How to Play Blues Guitar

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Nathan Bush
Released during the peak of the mid/late-'60s folk boom, Stefan Grossman's debut, How to Play Blues Guitar, finds a young guitarist paying his respects to the music that inspired him. A student of Reverend Gary Davis and later Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt among others, Grossman learned his blues from the source. Here, his fluency is proven through a tour of country-blues melodies and themes from standard fare like "Corrina, Corrina" to three James numbers and Grossman originals rooted in the tradition. He is joined by an amicable cast of instrumentalists and vocalists that share the stage on the majority of the material. The most suited of the group is ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Nathan Bush
Released during the peak of the mid/late-'60s folk boom, Stefan Grossman's debut, How to Play Blues Guitar, finds a young guitarist paying his respects to the music that inspired him. A student of Reverend Gary Davis and later Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt among others, Grossman learned his blues from the source. Here, his fluency is proven through a tour of country-blues melodies and themes from standard fare like "Corrina, Corrina" to three James numbers and Grossman originals rooted in the tradition. He is joined by an amicable cast of instrumentalists and vocalists that share the stage on the majority of the material. The most suited of the group is multi-instrumentalist Sam Mitchell who fleshes out Grossman's effortless, syncopated fingerpicking with ever pertinent melodies from his own mandolin, fiddle, and slide guitar. The vocal tracks that make up the bulk of the performances are fine, though rarely more than reverential, ranging from the authentic replications of Jo Ann Kelly to the dry but steady work of Mike Cooper and Mickey Baker. The notable exceptions are the contributions from Delta blues great Son House on "Yonder Come the Blues" and "New Pony Blues." Essentially a remake of "Walking Blues," the former proves that, over 30 years after he made his first recordings, the singer was still capable of wringing new emotions out of a well-worn theme. Occasional instrumentals represent Grossman's early attempts at incorporating the blues vernacular into a six-string style of his own. Though one might not know what to make of a title like "Assassination of John Fahey," the composition finds Grossman closest to achieving those ends. Though the album's 23 performances may fail to cohere as an album per se, they serve as a document of the guitarist's roots while pointing the way to his future explorations.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/1/1991
  • Label: Shanachie
  • UPC: 016351980120
  • Catalog Number: 98001
  • Sales rank: 69,998

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Stefan Grossman Primary Artist, Guitar
Mickey Baker Guitar, Vocals
Jo Ann Kelly Vocals
Sam Mitchell Fiddle, Mandolin, Steel Guitar, Slide Guitar
John Renbourn Guitar
Son House Vocals
Paul Rowan Harmonica
Mike Cooper Guitar, Vocals
Technical Credits
Skip James Composer
Bukka White Composer
Stefan Grossman Producer
Bob Dylan Composer
Bo Chatmon Composer
Nic Kinsey Engineer
Mitchell Parish Composer
Sonny Terry Composer
J. Mayo Williams Composer
George Winston Composer
Anita Karl Cover Design
Paul Carter Composer
Traditional Composer
Archie Gordon Composer
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