The Unwound Third > Gitfiddles, Harps, Washboards & Kazoos

tenor guitar for acoustic blues

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uncle bud:
A grainy version of that grainy photo...

dj:
Charlie's playing on his 1939 sides is mostly chording on the beat.  He occasionally gets off a flat-picked solo, as on "You Better Watch Out" and "Too Much Beef".  On "Good Potatoes On The Hill", he opens with some nifty flat-picked "bass" runs.  Since the lowest sounding note is a D corresponding to the 4th string on a guitar, I'd guess he's playing a tenor there. 

All the 1939 recordings by Charlie Burse and his Memphis Mudcats are on the Juke.

Johnm:
Hi all,
Thanks very much for the information, Bunker Hill, dj and Uncle Bud.  I realized that about all I remember of Charlie Burse is that on the old "Rural Blues" set that Sam Charters put together on RBF, Burse was included on a version of "Take Your Fingers Off It" that Charters used because it employed laughter.  As I recall, Burse had pretty infectious laughter, too, almost in a class with Charley Lincoln.  I need to hear more of what he did.
All best,
Johnm

MTJ3:

--- Quote from: Bunker Hill on February 06, 2006, 11:43:02 AM ---
--- Quote from: Johnm on February 06, 2006, 10:36:08 AM ---Didn't Charlie Burse, the jug band musician from Memphis, play a tenor guitar? 
--- End quote ---
I'm sure you are correct.
This is from memory since I seem to have misfiled the work but I'm sure there are two photos showing Burse with tenor - one from the 30s, the other the 60s - in Bengt Olsson's 1970 Memphis Blues paperback. My mind's eye can also visualise a quote from Burse in which he says that folk who didn't know what the instrument was called it a uke-banjo (or something similar). Anyone have easy access to this book?

--- End quote ---
Burse is on the cover (with an f-hole tenor!) and at pages 29 and 30 of the book in photos that are undated, dated c. 1935 and dated 1962, respectively.  Also at page 29: "Charlie was nicknamed 'Uke', since the tenor banjo he played was called ukulele-banjo in Memphis (as it was in many other parts of the south)."  Laura "Little Bit" Dukes is shown in photographs at pages 40-43 playing an ukulele (in one photo) and an ukulele-banjo (in several).  Her ukulele banjo was about the size of an ukulele and had a banjo head instead of a wooden body.  George Formby, eat your heart out.

Bunker Hill:

--- Quote from: uncle bud on February 06, 2006, 02:27:09 PM ---A grainy version of that grainy photo...
--- End quote ---
Which indeed is the one originally used on the 1980s Old Tramp LP, which in turn is from the 1935 photo in Olsson; OT just cut out the other musicians to his right.

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