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Thread: Blues, Stomps & Rags #10

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default Blues, Stomps & Rags #10

    Steve James (b. 1950) is a contemporary blues mandolin player. Born in Manhattan, he began teaching himself guitar at twelve, using his father's blues records for inspiration. He's now recognized as an outstanding blues/bottleneck guitarist. In the early 1970's, James moved to Tennessee, where he purchased his first mandolin at a pawn shop, and quickly began playing blues. He was influenced by Tennessee blues musicians, and, after moving to Texas in the late 70's, by Texas blues musicians. Steve James has done a great deal of touring, and played alongside many outstanding blues musicians, including the mandolinist, Howard Armstrong (see "Blues, Stomps, & Rags #7"). He is presently a luthier, operating "Steve's Guitar Store" in Seattle, and an outstanding blues mandolin player, still touring and teaching.

    Steve James has made a number of recordings, and done considerable touring. He has provided important teaching aids, including on-line tutorials, his book with MP3's, Roots and Mandolin Blues (String Letter 2010), and his DVD's, Learn to Play Blues Mandolin 1& 2 (Homespun). Unfortunately for mandolin players, but not guitar enthusiasts, his recordings and online videos tend to highlight his excellent guitar playing. However, here he is playing his own blues composition on mandolin, from his first instructional DVD. (If the connections don't work, search YouTube for "Saturday Night in Jail -- Steve James & John Sebastian".)

    This next video is more complicated. For Steve James playing the same tune on a resonator-mandolin, with Del Ray, go to the following site, which shows a half-hour TV show. The video begins at 0:50 on the counter. Steve James comes on at 1:55, with fine acoustic guitar playing. His mandolin tune begins at at 17:09. (If the connections don't work, search YouTube for "Horses Sing None Of It 375 Steve James w:Del Ray 3-9-06".)

    Finally, here's Steve James playing Charlie McCoy's Lonesome Train (see "Blues, Stomps, & Rags #1"), again from Learn to Play Blues Mandolin #1, on banjo-mandolin (If the connections don't work, search YouTube for "Lonesome Train - Steve James & John Sebastian".)

    Last edited by Ranald; Jun-03-2018 at 10:33am. Reason: hadn't connected videos
    "It's just music; you can't break it."

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