THE MUSIC OF WOODY GUTHRIE ARRANGED FOR FINGERSTYLE GUITAR
BY FRED SOKOLOW—Stefan Grossman Guitar Workshop GW511. DVD, 101 min., $29.95. (Stefan Grossman Guitar Workshop, P.O. Box 802, Sparta, NJ 07871, www.guitarvideos.com.)
While this DVD lies outside the domain of traditional bluegrass, it’s nonetheless a valuable lesson both in the songs of Woody Guthrie and in fingerstyle guitar. I’m always surprised that the three-finger-style of guitar has not caught on more in bluegrass. You’d think the videos of Earl Scruggs and of Maybelle Carter playing fingerstyle guitar would be enough to create an interest. This 101-minute DVD is a great introduction to that style.
Woody Guthrie’s songs are singable, well-known, and therefore well-suited to learning. Titles included are “Pastures Of Plenty,” “So Long, It’s Been Good To Know You,” “Bound For Glory,” “Plane Wreck At Los Gatos,” “Do Re Mi,” “Philadelphia Lawyer,” “Oklahoma Hills,” “My Daddy,” “Hard Travelin’,” and “Pretty Boy Floyd.” Fred Sokolow is a respected player and teacher and has a gentle, yet concise approach that you want in a good teacher. The split screen shows both hands, and Sokolow is great at pointing at specific technical details that open up the possibilities of the style. Included are tab and music notation in a PDF booklet on the DVD. Recommended for those interested in fingerstyle guitar and great songs.CVS