Country Blues > The Back Porch

Rolling Mill Blues

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Inspired by JohnM's suggestion, Kim and I have been working on Peg Leg Howell's Rolling Mill Blues.  It represented a couple of challenges for both of us - for me, the singing dips kinda low out of my range, so it's hard for me to push air in those spots.  I did end up taking some liberties with PLH's guitar part, but tried to keep the skeletal sound that he got.  We tried to let the three parts weave in and out of each other - not sure how well that worked out...  might also be affected by my "recording technique" (hah!).

Blues fiddling is a whole new thing for Kim, but I think she picked up the gist of the whole thing pretty quickly.  As a result of working on this tune, she started fooling with positions beyond the 1st.  The intonation up there can get a little dicey, but it's getting better all the time.  This is also her first attempt at incorporating vibrato, which doesn't really have much of a place in old-time fiddling.

The overall recording is pretty rough - expect no finely honed recording techniques here - download at your own risk!  The file is pretty small - about 600kb.

Well Frank, good on you and Kim for posting your early rendition/challenges of these fine tunes.

Yes, I'd say Kim has got the gist of Rolling Mill Blues - it's really great to hear this tune perfomed.. what a kick!  I hope yawl keep this one in your repetoire and will post it again in a few months when you've had time to polish it a bit.  It's just outstanding!


Hi Frank,
I just down-loaded and listened to "Rolling Mill"--what a treat!  That is such a great sound, with the guitar capoed up high in Spanish and the bluesy fiddle.  I really like the way Kim is making and inflecting her notes.  there is something kind of magical about those places where the African American and the Appalachian music converge.  Way to go!
All best,

Thanks guys - I'm glad you like it (not to mention slightly amazed!).  It's been fun to work on the tune together.  We started picking out a bunch of tunes that appeal to both of us...  it's impossibly ambitious and the list is way too long, but even if we only get to a quarter of it, it'll probably have been worth it.

Of course, we both just sat down and listened to the original - amazing how much is in there...  sheesh!

That place where blues & old-time meet is definitely a cool place!

That's very, very cool.  Well done to both of you,


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