Great Houdini by Bruce Arnold and Dave Schroeder for Muse Eek Publishing Company

Great Houdini

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Arnett Brewster—Lap Slide Steel Guitar

Woodrow T. Greenwich—Harmonica

A lap slide guitar and a harmonica. It’s all you need to make some soulful music. Music that as journalist Howard Mandel writes in his liner notes for Great Houdini was born “on back porches, at fish fries and in barrelhouses across the southern US, and especially in the Mississippi delta, more than 100 years ago.”

The Blues transformed American music when it collided with European classical in the homes of Creoles of color and the bordellos of New Orleans, to create jazz. And it was the driver that turned the switch on every electric guitar to create Rock and Roll. Even Country Music has to tip its hat, Bill Monroe style, to the blues.

Bruce Arnold (aka Arnett Brewster) grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and remembers “when I was growing up in the mid to late ‘60s lots of people were playing the blues.” It’s not surprising: back in the mid ‘60s every rock ‘n’ roll band featured blues guitar, acknowledged or not. Arnett’s cousin Dave Wood, and LA session-musician-to-be Mike Miller turned him on to Robert Johnson, Lightnin’ Hopkins and the Allman Brothers Band. In high school Brewster joined locals “Stevie and the Studebakers,” rockin’ out on blues and pentatonic scales. Even as he ventured into the deep waters of jazz and contemporary classical theory, the blues never left him. And when he got his first lap slide guitar, it just came pouring out. Fortuitous indeed that an ace blues harp player was in the office next door!

Dave Schroeder (aka Woodrow T. Greenwich) was born and raised in Carroll Iowa. Listening to his father’s record collection led to a passion for performing live music, and he caught local acts ranging from Chicago show bands to dance bands that played throughout the Midwest during the 60’s and 70’s. Bitten by the jazz bug early on, W.T. began playing saxophone and clarinet, eventually moving to New York City by the mid 80’s. While recovering from a stomach operation in the late ‘90’s, his brother sent him a harmonica to keep him occupied; from that day forward, he has been wrestling with the blues harp, and rediscovering often overlooked roots music in the process.

”The tracks and their titles are explained by Howard Mandel thusly:

Sometimes you just gotta get back to the root. And the odyssey that these two musicians have weathered has led them to create this very (deceptively) simple statement of self-penned down home blues, informed by a foundation of rock and jazz. Both come from the American Midwest where they had the blues instilled in their hearts from an early age.

Arnold gave the tracks he composed (so to speak: in the blues, borrowings and adaptations are expected) titles from Old West slang. “Widow Maker,” almost painfully slow, is a hard to break horse. “Windies,” -a beguiling melody- are tall tales. “Wagtail” is fast – the word in the Rocky Mountains, according to, for a prostitute. “Dakota Train Blues” is self-explanatory (and harmonica players, particularly those of the Southeastern Piedmont style Schroeder favors, often imitated trains). “Asher” is the brand of Arnold’s lap slide guitar.

Great Houdini is an instrumental blues duet weaned on ice-fishing, Cold Springs beer and lutefisk. The blues has always lurked in the hearts of these Midwestern born natives now residing in NYC. Sit back and hear how flat plains, corn fields, big skies and the blues combine.

The tracks:

  • Tarnation
  • Six Cents Blues
  • Widow Maker
  • Look Out!
  • Windies
  • Wagtail
  • Dakota Train Blues
  • Asher
  • Dem Dere Shuffle
  • A Simple Thanks


"An offbeat winner throughout."


Midwest Record

"Great Houdini is quite a perfect way for music aficianados to re-explore the primitive, foundational concepts of the art of American blues music."


"When you have only two instrumentalists playing, a true connection between both musicians is vital or it will not work. These two musicians have terrific chemistry with one another. I highly endorse Great Houdini."


Get Great!

Status: In stock, physical CD ships in 24 hours. Digital downloaded MP3s are available for immediate access.


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About Muse Eek

Muse-Eek Publishing Company is a publishing house with a broad focus on music education. Muse-Eek also publishes fine art and poetry books, and has its own record label, Muse-Eek Records. Our online presence, specializes in the publication of music workbooks, video courses and sound and video recordings that teach the foundation of good musicianship through groundbreaking and innovative methods along with traditional methods that have been taught for centuries. These historic methods date back through centuries of great musicians and educators. To see these interesting relationship please see Bruce Arnold's Music Education Genealogy Chart which tells you a lot about the where many of his educational ideas took root and some of the educational pillars that are evident throughout the books you find on this website. The Muse-Eek Records catalogue contains a diverse selection of music much of it by Bruce Arnold in collaboration with some of today's best players in classical, jazz, rock and avant-garde music. These are available in CD, DVD and mp3 formats. We believe in a working relationship with our music education customers; they are free to interact with the author after purchasing a book to help them through any material they don’t understand or which they need further clarification. We also have a member's area which contains a wealth of free information to help a student understand music at a deeper level and access additional files for our books. Many of our books offer cutting edge ideas regarding ear training, guitar technique, rhythm and time. These methods have a proven track record. Our main author Bruce Arnold has taught at some of the most prestigious music schools in the world, including Princeton, Dartmouth, Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, The New School and NYU. Along with Mr. Arnold's publications on the website he has also written books and appeared in educational DVDs for MelBay and Truefire. Over the years Mr Arnold has used his experiences with his students to develop a program that can elevate a musician's ability to world class caliber. If you have questions about any of our books or recordings please send us an email. Along with general questions about either our record label or our publishing company we also welcome questions to help a student choose the proper materials to reach their goals. We have over 300 products to help you learn any style of music and to develop your musicianship to its peak. We also make recommendations for practice schedules for students who use our methods to get the most out of their study time. This, along with personal interaction with Bruce through email, nurtures the student's ability through a closely monitored situation, ensuring there is no wasted time or misunderstanding.