Irish Washerwoman.
Slip Jigs: Come Under My Dimity, The Humours Of Whiskey, The Kid On The Mountain, Gusty's Frolics.
Marches: Duke Of Fife's Welcome To Deeside, The March Of The King Of Laoise, Sir Sidney Smith, Brian Boru's March.
Carolan Compositions: Sheebeg An Sheemor, The Fairie Queen, Carolan's Concerto, Carolan's Receipt, Carolan's Quarrel With The Landlady, Carolan's Cottage, Carolan #179, Carolan's Farewell To Music.
Songs: Danny Boy, Mist Covered Mountains Of Home, The Castle Of Dromore, Will Ye Go, Lassie Go?, Medley: One Morning In May, Boys Of The Ould Brigade, Jock O'Hazeldean, My Mary Of The Curling Hair, The Gypsy Rover
Level 2/3 - 244 pages - Online Audio Links
Review: Excellent Celtic material. The accompanying CD is not as much of a stand-alone pleasure as some other books, but few Celtic acoustic books have so much to offer. The tablature is written a bit different from other books and is hard to read at first, but not a big problem. Even though not all tunes are on the CD, once you learn a few of the songs you quickly get a feel for how to play the others. A basic ability to read music helps alot for getting the timing down.
Each tune has a short description preceding that is very interesting and insightful. In some cases the book offers up to three different versions of a tune. I've found better versions of several of the songs here in other books, but there are also some superior arrangements here, and songs I've not seen elsewhere (yet).
I would highly recommend this book as part of a Celtic acoustic guitarists library. If you're not sure you want to delve into this area of guitar, you might try The Blarney Pilgrim first so you don't get overwhelmed. There's a ton of stuff in this one. Six months into it I've only memorized about four of the pieces. - Chiowhit/Amazon Customer Review
Review: It's a book you can spend a lot of time on... It contains a lot of songs, each one with a different mood: beautiful melodic pieces, quick jigs to be danced, dramatic marches, and so on...
The CD is very helpful and pleasant to listen to, even if it does not contain all of the songs of the book.
The difficulty of the songs ranges from very easy to very difficult. And you'll also find out some beautiful tunings for the guitar: DADGAD, CGDGAD,... If you like to play fingerpicking, it's a very good book, like all of the Grossman's publications. - Spinillo Patrizio/Amazon Customer Review
Review: A very useful study. This is a very nicely done book. For one thing, it covers the gamut of Celtic styles - airs, jigs, hornpipes, reels, planxties, and songs. For another, it uses arrangements from multiple players, which give a much wider sense of the potential and flexibility of Celtic fingerstyle guitar. In some cases, there are multiple arrangements of the same tune, in different tunings, by different arrangers. Which brings up that it is also a useful introduction to the power of alternate tunings AND the power of standard tuning to address this music. And finally, there are excellent essays on various relevant subjects throughout the book - some on guitar technique, some on music history, etc. And the skill range is helpful too, from nice beginner tunes to very advanced arrangements. - A super intelligent shade of the color blue/Amazon Customer Review