The 2017 theme for the annual Hanwell Carnival in London is Blues Brothers. I have my sunglasses and just need to borrow a man’s jacket, a thin tie, and a black hat. I can’t wait to join the Hanwell Ukulele Group (HUG) to strum and sing together on a float in the parade.
As teenagers on the island of Okinawa, my three girlfriends and I got ourselves dolled up to see the movie “The Blues Brothers” first released in 1980. After we sat down in the cinema, something else came on screen: “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.” To this day, I have no idea what happened. Thus I’ve had to acquaint myself with just who the Blues Brothers were and what they sang.
Jake and Elwood Blues are characters from the American evening show Saturday Night Live and the movie “The Blues Brothers” is about their rhythm and blues scene in Chicago. Rotten Tomatoes rate it a whopping 85% — guess it’s about time I watch it. “The Blues Brothers 2000” was made in 1998. Here are some fun facts.
If you listen to the soundtrack of both movies, you’ll soon sense predictable patterns of rhythm and blues (R&B), the precursor of rock and roll. Once you get the “template” of this genre, you can pretty much improvise and groove with it.
The song “Sweet Home Chicago” is based on the 12-bar blues with a variation.
There are various kinds of blues progressions. The traditional and basic blues progression, a.k.a., 12-bar blues, consists of three chords running over 12 four-count measures. Take any major key, use the three primary chords, i.e. those based on the first, fourth, and fifth degrees of that scale, and represented by their equivalent roman numerals I, IV, and V. These chords can be major triads (1, 3, 5) or seventh chords (1, 3, 5, 7). As you can see, “Sweet Home Chicago” uses the three primary chords but in a slightly different order: I, IV, I, I, IV, IV, I, I, V, IV, I, V7.
|Sweet Home Chicago||E||A||E||E||A||A||E||E||B||A||E||B7|
As the chords for ukulele are the same for guitar, the links below, though for ukulele, can also be used for guitar.
Sweet Home Chicago:
Rawhide – one of my ukulele club favorites!
Minnie the Moocher:
Everybody Needs Somebody To Love:
Ghost Riders in the Sky:
Gimme Some Lovin’:
Stand By Your Man:
Peter Gunn Theme: