Guitarist, educator, and historian Stefan Grossman was a student of acoustic blues and gospel singer/guitarist Rev. Gary Davis. Beginning when he was 15, Grossman studied with Rev. Davis on weekends, spending eight to ten hours at his house in Harlem, absorbing all he could. After studying with Rev. Davis for eight years he learned and studied with other country blues guitarists: Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Skip James, Mance Lipscomb, and Fred McDowell. Other early influences for Grossman included Elizabeth Cotten, Sam McGee, Willie Brown, and Charley Patton.
In the early '60s, Grossman formed the Even Dozen Jug Band and worked with the political rock band the Fugs before moving to Great Britain. In 1970, he co-founded Kicking Mule Records with ED Denson, a label that showcased acoustic blues and folk guitar styles. From 1967 to 1987, Grossman lived in Great Britain and Italy, where he carved a reputation on the European blues and folk festival circuit, playing both solo and with British guitarist John Renbourn.
Grossman's solo discography goes all the way back to 1966, when he recorded How to Play Blues Guitar for Elektra Records; his sessionography also includes recordings with the Even Dozen Jug Band (which also included such future luminaries as John Sebastian, Maria Muldaur, and David Grisman) as well as albums by Paul Simon, John Fahey and Charlie Musselwhite. In the mid 1980s, Grossman began a long relationship with Shanachie Records of Newton, NJ, recording extensively and issuing such albums as Shining Shadows (1988), Guitar Landscapes (1990), Love, Devils & the Blues (1992), Northern Skies, Southern Blues (1997), and Shake That Thing (1998) for the label. While based in northwest New Jersey, Grossman concentrated his efforts on running his Guitar Workshop and Vestapol video business, releasing videos by guitarists ranging from Merle Travis and Chet Atkins to Dave Van Ronk and Brownie McGhee to Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass to John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf to John Renbourn and Muddy Waters.
During the 2000s, Grossman could be found recording in duo and trio settings
( Bermuda Triangle Exit with Tokio Uchida and Played a Little Fiddle with Danny Kalb and Steve Katz) and releasing the results on his Guitar Workshop label -- which also issued albums by the likes of Rev. Gary Davis, Davy Graham, Duck Baker, Martin Taylor, Happy Traum, and David Laibman as well as archival recordings and a number of various-artist collections. In 2006 he began touring once again, making appearances in the U.S., England, Norway, Italy, France, Japan and New Zealand. Stefan Grossman remains one of the world's foremost authorities on acoustic blues guitar.