Back to the Blues!

After a long and fulfilling experience playing fingerstyle Jazz chord harmonies on my Jazz guitars for the past few years, I have slowly been weaning my way back to the fingerstyle Blues that started me on this new musical journey in the first place.

I’m sure the Clapton Martin acoustic and Martin D-42 had something to do with this slow circling back to the center — but I do think it’s more than just that.

There’s a whole rush of intensity and emotion for me when I play the Blues.  I immediately feel connected back to a time of suffering and empathy that I do not always have while playing Rock or Jazz or Country music.

There is a deep and longing sadness in the Blues and it is in those marks of human sacrifice and resurrection that we learn to become kinder and more prescient human beings — at least during the melancholy life of a finger plucked Mississippi Delta Blues song.

So, I’m “Back to the Blues” — but not the “Boles Blues” started in 2009 — that great blog title and content will stay embedded here forever in Boles Blogs.

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Picking the Fingerstyle Blues

If you love grabbing a guitar and laying down some Blues, then sooner or later you’re going to put down your flatpick, sharpen your fingernails, and get ready to do some string plucking.  There are a bunch of fingerpicking “Learn to Play…” books, DVDs and YouTube videos.  My favorite book is “Beginning Fingerstyle Blues Guitar.”

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Guitar and the Stripped Soul

In 2005, The Mountain Goats released an emotionally rich album called “The Sunset Tree.” The entire album was full of references to John Darnielle’s painful childhood and the years of abuse from his late stepfather. Around the same time that this album was released, The Mountain Goats released a vinyl only alternate version called “Come, come to the Sunset Tree” that had stripped down songs that were just John with his acoustic guitar.

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Defending Hey Monday

One of the greatest joys of living an online life is the ability to celebrate, and defend, the goodness you find in the world against the crassness crashing around us, and today, we are leaping — nay, racing — to the defense of the new smash musical group, “Hey Monday” and their delightful lead singer, Cassadee Pope.

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