Monday, November 1, 2010

Juke - Little Walter

If you have not already listened to Little Walter's Juke then you have been missing out. Every harmonica player should be familiar with this recording if not know how to play it. I haven't learned the whole thing myself but I've got at least half of it down. It is a simple 12 bar blues in E with a repeated riff. Notice how he doesn't change the riff on the 5th bar when the chords change but finally releases the tension on the 9th bar. On the second chorus the time gets messed up but they recover so well as a band I never noticed until I counted along. Walter repeats a simple riff but changes it's rhythmic phrasing while keeping the notes the same. I wonder if he did this on purpose or not but either way it through of the rest of the band. His ability to be catchy with note choice yet unpredictable with his rhythmic phrasing is what makes his way ahead of any of his contemporary harmonica players and still unmatched today. Any "Best Of" album is a must have addition to the collection.

Unfortunately like many a blues musician he lived hard and was lost too soon. Read more about him here:

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