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Kokomo Arnold a Lap Steel Player?

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Hi all:

I was talking to Tim Williams last week (a local CB player). We were discussing Kokomo Arnold and Tim mentioned that he was a lap steel player, even claiming to have a photo of Arnold with a lapsteel.

I'm not all that familiar with Arnolds recorded works. Is it possible that Arnold recorded most or all of his incredible slide pieces on a lapsteel? Any fretted notes in there?

If you can't get me a woman, get me a sissy man,

I'd love to see the picture -- I've seen a couple of pictures of Arnold, but never one with a guitar.  Even the notes to the Document Essential Kokomo Arnold set (CBL 200023) starts off "I don't recall ever seeing a picture of Kokomo Arnold playing a guitar ...".

The same liner notes, however, go on to say two paragraphs later: "James Arnold was born in rural Georgia in 1901...or by his account 1905; his early history is almost a complete blank, but we do know that he picked up guitar in emulation of his cousin John Wigges.  We don't know how Wigges approached the instrument but Kokomo played it in a vigorous slide style, left handed with the guitar lying in his lap."

Interestingly, I have been trying to finish short prog for the juke on lap players and as some artists   could\could not be  lap players I picked Michael Messer's brains and we concluded that some of Arnold's material prossibly  was lap... so to cut a long story short I've included a couple of "possible" tracks in the prog.

If I can get\keep my act together it might be winging it's way juke-wise in the week  :o

My suspicion is that Kokomo played both ways.  In the Agram LP I have is a repro of a poster for a show by Kokomo which shows him playing a style O National upright & lefty.

Certainly there is quite a bit of fretting going on in much of his stuff, but I have always felt that some of the stuff in Spanish tuning was played flat as there is not a lot of fretting.


Can't remember off-hand which tracks (!) but certainly at the end of a couple of them it sounds distinctly lap-like.


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