Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => Topic started by: tenderfoot84 on June 23, 2006, 12:01:41 PM

Title: Blind Joe Taggart
Post by: tenderfoot84 on June 23, 2006, 12:01:41 PM
hi everyone,
i recently bought documents volume one of blind joe taggart's complete recorded works.
i would like to know if anyone plays "now the storm is passing over" as this song blows the backside off almost every other song i've ever heard but i've no idea what he's doing or what key he's in. can anyone help, or does anyone else appreciate just how amazing this song is?
Title: Re: blind joe taggart
Post by: uncle bud on June 23, 2006, 02:43:14 PM
Oddly, I've just broken two third strings tuning to this song. Anyway, I'm not going to put on a third third just now, but I am going to guess that this very cool song is in Spanish (or open G) tuning pitched a little sharp of A. So you could capo at the 2nd fret and tune up a little, or 3rd fret and tune down.

Anyone like to second the motion?

And welcome to WeenieCampbell, Tenderfoot!

I was using a capo, not cranking up the strings, BTW, when I broke the damn things...

edited to add: I would also venture a guess that he is using an unwound third string. :)
Title: Re: blind joe taggart
Post by: tenderfoot84 on June 24, 2006, 05:10:24 AM
thanks a ton uncle bud,
i'll monkey around with it to try and make some progress. i'll keep you posted. have you identified and others he plays in spanish?
i'm a big fan of his coal river blues and fourteenth st women as well as all the song i've heard with the very young josh white behind him (espec there's a hand writing on the wall)
taggart's music is so diverse from what i expected. i'm baffled that he's not rated up there with lemon and patton and others.
Title: Re: blind joe taggart
Post by: uncle bud on June 24, 2006, 06:53:07 AM
Well. like I said, I'm guessing at this point since I haven't played around with it enough yet, thanks to broken strings, but I do think it's Spanish. Maybe someone else will chime in with a yea or nay. I haven't tried more of his stuff but will be looking at it more closely thanks to your post. This is a very cool song.
Title: Re: blind joe taggart
Post by: Johnm on June 24, 2006, 07:00:18 AM
Hi all,
I have not heard the song in question, but is Josh White playing with Joe Taggert on it?  If so, Josh is probably playing in Vastapol on it, capoed up to accommodate the singing.  I know he did this on "Scandalous and a Shame" (might be called "Do You Call That Religion?").
All best,
Title: Re: blind joe taggart
Post by: dj on June 24, 2006, 07:47:18 AM
is Josh White playing with Joe Taggert on it?

The Storm Is Passing Over is a Taggart solo, just Joe on voice and guitar.  To me he sounds a lot like Blind Willie Johnson on this song, both in the vocal and in the driving guitar accompaniment, but the song in question was recorded in June 1927, 6 months before Blind Willie Johnson first recorded.  It's possible that the two met on their travels before either recorded, but more likely that this was just a common style used by "guitar evangelists" at the time.

And for anyone whose interest has been piqued by this discussion, The Storm Is Passing Over is on the Juke.

Thanks, tenderfoot84, for making me go back and pull out my Blind Joe Taggart CD.  I'd agree that he deserves to be better known.  I wonder if Taggart is less well appreciated than he otherwise would be because virtually all our information about him came from Josh White, and White painted a very negative portrait of Taggart:  "... tricky, nasty mean, and not really blind at all.  He had cataracts and could see a little."
Title: Re: blind joe taggart
Post by: uncle bud on June 24, 2006, 08:03:41 AM
I agree with dj: The StormIs Passing Over has a real Blind Willie Johnson sound, when Blind Willie played in G position. This is what I started with trying to determine the key and position, but I switched to Spanish because I thought I was hearing slides on the 3rd string that would be easier in Spanish. Here's an mp3 for people to see what they think.

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Title: Re: blind joe taggart
Post by: Bunker Hill on June 25, 2006, 11:38:57 AM
It's salutary to reflect that not so long ago (1972) Bernard Klatzko was starting his notes to the 18 track Herwin LP, Blind Joe Taggart A Guitar Evangelist 1926-1931, with these paragraphs:

"Shrouded in mystery and promise of musical fulfillment was this entry in Albert McCarthy's mid 1950's edition of Jazz Monthly: Paramount 13081?Blind Joel Taggart, Vocal & guitar

He Done What The World Couldn't Do
Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down

This English magazine's most exciting serial feature, the complete Paramount Records "race" series (releases on 12000 & 13000), a first by any publication, was my introduction to a vast unexplored reservoir of what proved to be, in later years, the very best of American Negro folk music.

It was beyond my wildest dreams to think I would ever hear a Taggart Paramount, no less his entire recorded output.

By 1959, however, I met James McKune who had the only copies of Paramount 13081 and 13094. I was privileged to hear records that I thought were really mythical entries in discographies, deliberately placed there like time bombs, ready to blow the minds of foolish collectors who hanker after the unattainable.

The unattainable, however, becomes common place in one fell swoop. Each and everyone of Taggart's rare Paramount releases can now be heard in this album."
Title: Re: blind joe taggart
Post by: dj on June 26, 2006, 03:12:17 PM
Anyone like to second the motion?

I finally got a chance to fool around with this a bit, and I'll second Uncle Bud.  The guitar part seems to fall more naturally under my fingrers in Spanish. 
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