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.
Playing guitar with friends has been a great joy and inspiration to me. Over the last 40 years I have been so fortunate to have recorded with some great guitarists, i.e. John Renbourn, Larry Coryell, Mickey Baker, Sam Mitchell, Duck Baker, Rory Block, Mike Cooper and Tokio Uchida . This collection puts together some of these tracks.
Track Listing: (click on tracks for mp3 sound samples)
1. Idaho Potato w. John Renbourn
2. The Shoes of the Fisherman’s Wife Are Some Jive Ass Slippers w. John Renbourn
3. Spirit Levels w. John Renbourn
4. Sunset on Soweto w. Larry Coryell
5. Bottleneck Blackout w. Larry Coryell
6. Tightrope w. Stefan
7. Tomorrow w. Stefan
8. Juicy Lucy w. Mickey Baker
9. Ragtime Mama Blues w. Sam Mitchell
10. Big Bill’s Shuffle w. Duck Baker
11. From Berne To Perth w. Duck Baker
12. Kicking Up The Dust w. Duck Baker
13. Tribute to Lonnie Johnson w. Tokio Uchida
14. Shining Shadows w. Tokio Uchida
15. Crow Jane w. Rory Block
16. Pony Blues w. Rory Block
17. Bottleneck Serenade w. Mike Cooper
18. Friends Forever w. Mike Cooper