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 used tunings for many of my original compositions and in this series I present seven compositions that show some of the possibilities that I have discovered.
The first lesson we delve into the open G tuning and the original three part composition Lullaby For Anna. This is followed by an arrangement of The Carter Family’s Working On The New Railroad.
The Open Gm tuning is one that I have long favored. It is ideal for many settings and in this lesson we look at three blues oriented instrumentals – Capricorn Five, Lament For A Goodman and Keeper Of The Vine.
Our last lesson continues our explorations into the Open Gm tuning with two blues suites: Sparkling On The Wind and The Three Kingdoms (The Vamp Of Oblivion).
Level 2/3 • 24 page tab/music book with three compact discs