Nev contemplates the vast range of approaches from American guitarists of all genres...
Given that america is so vast it’s no real surprise that each state can throw up its own variant of a particular style. Look at the difference between new York and La jazz – the former is hard edged and mean, whereas the latter is generally smoother (huge generalisation, but you get my drift); and New Orleans, a different kettle of fish altogether (and, of course, the original).
it’s the same with blues. consider the country blues that began in mississippi. then compare it to what it transmuted into when those originators migrated up to chicago and went electric, turning it into the robust and often menacing style of muddy Waters and howlin’ Wolf. the two couldn’t be more different.
Back down in the south west in texas, they created their own distinct slant on the blues, adding fire and spirit, plus an extra helping of technical flash and visual showmanship. think of that famous t-Bone Walker pic where he’s doing the splits and playing his eS-250 behind his head. Fantastic stuff! Of course, chuck Berry (i write this on the great man’s 90th birthday!) took a leaf out of Walker’s book when it came to his playing and his stage antics. this month’s lead feature is all about the fabulous bluesmen that arose out of the Lonestar State. and what a roster it is: from the aforementioned t-Bone, to the brilliance of Freddie King, the slightly jazzier ‘Iceman’ Albert Collins; the firespitting Johnny Winter and his almost rock and roll blues to, of course, Stevie ray and brother Jimmie vaughan. But let’s not forget the likes of Billy Gibbons, chris Duarte, David Grissom and even the great eric Johnson. Jon Bishop examines their styles and more, and provides some fabulous licks to add to your blues repertoire. enjoy – and i’ll see you next month for another fun-filled GT!