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A woman's love is like the morning dew. It's as apt to land on a horse turd as it is a rose. - Larry McMurtry, Leaving Cheyenne

Author Topic: Honey Blues - Funny Papa Smith  (Read 2135 times)

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Offline GhostRider

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  • That'll never happen no more!
Honey Blues - Funny Papa Smith
« on: April 17, 2006, 08:00:33 AM »

After the discussion ::) of Honey Blues on the J.T.  "Funny Papa" Smith lyrics thread, I decided to have a go at figuring it out. After getting so far, I decided to ask John Miller a few questions. With his permission, here is John's analysis:

"Hi Alex,
I think your assessment of what J. T. Smith was doing on "Honey Blues" is right on the money.  It's a 16-bar blues, though different than most.  It works out as so:

|      E      |     E      |     A7      |      A7     |

|      E      |     E      |     A7      |      A7     | 

|      A      |     A      |     E        |      D7     |

|      A      |     E      |     A        |      A       |

The bar designated as D7 he sometimes plays as A minor (third verse, I think), and at least once he fingers an A minor chord but plays an octave alternating bass off of E.  I think of those three choices, the D7 with the wrapped thumb fretting the second fret of the sixth string sounds much the best.

He seems like he alternates the bass pretty regularly behind the A chords and is a bit more haphazard behind the E and D chords.  Behind E especially, it seem he does a lot of "3 down and 1 up" in his bass (3 sixth strings and 1 fourth string).

This is by far my favorite J. T. Smith song.  I just wish he could tune his damn guitar.  Even so, I have loved this song and performance ever since I first heard it.  What a great melody, and that last verse is a beaut!
All best,

The signature lick is a repeated hammer on from the 2 to the 3 fret on the 1 string in the I chord (A) sections. In the V (E) sections FPS adds embellishing/ melody notes which can be reached from the first pos. E chord.

To my ear, in the IV7 (D7) sections FPS does not play/sound the 1 string.

An .mp3 of this tune is availible in the Honey Blues post in the FPS lyrics thread.

« Last Edit: April 17, 2006, 08:03:05 AM by Pyrochlore »

Offline Forgetful Jones

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Re: Honey Blues - Funny Papa Smith
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 08:32:06 PM »
Life's been busy, and I haven't been around WC as much as I'd like to be, but I had to tell someone how much I love this song. You guys are the only people I "know" who could appreciate it.
I bought the Yazoo Funny Papa Smith disc over 20 years ago when I was buying as much of this stuff as I could. I didn't give this album nearly the attention as I should have back then, but I recently decided to give it a listen. I love most of it, but "Honey Blues" really stands out as a gem! What a cool song and artist! How could this have been sitting in my collection for so long, and I never noticed till now?!?
That tag line "Oh sail, oh sailed away Hon" is delivered perfectly.
I'm not sure how exactly what it is, but this tune certainly sounds different than any other country blues I can remember. I've enjoyed playing my own sloppy version of it. I really struggle remembering lyrics.


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