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Baba Ghanosh

"Baba Ghanosh" appears on my solo CD, Act One, and is the first in a series of original compositions I'm working on. Some of the others will appear on my next CD, Act Two, which will be duets with myself.

The tune came to me one day while I was eating the dip of the same name (no one knows how to spell it!). I noticed that the name had a nice rhythm to it, and I imagined a character – a kind of cross between an Indian guru and a blues singer – with that name.

I could imagine him singing his name in the low register, and the response coming from the female background singers in the high register. So I picked up my guitar and tried to immitate that sound.

I play this tune on all my solo gigs; it's a signature piece. I usually start with the bass-chord riff, improvise some licks, play the head, improvise some more, play the head again, etc. This goes on until I run out of ideas.

The technique of "Baba Ghanosh" was inspired by Tuck Andress' finger-style playing. However, I play it with pick-and-fingers, because I find I can phrase the single note lines better with the pick.

Listen to Baba Ghanosh (MP3 3.85 MB)


About the Author
Steve has been performing throughout New England for more than thirty years. He has worked as a sideman with artists ranging from Chicago blues singer Little Walter to song stylists Al Martino and Anna-Maria Alberghetti. During his twenty-five years of teaching guitar at Berklee College of Music, Steve developed his pick-and-finger style playing, borrowing from both jazz and classical music. Visit Steve's website at www.frogstoryrecords.com

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