Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What Did You Miss This Week (Week 408 #453)

Song of the Session - Got My Mojo Working!!!

Shoji's talk last night focused on the history of our study song and also on other versions and similar songs you should listen to.

Remember that Muddy Waters did not write this song - Preston Foster did and Ann Cole covered it first. Shoji shared the recording of her doing it. The tune is clearly very similar, though we hear that Muddy added the chorus part.

Speaking of the evolution of the song, Shoji also points out that toward the end of the released Muddy take, you hear Otis Spann on piano improvising some hits that most of the rest of the band don't play. Later, in the James Cotton solo (one he repeats in performances) you hear that the second chorus of his solo goes to those hits and the whole band is right there with him. This improv from Spann becomes a solid part of the song.

There is only one Little Walter recording of him playing on Mojo, the released take. But there are other tunes with the same or similar groove that Walter plays on. Listen to these and "steal" ideas: Crazy Legs, Tell Me Mama, It Ain't Right and I Got To Go (admittedly in third position).

It's also worth listening to other performers - catch Junior Wells on Two Headed Woman and, per RickEy's suggestion, Corky Siegel with Siegel Schwall Band doing Angel Food Cake. And don't miss Jimmy Reed on Big Boss Man (slower version of the same groove) and Shame Shame Shame.

Listening to Little Walter play on Mojo you might come away with the idea that you have to play busy on this song. Not true, Shoji intones - you can definitely apply simpler phrases like you hear Jimmy Reed doing, and Shoji and the band demonstrated good examples of this.

Class Notes

  • No-Joe-Working! Yup, Joe will be out of town next week teaching at Augusta. Grant will be away too, so expect Shoji and RickEy teaching in the Performance class and Zoe and Shoji will have you covered in the Level III classes. Remember in Level III to be prepared to tell Zoe what you're working on.
  • For those registered for the 8 o'clock Performance class, this eight week session will end with a multi-track recording session. This is your chance to get a tune worked out and well-recorded with the band, so spend time this session polishing something towards your demo disc! Remember you are definitely free to partner with others in the room if you need accompaniment, horn lines, or vocals. 
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew

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