collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

I seed a man standin' at the window pullin' off his clothes. So I said, "Hey, Bub, I say, what goes?" So he said, "Look, Bub, if you knowed what I paid for this room and what's in it, them clothes I'm throwin' out the window will be out of style when I come down. - Big Bill Broonzy, Mule Ridin' Blues

Author Topic: blind willie mctell's 12-strings  (Read 6105 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline unezrider

  • Member
  • Posts: 390
blind willie mctell's 12-strings
« on: April 24, 2008, 04:20:56 PM »
hello friend,
there has been some discussion on here recently about 12 string guitars. also, of late i've been on a big blind willie mctell kick, & i got to thinking about his guitars. the early ones, in particular. from the early photos i have of him, there seems to be two stellas, a sunburst/white binding model of some kind, & perhaps another stella, though i'm not sure. the stella in question is a jumbo(?), tailpiece model. in the pic where he's wearing the derby cap, & holding the neck up above his head (i think it may be the same guitar he's pictured w/ in the photo w/ ruth day) you can see into the sound hole, & the label is an oval. not the square stella one i'm familiar w/.
my curiosity is A. you see stella six strings pop up all the time,(& on ebay, some in very poor shape at really high prices) you very rarely see any twelves. were they that rare of a model? B. if so, were those jumbos he was playing even rarer? other famous 12 string guys like barbecue bob, or leadbelly played what looks to be a grand concert sized guitar. & i thought jumbos didn't come along till the 30's.
maybe this is another example of a musician preferring a particular kind of guitar (12 string jumbo) & not just 'what they could get their hands on'?
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline Mr.OMuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 2605
    • MuckOVision
Re: blind willie mctell's 12-strings
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2008, 05:48:56 PM »
I have been haunting vintage guitar stores for 40 years and i have never seen even ONE in the flesh or wood. Rare, rare birds I'd say.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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

Offline Cambio

  • Member
  • Posts: 172
  • Howdy!
Re: blind willie mctell's 12-strings
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2008, 07:18:43 PM »
BBQ Bob played a grand concert Stella, Leadbelly played an Auditorium sized one.  McTell played both an Auditorium (in the earliest studio portrait of him and in the picture of him with Kate) and a grand concert (in the picture of him with Ruth).  He was pictured later in life playing a Harmony Stella. 
According to Marc Silber and Paul Geremia, the one with the oval label is a Tonk Brothers 12 string.

Offline unezrider

  • Member
  • Posts: 390
Re: blind willie mctell's 12-strings
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2008, 01:52:57 PM »
thanks for the replies, guys
& thanks for the info, todd. interesting stuff.
chris
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline Mr.OMuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 2605
    • MuckOVision
Re: blind willie mctell's 12-strings
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2008, 04:35:36 PM »
Great! Thanks. Really does sound like "it". Good playin' too!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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

Offline Coyote Slim

  • Member
  • Posts: 268
    • coyoteslim.com
Re: blind willie mctell's 12-strings
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2008, 12:07:18 PM »
Great work from the headless guitarist!
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

Coyote Slim's Youtube Channel

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: blind willie mctell's 12-strings
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2008, 07:41:06 PM »
Great work from the headless guitarist!

LOL!

The headless guitarist is sometime Weenie poster LittleBrother, a fine player indeed.

I'm surprised he didn't skip town with that guitar. I would!

Offline unezrider

  • Member
  • Posts: 390
Re: blind willie mctell's 12-strings
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2008, 08:49:45 PM »
nice footage, spikedriver!
i think andrew's right - anyone who may have been present in that room when that footage was shot is fortunate nothing unfortunate happened to them  ;D
an awfully nice guitar, indeed!
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline Prof Scratchy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1692
  • Howdy!
Re: blind willie mctell's 12-strings
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2008, 10:20:33 AM »
This may (or may not) be relevant - but recently I've been toying with trying to get near to the sound Blind Willie got on his later recordings. Ralph Bown, a luthier friend from York, sent me up a couple of sets of strings to try out, tuned away down to A. The first set I've tried seems to really capture that sound and consists of (first course to sixth course):
17/17; 20w/10;32/13; 45/18p; 56/26; 66/35. I was sceptical about the 24w on the second - but it does the trick and works wonders with the high octave 10 right next to it. Not too difficult to bend, either, which had been a worry. Tuning as low as A gives a wonderful growl from the stella, and the extra volume and sustain from these heavy strings is more fun than I should be allowed at my age!

 


SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2021, SimplePortal