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The curtain would open and you wouldn't see nothing but this big record player... You know, a Victrola. Then Matt, he would come out and open the door, don't you know, and then I would step out singing while Hersal [Thomas] was playing the piano. It was beautiful, child, you should have seen it - Sippie Wallace describes a dramatic stage entrance in the 1920s, quoted in Black Pearls: Blues Queens Of The 1920s by Daphne Duval Harrison

Author Topic: Tunes You're Listening To  (Read 24025 times)

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Offline David Kaatz

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Re: Tunes You're Listening To
« Reply #165 on: March 25, 2021, 10:03:02 AM »
Great story to hear, DJ. That is a fine rendition, I don't think I had ever heard it.
An interesting synchronicity, sort of, is that that previous post to yours, from 8 years ago, lists Foddrell Turner, who Harriet just brought attention to two days back.
Personally, I don't listen to much country blues except what is linked here - which is quite a bit!
Heavy rotation on YouTube for me is jazz pianist Emmett Cohen, his trio, and guests. Highly recommended.

Offline eric

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Re: Tunes You're Listening To
« Reply #166 on: March 25, 2021, 03:39:32 PM »
Nice story DJ, and that Blues Classics LP is a good one. Fuller is an underappreciated player, I think.

I've been listening to John Hurt's Library of Congress recordings.  I was aware of them for a long time but only recently acquired them, and they're great.  They have warm, relaxed ambience, John tells a few stories and you can really hear that solid thumb bass.  Otherwise, around here we listen to a lot of 50's jazz in the evenings.  Plenty of Miles, as well as Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and so on.  Great stuff.
--
Eric

Offline harriet

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Re: Tunes You're Listening To
« Reply #167 on: March 25, 2021, 04:21:52 PM »
Sometimes I find artists that I haven't heard of before on this forum and today it was Uncle Bud's mention on this thread of John Dudley in 2012, plus a little Muddy Waters, Barbecue Bob and I have been listening to Cary Tate, Alonzo Burke, Mager Johnson, Mott Willis, Roosevelt Holts, Asie Payton from the 70's recordings in Blues at Home 5, 13 .  Lately, some classical music.

Offline joe paul

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Re: Tunes You're Listening To
« Reply #168 on: March 26, 2021, 08:01:47 AM »
Just to echo the above sentiments, I too really enjoyed following the links and discovering the Foddrell Brothers. Really cool to have those short interviews on the Berea College site. Thanks for that Harriet and Stuart.
I agree completely on John Hurt's Library of Congress recordings as well, they're the ones I like best after his 1928 work as a young man.

Gordon

Offline dj

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Re: Tunes You're Listening To
« Reply #169 on: March 27, 2021, 06:40:15 AM »
Thanks for mentioning John Hurt's LOC recordings, Eric.

I've had Hurt's Vanguard recordings since I started buying country blues records years ago, and only came to his LOC recordings in the last 15 years or so. As much as I still love the Vanguard recordings, Hurt's LOC recordings, I think, are unmatched in their breadth of repertoire and the sense of spontaneity and just downright fun that pervades them.  You hit the nail on the head with "warm, relaxed ambience". 

There's a lot to listen to in those 2 sets on the Fuel 2000 label, and I've been listening to them a lot over the last 2 days.

Offline dj

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Re: Tunes You're Listening To
« Reply #170 on: April 18, 2021, 06:15:22 AM »
Ever since responding to ThatGuy's query about guitar/fiddle duets, I've been listening a lot to John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson's first session, recorded May 5th 1937 at the Leland Hotel in Aurora, Illinois.  Sonny Boy recorded 6 songs at the session, all of them backed by Big Joe Williams and Robert Lee McCoy on guitar. the songs recorded were:
   Good Morning School Girl
   Blue Bird Blues
   Jackson Blues
   Got The Bottle Up And Gone
   Sugar Mama Blues
   Skinny Woman

The songs Williamson recorded at this session have long been favorites of mine.  I've always put that down to the fact that they were just some of the better songs in his repertoire and let it go at that, without much thought to the matter.  But listening this week, I realized just why I love this session so much.  The explanation lies in the instrumental voices.  Sonny Boy, of course, sings and plays harmonica.  Big Joe lightly chords and plays lead lines on what sounds like a 9-string guitar.  And Robert Lee plays bass runs and chords on a 6 string guitar.  It sounds to me like he's flatpicking, because the bass notes and chords have a sharp definition.  And it's McCoy's playing that, I think, just elevates this session from very good to exceptional.  His playing has a bounce and snap that really drives each song.  "Boom-chang" doesn't do his playing justice - the chords themselves aren't "jazzy", but McCoy's playing has an almost jazzy feel to it.

By the way, back in 1997, RCA/BMG issued 2 disks of Sonny Boy's earliest Bluebird sessions.  The performances were taken as much as possible from existing metal masters and clean test pressings, and they sound GREAT.  The disks are, unfortunately, long out of print, but if you want to hear this music as if you were sitting in the room with the musicians, they're worth seeking out. 

 


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