Bar Room Blues: “Tin Pan Alley”

Bar Room Blues is an exclusive series of video guitar lessons by Steve “Red” Lasner covering classic blues songs from historically great guitarists like B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, Buddy Guy, and many others. A new lesson will be released each week, so be sure to subscribe and check back often! Also, if you want more guitar lessons like these, be sure to check out Red’s Guitar Sherpa class.

Turns out this song has an interesting history! Most folks know this song from Stevie Ray Vaughn’s 1983 version titled “Tin Pan Alley (aka Roughest Place In Town).” Surprisingly this song also traces it’s roots back to the 30’s. The first song with the title “Tin Pan Alley” was cut by pianist Curtis Jones for Okeh in 1941. Lyrically this is a different song but the melody is similar. This song is a close kin to “Bad Avenue Blues” which was cut by Jones in 1937 for Bluebird. The song may have been based on an earlier song about a rough neighborhood by pianist Walter Roland as “45 Pistol Blues” for ARC in 1935. The song we know today stems from Jimmy Wilson’s doom laden “Tin Pan Alley” cut for Big Town in 1953 and credited as being written by record man Bob Geddins who operated a number of small West Coast labels. Other notable versions were cut by Johnny Fuller as “Roughest Place In Town” (1956), James Reed’s “Roughest Place In Town” and Ray Agee’s “Tin Pan Alley” for the Sahara label (1963). My personal favorite versions are Little Milton’s version and Stevie Ray Vaughn’s version. Some versions are in major keys while others are in minor keys, the SRV version is in a minor key and my version is in a minor key as well.

In this video guitar lesson, I show you how to play this classic song on guitar in your own style. Check it out.

Video Guitar Lesson

Jam Track

http://truefire.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/tinPanMp3.mp3

Chart

Click here

Bar Room Blues is an exclusive series of video guitar lessons by Steve “Red” Lasner covering classic blues songs from historically great guitarists like B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, Buddy Guy, and many others. A new lesson will be released each week, so be sure to subscribe and check back often! Also, if you want more guitar lessons like these, be sure to check out Red’s Guitar Sherpa class.