Error message

Deprecated function: The each() function is deprecated. This message will be suppressed on further calls in menu_set_active_trail() (line 2394 of /home/kelvis/bluesguitarlessons.tv/includes/menu.inc).

Lonnie Johnson: Away Down the Alley Blues

This is a fantastic piece and maybe hard to categorize. I put this into the Texas Blues section rather than Delta.
The Video Here is a person playing a cover of Away Down The Alley, he does a good job on this
beautiful Blues Piece. I will have a video Lesson uploaded soon. The PDF has the TAB and a embedded movie.
Johnson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and raised in a family of musicians. He studied violin, piano and guitar as a child, and learned to play various other instruments including the mandolin, but concentrated on the guitar throughout his professional career. "There was music all around us," he recalled, "and in my family you'd better play something, even if you just banged on a tin can."[5]

LONNIE JOHNSON pioneered the single-string solo guitar styles that we are accustomed to hearing today in rock, blues and jazz music.

By his late teens, he played guitar and violin in his father's family band at banquets and weddings, alongside his brother James "Steady Roll" Johnson.[6] He also worked with jazz trumpeter Punch Miller in the city's Storyville district.

In 1917, Johnson joined a revue that toured England, returning home in 1919 to find that all of his family, except his brother James, had died in the 1918 influenza epidemic.

He and his brother settled in St. Louis in 1921. The two brothers performed as a duo, and Lonnie also worked on riverboats, working in the orchestras of Charlie Creath and Fate Marable. In 1925 Lonnie married, and his wife Mary soon began to pursue a blues career in her own right, performing as Mary Johnson and pursuing a recording career from 1929–1936.[8] She is not to be confused with the later soul and gospel singer of the same name. As is often the case with early blues artists, information on Mrs Johnson is often contradictory and confusing. Many online sources give her name before marriage as Mary Smith, and state that she began performing in her teens. However, author James Sallis. gives her single name as Mary Williams, and states that her interest in writing and performing blues material began when she started helping Lonnie write songs, and developed from there. Curiously enough, the two never recorded together. They had six children before their divorce in 1932.

Success in the 1920s and 1930s[edit]
In 1925, Johnson entered and won a blues contest at the Booker T. Washington Theatre in St. Louis, the prize being a recording contract with Okeh Records. To his regret, he was then tagged as a blues artist, and later found it difficult to be regarded as anything else. He later said, "I guess I would have done anything to get recorded – it just happened to be a blues contest, so I sang the blues." Between 1925 and 1932 he made about 130 recordings for the Okeh label (many were good sellers). He was called to New York to record with the leading blues singers of the day including Victoria Spivey and country blues singer Alger "Texas" Alexander. He also toured with Bessie Smith's T.O.B.A. show.

In December 1927, Johnson recorded in Chicago as a guest artist with Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five, paired with banjoist Johnny St. Cyr. He played on the sides "I'm Not Rough", "Savoy Blues", and "Hotter Than That." In 1928 he recorded "Hot and Bothered", "Move Over", and "The Mooche" with Duke Ellington on Okeh Records;[12] he also recorded with a group called The Chocolate Dandies (in this case, McKinney's Cotton Pickers). He pioneered the guitar solo on the 1927 track "6/88 Glide" and many of his early recordings showed him playing 12-string guitar solos in a style that influenced such future jazz guitarists as Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt, and gave the instrument new meaning as a jazz voice. He excelled in purely instrumental pieces, some of which he recorded with the white jazz guitarist Eddie Lang, whom he teamed up with in 1929. These recordings were among the first in history to feature black and white musicians performing together, but Lang was credited as Blind Willie Dunn to disguise the fact.

Much of Johnson's music featured experimental improvisations that would now be categorised as jazz rather than blues. According to blues historian Gérard Herzhaft,[3] Johnson was "undeniably the creator of the guitar solo played note by note with a pick, which has become the standard in jazz, blues, country, and rock". Johnson's style reached both the Delta bluesmen and urban players who would adapt and develop his one string solos into the modern electric blues style. However, writer Elijah Wald has written that, in the 1920s and 1930s, Johnson was best known as a sophisticated and urbane singer rather than an instrumentalist – "Of the forty ads for his records that appeared in the 'Chicago Defender' between 1926 and 1931, not one even mentioned that he played guitar."

aaavid: