Blues is a terrific medium for following the 'bloodline' of a song or even just licks and phrases. Starting with a 1945 version of Joe Liggins' vocal tune The Honeydripper, Joe talked about instrumental harp versions of the tune and led into Sonny Boy Williamson I's take on the groove and head, Mellow Chick Swing! Get that one draw, two blow thing happening and add the vamping for percussion - it's hip and can be great background accompaniment too.
Joe also commented that bars five and six of the solo, page 3, may be the first recording of half and whole step bends on the three draw being used skillfully - prior to this, much of what harp players did was first position and didn't milk the bends.
Joe's own take on this one and two hole percussive rhythm is to be found in his study track, Lock Jaw Blues.
Did we say "percussive" enough times to make our point?!
Some of us can only wonder what goes on aboard the blues cruises! Our buddy Tim Spahn shares this photo which we think is priceless! If you need to know more about Rick Estrin's stylish attire, check out his instructional video or Clothes Line!
Joe is renewing the call for the Bring A Song concept. If you have a song you're working on or would like professional help with, bring it to class so Joe, Shoji and Rickey can help you understand it. We'll discuss the harp playing but also give you a solid understanding of what the other instruments are doing, what the groove is and how you might arrange the tune for yourself.