Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What Did You Miss This Week (Week 393 #438)

Crosscut Saw Study!!!

Joe had a couple very early tunes from Tampa Red for us to listen to regarding Crosscut Saw. First up, True Love which seems to be a mashup of rhumba and shuffle. Recorded in 1952, the drums are on top of that straight eighth groove, but the horns, perhaps being swing jazz players at heart, are playing triplets, so it's a little bit of a quirky song groove-wise.

A year later, Tampa Red recorded the iconic Rambler's Blues, this time with Walter Horton blowing killer first position stuff and the rhumba groove is solid. For Joe, the recording of this on December 4, 1953 marks the earliest known blues harp recording of a rhumba. Joe offers both the transcription as well as a tab of the rhumba bassline in first position here. One more interesting note on this tune - Shoji points out that bar 2 is NOT a quick IV but rather a V chord.

Ronnie Shellist
We have a special guest visiting B1 next Monday, March 23, so come catch Ronnie Shellist with his buddy Gerry Hundt next week. All harmonica students and friends of B1 are welcome!

"Ronnie Shellist has been honing his harmonica skills for the past 20 years.  His musical career began in 1997 working with singer/songwriter Hugh Fadal from Austin,TX.  Blues great Gary Primich, living in Austin at the time, was a huge influence on his music as well.  Guy Forsyth and Walter T. Higgs were other big blues/harmonica influences at the time in Austin. "If it weren't for those guys, I never would have pushed as hard as I did to learn how to get that sound out of my harp". His style is a combination of mostly Chicago and West Coast blues influenced by funk and jazz as well."

Class Notes
  • Joe will miss sessions in April on the 6th, 13th and 20th. Private lessons will not take place but all Level III and Performance classes will proceed as normal with sub help from Zoe, Grant and Shoji.

Joe describes Harmonicology like this:

"Going back a few years I started a class at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music called "Harmonica Rhythm & Chording". My goal was to have a class actually work for ALL playing levels. My motto is and has been, IF YOU CAN BREATHE, YOU CAN PLAY THE HARMONICA and IF YOU CAN BREATHE WITH RHYTHM, YOU CAN PLAY MUSIC ON THE HARMONICA. Harmonicology is the result of that class."

And now you can catch Harmonicology in action on YouTube!

- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew