Singer/Guitarist Brownie McGhee and his life-long musical partner, blind harp-man, Sonny Terry are best known as champions of the "Piedmont"-style blues pioneered by artists such as Blind Blake, Blind Willie McTell and Blind Boy Fuller. In the 1960s, they became icons of the folk-blues revival. The recording presented here however showcase a different chapter of the story. This is a collection of raw and rocking jump blues cut between 1947 and 1955 for juke boxes in black beer joints and dancehalls by the New Jersey-based Savoy Record company. Essential blues recordings from two of the genres' most revered artists.
In 1959, John Lee Hooker signed a one-off deal with the Riverside label to record an acoustic session of the country blues. It was a key change from his earlier recordings, most of which had featured Hooker on an electric guitar with his trademark reverb and stomping foot. Folk purists of the day were delighted with COUNTRY BLUES, believing Hooker had returned to his roots, leaving the "glitzy commercialism" of R&B behind. But some Hooker fans considered COUNTRY BLUES a "betrayal" of his true sound. The truth is probably somewhere in-between. Remember, John Lee Hooker is always John Lee Hooker, regardless of the format. If you like Hooker, or acoustic blues, buy this album. It is an intimate session featuring standards like "How Long", "Bottle Up and Go", as well as Hooker's first recorded take on "Tupelo", one of his all-time classics.
DVD One: Mississippi Delta meets Memphis country and goes electric! Jim Weider shows how the most influential electric blues and country guitarists got their powerful sounds. Includes the Delta, Louisiana and Cajun-inflected tones of James Burton, Roy Buchanan, Muddy Waters, Lonnie Mack, Keith Richards, Jerry Reed, and others, plus technique building exercises and ideas, and jam-alongs with the band. 90-MIN.
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.
First up is Big Bill Broonzy pulling out all the stops for a smokey bistro set in '56 and '57, followed by a Roosevelt Sykes studio session from '61. Songs include The Honeydripper; Night Time Is the Right Time; Sweet Old Chicago; House Rent Stomp; Saturday Night Blues; Guitar Shuffle, and more.
Although Hammond had already recorded electric material, he went back to a solo acoustic format for his fourth album, accompanying himself on guitar and harmonica on faithful interpretations of standards by Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, John Lee Hooker, Sleepy John Estes, Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, and Bo Diddley. If it sounds a bit unimaginative and routine today, one has to remember that the general listening audience was much less aware of these artists and songs in the mid-'60s. Hammond did a commendable job of rendering them here, with fine guitar work and vocals that were a considerable improvement over his earliest efforts.–by Richie Unterberger