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.
I have learned a great deal from the weekend workshops we conduct at my home. From these I realized that our taped guitar lessons were missing a basic series. What was missing was a repertoire of more arrangements played in an alternating bass technique. These three CDs focus on 10 arrangements that will help to reinforce your fingerpicking control. Plus they are fun to learn and play!
Lesson One: Sugarbabe (key of E), Take A Whiff On Me (key of D), It Won’t Be Long and Salty Dog (key of C).
Lesson Two: Longer arrangements are presented in the keys of A, C and G. Sister Kate (key of D); Oh, Babe Ain’t No Lie (key of C) and Spoonful (key of A).
Lesson Three: Elizabeth Cotten’s Shake Sugaree (key of G) and her Delia (key of C). Struttin’ Rag (key of E).
Level 2 • 24 page tab/music book with three compact discs
Review: Favorite basic guitar fingerpicking instruction If you have only one guitar instructional CD/tab book, this is the one to have. A fine collection of blues standards with original recordings and Grossman's TAB translations. Material includes basic and more complex Piedmont style picking of these familiar tunes. A very good place to begin for guitar fingerpicking instruction by a leading guitar teacher with demystifying TABs. Sure to please developing blues guitarists and a nice selection of original folk-blues guitar pieces for everyone. – Rick Merwin/Amazon Customer Review