Blues music originated in the relatively small Delta and Piedmont regions of the American south, and has spread across the globe in the matter of one century. This is not surprising since the songs from the early 1900s told stories in ways that have not been duplicated since. This workshop will explore several easy arrangements of traditional songs in different keys from the Country Blues acoustic tradition and, in the context of these arrangements, students will focus on strengthening thumb/finger independence in the Piedmont style of fingerpicking. The workshop will move at a moderate pace and will be taught by ear. Students should be able to maintain an alternating bass with their thumb while changing between first position chords at a slow tempo. Tablature will be provided for all songs covered and recording is encouraged.
Valerie Turner is a native New Yorker with southern roots in Virginia and Georgia. She plays finger style Country Blues guitar and specializes in the Piedmont style of fingerpicking. Valerie has taught at the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop in WA, Blues & Swing Week in WV, and the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation in MD. Her eclectic repertoire was heavily influenced by the late John Cephas, a world renowned Country Blues musician in the Piedmont style, and her guitar playing is reminiscent of traditional blues greats like Mississippi John Hurt, Etta Baker, and Elizabeth Cotten. Valerie and her husband Ben perform as the Piedmont Bluz Acoustic Duo and have traveled as far as Israel, Ireland, Spain, and Germany to share their music.