We continued our study of I Ain't Got You this week by looking at the Jimmy Reed transcription.
First, a quick look at the history of the two versions:
- July 1955 Jimmy Reed records I Ain't Got You on Vee Jay Records
- October 1955 Billy Boy Arnold records it on Vee Jay
- February 1956 the Billy Boy version is released
- 1960 Jimmy Reed version released
Which makes the question of whose song this is murky.
In any case, the harp playing from Jimmy Reed is worth digging into:
- His tone lacks hand technique because he played in a rack, but notice the richness of the dirty notes played as a way to make up for that.
- He has great pitch control on the bends.
- Catch that cool IV chord lick on page two.
- Theory says he's on thin ice with that 3rd scale degree over the IV chord on page three, but it works because of his phrasing.
- Practice, grasshopper!