Mokai discusses Blind Blake … an important American recording artist at the dawn of the recording industry. Blind Arthur Blake is an unsung American hero. One of the first successful artist of the modern era, he died unnoticed outside of African-American society. His remarkable songs are musical masterworks. His first sides, where he burst fully formed onto the stage with flawless performances, display so much virtuosity they still leap of the record 80 years after the fact. In addition to his stellar guitar playing, Blake’s singing is finely modulated, full of pathos and humor.
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I had been playing fingerstyle blues for many years before I ever heard the term ‘piedmont blues.’ I had gravitated towards a group of players that included Blind Blake, the Reverend Gary Davis, and Brownie McGee, looking for songs that I felt comfortable singing, without knowing they were all from the same region. There’s certain vulnerability to piedmont blues, and an inspired joy within the piedmont guitar rags. Later I became aware of the geographical significance of the ‘Piedmont’, the eastern seaboard between Richmond, VA and Atlanta, GA. I was drawn particularly to the playing of Blind Blake, who had a disarming quality to his singing.
Here’s a really unique acoustic guitar blues by Blind Boy Fuller.
This is video is from the YouTube channel of ‘Ragtime Dorian Henry’, who has taken over 1800 blues and ragtime recordings and made them into video soundtracks. You can listen to it all in playlists–an incredible educational resource for anyone interested in finding out about authentic, early 20th century blues. Dorian is a teenager from France who has been doing research on the blues, and is doing what he considers a public service “sharing this music with the whole world”.
Do not go to YouTube if you value your life. There is too much there and yes, you will be enriched, but your laundry will never happen. Amazingly, there’s even lots of content for people like me who obsess about pre-war era acoustic guitar blues. I just found this insane channel where someone even more […]
Obsessed With Guitar
Mokai on Fingerstyle Guitar
- Acoustic Guitar
- Fingerstyle Blues
- Folk Music
- Great Folk-Blues Players
- Guitar Obsession
- Modern Fingerstyle Players