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Author Topic: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt  (Read 974 times)

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Offline TexCo

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My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« on: May 19, 2012, 08:24:42 PM »
Hey,
My group Shlomo and Julie plays a mix old-timey folk and blues with a bit of a swing feel. I'd say my two biggest influences for this project are Mississippi John Hurt and Ry Cooder. I recorded a couple of sort of stripped down tracks to use as a demo for festival entries. Let me know what you guys think about the mix, the playing, the choice of tunes, anything really. FYI, I'm playing guitar, my girlfriend is singing and a buddy of mine is playing upright.
http://shlomoandjulie.bandcamp.com

Offline colm kill paul

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Re: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2012, 01:58:27 AM »
Hi Texco! Welcome!

I think this demo sounds very good and in my opinion it's perfect in terms of mix & playing.

I'm a MJH fan so the choice of Ain't no tellin' (make me down a pallet on your floor) gets extra bonus points from me.

I like what you've done with the John Hurt track in particular. I think at the core of his music are two aspects which really are central; 1) melody, & 2) accessibility. You are achieving both of these in this demo. In addition you have your own style and sound so "bingo!" it grooves for me.

I'm not a professional musician but there are many here who may be able to offer advice on whether the demo targets the right niche for festivals. I guess you will have cross over appeal between country blues, folk and jazz. Good luck with the demo and Well done! Colm

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2012, 07:12:42 AM »
I'm assuming that Julie is the singer here...I love how she pronounces the word "down". I have mixed feelings about pop-musicfying this material. On the one hand it serves to make it accessible to people of your generation who seem more determined than any I've seen to be entirely self referential,
on the other it prettifies the songs almost past recognition. In the plus column Julie has a dead sexy voice, in the minus column she doesn't particularly seem like she's connecting to the layers of meaning of the songs. The playing is OK but seems to strive for a muzaky inoffensiveness.
Go ahead on then, see where this takes you. Try digging a little deeper, do some research. You should all read Alan Lomax's "the land where the blues began" to help inform your performance.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2012, 07:35:56 AM »
Actually since you're in Montreal you should connect with our own Uncle Bud here on Weenie also from Montreal and he can hip you to the real deal.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline zerobob

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Re: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2012, 08:42:34 PM »
i like it thanks for free download

Offline TexCo

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Re: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 06:35:42 AM »
Thanks for the kind words guys.
O'Muck: A little harsh, but I do see where you're coming from. I have mixed feelings about what you might consider to be the "real deal" and about letting Alan Lomax inform our playing... For instance, I've taken, and continue to take the time to do my best to imitate MJH's guitar playing, note-for-note, and his feel, and I think I've done a pretty good job of it. But I save that for when I'm practicing. When I preform or record, I play it the way I want to play it. I would feel like a clown getting up on stage and playing the "real deal", because to me, that's phony. FYI, I admire the work of Lomax, and I can appreciate the value of gaining a deeper understanding of the music, but no matter what, we're still a couple of kids from Canada, who grew up listening to what we listened to, who's experiences have little in common with Mississippi John Hurt's. So I hope you can understand that what you consider to be authentic is not necessarily authentic to us, or rather, wouldn't be authentic if we we're playing it. As far as "muzaky inoffensiveness" goes, It's hard to get the kind of edge on a recording that we get playing live and I feel that these recordings are a lot flatter and tamer than our live playing.
I'll be sure to check out uncle bud.

Offline zerobob

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Re: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 10:21:36 AM »
it sounds very Mississippi john hurt style

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 05:40:29 PM »
Didn't mean to sound harsh Shlomo.
"we're still a couple of kids from Canada, who grew up listening to what we listened to, who's experiences have little in common with Mississippi John Hurt's"
One could make the same claim for a certain unfortunately deceased Toronto based pianist who's life had very little in common with Johan Sebastian Bach's, but who reeducated the world as to how to play his music, and made it live more fully than anyone in memory.
I've been messing with this music since the early sixties and did grow up hearing some of it. I also had the good fortune to learn some of it from a few of its creators. Alan Lomax had a thirty year jump on me. I was flabbergasted when reading his book about how much I didn't know about a subject I've spent so much time and effort on.
As I overheard the great Montreal and Los Angeles raised painter Philip Guston reply to a querulous student once: "I am a STUDENT of painting" this when that worthy master was already in his sixties.
So since some of my best friends are or have been Canadian musicians of note, and took their work very seriously, I have complete confidence that your endeavors will lead you to explore the profundity of this music as it is revealed to you. 
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Rivers

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Re: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 06:14:25 PM »
Well said all round, I reckon.

Offline Gumbo

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Re: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 01:55:18 AM »
These are nice recordings. But that is a double edged sword. As you say:
 
Quote
It's hard to get the kind of edge on a recording that we get playing live and I feel that these recordings are a lot flatter and tamer than our live playing.

Ain't that the truth. We're in the same boat recording demo quality, and decided to record live using either a room mic (tricky) or micing each instrument/voice which has different drawbacks.

On the basis of using your tracks for demos to get gigs I'd say they are enough to interest me but not enough to make me sign you up. In fact Crow Jane works against you here as it's 'more of the same but less so'. Ain't No tellin gets me interested in what else you do but Crow Jane makes me think that's all you do, if you follow. And I don't mean to be harsh here. just practical.
So I'd be hoping to hear something a bit surprising for the second track.

Offline TexCo

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Re: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2012, 01:43:35 PM »
Just reserved The Land where the blues began at the library, i'll keep you posted Mr O'Muck.
Quote
On the basis of using your tracks for demos to get gigs I'd say they are enough to interest me but not enough to make me sign you up. In fact Crow Jane works against you here as it's 'more of the same but less so'. Ain't No tellin gets me interested in what else you do but Crow Jane makes me think that's all you do, if you follow. And I don't mean to be harsh here. just practical.
-Gumbo
I feel the same way, I'm working on a new second track now, something a little fuller and more orchestrated. Less of the same, so to speak.

Offline CF

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Re: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 08:43:30 AM »
I think your stuff sounds just fine &, as you say, reflects your actual voices & your relationship with the music. O'Muck is right in that it is very rewarding to get a deeper relationship with this folk music, you will play it better if you immerse yourself in it for sure . . . but i think you're on the right track on how you should play it. Your aversion to maybe aping the music is the right instinct I think, good luck.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline Westside

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Re: My new group trying out a little Mississippi John Hurt
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 10:13:12 PM »
Do you have an album of this stuff available?

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