Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 445 #490)

I Ain't Got You!!!

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.
More next week!

Class Notes
  • Practice, grasshopper!
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew

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