Here's the intro to Mississippi Fred McDowell's 'Gravel Road Blues' a lovely little song based on a very simple blues lick, the whole thing is built around the minor 3rd and the flat 7.. playing on that minor / major tonality in the blues. Have a listen to his version! Such a wonderful groove which really swings and pulls its weight from beat 1 onwards. Its in open G tuning with the capo on the 1st fret.
Here are the opening 4 bars to Willie Brown's master piece 'Mississippi Blues' - recorded on the LSF-59 library of congress LP. The intro features these great chord inversions and a lovely descending bass line make sure you check out the rest of the song as its got some great alternating bass and contrapuntal guitar lines.
Here is a great little outro lick to get round your fingers! Its taken from Willie Brown's masterpiece 'Ragged and Dirty' which can be found on the Library of Congress record LSF-59. If you want to play along to the record make sure you stick the capo on the 7th fret. Its got some great stuff in that song that I'm still getting my head around so no doubt we'll probably revisit this one later in the year!
This week I decided to look at arguably Robert Johnsons most famous song - Kind Hearted Woman Blues. I love the changes between the Dom7, Dim7 and Min6 all derived from one simple chord shape. These chord changes have become pretty much synonymous with blues guitar and are a must to learn for any budding blues guitarists! Have fun!
This awesome little lick comes from the intro of 'Terraplane Blues' - one of Robert Johnsons' big hits selling 5000 copies when it was first released. Its a great song littered with lots of sexual innuendo and metaphor about his car not working properly anymore. I expect he used to play it with a slide in open A tuning E A E A C# E with a capo on the 2nd fret, but I'm playing it in standard with a capo on the 3rd fret. This is mainly because I suck at slide and altereed tunings!
For this weeks #DeltaBluesMonday I've looked at the into to 'From Four Until Late' by Robert Johnson. It was made famous by Eric Clapton and is a great example of Robert Johnson playing around with the blues. The harmonic movement from C7 - F/A - Fm/Ab - G7 is very reminiscent of rag time guitarists like Blind Blake, Big Bill Broonzy or Lonnie Johnson. Make sure you listen to the original to get an idea of the swing and groove in the the 4th measure.
This intro to 'Sweet Home Chicago' contains all of the classic Robert Johnson turnaround patterns. It moves between the I-IV-I-V chord changes in the two measure phrase and uses that classic shuffle rhythm. I love the chord voicing for the B7 chord too - the 5th in the bass really adds a lot of dirt to the chord. Check out Robert Johnsons 'Sweet Home Chicago' here: https://youtu.be/O8hqGu-leFc
This week I've decided to amalgamate a bunch of licks from the fingers of Ishman Bracey into a 12 bar blues. This is like a short hand version of what he plays for the song 'Saturday Blues'. I love the way it moves between swung and straight and is really heavy on the downbeat.