Playing and singing country blues guitar is no easy task. It's just you and the box summoning up the requisite guitar parts, singing the melody and maintaining a solid groove. No drummer. No bass player - just you and your guitar. Independence, repertoire, technique, timing and endurance comprise the essential skill set for authentic fingerstyle country blues guitar. Playing and singing the material in Dirt Road Blues hones these skills like nobody's business.
We exalt the value of this volume of guitar lessons primarily because of the man behind it — Paul Rishell. For those of you new to country blues guitar, Rishell has played and swapped tunes with Son House, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and Howlin' Wolf amongst many other giants of the art form. A bona fide torchbearer of the country blues tradition, Rishell has studied, performed, recorded and taught the form for 45 years. Paul and his partner Annie Raines (who blows some extremely mean harmonica on a couple of the performances herein) recorded "Moving to the Country" together, which won a W.C. Handy Award for Acoustic Blues Album of the Year. Suffice to say, you're in good hands with Dirt Road Blues.
Rishell diligently guides you through 16 handpicked tunes to cover a wide variety of the feels, rhythms and techniques that are characteristic to country blues guitar. You'll learn how to play all of the guitar parts, rhythms and requisite techniques for "Down the Dirt Road Blues" by Charley Patton, "Shake 'em On Down" by Tommy McClennan, "Low Down Rounder" by Peg Leg Howell, "Sweet Jivin' Mama" by Blind Blake, "One Dime Blues" by Blind Lemon Jefferson, "Rag Mama Rag" by Blind Boy Fuller, "Trouble Blues" by Scrapper Blackwell, "Black Horse Blues" by Blind Lemon Jefferson, "Custard Pie" by Blind Boy Fuller, "Hunkie Tunkie" and Keep it Clean" by Charley Jordan, "Step it up & Go" by Blind Boy Fuller and four Rishell originals; "Vanessa," "Louise," "I'm Gonna Jump & Shout" and "Blues on a Holiday."