Country Blues > Country Blues Licks and Lessons

Miller's Breakdown

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Old Man Ned:
Frank Edwards is a new one for me. Lovely relaxed feel to his delivery, which for me, brought to mind Sleepy John Estes. I'm hearing this in Open G tuning.

Archie Edwards' "Baby, Please Give Me A Break" I'm hearing in standard tuning, played out of A. First two chords in his chord progression are a D7 shape up at the 9th fret ie
---9
---8
---9

and an A at the 5th fret:
---5
---5
---6
---7

All the Best,
Ned

Prof Scratchy:
I hear the first one in G standard. Iím having difficulty hearing the signature lick under the harmonica, but it sounds like he could be going from first position G to second position D7 then down to first position C before returning to G.

The second one is in A standard. I hear the first two chords as x0x9 10 9 and x0xx75

Johnm:
Hi all,
Any other takers want to try the Frank Edwards and Archie Edwards puzzlers? Come one, come all!
All best,
Johnm

blueshome:
Iím thinking Spanish and A standard

Johnm:
Hi all,
We haven't had any new responses on the Frank Edwards and Archie Edwards puzzlers in the past couple of days, so I'll post the answers.

For Frank Edwards' "Terraplane Blues":
   * His playing position was G position in standard tuning, as Old Man Ned and Prof Scratchy had it. You can tell it's not Spanish because when he goes to his IV7 chord, he voices the root in the bass and plays a regular C7 shape. To do that in Spanish you'd have to be fretting the fifth fret of the fifth string.
   * For his signature lick, played for example at :21--:24, he goes from the open fourth string to the fifth fret of the fourth string, from there back to the open fourth string, then moving to the first fret of the fifth string, and from there to the second fret of the sixth string, resolving upward to the third fret of the sixth string, the root of his I chord.

A week or so ago, I posed a question on the Main Forum as to whether anyone could think of a Country Blues guitarist who relegated the guitar so completely to a back-up role as did Sleepy John Estes. It now occurs to me that Frank Edwards is close to Sleepy John in this regard, pretty much eschewing any kind of hot licks, mostly strumming chords and keeping time, with an occasional bass run, like the signature lick in his version of "Terraplane Blues". Peter Lowry put out a really nice album of his music on the Trix label around 1970. I've always found Frank Edwards' singing of his lyrics a real transcription challenge.

For Archie Edwards' "Baby Please Give Me A Break":
   * His playing position was A position in standard tuning, as everyone had it--well done!
   * The first two chords in Archie Edwards' progression are an A7, voiced X-0-7-9-8-9, going from the sixth string to the first string and an A diminished 7 chord, voiced X-0-4-5-4-5, going from the sixth string to the first string. It's a neat kind of variation on the Scrapper Blackwell/Robert Johnson opening move when playing in A standard, which on the A7 voices the first three strings identically to Archie Edwards, but which for the A diminished 7 simply moves the first three strings down one fret, to 8-7-8. And since diminished 7 chords repeat and invert themselves every three frets, you can see how Archie Edwards' version works. It suggests a way of varying a move to a diminished 7 chord that could be duplicated in other songs, in other keys that use that chord.

Thanks to Old Man Ned, Prof Scratchy and blueshome for participating, and I hope folks enjoyed the songs.

All best,
Johnm   

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