Play It Back

I love playing the blues.  The 12-bar blues is the quintessential American art form, and probably more ubiquitous than any other.  It appears in every style of music I can think of, and new genres in the 21st-century will undoubtedly adopt it as well.  I could play the blues all day and night and never repeat a song; I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that half of all the jazz tunes ever written have been based on the 12-bar blues.

“Play It Back” is a 24-bar blues by the great organist Lonnie Smith.  Unlike most blueses, it never goes to the “4” chord but stays on the F chord until it goes to the turnaround.  I’ve played this at many gigs because it’s easy, fun and funky, but the band usually solos on the standard blues.  I find the blues form is so ingrained in most people’s minds it’s harder for them NOT to play the 4 chord.  On his Live at Club Mozambique recording the composer himself accidentally plays it a few times.  


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