Folklorist, ethnomusicologist and musician Alan Lomax once said, "You can't kill off a culture until you kill the last person who carries it." That statement resonates deep within Tom Feldmann as for nearly half his life he has carried on the traditions of the acoustic country blues and gospel music recorded in the 1920's and 30's.
Minnesota native Tom Feldmann taught himself to play guitar at age 17 after hearing the recordings of the pioneers of acoustic country blues and states, "Mississippi John Hurt taught me to pick, Fred McDowell taught me to play slide and the mighty Son House taught me to sing." His debut solo album was released in 1999 and Tom has since spent the years writing, touring and recording his own original gospel compositions as well as carrying on the tradition of solo acoustic country blues.
Over the last few years, Tom has shifted the focus of his attention from his own writing to the music of the many legendary bluesmen that inspired him to pick up the guitar all those years ago. This journey has resulted in a series of CD's, starting with Tribute (2010) and now continues with Lone Wolf Blues (2012). It also resulted in a string of instructional DVD's for Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop that have received rave reviews and distribution around the world.
featuring Bobby Grant, Lead Belly, Blind Willie McTell, Barbecue Bob, Curly Weaver, Charley Lincoln, Bo Weavil Jackson, Ramblin' Thomas, Furry Lewis, Peg Leg Howell, King Solomon Hill, Sam Collins, Kokomo Arnold, Tampa Red, Blind Boy Fuller and Bumble Bee Slim
The blues recorded from the late 1920's thru late 1930's is certainly some of the most vibrant sounds in American music history. It seems that anyone and everyone could and would be recorded which created a catalog of stylistic diversity unmatched to date. The technique of using a slide, whether a metal tube, glass bottleneck or a knife was used by many of these early bluesmen.
This lesson offers a look into the players from that era that used this technique. Many had only one or two patterns by which they played but we have the great fortune of gleaning from them all, creating a well rounded grasp of the genre. Tom Feldmann is a master of this style and in these two DVDs, of over four hours, he breaks down the complexities of this way of playing.
Songs range from beginner to advanced. Most songs have a mixture of chords and fingered notes in addition to the slide, making this a great lesson for those looking to expand their knowledge of the bottleneck/slide technique as well as the Open D and Open G tunings.
A detailed tab/music booklet is included as a PDF file on each DVD. In addition the original recordings of all the tunes are included.
Titles Include: OPEN G TUNING: BOBBY GRANT Nappy Headed Blues LEAD BELLY C.C. Rider BLIND WILLIE MCTELL Love Changing Blues BARBECUE BOB Yo Yo Blues CURLEY WEAVER No No Blues CHARLEY LINCOLN Depot Blues BO WEAVIL JACKSON You Can't Keep No Brown OPEN D TUNING: RAMBLIN' THOMAS Shake It Gal FURRY LEWIS Falling Down Blues PEG LEG HOWELL Skin Game Blues KING SOLOMON HILL Down On My Bended Knee SAM COLLINS The Jailhouse Blues KOKOMO ARNOLD Rainy Night Blues TAMPA RED Boogie Woogie Dance BLIND BOY FULLER Homesick and Lonesome Blues BUMBLE BEE SLIM No Woman No Nickel
247 minutes • Level 2/3 • Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: The sixteen Masters Of Bottleneck Blues Guitar chosen as role models here are not the usual suspects. That's incredibly refreshing news for guitarists looking to better their game. Because, for his four-hour how to DVD lesson, re-creation extraordinaire Tom Feldmann intentionally dove down into country blues history for its deep tracks. And that makes all the difference. Not only do such colorfully unsung heroes as Salty Dog Sam Collins, Bumble Bee Slim and Curley “Georgia Guitar Wizard” Weaver get to impart their technique. But six-string jewels as exemplary as “The Jailhouse Blues,” “No Woman No Nickel” and “Rainy Night Blues” boost repertoires with true distinction. Plus, you'll be able to regale audiences with back-stories like how the fantastically slurping “Nappy Headed Blues” is one half of Bobby Grant's total lifetime discography. Or that Peg Leg Howell (of “Skin Game Blues” fame) earned his nickname no thanks to an enraged brother-in-law's shotgun blast. And that Barbecue Bob really was a master at smoking both Atlanta ribs and his “Yo Yo Blues.” From the softly sweeping glides behind Furry Lewis' “Falling Down Blues” to the bunched bursts inside King Solomon Hill's oddball “Down On My Bended Knee” to the old razzle dazzle of Tampa Red's “Boogie Woogie Dance,” Feldmann instructively picks apart this wild, prewar menagerie (the originals of which are all safely locked up as bonus audio material). – Dennis Rozanski/Blues Rag