In the song “Georgia Bound“, Blake is in fine form as he sings evocatively of the Eastern Seaboard region known as the Piedmont, where he was from, bringing out the sounds and rhythms of his youth, the real Piedmont blues he had learned as a kid.
Tag Archives | history of the blues
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.
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.
The Blues, and roots acoustic blues in particular, covers a lot of ground. With so many regional styles and so much history, its a complex landscape to describe. If someone were to ask me ‘what’s the difference between Country Blues and Folk Blues?‘ I’d say ‘Woah, don’t let classifying the music be a distraction from […]
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Mokai on Fingerstyle Guitar
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