A Download-Only Homespun Single Song Lesson
This classic blues song, originally played on piano and sung by the great Leroy Carr, has been recorded by everyone from Ray Charles to Nina Simone. There's even a wonderful version on banjo by Pete Seeger. It’s one of the most evocative and beautiful blues tunes ever written. Happy Traum’s version is based on both Big Bill Broonzy’s amazing late ‘50s recording and the one he was taught first-hand by his teacher and mentor, Brownie McGhee. You can hear Happy playing it in a solo performance (with bass accompaniment) in his recent CD, "Just For the Love of It."
This is a fairly standard 12-bar acoustic blues in the key of E, but with enough little twists and turns, riffs and solos, to make it really interesting. Happy shows you how to play the basic form and then how to improvise in a way that makes it your own. Any intermediate-level fingerstyle player should be able to get the basics, but it will take some perseverance (like anything else) to get it to performance level.