Joe did a quick recap of the amazing session we had with David Barrett last week, stressing these two key points David made:
- The more active you play, the softer you need to play; the more repetition you play, the louder you can play.
- Phrasing trumps chord changes.
Back then to the study of Evans Shuffle!
Remember that this tune, named in honor of a DJ who was a fan of Muddy Waters and Little Walter, was based on the Joe Liggins swing vocal tune, The Honeydripper. This was a popular tune at the time and Walter's taking it up as an instrumental is no accident - it is clearly done with the understanding that audiences like to hear tunes and melodies they know.
Joe pointed out numerous phrases in these pages of the transcription where you hear Walter directly quoting the original but it is also interesting to note that in a case like page 4, he opts for the blusier flat seventh. Listen to Liggins and you'll more likely hear the major seventh happening in this phrasing.
Thanks to Highway RickEy conversation turned also to a discussion of Walter's counting. It's a one chord tune and you can count it a number of ways, but to RickEy's ear there are various length phrases, usually in groups, and they have varying lengths. Joe pointed out that Walter was often accused by other musicians as having "bad timing" but likely what they really meant was that he counted irregularly (ie he had bad meter).
Of course "bad" is subjective - Juke had "bad" meter but was a number one hit! You be the judge!
Two other thoughts from Joe - consider this song as a possible solo piece if you're working on it and also, be sure to check out Walter Horton's version, titled The Honeydripper.
18th Recital CDs!!!
Bring your cash next week - the 18th Recital CDs will be for sale in class!
For anyone interested in bluegrass and country blues, Joe recommends you check out the CD Rural Dwellers by John Henry. It is especially applicable to students in Joe's rhythm and chording class so check it out!
Shoji Naito and the Chicago Blue Aces!!!
Shoji is part of the Old Town School guitar concert this Sunday, June 17 and he's pulled together a great Muddy Waters tribute set. Come hear our masterful guitar playing friend lay down the Muddy sound with support from Highway RickEy, Corporate Kirk Manley, Joe Filisko, Grant Kessler and Gavin Tun.
- Last class of this session is next week - re-up!
There were harp players everywhere for the blues festival! Huge kudos to the Windy City Blues Society for featuring harp so much on their stage. Omar Coleman played some great harp, laying down melody and tasty lines in service to the song - love to see him making music! He had Ivan Marcio and Lamont Harris sit in as well on his set. Next up, Harry Garner hosted and we heard from Tom Albanese, Scott Dirks, Lamont Harris, Joe Filisko, Corporate Kirk Manley, Deak Harp, Harp Dog and others who are escaping us now.
Meanwhile Billy Branch was playing some lowdown blues with Sam Lay, Bob Corritore was on various stages and in the clubs and of course our very own, newly christened "Mr. Jeff" Filisko* played the big stage with Kenny Smith and friends, all in tribute to the Muddy Waters extended blues family.
It's been a great blues harmonica week!
* We got a kick out of Mud Morganfield referring to Joe as "Mr. Jeff". Joe takes it in stride and was just thrilled Mud wanted him to keep playing!
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew