If you have ever wanted to play Boogie Woogie and Blues piano this
is the only place to start.
You now hold in your hands a gold mine of
information clearly explained and demonstrated taking the student through each stage in mastering this hugely popular style of piano playing.
Grooves, Riffs and Licks, Turnarounds, Intro's, Breaks and Endings and much, much more.
As Vause and Beaghen state in their introduction,
“It is important to emphasize that this style is an oral tradition and this DVD has been designed with that in mind. Think of us as musicians who are making helpful suggestions culled from a lifetime of listening to, and playing this music and you can’t go far wrong.”
Arranged into ten chapters for ease of study, this is truly The Ten Commandments of the Blues and is an indespensable addition to the library of the amateur enthusiast and professional alike.
Between them Louis Vause and Seamus Beaghen have performed and worked with an impressive array of Artists including Madness, Graham Coxon, Iggy Pop, Desmond Decker, Paul Weller, Supergrass, Tom Jones
and Morissey. In addition Louis' teaching talents have been sought by George Harrison, Beth Orton and Suggs to name but three.
For expert guidance and all the tricks of the trade you couldn't find yourself in better company.
Chapters are: Introduction; The Blues Scale; Basic Boogie Left Hand; The Groove; New Orleans Groove (including a section on Professor Longhair’s style); The Split Octave Boogie; The Riff Directory (which includes nine riff variations such as; cascade, foldback, whiplash and so on); Bass Lines; and, Intros, Breaks And Endings.
Finally there are three full-track extras: ‘Card Shuffle Boogie’ (Beaghen); ‘Effervescent Boogie’ (Vause) and Seamus’s ‘New Orleans Blues’ (Beaghen). The first two of those were filmed live in different venues, with an audience that doesn’t appear to have the slightest interest in the music. Oh the joy of live gigs!
In short this is an excellent addition to the genre of instruction videos and if you play or want to learn it is strongly recommended. But it is more than that. If you enjoy boogie, but don’t want to play, you can still find out a wealth of stuff about what you are listening to. I shall not listen to boogie with the same ears now.
Finally any work that comes with, ‘Thanks to Eric Satie, Vincent Van Gogh and Albert Einstein’, must have more than a bit to recommend it.
"Vause and Beaghen make engaging guides - quirky, oddball and opinionated.
They know all about the boogie-woogie greats, and even add a nod in the
direction of Albert Einstein."
Clive Davies,The Times.
According to blues historian Robert Palmer, Karl Gert zur Heide, author of ‘Deep South Piano’, was told by blues great Willie Dixon that in the mists of time eight-to-the-bar piano playing was called doing the ‘Dudlow Joes’, a thought expanded on by pianist Marcia Ball who stated that ‘boogie woogie started out with a bunch of different names, depending on where you were. Apparently there was a song by a guy named Dudlow, Joe Dudlow. He’s the first guy that a lot of them heard that was playing that kind of [music].’ Whatever the truth of that, boogie woogie has become deeply embedded in the psyche of popular music and musicians, and is not restricted to blues music. Think of the opening to The Beatles’ ‘Lady Madonna’ or the ‘classical’ music of Conlon Nancarrow, who embedded eight-to-the bar sections in a series of player-piano rolls he made in the 1940s. Boogie is here to stay.
Virtuoso jazz/boogie pianist Louis Vause, has played with an enormous range of musicians of every genre, as has his mate Seamus Beaghen. Between them they have assisted Desmond Dekker, Madness, Alison Moyet, Tom Jones, Mica Paris, David Gray, Paul Weller, Alabama 3, Dr. Robert & P.P. Arnold, Charles ‘Sweets’ Sherrel and many, many more. Both gigging musicians, Vause has recently (2006) seen the release of his album ‘Mechanicatastrophe’ (on the High Coin label) following the success of his debut album ‘Pianophernalia’ (Transcopic label)), which featured Beaghen.
In 1992, Louis Vause and Seamus Beaghen collaborated on a video entitled ‘A Beginners Guide to Boogie and Blues’. This was critically acclaimed and was called by Time Warner ‘the most reviewed tuition video in history’ – it has long since sold out. This DVD is a sort of volume two, but don’t be confused, it is a standalone package and is of excellent quality.
These two guys have two valuable qualities for a venture like this. First, they both have an excellent sense of humour (check out Beaghen’s Myspace page:
, which made me laugh out loud). Second they can play; oh my, can they play.
The DVD is excellently made, with an introductory spiel by one or other of the presenters, followed by a demo of what has been spoken about with an overhead view of the keyboard set at the bottom of the screen, so that you can see the fingering, The pictures are clear and the presentation exemplary. The whole is divided into chapters, each of which is expanded, in the ‘Transcription Booklet’, using regular notation on a standard stave with detail of what is being played and spoken of.
Blues & Rhythm(December 2008).
"From boogie-woogie bewilderment to enlightenment in the company of two
affable weirdos." Paul Whitehouse.
"A light hearted yet extremely informative and enjoyable journey through the basics of boogie piano and beyond, presented in an informal and approachable manner by this two-man team of keyboard masters. A split-screen technique allows the viewer to observe the players' hands and immediately pick up on all of their important performance skills. Highly recommended." Musician (summer 2008).
"Honky-Tonkers and budding pianists looking to improve their skills now have a helping hand, thanks to a popular Camden Town performer... (who) shows viewers how to master grooves, riffs and licks, and offers some amusing advice and anecdotes." Ham & High (may 1st 2008).
'Great DVD! Entertaining style and plenty of riffs and ideas to master. At less than the cost of one lesson, it was a true bargain.'
Allen Conger, Carolina, U.S.A.
'I love it! It is interesting, extremely informative, very well put together, pretty easy to follow and entertaining ... really motivating.'
Chris L. Christensen, NYC, U.S.A.
'Please don't wonder that I just ordered a second one; it's that much great stuff that I need a backup because this DVD will occupy me for the rest of my life' H.P. Hotz, Switzerland.