Watch the Route 103 online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from Essentials: Fingerstyle Blues

The main notion in this tune, that you can get a lot of mileage out of the top three strings even while holding down a low G, was no doubt influenced by “Spike Driver Blues,” Mississippi John Hurt’s version of the John Henry story. Originally recorded in 1928, “Spike Driver Blues” was one of two John Hurt songs included on the Harry Smith Anthology of Folk Music in the 1950s and as such was a huge influence on folk revival musicians of the 1950s and 1960s. Hurt’s tune stayed on G throughout; ours includes a double turnaround that will take us through D7 and C7, alternating the thumb the whole time.