Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Janis Joplin and the Delta Blues

No doubt, Janis was one of the greatest singers the past century produced. She was so rooted in the blues and paid beautiful respects to it in many ways - for instance, I believe it was her who financed Bessie Smith's tombstone. In the Typewriter Tapes, named as such b/c Janis was playing the typewriter as a percussion instrument!, she pairs up with her guitar player to record a few tunes that, aesthetically, present how she would have sounded as a contemporary of Patton or House! Awesome stuff.

Here she sings Hesitation Blues...


Thursday, 27 June 2013

1920's Kay Kraft FS

Hi all,

So, beginning in the next couple weeks, I've think I've finally reached a certain verdict...that is, I'll be selling my Kay Kraft. I figured I'd give you guys (if any of you are slightly interested) the heads up before I post it on eBay, locally, etc.

Basically, it's a wonderful instrument with little wear on the frets, and only the expected crazing on the body. The white binding on the neck is, for the most part, in great shape apart from about the first 2 inches starting from the nut wherein a previous owner has replaced the binding with a different material. Unlike mint condition Krafts, the headstock's mother-of-toilet-seat cover is 'long-gone' (in the words of the fellow I bought it from)...it was never an issue for me b/c I got it for the sound more than the collectibility, tho this would be important to note if you side more on the latter...The neck, all the way up to about the 15-17th frets, is impressively straight - perfect playability; however, beyond that, the fingerboard has begun to 'dip' down a tad towards the body...again, a non-issue from a playability perspective. The guitar's top is not totally perfect, but compared to other Krafts that I've seen, it's quite good. Very, very minor warping around the soundhole has taken place, tho I doubt, with diligent humidity control, it will move anymore.

Parts-wise:

I'm 99.9% sure that the guitar is all original. The body is, I BELIEVE, solid mahogany on top and laminate mahogany on the back and sides. The guitar stays in tune absolutely fine, the frets and fingerboard are in great condition.

My real/no-shit opinion on the guitar:
It's THE shit for fingerstyle country blues...that is no lie. For picking tunes like Last Steam Engine Train, Stackolee, Poor Boy, etc, this guitar slays my 1932 Gibson L-00, the Stella I had, and Gibson J45's that I play in stores. Is it as fine in quality and versatility as a brand-spankin' new J45? Perhaps not. But, in the territory of fingerstyle blues, it's absolutely unique and I daresay unbeatable - you have my word that I'm not speaking out of my ass.

Price-tag: $650 + shipping in one of those old, paper-like 'hard' cases. I'll be diligent in packing it very safely.

Perhaps you guys have seen/heard me play the gweet.. - if not, here's a little sample of how it sounds...



Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Friday, 21 June 2013

My Hometown's Flooded...

Hey folks,

So, strangely, the city wherein I dwell is beginning to look a lot like Atlantis - never a good thing...evacuations are being made throughout the city as Calgary faces the worst flooding in its history. Our hockey stadium which seats almost 17 000 people has been filled up with water to the 10th row, the tigers of the submerged city zoo are being held in the courthouse, homes are literally flowing down the city's Bow/Elbow rivers, and 70% of my friends' houses are likely to be totaled by the time it's all said and done. Luckily, my house is a little higher up in elevation so I'm kind of in the clear (although, drinking water, etc is said to be in short supply.)

Anyhow, I hope you fellas are faring slightly better than us folks over here! Just to keep festive with all the disastrous shit going down, here's John:


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Tommy Johnson Lesson: Cool Drink of Water Blues

Here's a little lesson on Tommy Johnson - someone who, prior to this, I have not done a lesson on. Check it out, see what you think. It's a nice little tune to learn!



The Wolf

Man, Howlin' Wolf was a true Delta bluesman...as I'm sure you all know, he served his apprenticeship with the greatest Delta bluesman of all time: Charlie Patton. I feel like this recording demonstrates that...

  1. Howlin' Wolf was a BADD mutherfcker
  2. If Patton, RJ, Son House, BWJ, etc were recorded half-decently (like this), I would...I would...I don't even know...
...sigh...


http://www.last.fm/music/Howlin'+Wolf/_/Ain't+Goin'+Down+That+Dirt+Road\