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Music of Bessie Smith

By Fred Sokolow

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Guitar (fingerpicking)
Composed by Fred Sokolow. Boxed, Solos. Grossman Guitar Workshop. Blues. DVD. Duration 98 minutes. Published by Grossman's Guitar Workshop (MB.GW510DVD).

Item Number: MB.GW510DVD

Blues. 5.25 x 7.5 inches.

In the 1920s and 30s, Bessie Smith was the 'empress of the blues.' Her passionate singing and performing style and her songwriting influenced all the blues and jazz singers that followed. Many of the songs she popularized, both blues and 'tin pan alley' tunes, have become standards in blues, jazz, rock and pop music. Songs in this collection have been recorded by artists as diverse as Eric Clapton, Leadbelly, Billie Holiday, Chet Atkins, Bing Crosby, David Lee Roth, Big Bill Broonzy, B. B. King and Sam Cooke. They're great tunes for guitar pickers, and Fred shows you how to back yourself up singing them and how to fingerpick instrumental versions of six classics. With his explanations of the arrangements, split-screen, slowed-down versions of the songs, and with the tab and music in the PDF booklet on the DVD, you'll learn how to play St. Louis Blues, Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out, Backwater Blues, After You've Gone, I Ain't Got Nobody and the sensational Send Me To the Electric Chair.The songs sound terrific on guitar, and with Fred's instruction, the arrangements are easy to follow. A 1920s film of Bessie Smith singing St. Louis Blues is featured at the end of the lesson.

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