Julian Fauth

Wednesday Minor: : Early Piano Blues 2: The 1940s and '50s
Level: All/Intermediate
This class continues where the previous one left off, introducing piano players who were mainly active in the years around World War II (although some of them started recording earlier): people like Roosevelt Sykes, Little Brother Montgomery, Big Maceo Merriweather, Blind John Davis, Eddie Boyd, Memphis Slim, Sunnyland Slim, Mercy Dee Walton and Otis Spann. As in the previous class, we will hear some sample recordings of these people and learn a bit about their biographies and historical context. We will also look more closely at some classic songs that became part of the blues canon, and that piano players may find useful to know: songs like Big Maceo's eight-bar "Worried Life Blues" with its distinctive introduction, the "Forty-Four Blues" derived from Roosevelt Sykes and Little Brother Montgomery and played by Otis Spann (behind Howling Wolf) in a way widely considered the standard; Eddie Boyd's "Five Long Years" and classics by Memphis Slim such as "Messin' Around With The Blues" and "Mother Earth", often covered by later blues and rock musicians.