Tommy Harkenrider Blues & Roots

Jump Blues Backing Tracks Vol. 4




I am excited to release my next Volume of Backing Tracks.  One of the silver linings of no live shows this year is the time to woodshed.  For the first few months I was using IReal Pro for my tracks and the midi based application is fantastic.  As I was developing confidence with the lines I was rehearsing, I felt their was only so much I could put into a digital track.  I started making some  tracks myself and found they inspired my playing.  This wasn’t as good as playing with my pals but generated more excitement in my playing.  I hope you will enjoy this next installment.  I placed an emphasis on acoustic Blues and Swing.  Here is the track listing and an explanation of how I derived each track:

  1.  Profoundly Blue (Tiny Grimes) in F    A popular melody Charlie Christian performed then re-recorded by Tiny Grimes.
  2.  Starday Sonny Fischer in A  Starday was a Texas based Rockabilly and Hillbilly label that generated fantastic material.  One of their session guitar players Joey Long had a signature  Strat sound, and was rooted in Blues that set off these recordings.
  3. Teddy Bunn Acoustic Swing in Bb  Prior to switching to electric guitar Teddy played acoustic Swing and Blues.  One of his tunes “If You See Me Comin” has him singing and playing an awesome guitar solo.  This track is one of my favorites to play over.  Both his acoustic and electric lines fit nicely.
  4. Jimmy Reed Lump in E This is a straight forward shuffle.  The acoustic provides a nice texture to solo over.
  5. Sister Rosetta Tharpe Bb This progression is fairly standard in Sister Rosetta’s playing as well as gospel music. I’ll include a chord chart.
  6. Lump in G with Straight Time Figures.  Inspired by some of Robert Lockwood’s recordings, I straightened out the feel over the changes throughout the track.  This technique is an emotional one and is prevalent in many Pre and Post War Country, and Electric Blues songs.
  7. Buck Jumpin G– This popular Al Casey instrumental was recorded many times throughout his career.  Originally when he was a kid with Fats Waller.  The acoustic soloing blending chordal lines relevant for the time with single notes is one of my favorite acoustic Swing tunes.  Playing this up to tempo on my acoustic was not as easy as it sounded.  I have a new found respect for my heroes during this period.  Imagine being Teddy Bunn, Oscar Moore, or Al Casey and trying to get over on an un-amplified instrument.  I think this generation of player brought something aggressive and percussive when they transitioned to electric.
  8. Jump in Bb–  This is the catalyst for this whole collection.  I recorded this and posted it on you tube.  I was delighted to see what all of you had done with it.  I started to think what other tracks would be fun to practice over.  Thank you all for your friendship and continued exploration of the music we all love.