Much of the extremely rare performance footage presented in this DVD has never before been publicly seen and documents the diversity of a music which was as personal as a fingerprint yet as universal as the blues itself. John Jackson, Pink Anderson, Rev. Gary Davis and the charismatic Josh White manifest different aspects of the rich Piedmont ragtime/blues tradition.
Thirty-five years have now come and gone since the 'rediscoveries' of the blues revival startled us with their corporeal presence. IT seems little short of miraculous that so many of the greatest pre-War bluesman were found ready, willing, and able to recreate the passion of their youth's music for a moving Last Hurrah. Now they are, to a man, gone, making the window which briefly shown into their world all the more precious. That these men were filmed in performance is fortuitous for us today; they need no longer be disembodied voices.
As a genre, blues music was developed at the beginning of the twentieth century by rural black musicians. They shaped it with brilliant inspiration from disparate elements of black song. By the early 1920's, recorded urban performers solidified the standard three-verse, 12 bar meter structure that has identified most blues. Fortunately, during that same period , there were recorded musicians who grew up with the blues and whose guitar-styles were more fluid and improvisational.
This DVD presents rare and historical recordings from 1965-1970 of some of the greatest exponents of this blues technique. Black bottleneck guitar styles were probably initially inspired by lap-style Hawaiian slide guitar which enjoyed immense popularity shortly after its inception in the mid-1890s. By 1903, it was already in vogue in Mississippi (and probably elsewhere) according to testimony from W. C. Handy, Gus Cannon and others. Although particularly popular in Mississippi and Louisiana, bottleneck styles could be found the length and breadth of the rural South.
This DVD lesson has been designed to help beginner and intermediate students of fingerpicking country blues guitar improve their playing skills and increase their repertoires using an alternating bass technique. Stefan Grossman illustrates and explains in detail ten fingerstyle arrangements in the keys of C, D, E, A, G and F. These popular blues and ragtime songs come from the playing of Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Mance Lipscomb and Elizabeth Cotten. Each tune is discussed and taught phrase by phrase and played slowly on a split screen so that you can clearly see what each hand is doing. A detailed 44 page tab/music booklet is included with this lesson. Tunes include: My Creole Belle, Louis Collins, Oh Babe Ain't No Lie, All My Friends Are Gone, See See Rider, Sugarbabe, Monday Morning Blues, Candyman, Sister Kate and The F Rag.
Woody Mann teaches the song forms and techniques of early American folk and blues guitar styles. Acclaimed blues performer and educator, he teaches five blues songs based on the playing of such originators as Charley Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson, Big Joe Williams, Scrapper Blackwell, and Tommy Johnson. Written for the near beginner to intermediate student, each song illustrates the techniques and approaches of these innovators in a clear and easy to understand arrangement of a classic theme in open G, open D, and standard tuning. He also teaches rhythmic fingerpicking, left-hand damping, brushing and percussive right-hand techniques and syncopating a melody. Songs include:Delta Blues For Patton, Jackson Moan, Blue Daze, Shuffle Blues In G, Bullfrog Groan, Technique And Variations.
Woody Mann teaches the sounds and techniques of the classic ragtime blues guitar style. Inspired by the early masters such as Blind Blake, Big Bill Broonzy, Rev. Gary Davis, and Blind Boy Fuller, Woody has written original tunes that break down the complexities of the music into clear and playable instruments. He illustrates syncopated picking techniques, chord embellishments, rhythmic bass lines, classic ragtime riffs and demonstrates how to attain the characteristic swinging sound of ragtime blues. Songs include: Midtown Fling, Late Morning Blues, Manhattan Rag, Country Buck, Mr. Blake's Dance, Technique And Variations
Woody Man teaches five repertoire building songs arranged for the intermediate fingerstyle guitarist. Inspired by Woody's favorite traditional blues tunes, these easy to follow arrangements teach a variety of acoustic blues styles and sounds. Each song spotlights a specific technique for developing fingerpicking skills, rhythmic grooves and dynamics in your playing. Songs include:Along The Alley, Minnie's Spanish Blues, Feeling Bad Blues, New Old Devil, Rambling Blues.
Open tunings have always been an integral part of the Country Blues Guitar tradition. In this approach the guitar is tuned to a full chord. Most blues players began playing the guitar in an open tuning as it made playing much easier yet gave the guitar a much stronger and richer sound. For a minimum of effort you can produce a maximum of sound, rhythm and music.