Friday, 29 June 2012

Skiing...slightly unrelated.

Once in a while, I suppose, it's good - health-wise- to actually leave the box that we live in (or maybe it's just me) to become aware of the non-music related things in the world. One of my buddies at school is a really awesome skiier. Actually, during a drive up to Lake Louise one day this past season we talked all about the similarities between music and skiing...the notorious badassery of Lead Belly, the godliness of Coltrane, etc while I was told stuff that I now forget about skiing.

Anyhow, this is an edit he made of some great skiing...bound to entertain anyone!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Blues Lesson Ideas?

I'm thinking of making some videos this week. I've been trapped by school exams for the past while so I haven't filmed too much.

I'm trying to think of some tutorials to do...anyone have some ideas?
So far, I've got Moon Going Down, One Dime Blues, Depot Blues, and Prodigal Son (Wilkins' version) on the list. Anything else? Email me or

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Robbie Basho: the Golden Shamrock

One of the greatest of the so-called primitivist guitarists, Robbie Basho was a contemporary of John Fahey. As a student of the legendary Ali Akbar Khan, Basho created his own frontiers by incorporating east-Indian sounds and techniques alongside his own sonic inventions.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Huddie Ledbetter playing Gallis Pole

The greatest songster of ALL time - and the 20th century's most interesting and badass personality. Lead Belly's one of my idols...the unbelievably furious fingerpicking in Gallis Pole speaks for itself...

PS: I found out from a friend of mine, by accident, that Kid Cudi covered Lead Belly's Where Did You Sleep Last Night. I don't even know how to describe that...bizarre, surprising, hilarious??

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

What Kind of Guitars the Old Bluesmen Played

With many blues musicians, it's such an obscure thing to wonder what kind of guitar, for instance, Frank Stokes used for his old recordings. Luckily though, a fantastic resource is available to check these things out. Dai Thomas on compiled an amazing list of countless country bluesmusicians' gear throughout their careers. It can give you some great ideas if you're thinking of making a new guitar purchase, as well! The entire site itself is really nice to check out - see what you think...

- Supposedly, Blind Lemon Jefferson and his Oahu guitar

Lesson on I Shall Not Be Moved

Patton's rendition of I Shall Not Be Moved is good dampening btw. A fellow blues slider requested this one and it's a good one to know if you're a Charlie Patton fan.

PS: the guitar's still for sale!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

1920's Oscar Schmidt Stella for Sale

If anyone's interesed in having a vintage blues box, I've got a First Hawaiian Conservatory Stella Oscar Schmidt for sale on eBay (or message me):

Neil Harpe on his website usually has these going for around 1K or more...I was thinking around $750 plus shipping (considering the unoriginal parts, etc). Message me if you're interested. I'm not strict with the price.

Pictures here:

Monday, 18 June 2012

Jack O' Diamonds Lesson

This is a great old Texas blues for the first recording goes to Blind Lemon Jefferson. Interestingly, Blind Lemon's 1926 recording of this tune (his only recording with slide guitar) is the earliest known recording of bottleneck blues.

Mance Lipscomb's version is great stuff, too. It's a different arrangement; whereas Blind Lemon's rendition is very dark and moving, Mance's is much more uptempo with a single-note bassline in Texas blues fashion. Check it out - it's a nice tune to know.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Lesson on Prayer of Death Pt. 1

Another lesson on a great Patton tune. Playing Charlie Patton slide on this one is difficult because you've got to be sooo delicate in order to get his sound/tone - particularly on the top string. Give it a try and see how it goes!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Muddy Waters Lesson on I Can't Be Satisfied

Here's a new lesson on this Muddy Waters tune. Whenever you play Muddy Waters on guitar, think 'cat-scratch''s advice from Johnny Winter so it must be true haha! The nice thing is that once you learn this tune, you'll understand a lot of the moves that Muddy would regularly use so try out other tunes.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Sol Hoopii and Hawaiian Slide Guitar

Players like Sol Hoopii, Bennie Nawahi, Sam Ku West were huge influences on American popular music during the 1920's when they all came over to the west coast from Hawaii so I thought it would be nice to take the time to revisit these guys.

Actually, there are some who even think that the main source of slide guitar in pre-war blues actually came from this Hawaiian steel guitar craze! Personally, I think this is doubtful - take for instance, W.C. Handy at the Tutwiler train station seeing an anonymous bluesman using a pocketknife slide as early as 1903. Still though, there is no doubt that Hawaiian music had its effect on the blues...Blind Willie Johnson used a First Hawaiian Conservatory Stella guitar. In fact, you can even tell that musicians like Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby styled their singing upon how Hawaiian steel guitar was phrased.

Here's a sample of this great music...

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Derek Trucks Slide Lesson

Here's a quick little lesson on how to execute Derek Trucks' eastern style licks on a single string. Sliding up and down one string can get crazy so the key is to understand how to properly manipulate your left-hand thumb so that you've got much more control and accuracy. I hope I managed to somewhat convey that! If you've got any questions, just let me know!

A John Fahey Tidbit

Hopefully, everyone here is familiar with John Fahey. Early on, he was known for discovering the great country bluesman, Bukka White...he later discovered great players like Leo Kottke, as well. It seems to me he lived a sort of eccentric genius sort of life - always searching for new sounds yet afflicted with a bizarre mental-state.

There are some people who think that Fahey played the same thing on every track of every record he made, and, to be honest, on some albums there might be some merit to that - but, there are truly unique gems that Fahey recorded that you've just got to find! His music cannot be categorized...once I realized that, I finally understood what Duke Ellington meant when he said, "there are two kinds of music. Good and bad!" This is one of those gems that Fahey recorded - Impressions of Susan. Enjoy it!