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.
The state of Texas has had a major presence in the Blues, from the earliest days of the recording era right on up to the present day. So many tremendous Blues musicians have hailed from Texas, i.e. Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lightnin’ Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, Freddy King. This DVD focuses on the Country Blues guitarists who first defined the Texas Blues sound and who put Texas on the map as a prime location in Blues Country.
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.
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.
Whether your favourite blues guitarist is Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Blind Blake, John Lee Hooker, Big Bill Broonzy, or Mississippi John Hurt, studying the basic techniques presented in this program is the first step toward being able to capture the essence of their traditional styles. In The Basics Woody Mann shows you practical ways to develop fundamental technique and offers you insights into the musical logic of blues guitar.