More Than the Blues

By Perlmutter, Adam | Acoustic Guitar, April 2015 | Go to article overview

More Than the Blues


Perlmutter, Adam, Acoustic Guitar


Not to be confused with the Langston Hughes poem of the same name, "Weary Blues" is a popular standard with roots in ragtime. It was penned in 1915 by the composer and pianist Artie Matthews-not as well known as Scott Joplin, but considered by some to be an equally sophisticated musician.

"Weary Blues" is most often played by Dixieland and New Orleans jazz bands, and it's seen a number of great interpretations by such heavyweight soloists as Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, Sidney Bechet, and Johnny Hodges. The song has also been transformed into a country classic by Hank Williams. The jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux recorded "Weary Blues" for her album Careless Love (2004), which informs the arrangement shown here.

Though the title of the song would suggest that it's based on the 12-bar blues, that is not the case. …

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