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The blues come to Texas lopin' like a mule, you take a high-brown woman, man she's hard to rule - Blind Lemon Jefferson, Got The Blues

Author Topic: Jed Davenport Jug Band personnel  (Read 1712 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Jed Davenport Jug Band personnel
« on: September 23, 2011, 07:54:31 AM »
Jed Davenport's "Save Me Some" came around on the old Victrola shuffle the other day and I said wait a minute that's Joe McCoy singing, basically doing a version of Joe and Minnie's "She Wouldn't Give Me None" with different lyrics. Checking other Davenport tunes, "You Ought to Move Out of Town" also has Joe singing, again basically a reworked version "That'll Be Alright".

B&GR4 lists unknown personnel aside from Davenport on harmonica. The notes for Ruckus Juice and Chitlins Vol. 1 acknowledge the presence of Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie in the band, though don't specify whether they mean on recordings or performing.

Has any further info on personnel ever surfaced? I don't know about Minnie being on the records, but Joe is certainly on at least two of them.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Jed Davenport Jug Band personnel
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2011, 11:12:35 AM »
Richard Metson contributed a lengthy three part examination of Jed Davenport's Jug Band recordings over a period of three issues in Juke Blues magazine during 1987. I'll look them out and see what conclusions he came to. If anything useful I scan and post.

Offline arlotone

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Re: Jed Davenport Jug Band personnel
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 04:25:31 PM »
One of my bandmates ran across this post and told me about it ... as a McCoy Brothers fan this fascinates me! It never occurred to me that Jed Davenport wasn't the singer, but besides the two songs you mention as sounding like Joe, all the other songs are instrumentals, so it makes sense.

I always thought Memphis Minnie was singing the "yeah ... uh huh" in Save Me Some. Now I wonder if she is also harmonizing on the chorus of Move Out of Town?

It takes more imagination to guess that the low harmony voice on the Save Me Some choruses was brother Charlie. Anyway, if Charlie was there then it was the first time the brothers recorded together, as far as I can tell. He's pictured with a mandolin in the Jed Davenport photo, but I don't hear it on these tracks (lots of fiddle instead).

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Jed Davenport Jug Band personnel
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 12:00:46 PM »
The recording quality/transfers on most of these recordings are pretty bad, so it's hard to discern instrumentation clearly on quite a few of the rougher tunes. Mandolin is definitely audible on Beale Street Breakdown. You would think Charlie would be playing it on Cow Cow Blues, since he used the melody for Jackson Stomp/That Lonesome Train Took My Baby Away, but I don't hear him.

Is that a 12-string guitar I hear on The Dirty Dozen?

Offline dj

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Re: Jed Davenport Jug Band personnel
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2012, 02:08:08 PM »
Those Davenport Jug Band sides were recorded when Vocalion was in Memphis in late February 1930.  Looking at the musicians who recorded during that session, there's quite an all-star cast to choose from.  I'm probably missing a few, as somehow the date/place/company/personnel listings have disappeared from the entries for my JSP Memphis sets, but here's the list that "Memphis February 1930 Vocalion" brings up on my iTunes:

Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy
Charlie McCoy with Bo Chatman on violin
Chatmon's Mississippi Hot Footers (Walter Vinson guitar, "probably" Bo Chatman violin, Charlie McCoy mandolin/guitar)
Will Shade playing with a variety of sanctified jug bands

The likely suspects would be drawn from the list above, but also present and recording during the week were:

Mattie Delaney
Tommy Griffin
Madelyn James
Charlie "Bozo" Nickerson
Garfield Akers
Joe Calicott
Jim Thompkins   


Edited: Oops!  I read Chatman's Mississippi Hot Footers and wrote Mississippi Sheiks.  The Sheiks recorded in Shreveport earlier in the month.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 02:25:11 PM by dj »

Offline arlotone

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Re: Jed Davenport Jug Band personnel
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 01:12:49 PM »
Mandolin is definitely audible on Beale Street Breakdown.

I also hear the plunk of some kind of banjo instrument on Piccolo Blues. It could be a banjo-mandolin, which Charlie played, but seems more like a banjo-guitar (it's playing bass runs), or just an artifact of this rough recording.

Is that a 12-string guitar I hear on The Dirty Dozen?

I hear that too. The promo photo includes a 12-string player, who was identified by Chris Smith on the jugband.org mailing list as Henry L. Castle. I'm attaching that photo here. This shows Castle, Davenport, Joe and Charlie McCoy, and two (!) unidentified jug players.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Jed Davenport Jug Band personnel
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012, 07:37:36 AM »
Mandolin is definitely audible on Beale Street Breakdown.

I also hear the plunk of some kind of banjo instrument on Piccolo Blues. It could be a banjo-mandolin, which Charlie played, but seems more like a banjo-guitar (it's playing bass runs), or just an artifact of this rough recording.

I'm not sure there's either on Piccolo Blues. What my ears are hearing for the bass runs is possibly a 12-string guitar again. Playing out of F position with the bass centred around the 4th string. The 4th string double courses are creating a phase effect from being slightly out of tune with each other or something. That's my current theory anyway!  :P

« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 07:42:23 AM by uncle bud »

 


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