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 Blues has been called The Devil's Music. It can be played in many different ways. Each brings a different dimension to this timeless musical form. In this lesson we travel the roads and byways of the South in search of various approaches to translate this musical form to the strings and frets of your guitar. From Atlanta to the Mississippi Delta, from New Orleans to Texas, this lesson presents diverse and exciting fingerstyle blues techniques and styles.
We explore the steady alternating bass of Mississippi John Hurt's Ain't Nobody But You Babe to the rough and tumble playing of Son House's Banty Rooster in an Open G tuning. Barbecue Bob's melodic Mississippi Heavy Water Blues with it's repeating bass line motif is rearranged to a partial Open G tuning (D G D G B E) and combines the Atlanta blues sound with that from North Carolina. We get a taste of New Orleans and a more sophisticated approach for the playing of the Ray Charles hit Let's Go Get Stoned. We end our journey with Goin' Down Slow. A steady bass played blues in A with melodic lead lines but played in dropped D tuning, a technique taught to me by Mance Lipscomb.
Each tune is taught phrase by phrase and played slowly on a split-screen. A detailed tab/music booklet is included as a PDF file on the DVD. The Bonus Audio section includes source recordings.
Titles include: Mississippi Heavy Water Blues, Banty Rooster, Ain't Nobody But You Babe, Let's Go Get Stoned and Goin' Down Slow
109 minutes - Level 2/3 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD