featuring David Laibman, Eric Schoenberg, Leo Wijnkamp Jr., Larry Sandberg, Woody Mann, Dale Miller, Tony Marcus & Tom Gilfellon
“Stefan Grossman, one of the finest of the East Coast guitar pickers, has put together a collection of some classic ragtime pieces. It's a wonderful album, demonstrating all the light, easy, exciting sounds of ragtime. All the players perform with authority and the commitment that master musicians have. In Leo Wynkamp's ‘Grace and Beauty Rag’ and Eric Shoenberg's ‘Piano Roll Blues’ the players perform the walking bass and play tingling high strings with great feel and expertise. Woody Mann's ‘Tenth Street Scratch,’ his own composition, has the great funk, slapping bass, and drive of the down and dirty, and David Laibman's ‘Nola’ is magic, up and down the neck with great grace. This is a perfect record far those interested in contemporary ragtime techniques; if you're not, it's still great.” – Come For To Sing/Edward Mark Holstein
Track Listing: (click on tracks for mp3 sound samples)
1. Wild Cherries* - David Laibman
2. Maple Leaf Rag - Tony Marcus
3. Grace and Beauty - Leo Wijnkamp Jr.
4. The Old Piano Roll Blues* - Eric Schoenberg
5. Grandpa Spells - David Laibman
6. At A Georgia Camp Meeting* - Leo Wijnkamp Jr.
7. Buck Dancer's Choice - Larry Sandberg
8. 10th Street Scratch - Woody Mann
9. Oh Papa - Eric Schoenberg
10. Nola* - David Laibman
11. Living In The Country* - Eric Schoenberg
12. Original Rags - Tom Gilfellon
13. Black Berry Rag - Dale Miller
14. Slippery Elm - Eric Schoenberg
15. Dill Pickle Rag* - Eric Schoenberg
16. Somebody Loves Me - Dale Miller
17. Bye Bye Blackbird* - Dale Miller
Those tunes marked with a star (*) are included in the tab/music PDF booklet on this CD.
You will need Adobe Acrobat (a free download) to open and print this file from your computer.
Review: Most people's knowledge of ragtime doesn't go past a few classic Scott Joplin compositions, and practitioners of the style today (not to mention composers) are few and far between. However, there has always been a small cadre of guitarists devoted to playing traditional and original ragtime tunes, and most of them are quite good at adapting the highly syncopated musical form to an unlikely instrument. Contemporary Ragtime Guitar is one of the few compilations devoted entirely to ragtime guitar and, although the guitar may seem too limited to accommodate all the intricacies of a music developed on the piano, these musicians not only succeeded through inventiveness and determination, they also managed to breathe new life into the genre.
Contemporary Ragtime Guitar, originally released in the early 1970s, was the first record put out on Kicking Mule records by acoustic guitar practitioner Stefan Grossman , who found a large underground movement dedicated to ragtime guitar. This record compiles contributions from a handful of guitarists who have mastered the intricacies of syncopation and counterpoint that ragtime features. One look at the bewhiskered, long-haired fellows in the liner notes says these guys may spend more time wood-shedding than out in public; one listen to the CD provides a dazzling array of ragtime tunes of surprising diversity.
The liner notes don't tell whether or not the tunes featured here are originals but, with the exception of songs like "Maple Leaf Rag" which most everyone knows, all sound like fairly new compositions, so either the players are breathing new life into old chestnuts or are gifted at composing tunes in the idiom. Nothing sounds old timey; when played on guitar, ragtime shares a lot in common with other more familiar acoustic modes featured on other Guitar Workshop releases. As an added bonus for guitar players, several of the tracks are available as tablature in PDF files for study.
This music has been out of print for so long that it would be impossible to find on vinyl, but fortunately this terrific music is back in print and sounding better than ever.Complete Ragtime Guitar is one of the most hallowed artifacts of the finger-style guitar heyday. – Dave Rickert, All About Jazz