Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 389 #434)

Dust My Broom!!!

Yes, the song of the session is Sweet Home Chicago by Junior Parker, but last night Shoji took us through a tour of songs that have all seem to hang together and influence each other...starting with Elmore James' Dust My Broom.

First off, check out the harp playing on Dust My Broom from Sonny Boy II. Saying it sounds like what we heard last week on Junior Parker's Mother In Law Blues would be an understatement. And don't forget the Robert Johnson songwriting lineage here.

Next we listened to Elmore James and Sammy Myers doing Look On Yonder Wall where you hear the descending guitar intro that appears on Junior Parker's Pretty Baby...only done better by, perhaps, Pat Hare.

Which brings us to Pretty Baby. Listen to the solo and notice that it is the Dust My Broom melody. Shoji proceeded to play a bunch of tunes for us that carry this melody through, both from harp players and guitar players - Junior Wells and Buddy Guy doing Sweet Home Chicago, as well as the Aces doing the tune. Speaking of the Aces - Louis Myers mimics the Pretty Baby guitar intro here and the guitar solo copies the Junior Parker harp solo from Sweet Home Chicago.

Confusing?! Yes. All these songs that share and swap bits of a couple songs must mean something, but what?

The answer - play the melody. Know song melodies and you show respect and awareness for the song. Otherwise, "you're just playing another shuffle in E."

Welcome to the Sweet Home Chicago song family.

Congratulations to Jason Ricci!!!

Jason played on the recent Johnny Winter CD, Step Back, so our recent B1 guest is a Grammy award winner!

Class Notes
  • No Shoji next week, so keep your 8pm performance tunes straightforward for the band. 
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew