Stefan Grossman

Shake That Thing: Fingerpicking Country Blues

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Drawing on over 30 years of experience playing the country-blues, complete with tutorials from some of the undisputed masters, it comes as no surprise that Stefan Grossman can so consistently conjure up the authentic spirit of the music with each successive release. His original compositions show Grossman to be the most confident of guitarists in his genre, effortlessly borrowing from the stylings of Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, and Blind Willie McTell among various others. While his playing isn't overly flashy, it need not be. The precision and craftsmanship injected into the fluid, rolling original "Yazoo Strut," the harder blues groove of "Spider Web Blues," and a powerful rendition of Reverend Gary Davis' "Candy Man" are country blues at its very best. Grossman might not possess the most versatile singing voice, combining the nasal qualities of Doc Watson's vocals with Mississippi John Hurt's hushed phrasing, but he can more than do justice to tracks like "Death Come Creeping" and the classic "All My Friends Are Gone." While much of Shake That Thing might be said to have something of a similar quality, Grossman demonstrates more than enough distinctive country-blues styles to hold the attention of any serious fan and prove that he is one of the genre's most masterful ambassadors.

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