If ever there was a player who deserves to be venerated as a true living blues guitar maestro, here is the guy. He pulls off razzle-dazzle stuff that virtually nobody else can muster.
If ever you hear people say that the old blues are crude and primitive, let them hear some of the best of the best, the intricate ragtime guitar pickers of the golden era, like Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, or amazing jazzy blues guitar solo-stylists like Lonnie Johnson. Almost every blues fan in the early stages asked the perennial question when hearing these string giants, “Yeah, but who is the other guy playing with him?” Of course, there was no “other guy.” Those mind-boggling “muscianers” were brilliant super virtuosos, en par with the best musicians of all times in any genre. They played such intricate and complicated fingerpicking with a walking bass beat on the top strings and snazzy solo lines on the treble strings while miraculously playing melody in the middle that it sounded like a string ensemble. Most guitarists today just marvel at their breathtaking demigod skills and even those daring mortals who attempt to emulate those maestros can spend a lifetime working at it and just get “pretty good” – but there are a few people on the planet who come close to mastering the styles of those geniuses of bygone days.
Foremost among them is a diminutive guy in Pennsylvania who is really an acoustic guitar monster, the biggest meanest of them all, the Sauroposeidon of the acoustic blues guitar. They failed to include him in the Rolling Stone Top 100 best guitarist list, but don’t let that fool you. It shows you what they know. Ari Eisinger was left off because only he plays old, archaic, unpopular music.
Close your eyes and listen to Pennsylvania bluesman Ari Eisinger play and sing and you will enjoy a thoroughly rewarding musical experience. You will believe unquestionably that he is the walking reincarnate of the old time ragtime pickers. He plays with such dazzling, seemingly effortless mastery, feeling every nuance and inflection while effortlessly whipping out the most complicated fingerpicking patterns. You will think there are three people playing and he not only hits every note, he plays so beautifully, so heartfelt and stunningly, all you can do is gasp for air. Realistically, within all reason and without doubt, Ari Eisinger gets as close to perfection as any player on the planet when it comes to mastering the old ragtime & country blues style.
Considering that he was the most popular male blues recording artist of the 1920s, we know surprisingly little about Blind Lemon Jefferson. He recorded over 100 sides for the Paramount label from 1926 to 1929 and died in mysterious circumstances in Chicago in December of 1929. He inspired a generation of bluesmen but had few imitators due to the complexity of his guitar playing and the distinctiveness of his high clear voice. Tom Shaw, a bluesman and friend of Lemon from the 1920s said this about his playing: "Lemon was strictly a bluesman... And he was the kinda bluesman you didn't have every day on the street. He was the king. Wherever he pull his guitar out, he was the king there. Wasn't no use for anybody else to come up talkin' about playin' against him, 'cause they couldn't even do what he was doin' - all they could do was look and wonder how in the hell he done it."
In this lesson Ari Eisinger explains the secrets to Lemon's playing technique and style. He teaches five of Blind Lemon's most popular and intriguing arrangements phrase by phrase and note by note.
Titles include: Matchbox Blues, Black Horse Blues, Yo Yo Blues, Bad Luck Blues and One Dime Blues
95 minutes - Level 3 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: Tough love! Lemon Jefferson's idiosyncratic song arrangements are tasty little gems. Ari Eisinger walks you through Lemon classics in A, C and E, note for note (literally). It's a bit overwhelming at times but well worth the effort. Lemon used the full fretboard, so in addition to getting a handle on these tunes, you will be learning how to get around on the instrument. Want to know where Lightning Hopkins and Freddie King got their moves? Check out Lemon. - Blackhorse/Amazon Customer Review