Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 373 #417)

My Babe!!!

The continuing discussion of My Babe was led by Shoji Naito as we examined the enormous impact the song had on music of that era, particularly the form and chord progression.

Shoji took us through several notable examples, starting with Diamonds At Your Feet by Muddy Waters. The influence of My Babe is unmistakable as are the masterful stylings of Little Walter on a chromatic harp. The extensive “button” work by Walter was also notably similar to his work on Don’t Go No Further - so much so that Shoji speculated that the two songs may have been recorded in the same session.

The next song up was It's Too Late Brother by Little Walter. In the majority of My Babe renditions, the solo keeps the form, but not in this tune which stays on the one chord for 24 bars.

The third song, This Train, was played and sung by (Old Town School Founder!) Big Bill Broonzy. As great as this version is, Joe pointed out that the biggest hit was probably the one performed by Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Even Elvis recorded this tune…once again unmistakably influenced by My Babe.

Departing from “melody” examples and focusing on the unique 16 bar form/chord progression of My Babe, Shoji pointed out the influence of even more great songs including:
  •  Careless Love covers by Ronnie Johnson and George Lewis
  • One Chance With You by Little Walter (Note the 12 bar solo and “Quick V”)
  • Help The Poor by BB King (This solo is a bridge)
  • I Got A Woman by Ray Charles
  • Amazing Grace - “Amazingly” similar, only in ¾ time
If that wasn’t enough, Joe played Amazing Grace in 4/4 time over Shoji’s guitar work with a My Babe rhythm… and it sounded fantastic!!

Because of Shoji’s remarkable knowledge of both music and the blues, we left the room with a feel for how the My Babe form shows up in so many familiar tunes.  Thank you Shoji for a great learning experience!

Filisko Music Projects!!!

On The Move
Joe and Eric just completed a new CD, entitled ‘On The Move’. After a year of preparation and hard studio time, Joe said he is thrilled with what promises to be the most exciting release yet from the dynamic duo. Sneak preview… for half of the tracks, an upright bassist turns the duo into a trio!

To add to the excitement, our own harp virtuoso, Grant Kessler, contributed the design and photography.

2014 Individual Artists Program
The goal of the DCASE Individual Artists Program is to discover, nurture, and expand Chicago’s individual artists. Through this grant program, DCASE will award grants to Chicago-based artists over 18 years of age, at all career levels and working across numerous disciplines. 

Eric Noden is one of the talented recipients this year and faced with a tight deadline, he quickly pulled together a band including Joe Filisko on harp, Kenny Smith on drums and E.G. McDaniel on bass.

After only one rehearsal, this full-throttle project recorded 6 tunes each, in two back-to-back recording sessions… finishing in “record” time.

Class Notes
  • Joe reminded us that he is on tour the last Monday of this session and the first three of the next session.  Shoji will be out two Mondays in that same period and RickEy will be out on one of them. Joe assured everyone that classes will be held and Zoe, Grant and the B1 Band will be ready to step in.

- Al Taylor, B1 Blues Crew