The Legendary Blues Guitar of Josh White

Josh White, Jr

Classic Blues & Folk Arrangements

80-minute video, Includes music and tab on pdf file
  • Code:DLWHIGT21
  • Skill Level:Near-Beginner (2)

The legendary Josh White (1914-1969) is widely considered to be one of the most influential blues and folk artists of all time. His singing and guitar playing electrified a generation of fans with his dazzling technique and passionate renditions of blues, folk songs and ballads.

We're delighted to present this video on the songs and guitar of Josh White by his son, Josh White, Jr., an accomplished actor, singer, performer and teacher. He knows his father's repertoire intimately and can replicate it with great accuracy. On this lesson he skillfully communicates Josh White's unique guitar style in a way that is easy to follow and accessible for all players. Learning guitarists with a knowledge of basic chords will be able to learn arrangements to his classic songs, along with blues chords, bass riffs, turnarounds, strumming techniques and more. The songs taught on this lesson are: "One Meat Ball," "Betty & Dupree," "House of the Rising Sun," "Uncle Sam Says" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out."

In addition to guitar style, you'll see how a seasoned singer phrases melodies and uses the guitar for powerful and effective accompaniments. Throughout the lesson, Josh White, Jr. shares memories of his dad, and recalls a time when this music was an important political, as well as musical, statement. He closes this fascinating video lesson with a compelling performance of the arrangement of "Waltzing Mathilda" that Josh made famous.

This is a very important lesson. We're privileged to have the son of Josh White teaching his father's style and technique.


From his rural gospel and country blues recordings in the 1920s and '30s to his later radio, TV, concert and nightclub appearances throughout the US and abroad, Josh White was a groundbreaking guitarist and performer. He was the first African- American artist to have a million-selling record ("One Meat Ball"), and the first to play a command performance at the White House, for President Franklin Roosevelt.

Josh's involvement with the guitar began when, as a boy of eight, he led blind street musicians through the streets of Greenville, South Carolina. Deeply influenced by these Piedmont blues players, he later became equally at ease playing arrangements of American and British Isles folksongs like "Waltzing Mathilda" and "Scarlet Ribbons." Although he was controversial for his outspoken political views and his passionate struggles against racial prejudice, he became one of America's most popular artists. Today he holds a reverential place in American culture, celebrated this year with a commemorative US Postage Stamp.


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