An Expat Life: Nicaragua Blues and Ruse

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Monday Morning Blues, 1st Installment


"If you pick up a guitar for the first time, it's a completely foreign instrument. You have six strings and 23 frets, and there are a jillion different combinations of hand positions. You have no idea what's going on.
"If you can learn a couple of songs, it unlocks so many different things in your mind when you're on the mound. I'm always experimenting. It's a principle I live by.''


-Texas Rangers Relief Pitcher and eccentric screwball C.J. Wilson

Truer words have never been spoken...As a novice guitarist myself, I can appreciate this statement. More important than actually playing the guitar, the instrument has busted some rusty padlocks off my post-college mind. Discovering a new chord structure, or finger-picking pattern is as exciting as actually playing it. They say that life is an adventure.....but I say it is the adventure that makes life what it is.

So, with that said, I'll share one of my recent efforts at guitar. This is a finger-picking version of an Elizabeth Cotten classic, 'Freight Train'. Cotten gained notoriety late in her life, proving that its not how you start out in life, what's important is how you finish. Born in the late 19th century in rural North Carolina, she toiled through the first half-century of her life, merely playing the guitar as a passing fancy as a youngster. However, she later had the fortune (I suppose) of working for the Seeger family, where her unique guitar style was 'rediscovered' by the musical-minded Seegers. Going from Mike Seeger's nanny to internationally acclaimed blueswoman, Cotten went on to perform worldwide, releasing several albums, eventually winning a Grammy in 1984 at almost 90 years old.
So, here's my version of 'Freight Train'....with a little help on vocals.....

3 comments:

Gustavo said...

Hello.
I checked your youtube vids ad I get there...
Good Blog.

I´m from Spain (Europe) and I´m crazy for country-blues too!!!.
Take a look at my videos on youtube and my blog too. Is in spanish..(you speak spanish,don´t you?
;-))
http://bluescomentado.blogspot.com

Salud

LUIS said...

James,
hello again. I am your worst dream. When you told me you are recovered, I am starting the mother of all pinatas.
Remember, on saturday. See you.
Bring all your blues and your guitar.

oanny said...

i find the blog as being great.and the video is magnific;)i think the little guy is just adorable.keep on with the guitar because you are very talentated and you're doing a great job.hugs from romania