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A lot of people say that the blues is just a feeling, but it's not; it's also a harmony system - Steve James, "Blues/Roots Guitar" instructional video

Author Topic: Walter Beasley Lyrics  (Read 691 times)

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Online Johnm

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Walter Beasley Lyrics
« on: December 05, 2006, 08:52:45 AM »
Hi all,
Sylester Weaver and Walter Beasley recorded "Toad Frog Blues" at a New York City session on November 30, 1927.  The song is played by Weaver in E, standard tuning, with Beasley playing slide in Vestapol.  The vocal is Beasley's, and is a real treat.  He has a comfortable, relaxed, sort of world-weary sound, somewhat reminscent of the later East Coast bluesman Alec Seward, that suits his humorous material to a T.  He's more country-sounding than Weaver, too, at least vocally; he doesn't have that sort of elocutionary quality that characterized much of Weaver's singing. 
Sylvester Weaver really seems to revel in his liberation from vocal duties here.  He is all over his guitar, changing accents as he goes along and trying different ideas.  At one point, in the solo before the last verse, he launches into a furious tremolo--very unusual. 
As far as I'm concerned, you can't beat these lyrics with a stick, particularly verse one.  I'm inclined to attribute them to Weaver, though there's certainly no proof of that.  In any case, they are completely comfortable in their own skin.



   Tadpole in the river, hatchin' underneath of a log (2)
   He got too old to be a tadpole, he hatched into a natch'l frog

   SOLO

   If a toad frog had wings, he would be flyin' all around
   If a toad frog had wings, he'd be flyin' all around
   He would not have his bottom bumpin' thumpin' on the ground

   SOLO

   Ever time I see a toad frog, Lord, it makes me cry (2)
   Make me think about my baby, when he (sic) roll her goo-goo eyes

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 07:39:53 PM by Johnm »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Walter Beasley Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2006, 10:02:24 AM »
Sylester Weaver and Walter Beasley recorded "Toad Frog Blues" at a New York City session on November 30, 1927. 

   If a toad frog had wings, he would be flyin' all around
As an amusing aside Paul Garon used the toad frog with wings image on the cover of his 1975 book Blues And The Poetic Spirit. He resurrected the image as the logo for his antiquarian book business, Beasley Books. Now what could have inspired that name?  ;D
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 07:31:29 PM by Johnm »

Online Johnm

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Re: Walter Beasley Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2006, 04:49:07 PM »
Thanks for the report on Paul Garon, Bunker Hill.  I get a kick out of the idea of someone becoming so fixated on something as relaxed and low-key as Walter Beasley's delivery, but you know what?  I can see it.  Beasley was completely cool.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 07:31:48 PM by Johnm »

Online Johnm

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Re: Walter Beasley Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2006, 04:58:23 PM »
Hi all,
Walter Beasley and Sylvester Weaver recorded "Sore Feet Blues" on November 30, 1927, immediately following "Toad Frog Blues", and like "Toad Frog", "Sore Feet" features a vocal by Walter Beasley.  It also follows an accompaniment division of labor that has Sylvester Weaver playing out of E in standard tuning and Beasley playing slide in Vestapol.  Weaver is in fine form again, and Beasley's vocal is droll, droll, droll.



   I got two feet, keeps me with the blues
   I gots two feet, keeps me with the blues
   Got nineteen corns, can't wear nar' pair shoes

   SOLO

   A peg-legged man, he's one lucky fool (2)
   Only got one feet to hurt, he kicks that like a mule

   SOLO


   I can't walk, feets hurts me when I stand
   I can't walk around, my feets hurts me when I stand
   Got to take a lesson, learn to walk on my hands

All best,
Johnm   
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 07:40:54 PM by Johnm »

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Re: Walter Beasley Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2006, 03:23:38 PM »
Hi all,
Sylvester Weaver and Walter Beasley recorded "Southern Man Blues" in New York City on November 30, 1927, a productive day for the duo, and the day on which all four of Walter Beasley's vocals (of which this is one) were recorded.  Weaver is playing out of A in standard tuning, capoed up and Beasley is playing slide out of Spanish tuning.  I'm coming to realize that all the songs they recorded on that day followed the same arrangement:  instrumental intro followed by one verse, and then alternations of solos with sung verses.  Beasley generally does not make his instrumental entrance until the first solo, after he has sung his opening verse.  Sylvester Weaver uses a D7 position when playing a blues in A that is not commonly encountered among Country Blues guitarists, although it occurs quite commonly in other styles of music:  X-X-0-2-1-2.  About the only other player I can think of who uses that position a lot when playing an A blues is Snooks Eaglin.
Walter Beasley continues his winning vocal ways, not coming on too strong, but just having his relaxed say.



   I'm a Southern man, this ain't none of my home (2)
   Want to tell you, people, ain't gonna be here long

   SOLO

   If somebody don't come here soon (2)
   Some long-line skinner sure can have my room

   SOLO

   Lord, I wonder, will a matchbox hold my clothes? (2)
   I ain't got so many, but I got so fur (sic) to go

All best,
Johnm
   
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 07:41:49 PM by Johnm »

Online Johnm

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Re: Walter Beasley Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2006, 06:29:07 PM »
Hi all,
The first of the four songs that Sylvester Weaver and Walter Beasley recorded together on November 30, 1927 was "Georgia Skin", named for the game celebrated by Peg Leg Howell and others.  Weaver is playing out of C in standard tuning, capoed up, and Beasley is playing slide in Vestapol.  The way Beasley moves fluidly from treble fills with the slide to bass runs is really terrific, especially since he is also having to concentrate on his singing. Is anyone aware of an earlier appearance in Blues lyrics of the opening line to the second verse?  It would be an interesting and very time-consuming study to figure out the earliest recorded appearance of various blues lines that later became part of the shared lyric pool. 
As far as I know, "Georgia Skin", "Southern Man Blues", Toad Frog Blues", and Sore Feet Blues" represent the sum total of Walter Beasley's recorded vocals.  It's a real shame he didn't get more opportunities to sing on record.  At least we have those four.



   That's the reason I like the game they call Georgia Skin (2)
   'Cause when you fall, stop and pick out again

   SOLO

   When you lose your money, honey, don't you lose your mind
   When you lose your money, please don't lose your mind
   'Cause you must remember, all gamblers gets broke some time

   SOLO

   When I had money, friends everywhere I go (2)
   Now I ain't got no money, my friends don't know me no more

All best,
Johnm
     
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 07:42:37 PM by Johnm »

Online Johnm

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Re: Walter Beasley Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 07:33:42 PM »
Hi all,
I decided to give Walter Beasley his own thread, too.
All best,
Johnm

 


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