Acoustic Blues Musings, Pt.4
Guitar Player|January 2022
Slide song suggestions with insights from Ben Harper and Roy Rogers.
By Jimmy Leslie, Photography by Sergione Infuso/Corbis/Getty Images (Harper); Clayton Call/Redferns/Getty Images (Rogers)

THEIR AMPED-UP ELECTRIFIED cousins may garner the lion's share of modern limelight, but acoustic guitars and slides have gone hand and hand throughout the history of the blues, and they always will. As I researched last month's column on open roots tunings with the knowledge that this one would focus on slide, it was a challenge to find prime historic examples where the artist didn't incorporate at least some bottleneck. Here are a few that do, and a few a more contemporary ones too.

SLIDE BLUES TUNES

In Ben Harper's August 2018 Frets feature, he said, “Blind Willie Johnson is the mojo hand for steel guitar. Start with 'Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground,' tuned to open D. Low to high, it goes D A D F# A D. You can also take that tuning up or down a step, and it's sometimes called Vestapol tuning."

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