Slide Guitar Lesson and Analysis: The Cruel Sea “Delivery Man” – Final.

How Do You Create Something Unique And New?

One sure fired way is to take influences from various existing, but different styles, then fuse and mix them together.

If those influences haven’t been fused and mixed before – then you’ve created something… unique and new.

The great lady of slide guitar, Ellen Mcilwaine was the support act at the Cafe au go-go in New York’s Greenwich Village in the halcyon days of the 60’s. She had opened for legends like Muddy Waters and even Jimi Hendrix whom she got to know well.

She was asked in an interview about Hendrix and I loved her observation.

She said that Jimi listened to anything and everything, he would borrow and learn from a wide variety of sources, anything he found to be interesting was fair game.

This paints an image of Hendrix as having a huge curiosity about all music and an appetite for broadening his musical pallet, therefore growing as a musician.

Unpacking Delivery Man

The Cruel Sea started life as an instrumental surf band.

Their name “Cruel Sea” was taken from an instrumental tune by “The Ventures” the Californian surf band, so we see which direction the Cruel Sea were coming from.

They also have Psychedelic, Punk, Rock and Pop elements. Add slide guitar and you’ve got a sound that was unique and newand that’s what we hear in “Delivery Man”.

The Opening Breakdown

From the opening acoustic slide guitar statement the song has a strong drive. The short punchy slide guitar fills that compliment and the colour of the vocals really help the momentum of that drive.

A lot of these fills are simply a glissando into a note but this is where the slide guitar excels and no other instrument can quite replicate.

…this is where the slide guitar excels and no other instrument can quite replicate.

Steve Flack

Closing Riff, Mystique and Mood

Toward the end of the song the piano launch’s into a riff that repeats till fade picking up on the opening acoustic slide guitar drive. Then we have the electric slide guitar play against that piano riff with great effect.

The slide guitar is turned down in the mix, so it’s not quite as loud as the piano but that creates a mystique in the mood of the song.

The slide guitar licks are as fluid and episodic as the piano riff is rigid and emphatic. The interplay between the 2 parts create an interesting counterbalance.

I really enjoyed learning “Delivery Man” and I think you’ll gain a lot by getting the tabs, learning the licks and playing along with the backing tracks that we’ve created for you

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