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Guitar Artistry of Paul Geremia

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  • Artist: Paul Geremia Publisher: Vestapol
    Hard Copy   $24.95  Item Number:  Vestapol 13109

    Guitar Artistry of Paul Geremia

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    Paul Geremia is possibly the greatest living performer of the East Coast and Texas fingerpicking and slide styles. He has been called a national treasure. John Hammond says that he’d drive a thousand miles to see Paul play. “When Paul plays Leadbelly, you can close your eyes and swear that it is Leadbelly himself.”

    Paul has created a style which is very much his own combining his interpretations of the music of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Scrapper Blackwell and Blind Blake. Paul’s superb recordings have made him a critical favorite and place him firmly among the legends who inspired and influenced him over the past four decades.

    Titles include: Tootie Blues, Rising River Blues, Cat Man Blues, Kill It Kid Rag, Statesboro Blues, Stocking Feet Blues, Leaving Blues, Silver City Bound, Death Don’t Have No Mercy, Meet Me In The Bottom, Pony Blues, Scrapper’s Scraps, Wonderful Affliction, My Kind of Place, Kicking In The Country, Still Thinking About You and Little Silver Airplane

    Running time: 100 Minutes

    Review: The Paul Geremia disc is filmed in the identical manner as the Block session. Geremia came to acoustic music much as a college student. He first played harmonica and learned guitar by watching the guitarists. He was inspired to play guitar after he attended a workshop led by Mississippi John Hurt in 1963.

    Geremia spent a lot of time during the 1960s in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he met and performed with fellow musicians such as Tom Rush, Jim Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur, and Tim Hardin. Through Dick Waterman he also met bluesmen such as Skip James and Son House. Geremia talks about his admiration for the music of Blind Willie McTell and Blind Lemon Jefferson and he impressively performs some of their material.

    A natural storyteller, Geremia recalls the time he asked Howlin’ Wolf and his band to his apartment for a party after a show and then was shocked when they actually showed up. He affectionately recalls his time spent with Pink Anderson, who along with Roy Book Binder, helped get the South Carolina songster much deserved late recognition. Geremia still leads a troubadour’s life driving himself all over the country, including frequent trips to Europe, performing gigs at major festivals as well as intimate coffee houses and bars. – Living Blues/Bob Tilling

    Review: Paul Geremia is an unforgettable guitarist. He learned music and built his career the old-fashioned way: watching and listening to great blues artists, hitchhiking and driving to play where he could, and continuing to improve for decades on end – just plain dedicating himself to the art. He shares engaging details on the DVD The Guitar Artistry of Paul Geremia, part of the Stefan Grossman Guitar Workshop series. His modest, low-key narrative resumes between the songs that make up the DVD’s large and satisfying set of on-camera performances.

    The songs are blues classics Geremia sings to his guitar self-accompaniment, sometimes adding harmonica, with astonishing guitar solos in every song. Blind Willie McTell’s "Statesboro Blues," Blind Lemon Jefferson’s "Stocking Feet Blues," a fine tune by Geremia himself about an airplane that went down off of Block Island (Rhode Island) carrying some people who had attended a performances he gave on the Island: Those are a few of the DVD’s well-chosen tunes. We quickly see that guitar -- 6- and 12-string of several varieties -- is Geremia’s life. An adequate blues vocalist, he sings mainly to showcase his guitar playing, which is indisputably superb.

    Consistent with the video’s gimmick-free production, a seated Geremia is seen always holding a guitar, with a couple more guitars lying on the floor nearby, in front of a blue-curtain background, with no one else ever seen or heard. The disc’s extras are just a list of alternating song and speaking tracks to select from. That’s fine -- nothing else is needed. Blues lovers, guitar aficionados, and struggling beginning musicians are sure to find this unique DVD both educational and moving. – Soundstage/David J. Cantor

    Review: Paul Geremia is my favorite of the contemporary Country Blues artists, both for his singing and guitar / harmonica stylings and also for his original songs. On this video he not only plays 17 songs, but also talks about his study of the music and his songwriting. The photography is beautiful, and the sound is perfect. While I'm thrilled that I got to see Paul live once, this is almost better both because you can play it over and over, and because the camera angles allow you to kibitz his playing a bit. Not that I'm all that likely to cop some licks, but you never know! He plays both 'six and twelve string blues,' which is a subtitle of this collection. John Hammond says he'd drive a thousand miles to see Paul play, and I doubt that he's kidding. This video could save you a bunch of gas money, but go anyway, if you get the chance! Highly recommended!  – Blues Review


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