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Blind Lemon Jefferson, that famous down-home Blues singer from down-Dallas-way, and his guitar, have gone to work and made a record that will almost make your phonograph trot - Blind Lemon Jefferson, Paramount publicity for Black Horse Blues

Author Topic: Miller's Breakdown  (Read 165244 times)

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Offline Forgetful Jones

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2310 on: August 18, 2021, 02:30:24 PM »
Quick answers without my guitar handy (and not a ton of time to examine the specific questions).

Frankie Lee Sims I believe is in Drop D tuning. I couldn't really hear the low D note until the end of the song, when I think it's audible during the start of the outro.

Manny Nichols I believe is in standard tuning E position.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2311 on: August 24, 2021, 08:35:38 AM »
Hi all,
The Frankie Lee Sims and Manny Nichols puzzlers have been up for a while with no new responses so I'll post the answers.

For Frankie Lee Sims' "Cross Country Blues":
   * His playing position was D in dropped-D tuning, as I think everyone had it. Well done!
   * Frankie Lee started the descending run from 1:48--1:51 on the + of beat one of a measure. On the + of that beat one he played a bent fifth fret of the second string. On beat two he played a triplet, going from, I believe, the unbent fifth fret of the second string to the third fret of the second string and from there to the first fret of the second string. On beat three he played another triplet, walking down the third string chromatically, second fret to first fret to open third string. On beat four he played a final triplet, going from the third fret of the fourth string up to the open third string and back again, concluding the run on the downbeat of the next measure with the open fourth string.
   * He began his solo utilizing the "three frets up" idea, as everybody had it.

This is an unusually loose-sounding take from Frankie Lee. I always love his singing and playing, but a couple of times on this one, it almost sounds like the wheels were going to come off, especially in the solo. What a great singer!

For Manny Nichols' "Walking Talking Blues":
   * His playing position was E in standard tuning, as everyone had it.
   * He opened his solo on a IV chord, A, with a big slide into the seventh fret of the fourth string and the sixth fret of the third string, going from there to a unison of the fifth fret of the second string and the open first string. Mark C had this spot on, as did Dave.
   * For his V chord, he liked to walk up the fifth string chromatically from the open fifth string to the second fret and then explode into the upper four strings, simply fretting the first fret of the fourth string, and leaving the first three strings open. A lot of players liked to leave the first string open in a B7 chord in an E blues--Manny Nichols is one of the few I've heard who also liked to leave the third string open. It makes the V chord sound augmented, with that open G string in there, which is the #V of B. It's also kind of Flamencoey-sounding.

Boy, did Manny Nichols play hard from the picking hand and get a big sound! His thumb-struck notes sound like a drum.

Thanks to all who participated and I hope you enjoyed the songs. I'll look for some more.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 03:06:38 PM by Johnm »

Offline MarkC

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2312 on: August 24, 2021, 02:46:51 PM »
Thanks for doing these breakdowns John. I always learn something interesting I try to keep in my toolbox.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2313 on: August 24, 2021, 03:11:14 PM »
Well thanks for participating, Mark. It's the folks who participate who really make this thread go, from my point of view. I appreciate that engagement with the performances, and I've noted that the folks who participate regularly are pretty routinely right about playing position/tuning on the songs, which is by far the most important thing to be able to identify, I think. If you get that right, answering any of the other questions is pretty much just a matter of hanging in there and trying things until you've got it.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2314 on: October 04, 2021, 02:45:30 PM »
Hi all,
It's been a while since we've had some new puzzlers and I've found a couple for those of you who might be interested. The first is Frank Edwards' "Terraplane Blues". Here it is:



The questions on "Terraplane Blues" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did Frank Edwards use to play the song?
   * Where did he fret his signature lick, from :21--:24?

INTRO SOLO

I said, I'm sad and lonesome, Lord, what I'm gonna do
I say, I'm sad and lonesome, sayin' Lord, what I'm gonna do
Say, I'm gon' buy me a Terraplane, I swear and a V-8, too

Hey, I'm, gonna put 'em both there together, put 'em out on the road, take both, sure, mama, got a good heavy load, now,
I'm sayin', I'm sad and lonesome, Lord, what I'm gonna do
Say, I'm gonna step on that 'celerator, 'til that gas come through

Say, my gal, she quit me now, man, both a level lane, didn't wanta come back, afford that Terraplane
I"m cryin', please, friend, please, let me ride with you
Say, I got room for two or three more, I swear, and you, too

She's sayin', "Stop now, Frank. Let's get a sack of flour. How can I stop the Terraplane makin' ninety miles an hour
I"m cryin', please friend, please let me ride with you
Say, I'm gon' treat your 'celerator, 'til that gas come through 

The second puzzler is from Archie Edwards, and it is his recording of "Baby, Please Give Me A Break". Here it is:



The questions on "Baby, Please Give Me A Break" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did Archie Edwards use to play the song?
   * What are the first two chords in his chord progression and where did Archie Edwards fret them?

INTRO SOLO

See the little old girl, coming' down from the street, sharper than a tack from her head to her feet
REFRAIN: She got me beggin', "Baby, won't you please give me a break?
Won't you tell me how you think my poor heart could take, baby, won't you please give me a break?"

Like the way you look, baby, crazy about your smile, said the whole world will agree, you a beautiful child
REFRAIN: And I'm still beggin', "Baby, won't you please give me a break?
Won't you tell me how you think my poor heart could take, baby, won't you please give me a break?"

SOLO

Like the way you look, baby, crazy 'bout your shape, when you walk down the street, put my mind in space
REFRAIN: I'm still beggin', "Baby, won't you please give me a break?
Won't you tell me how you think my poor heart could take, baby, won't you please give me a break?"

SOLO

Please use only your ears and your guitars to arrive at your answers, and please don't post any answers before 8:00 AM your time on Thursday, October 7. Thanks for your participation, and I hope you enjoy the songs.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: November 04, 2021, 03:45:16 PM by Johnm »

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2315 on: October 08, 2021, 07:06:54 AM »
Frank Edwards is a new one for me. Lovely relaxed feel to his delivery, which for me, brought to mind Sleepy John Estes. I'm hearing this in Open G tuning.

Archie Edwards' "Baby, Please Give Me A Break" I'm hearing in standard tuning, played out of A. First two chords in his chord progression are a D7 shape up at the 9th fret ie
---9
---8
---9

and an A at the 5th fret:
---5
---5
---6
---7

All the Best,
Ned

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2316 on: October 09, 2021, 07:16:16 AM »
I hear the first one in G standard. Iím having difficulty hearing the signature lick under the harmonica, but it sounds like he could be going from first position G to second position D7 then down to first position C before returning to G.

The second one is in A standard. I hear the first two chords as x0x9 10 9 and x0xx75

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2317 on: October 12, 2021, 08:57:08 AM »
Hi all,
Any other takers want to try the Frank Edwards and Archie Edwards puzzlers? Come one, come all!
All best,
Johnm

Offline blueshome

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2318 on: October 13, 2021, 04:46:37 AM »
Iím thinking Spanish and A standard

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2319 on: October 17, 2021, 02:30:39 PM »
Hi all,
We haven't had any new responses on the Frank Edwards and Archie Edwards puzzlers in the past couple of days, so I'll post the answers.

For Frank Edwards' "Terraplane Blues":
   * His playing position was G position in standard tuning, as Old Man Ned and Prof Scratchy had it. You can tell it's not Spanish because when he goes to his IV7 chord, he voices the root in the bass and plays a regular C7 shape. To do that in Spanish you'd have to be fretting the fifth fret of the fifth string.
   * For his signature lick, played for example at :21--:24, he goes from the open fourth string to the fifth fret of the fourth string, from there back to the open fourth string, then moving to the first fret of the fifth string, and from there to the second fret of the sixth string, resolving upward to the third fret of the sixth string, the root of his I chord.

A week or so ago, I posed a question on the Main Forum as to whether anyone could think of a Country Blues guitarist who relegated the guitar so completely to a back-up role as did Sleepy John Estes. It now occurs to me that Frank Edwards is close to Sleepy John in this regard, pretty much eschewing any kind of hot licks, mostly strumming chords and keeping time, with an occasional bass run, like the signature lick in his version of "Terraplane Blues". Peter Lowry put out a really nice album of his music on the Trix label around 1970. I've always found Frank Edwards' singing of his lyrics a real transcription challenge.

For Archie Edwards' "Baby Please Give Me A Break":
   * His playing position was A position in standard tuning, as everyone had it--well done!
   * The first two chords in Archie Edwards' progression are an A7, voiced X-0-7-9-8-9, going from the sixth string to the first string and an A diminished 7 chord, voiced X-0-4-5-4-5, going from the sixth string to the first string. It's a neat kind of variation on the Scrapper Blackwell/Robert Johnson opening move when playing in A standard, which on the A7 voices the first three strings identically to Archie Edwards, but which for the A diminished 7 simply moves the first three strings down one fret, to 8-7-8. And since diminished 7 chords repeat and invert themselves every three frets, you can see how Archie Edwards' version works. It suggests a way of varying a move to a diminished 7 chord that could be duplicated in other songs, in other keys that use that chord.

Thanks to Old Man Ned, Prof Scratchy and blueshome for participating, and I hope folks enjoyed the songs.

All best,
Johnm   

Offline Old Man Ned

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2320 on: October 17, 2021, 03:56:43 PM »
Prof Scratchy should take all the credit for getting Frank Edwards' "Terraplane Blues" in G, standard tuning. I went for open G (Spanish tuning) in my answer  :)
All the Best,
Ned

Offline dj

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2321 on: October 18, 2021, 06:18:34 AM »
Quote
I hope folks enjoyed the songs

I always enjoy the more obscure songs you dig up John, as well as the musical analysis.  I have to say that I particularly enjoyed discovering Archie Edwards via Baby Please Give Me A Break.  I'd never paid much attention to Edwards, and discovering him via this thread led me not only to him but to the whole Living Blues USA series of LPs recorded by Siegreied Christmann on a trip around the US in 1980. 

For anyone not familiar with the series, you can find info on all the LPs in Stephan Wirz's L+R discography here: https://www.wirz.de/music/lipprau.htm

And a bit odf discussion about the series here at Weenie Campbell from 13 years ago here: https://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=5172.0

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2322 on: October 19, 2021, 12:03:49 PM »
I'm glad you enjoyed finding out about Archie Edwards, dj. A couple more of his songs have had their lyrics transcribed here. You can find them in Weeniepedia and then link back to where they were posted on the Forum and listen to his recordings of them. Thanks, too, to Old Man Ned for pointing out my error in remembering who posted what in the response to to the most recent puzzler. I need to review the responses before posting the answers and not rely solely on my memory of them.
All best,
Johnm

 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 01:26:08 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2323 on: November 02, 2021, 06:11:42 AM »
Hi all,
It's been a little while since I posted some new puzzlers and I have a couple of performances I particularly like, so I thought I'd post them for any interested parties. The first is from the St. Louis musician Arthur Weston, a St. Louis musician who had just one recording released under his name, on the Testament label. The song is "Cryin' Won't Make Me Stay", and here it is:



The questions on "Cryin' Won't Make Me Stay" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did Arthur Weston used to play the song?
   * Where did Arthur Weston fret his signature lick, as in :09--:13, and how did he articulate it in his picking hand?

INTRO

Well I'm going and I'm going, crying won't make me stay
Well I'm going, I'm going, and your crying won't make me stay
Well, the more you cry, the further you drive me away

If you ever been down, you know just how I feel
If you ever been down, you know just how I feel
Like some broke-down engine that ain't got no driver's wheel

Just take me, baby, I can't be bad no more
Now then, take me, baby, I can't be bad no more
Well, I'm tired of you foolin' around with old Mist' So-And So

The second song is from 1949 acoustic sessions by John Lee Hooker, and it is his version of "Rabbit In A Log" (though he sings it "rabbit on the log"). Here is "Rabbit In A Log":



The questions on "Rabbit In A Log" are:
   * What playing position/tuning did John Lee Hooker use to play the song?
   * Where did John Lee Hooker play the first three notes in his rendition?
   * Where did John Lee Hooker fret the instrumental interlude from :19--:29?

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit on the log, possum up the tree

Rabbit told the possum, "Shake those 'simmons down. Shake those 'simmons down."

INTERLUDE

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit on the log, I ain't got no rabbit dog, got no rabbit dog
Rabbit told the possum, "Shake those 'simmons down."

INTERLUDE

Way down, way down, way down, way down in old [          ]
Rabbit told the possum to shake those 'simmons down, shake those 'simmons down
Possum told the rabbit, possum told the rabbit, "You watch the dog and I'll shake the 'simmons down. You watch the dog and I shake the 'simmons down."

INTERLUDE

Way back, way back, way back, headed to my shanty, way back, mmm,
Way back, way back, way back, way back

Rabbit, rabbit on the log, rabbit on the log and I ain't got no rabbit dog, got no rabbit dog
Rabbit told the possum, "Shake those 'simmons down now, shake those 'simmons down."

INTERLUDE

(Spoken: Yeah, it's the dog.) Ooo, ooo, ooo. Ooo, ooo, ooo. Ooo, ooo, ooo.
Shake those 'simmons down, ooo, ooo, ooo, shake those 'simmons down
Possum told the rabbit, "You watch for the dog. You watch for the dog and I'll shake those 'simmons down, oh Lord
Ooo, ooo, ooo. Ooo, ooo, ooo. Me and my dog, we gonna go and on, go out in the woods. Ooo, ooo, ooo. Shake them 'simmons down

INTERLUDE

Headed way back, way back, way back, to my shanty, way back, way back, way back
Hounds on my track, chickens on my back, headed way back, to my shanty, way back, mmm

INTERLUDE

Shake those 'simmons, shakin' 'em down,
Rabbit told the possum, "Shake those 'simmons, shake 'em down."
Possum told the rabbit, possum told the rabbit, "You watch for the dog, I'll shake the 'simmons down, I shake the 'simmons down, shake them down." Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm

Headed way back, to my shanty, head way back
Moon is a-risin', moon is a-risin'. Possum in the log, possum's a-walkin'
Way way back, way way back
 
Please use only your ears and your guitars to arrive at your answers, and please don't post any answers before 8:00 AM your time on Friday, November 5. Thanks for your participation, and I hope you enjoy the songs.

All best,
Johnm

« Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 08:53:14 AM by Johnm »

Offline blueshome

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Re: Miller's Breakdown
« Reply #2324 on: November 03, 2021, 06:07:20 AM »
Tentatively Iíll put Arthur Weston in C standard up a fret.
JLH - Spanish at C. The lick is bent 3rd string 3rd fret with the open 2nd string.

 


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