It is the end of a beautiful Florida day in February, and the cool day temperatures have felt good since I walked the dogs this morning. Now that the the day is growing old, it’s time to take it down from working hard. I finished rebuilding a transmission for a customer, and transmission work is hard work. It takes a lot of concentrated thinking, like playing the guitar.
I went into the garage after dinner, in the hope of enhancing my attitude. I sat on my chair with on of my favorite guitars, a reverse head Stratocaster in hand and a big cold glass of ice water near me (I’ not very exciting). I am there for one purpose, to express my feelings for the day using my favorite scale, the pentatonic blues scales. I had a good day, physically and mentally.
If you did not know, I am a transmission mechanic by trade. For 26 years I owned and operated the best (small) transmission specialty shop in the country. I sold it, land and building four years ago this month. Before the economy tanked. Rebuilding a transmission or fixing a guitar. Both require a high level of precision and cleanliness and care.
Anyway, I’m thinking all I need now is some bitchin’ music to help me get into the groove. Well, that’s an easy one for me, I listen to the same old thing every day. Same blues vibe, same blues guitar players. Sometimes some new artists and songs, like Magic Slim.
Give Me Back My Wig was written by Hound Dog Taylor. But I’m using the Magic Slim version to play with. I learned of the song from Stevie Ray Vaughan. I also play plenty of Jimi Hendrix licks and now I am putting them (licks from all the great blues artists) together in random order, never the same, but it sounds good to me.
The beats are etched in granite in my head from the constant act of listening and playing the particular brand of music called termed ”high energy string bending blues”, I made up the term! Every time I play my guitar, it ends up with me playing the blues. It is my automatic default setting.
This is the music I have been listening to all day, over and over. If I get tired of it, I turn on the heavy duty commercial free blues station. The rhythm is buried deep in my head and I’m ready to play the guitar. Every time I sit down and play my axe, and I’m feeling good, things seem to come together and I work on my songs and exercises for endless periods until it’s time to slip into playing what my heart feels. That is when time means nothing, I’m in the zone and nothing else exists right now.
I play the blues. Something from of every one of the above blues guitar legends starts to ooze out of me as my fingers and mojo continues to heat up. Why would I play he blues if I’m feeling so good? You don’t have to feel bad to play the blues. Anyway, we all have something in the back of our minds to worry about.
My dad is critically ill, and my mom lives in Maryland, all alone in a big house. They have been hit with the biggest snow storms on record. It is nearly impossible to get around now. My sister is the best, but people have been snowed in for a week now, and she could not get there. So, I have two difficult situations in the back of my head.
It seems like a strange combination to me, playing high energy blues takes a lot of energy, just watch SRV play the guitar, he works and sweats his ass off. The energy is passion if you ask me, and when I have the energy, regardless of the source, it shows in how well my random approach of using licks and turnarounds and scales from Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the rest of them, sewing them together.
When my session ends, I feel amped up, playing the blues makes my soul feel alive, and it takes me a good hour or more to wind own for sleep, even the I hear the beats of my favorite guitar player ever, Jimi Hendrix, while I’m laying in bed until I fall asleep.
Playing the blues in my garage at night is a seasonal deal, until I can A/C the garage. It is too hot from June until November-ish. and to cold from December to late February. GuitarPlayersCenter.com Enjoy.