World's Largest Sheet Music Selection


Women of the Country Blues Guitar

By Erin Harpe

Be the first! Write a Review

Guitar - Intermediate
Composed by Erin Harpe. DVD. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc (MB.GW858).

Item Number: MB.GW858

5.25 x 7.5 inches.

Although the fingerstyle delta blues of the 1920's and 1930's was mostly male-dominated, there were a number of women who emerged in the style early on. The best known and influential was Memphis Minnie, who recorded over 200 songs from 1929 to 1959. Her performances and songwriting made her well known in a genre associated with men. In this lesson Erin takes you through some of Memphis Minnie's early material in Open G (Spanish tuning) i.e. Can I Do It For You, Where Is My Good Man At, What's The Matter With The Mill, When The Levee Breaks, as well as a few in Standard tuning. Erin also gives an overview of other early-accomplished guitar-playing blues women including Geeshie Wiley, Elvie Thomas, and Jesse Mae Hemphill. In March 1930, Geeshie Wiley and L.V. Thomas (named as Elvie by the record company) traveled from Houston, Texas to Grafton, Wisconsin, to make recordings for Paramount Records. They recorded together a handful of country blues masterpieces. Erin teaches both Motherless Chile and Pick Poor Robin Clean.

Mattie Delaney is thought to have come from Tchula, Mississippi. She recorded only two songs in 1930 for Vocalion Records. Very little is known about her but her playing and singing was masterful. Erin teaches Mattie's Down The Big Road Blues played in Open G (Spanish) tuning.

The last woman blues player featured is Jessie Mae Hemphill. She was born in Como, Mississippi in 1923 and began playing guitar at the age of seven. Her first recordings were field recordings made by the blues researcher George Mitchell in 1967. Her I'm So Glad is a fine example of Mississippi Hill Country blues.

A detailed tab/music booklet is included as a PDF file on the DVD. Each tune is taught phrase by phrase and played slowly on a split-screen. Bonus audio tracks of the original recordings are included.

Titles include: MEMPHIS MINNIE I'm a Bad Luck Woman, Nothing In Rambling, Can I Do It For You, Where Is My Good Man At, What's The Matter With The Mill, When The Levee Breaks * MATTIE DELANEY Down The Big Road Blues * ELVIE THOMAS Motherless Chile * GEESHIE WILEY Pick Poor Robin Clean * JESSIE MAE HEMPHILL I'm So Glad.

Running time: 124 minutes.

Close X

I am a music teacher.