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
Review: "Let's Go Get Stoned - Fingerpicking the Devil's Music" is codeword for a classic drinking song (the Let's Go Get Stoned part) followed by four blues (the Devil's Music part). Stefan Grossman cracks their five codes, from chords to licks. Although most famously tied to 1966 Ray Charles, "Let's Go Get Stoned" is so enticing that its gin-soaked invitation has rung out in psychedelic garages (the Amboy Dukes) and stronger-than-dirt blues joints (Big Mama Thornton). From post-bop fretboards (John Scofield) to 2017 stages packed wall-to-wall with the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, too. "Mississippi Heavy Water Blues" serves up a meaty slab of Barbecue Bob, slathered with vicious bass-string snaps. "Banty Rooster" was part of the rhythmic currency traded inside shotgun shacks around the Delta. Charley Patton, Big Joe Williams and Honeyboy Edwards all had their own working version. Grossman's version, however, traces straight to Son House in all of its heaving, foot-stomped Mississippiness. So know that you're second in line, having learned from Stefan, who learned directly from Son. Grossman also plays medium between you and Mississippi John Hurt, another of his enviable face-to-face tutors. "Ain't Nobody But You Babe" is prime under-the-counter Hurt: Less known, but no less genteel and melodically gorgeous. Lastly, you're privy to the secret 'Mance Lipscomb tuning' that, enriched by a variety of plug-in solos, drives the blues' bluest workhorse, "Goin' Down Slow." – Dennis Rozanski/Blues Rag