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Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => Topic started by: Blind Arthur on January 02, 2011, 04:14:54 PM

Title: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: Blind Arthur on January 02, 2011, 04:14:54 PM
Hello :) first post here but long time collector and hobbyist (some 15 years).

I would like to ask, seeing that I don?t have the 4th ed. of Dixon-Godrich (only the 3rd), but from what I know from the Document and JSP "Complete" reissues of Blind Lemon?s works and anything I could find on the web :

Has no one else ever noticed that "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" on, say, Document, is very clearly an alternate take than to a Tradition CD reissue I also have (which has just 12 tracks IIRC) ? I noticed this about ten years ago and spoke to G?rgen Antonsson in Sweden about it informally, who said his online microgroove discography was down at that time but he would save it on his HD at least.

I have never found that different take elsewhere nor seen it listed anywhere. The Tradition CD lists no discographical info.

Maybe this is an old story actually for you but I have found this always striking and therefore, this is my first question on this board if I may. :)

Thanks in advance for any replies.


EDIT Two typos.
Title: Re: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: eric on January 02, 2011, 04:37:29 PM
4th edition of B&GR shows shows only one issue from matrix 20363-2, but that implies there was another take.  So unless someone comes up with a record stamped with a different take, its a mystery.  You could ask on the pre-war blues list, Howard Rye posts there.
Title: Re: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: Blind Arthur on January 02, 2011, 04:43:13 PM
I could easily upload them both to 4shared.com, for example, and leave the links here if required, too.
Title: Re: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: uncle bud on January 02, 2011, 07:52:54 PM
If you use a low bit rate (32 kbps) to encode them as mp3s, you can post them here.

(We don't encourage fileswapping, but files for reference purposes are generally fine.)
Title: Re: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: Blind Arthur on January 03, 2011, 12:48:58 AM
Thank you for this confirmation. So, here they are:

This is the well-known version (means, on Document and JSP releases, mx 20363-2):

http://www.4shared.com/audio/AQyx_-fP/01_-_Blind_Lemon_Jefferson_-_B.html


This is the Tradition label version ["Blind Lemon Jefferson : Moanin? All Over", a 9 track only CD, Tradition D 19677 (TCD 1011), "original LP release Olympic 7134"]
- a definite unlisted alternate take (or Paramount re-recording) :

http://www.4shared.com/audio/2Rx-8Jp4/06_-_Blind_Lemon_Jefferson_-_B.html

(has 80kb/sec because I could not get rid of annoying artefacts in 32)



Listen to the second stanza, for example the "I hung around Groesbeck" line...or the third one : "I used to be a drunkard, rowdy everywhere I go" - as opposed to "I used to be a drunkard, I WAS rowdy everywhere I go"... fourth stanza "I want you to stop and study", slightly different melody.


Title: Re: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: uncle bud on January 03, 2011, 08:50:39 AM
Sorry, Blind Arthur, I meant you could attach the files to your message here, since we have a 1 MB limit on attachments. If you're pointing to files hosted elsewhere, then whatever bit rate and size you like is fine.

So on to the exciting part. You're right, this is clearly a different take of Penitentiary Blues. There are the variations in the lyrics that you point out, as well as other variations. The song is pretty typical Lemon material in C position, as far as the guitar part is concerned. But some of the riffs in this alt. take I haven't heard Lemon play before, I think, like after the first line of the last verse. Cool.

Nice detective work! Have you noticed any other differences on that CD?  Not necessarily different takes (but hell, we can dream) but perhaps different transfers? Clearly they were getting at least one recording from a different source.
Title: Re: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: Blind Arthur on January 03, 2011, 09:15:26 AM
No. The other 8 titles are the well-known versions. Pretty good sound (scratchless but with the usual Paramount white noise). The titles are all also with equally good sound on Document.

There is another similar thing I had noticed back then, about a Memphis Jug Band title. Let me start a new thread on it...basically a similar thing where I don?t know if it?s an old hat or not. :)
Title: Re: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: CF on January 03, 2011, 09:15:48 AM
Wow, that is a different take Blind Arthur, & a great-sounding one at that (performance & recording). Thanks for bringing this around. I'll be giving this some spins today.
And yeah, a new variation on his licks in 'C' there after the first line of the last verse, you're right UB.
F'in' COOL!!!
 
Title: Re: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: jostber on January 06, 2011, 01:50:42 PM
Thank you for this confirmation. So, here they are:

This is the well-known version (means, on Document and JSP releases, mx 20363-2):

http://www.4shared.com/audio/AQyx_-fP/01_-_Blind_Lemon_Jefferson_-_B.html


This is the Tradition label version ["Blind Lemon Jefferson : Moanin? All Over", a 9 track only CD, Tradition D 19677 (TCD 1011), "original LP release Olympic 7134"]
- a definite unlisted alternate take (or Paramount re-recording) :

http://www.4shared.com/audio/2Rx-8Jp4/06_-_Blind_Lemon_Jefferson_-_B.html

(has 80kb/sec because I could not get rid of annoying artefacts in 32)



Listen to the second stanza, for example the "I hung around Groesbeck" line...or the third one : "I used to be a drunkard, rowdy everywhere I go" - as opposed to "I used to be a drunkard, I WAS rowdy everywhere I go"... fourth stanza "I want you to stop and study", slightly different melody.




I have another version of this CD which is called "Penitentiary Blues" and was released on Collectables Records in 1992. Same 9 songs on this one. Liner notes by Kerry Kudlacek.


Title: Re: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: Cleoma on January 06, 2011, 06:19:02 PM
Blind Arthur - thank you so much for pointing out these different takes, both this one and the MJB one.  You really have got great ears!
Title: Re: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: Blind Arthur on January 07, 2011, 01:49:19 AM
Oh, don?t mention it :) I?m just a fanatic (read: completionist) of the artists I like most of the genre and BLJ and the MJB have appealed to me from the very start of collecting.
(With BLJ it didn?t take off until I got the near complete recordings tho in 1999. Yeah, sometimes sampler producers tend to leave out the most interesting titles. Oh that would be a subject for another topic but after all, tastes are different :) )
Title: Re: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: Blind Arthur on January 07, 2011, 09:24:27 AM
I have just taken the liberty of joining the above named group and hope to at least get to know the take number...
Title: Re: "Blind Lemon?s Penitentiary Blues" - there are clearly two different takes
Post by: Stuart on January 07, 2011, 10:06:58 AM
Saw your message at the PWBG. Hopefully someone will be able to provide some additional info for us all.

Thanks for the keen ear and attention to detail. There's always more to know and to uncover, and if we don't do it then who will? There's no cure for natural curiosity, as the old saying goes.
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