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.
This collection presents six legendary blues guitarists from the 1920s to early 1940s. Each has his own unique approach, style and techniques for playing. Some like Rev. Gary Davis favored regular tuning while Josh White was equally at home playing in Open D tuning as well as standard tuning. Lonnie Johnson is unique in his playing techniques as well as use of a D G D G B E tuning. Buddy Moss’s recordings influenced generations of Piedmont guitarist, especially Blind Boy Fuller. Bo Carter had one of the most unusual tonal approaches for playing blues, ragtime and novelty songs. And lastly there is Tommy McClennan. His recordings sound “rough and tumble” but once you explore the intricacies of his playing you will discover a powerful blues guitarists.
Titles and artists included are:
REV. GARY DAVIS Cincinnati Flow • Piece Without Words • Children of Zion • Twelve Gates To The City
BO CARTER Let’s Get Drunk Again • Nobody’s Business • Honey • What You Want Your Daddy To Do
BUDDY MOSS Oh Lordy Mama • Sleepless Night • Someday Baby (I’ll Have Mine
JOSH WHITE Crying Blues • Bad Depression Blues • High Brown Cheater • My Soul Is Gonna Live With God • Pure Religion Hallilu
LONNIE JOHNSON Away Down In The Alley Blues • Stomping ‘Em Along Slow • Blue Ghost Blues • There Is No Justice • Helena Blues • Sittin’
On A Log • Corn Bread Blues
TOMMY McCLENNAN Blues As I Can Be • I’m Goin’, Don’t You Know • Love With A Feeling • New Highway No.51 • Drop Down Mama
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
1) Listen over and over to the recordings available via download for this collection.
2) Get a program that can control audio files. Use this with the transcriptions and the recordings.
3) Be patient!! Practice and practice!! These are blues masterpieces and can take weeks or month or years to get under your fingers. But what fun it will be once you can play one of these instrumental.
Level 3 • 136 pages • Download Audio Files
Reviews: What do you get when you convene God’s ragtime picker (Rev. Gary Davis), the godfather of single-string soloing (Lonnie Johnson), a bona fide Mississippi Sheik (Bo Carter), the Piedmont gentleman Josh White, Georgian string king Buddy Moss, and gruff Delta holdout Tommy McClennan with Stefan Grossman? Stomping ’Em Along Slow, a big book valuably stuffed fat with Grossman’s painstaking note-by-note transcriptions of six-string bedrock blues. In all, the keys to 28 castles get given away, including Tommy’s stomping “New Highway 51 Blues,” Josh’s tumbling “Crying Blues,” and Bo’s “Let’s Get Drunk Again,” which pours out a gin-soaked rub-a-dub-dub line. For pure genius, though, Lonnie’s title track is the spectacular sound of corn popping from out of two guitars—that, in reality, is truly only one.
In addition, Stomping ’Em Along Slow’s 136 pages also include lyrics, artist biographies, a 1963 Lonnie Johnson interview and historic photographs (like that great shot of McClennan, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and an ultra-cool Elmore James caught mid-stride on a Chicago street in 1953). Most valuable, however, is the download link that unlocks access to the original historic recordings. That’s how you get one-on one time with the waterfall of notes that Rev. Gary dubbed “Cincinnati Flow Rag” or Buddy’s super-influential “Oh Lordy Mama,” a 1934 earworm that got stuck in the heads of everyone from Hooker to Basie to Cream. – Dennis Rozanski/Blues Rag