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 Mississippi Delta of the 1920s-1940s was a treasure chest of powerful blues performances. For the intermediate guitarist.
Lesson One: Two famous Delta blues in the key of E. Willie Brown's M&O Blues and Tommy Johnson's Bye Bye Blues.
Lesson Two: Willie Brown's Future Blues in an Open G tuning (D G D G B D) presents many of the hallmark licks that were also used by Willie's two close friends: Charlie Patton and Son House. Mississippi John Hurt played totally differently in the Open G tuning and we discuss his arrangement of Frankie.
Lesson Three: Recorded in 1942 by Alan Lomas for the Library of Congress, Willie Brown's Mississippi Blues (a different Willie Brown then the one presented in our first two lessons) is an unusual Delta blues played in the key of A that imitates the popular piano blues of its time. This unusual arrangement has become a standard in todays fingerpickinge repertoire. We conclude this lesson with a discussion of various blues licks in A.
Level 2/3 • 16 page tab/music book with three compact discs